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Actions speak louder than words

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by HOGCALLER, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    I realize that what follows is longer than most threads but my point is not: As a footstep follower of Jesus Christ I believe I should do exactly what he did, as detailed below. Therefore, whatever course of action you say I should follow or that you say you prefer for yourself, please show me where Jesus did it. Please, if at all possible, show it to me using Jesus’ words and actions; that is who I follow.

    The adage states: “Actions speak louder than words.” Perhaps you too have heard someone say, "Oh no, I never discuss politics or religion." Yet the most popular opinion/news programs of late seem to discuss little else (referring to before Katrina). It must be that people really are interested in those topics and only say that when they want to get out of having certain discussions.

    So, what do you think about injecting religion into politics or vise versa, is that a good idea? When the question is phrased in those terms perhaps most would answer, “No.” Yet it seems to be that almost no one was concerned when Alan Keyes and Barack Obama did exactly that this past election season as they made an issue of how Jesus would vote. And Pat Robertson’s recent remarks certainly show he has no qualms about doing that and even much worse. Those situations give rise to this question: Really, what would Jesus do?

    One very important thing was missing from all the news reports regarding how Jesus would vote—quotes from Jesus expressing his views. Even though Jesus is not granting interviews to journalists nowadays that does not mean that we cannot get to know his answer for we do have a trustworthy archive of his recorded words and reported actions and from it we can draw solid conclusions.

    Due to Bible prophecies specifying that time as the time for the Messiah to appear and as the Jews observed or heard reports of the many miraculous ‘signs’ Jesus was performing and, also, because of their own increasingly strong nationalistic aspirations arising out of their resentment of Rome’s harsh rule, the Jews were hoping for, no, even more than that, they were fully expecting Jesus to become their political, national ‘Deliverer’ and acting in line with that expectation they conspired to make him their king. This report is archived atJohn 6:14,15: “So, when the people saw the [miraculous] sign that Jesus had performed [i.e., the feeding of the large crowd with such a small amount of food], they said, “Truly, this is the prophet who was to come into the world.” [Note: This was probably a reference to the promise made in Deut. 18:15-19]. So, [when] Jesus knew that the people were about to come and forcibly take Him and make Him [their] king, He left there again and went to the high plateau [to be] alone [i.e., to pray. See Mark 6:46].” (Brackets, italics and all from An Understandable Version–NT. I added the links.) Jesus’ taking actions to avoid this nationalistic political entanglement should speak volumes to us that claim to be his footstep followers. Even though God had it recorded in the Bible, was this a single, isolated incident and therefore with no meaning for us today? Let’s see.

    Political overtones and conspiracies were definite factors in other incidents God had recorded in the Bible as well. We can find a report of one starting at Matthew 22:15: “The Pharisees went off and made a plan to trap Jesus with questions. Then they sent to him some of their disciples and some members of Herod's [political] party. "Teacher," they said, "we know that you tell the truth. You teach the truth about God's will for people, without worrying about what others think, because you pay no attention to anyone's status. Tell us, then, what do you think? Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?" Jesus, however, was aware of their evil plan, and so he said, “"You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin for paying the tax!" They brought him the coin, and he asked them, "Whose face and name are these?" "The Emperor's," they answered. So Jesus said to them, "Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God." When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.” Jesus avoids their carefully set trap by deftly and consistently refusing to be pulled into this widely debated nationalistic political dispute, but why? We can understand why by investigating his very first and very last opportunities to become involved with national and international politics. As footstep followers we should be particularly interested in his words, instructions and actions.

    All the opportunities Jesus had to meddle in national and international politics pale into insignificance when compared to the first and foremost opportunity he had to do so. Note the details of that incident as reported at Luke 4:5-8: “For the second test he led him up and spread out all the countries of the earth on display at once. 6 Then the Devil said, “I will give you the right to rule over all these countries. They're yours in all their splendor to serve your pleasure. I'm in charge of them all and can turn them over to whomever I wish. 7 Worship me and they're yours, the whole works." 8 Jesus refused, again backing his refusal with Deuteronomy: "Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness." Just think of all the “good” Jesus could have accomplished if he had accepted Satan’s offer “to rule over” and be “in charge of” all the kingdoms/nations/countries of this world and the thousands of years and billions of lives that would have been saved . . . NOT! This would have involved his rejecting his primary allegiance, God’s kingdom and sovereignty, and instead the pledging of his allegiance to Satan, the “ruler of the world.” Again, Satan’s rulership, THEN AND NOW, includes ALL political organizations (see John 14:30; Daniel 7:6-7, 23-24; Revelation 17:11-12; Revelation 12:9; Revelation 13:2). There is no mistaking it. Jesus firmly rejected that opportunity, that course of action, including the idea of using or working within Satan’s world or system, including all its political organizations, as a means to accomplish God’s will or in any effort to improve or legitimize in some way Satan’s holdings. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) Again we see Jesus set the pattern for us—“absolute single-hearted” allegiance to God and to His rule, His government.

    Is there any part of Jesus’ pattern of behavior that does not apply to or is not to be closely followed by someone wanting to be his follower and to be something more than just a “Christian” in name only? Please consider this then: if ever there were something worth fighting for in this world it was embodied in Jesus, was it not? So did Jesus allow his followers to become involved in physically fighting for him or his ideals? Absolutely not! (Matthew 26:52 compare Revelation 13:10) Why not? Jesus again gives us the answer and the reason why within an answer given to Pilate found at John 18:36, “My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this [Satan’s] world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.” (See John 17:14,16; James 1:27; 4:4 and 1 John 5:19). Do you see the consistent pattern Jesus set and the reason why? Who really are footstep followers of Jesus? Actions speak louder than words!

    Continued below.
     
  2. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

    Joined:
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    Can it truly be said that the politicians, their partisans or any other ‘leaders’ of this world and their followers are actually obeying Jesus’ commands such as those found at Luke 6:27-31? “This is what I say to all who will listen to me: Love your enemies, and be good to everyone who hates you. Ask God to bless anyone who curses you, and pray for everyone who is cruel to you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, don't stop that person from slapping you on the other cheek. If someone wants to take your coat, don't try to keep back your shirt. Give to everyone who asks and don't ask people to return what they have taken from you. Treat others just as you want to be treated.” There is no denying that the vast majority of those that claim to be Christian ignore Jesus’ clear command. Certainly if people and governments obeyed Jesus’ commands the world would be a much better place to live and there would be no war, “holy”, justifiable, defensive, preemptive or otherwise. So, really, what would Jesus do? Isn’t the reason for asking WWJD so that we today can do the right thing? What do you now say regarding involvement in politics? Jesus himself clearly, consistently provided us his answer by his actions and also in his own words. Are you a footstep follower of Jesus?

    As we contemplate what is going on around us involving both religion and politics it becomes obvious that those things are a blatant ignoring of Jesus’ example and commands but also of God’s clear instructions to his “people” that are contained in these prophecies that have their fulfillment in our day:

    Isaiah 2:2-4, LITV: “And it shall be in the last days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. (3) And many people shall go and say, Come and let us go up to the mount of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach from His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion the Law will go forth, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. (4) And He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more.”

    Micah 4:1-5, LITV: “But it shall be in the end of the days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established on the top of the mountains; and it shall be lifted up from the hills; and peoples shall flow on it. (2) And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us from His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For the Law shall go forth out of Zion, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. (3) And He shall judge between many peoples, and will decide for strong nations afar off. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, nor shall they learn war still. (4) But they shall each one sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and there shall be no trembling. For the mouth of Jehovah of Hosts has spoken. (5) For all the peoples walk, each one in the name of his god; but we will walk in the name of Jehovah our God forever and ever.”

    Every religion still teaching that it is OK to engage in physical violence and carnal warfare it is disobeying the God of love and also disobeying His son, the Prince of Peace. Please read Jesus warning to those that claim to be his followers at Matthew 7:21-23 (see the addendum). As you can see ‘good deeds’ don’t necessarily count for much but in those words Jesus also tells us for sure what does count. The above scriptures are part of God’s, of the Father’s, will and commandments.

    Please can you tell me: Who is Jesus’ Father? What is His name? (Matthew 6:9; Acts 15:14, see the addendum; 1 Corinthians 8:6) Let me conclude by restating the adage: “Actions speak louder than words.”

    I realize that the above is longer than most threads but my point is not. As a footstep follower of Jesus Christ I believe I should do exactly what he did, as detailed above. Therefore, whatever course of action you say I should follow or that you say you prefer for yourself, please show me where Jesus did it. Please, if at all possible, show it to me using Jesus’ words and actions; again, I follow Jesus.

    Addendum:

    Matthew 7:21-23 from various translations:

    (AMP) Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? 23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My [and God’s] commands].

    (AUV-NT) “Not every person who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but [only] that person who does what my Father in heaven requires. 22 Many persons will say to me on the [judgment] day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by [the authority of] your name, and drive out evil spirits and perform many powerful [supernatural] deeds by your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never acknowledged you [as my people]; go away from me, you people who have done sinful things.’

    (CEV) Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in. 22 On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, "We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles." 23 But I will tell them, "I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!"

    Act 15:14 from various translations:

    (AMP) Simeon [Peter] has rehearsed how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people [to bear and honor] His name.

    (GW) Simon has explained how God first showed his concern by taking from non-Jewish people those who would honor his name.

    (WE) Simeon has told us how God came the first time to the people who are not Jews. God chose some of them to belong to him and be his people.

    (WNT) Symeon has related how God first looked graciously on the Gentiles to take from among them a People to be called by His name.

    A prime example of what I am talking about:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,166598,00.html


    http://mediamatters.org/items/200508220006


    http://mediamatters.org/items/200508230007

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