|American election - Temptation of Glory, Power, and Wealth|
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
Jesus was very clear not to mix religion with the state. He refused to be drawn into the struggles between the Jews and the Romans despite gaining popular support and pressure by his disciples who see Him as a political Messiah to deliver them from the Roman occupation. There is a strong temptation for us to mix religion with the state, to go to Parliament and present our anti-gay views against a small minority population masqueraded as the will of the majority but clearly motivated by conservative christianity. The election in America for example is one where the Christian Right has again come out in force to support the Republican Party and to support their aggenda which is the continuation of a agressive war like foreign policy, freedom in gun ownership, anti-abortion, and anti-gay. They have called for the election to be fought on "values". However, In the bible, the Pharisees were the most hypocritical lot, claiming to be moral and to know the bible and God, but were hypocrites. The sins of others are over exagerated whilst their own sins are overlooked or even worst made to appear that they were the good guys. For all the hype about values and talk of a Christian nation, its all about the worship of glory, power and wealth.
The news of the appointment of Sarah Palin as the nominated VP candidate was followed by the news that her teenage daughter had been sexually promiscuous and had pre-marital sex resulting in a baby being conceived. In an amazing spin of the truth, the Christian Right responded by describing it as "It as an American Family". It becomes "It is an abominabal sin" when applied to Gays, but an American Family values when applied to the Christian Right. These double standards are remniscent of the Jewish Pharisees whom Jesus had condemned. In what seems to be natural justice, Governor Sarah Palin is a strong advocate against funding to prevent teenage pregnancy. The small sin in others becomes a big log in our eyes, whilsts our sins we do not seem to see.
The Christian Right has jump into the bandwagon eagerly supporting Sarah Palin who is strongly anti-Gay, and a supporter of gun rights. The bible speaks of the Pharisees so eager and willing to see the "sin" in others and "help" them remove it. We have the proliferation of ex-gay groups in Singapore and Malaysia such as R-L-M Ministries, Choices, and Liberty League, all attempting to help the "Gay sinners" and cure them of their "lifestyles". We have followed the ways and rules of man, instead of God. Jesus never once condemned gays, but His harshes comments were reserved for such religious pharisees. Sure they had good intentions and were sincere but the religious leaders also had good intentions when they put Jesus at the cross to be a scapegoat.
In another claim for the moral high ground, the nominated VP, Palin certainly did well in twisting the truth. She asked and demanded one of the highest per capita spending whilst claiming to be protecting tax payers money. The bridge to nowehere was initiated by Palin and was only canned due to public outcry and not because she rejected funding from congress. The Christian Right certaintly knows how to tell a lie to exalt themselves with so much practise in spinning the truth in their anti-gay crusades.
When those who present Christ of the bible, becomes hyporcrites, self righteous, and half truths con man, they loose their moral ground to speak about God, to proclaim God's love and mercy through Jesus Christ. The Christian Right has lost all credibility in talking about the bible. Why should non Christians believe in God of the bible, when Christians are inconsistent, and could not be trusted and have different set of values for themselves when compared to others. Could the messenger of the good news be trusted?
“Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God,” she said. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God’s plan.” Sarah Palin addressing Wasilla Assembly of God
Palin stated that in Iraq, the Americans were fighting for God. After a million dead, and all claims of weapons of mass destruction refuted, this is certainly not the God of the bible. What is the motivation for Christians leaders such as Palin and Geoirge Bush to start a major war causing billions of dollars and a million lives on account of deception? This is not the God of the Bible, this is not Jesus Christ of nazareth, who asked Peter to put down his weapons when confronted by danger! Even when the threat was real, the Christian way is never to use arms even the very last resorts. However, we have here Washington Hawks eager to cause harm and destruction and called it "the will of God". We have blashemped the name of God from a God of Grace and Mercy to one of war and deception. Perhaps the Christian Right is serving the wrong god, the god who controls this world. Alas, the Christian Right is repeating history with the crusades a thousand years earlier and even that appears more holy and righteous as they were attempting to re-capture Jerusalem.
The war mongering attitude of the Christian Right is best reflected by their gun trotting habits. The support of Gun rights, which is the freedom to carry arms that is potentially deadly to others is both selfish and self centered. Whilst denying the basic rights of Gays of love and relationships, we exalt our own rights, the right to carry guns even though the United States have one of the highest rates of gun related crimes in the Western World. The Christian Right wants to have all the special rights whilsts denying the basic rights from the Gay community, whose very exisitence is deemed as against the laws in many countries.
The battle of Milvian Bridge took place in Oct 28, 312 AD when Constantine 1 won the battle against Maxentius to be the sole ruler of the Roman Empore. Constantine believed that he had help from the Christian God when in his dreams he saw the "Chi Ro" cross and the letter "IHS" meaning IN HOC SIGNO VINCES or IN THIS SIGN CONQUER and so ordered the symbols "IHS" to be painted on the shields of the soldiers.. Chi (X) and Rho (P) are the first two letters of the Greek word Christ (XPICTOC). The battle was won and he later became a Christian, legalised Christianity, and mixed it with the idol worship of the SUN god. Constantine became the first pope or god-man in the like of the Egyptian Pharoahs. The persecution against Christians stopped and overnight everyone "became" a Christian and was baptised. This marked the start of the joining of State and Religion when Christianity became institutionalised and mixed with the Roman religious culture. The time of the saviours birth and resurrection was changed to fit the existing religious practices of the SUN god. That day the Christian culture became the culture of this world, and forever we faced the temptation of glory, power and wealth of the Roman Empire mixed with christianity. Our Christian tradition was forever compromised. It may be no coincidence that Microsoft Operating System was called Windows XP with everyone having a copy without much choice. It was without much choice that the first christians fell into the hands of the evil one.
The first Christians were faithful, and avoided temptation and not succumbing to the persecution. However, when direct persecution failed, accpetance succeeded and the church became forever trapped by the evil one. The biblical culture against the world culture is not a fight against the acceptance of gays defined by the mega churches as the world culture. The world culture with the religious idol worship and exaltation of power, glory and wealth overtook the biblical culture in the 4th century and our notion of Christian became forever mixed with the yeast of the religious pharisees. One thousand six hundred years later,
We are not asked to be delievered from evil, the bad things that sometimes happened to the best of people, nor does this verse excused us from bearing the consequences of our own sins by blaming Satan for causing us to fall into temptations. It is our evil heart that gives life to the temptations we faced and in due time will bear of fruits causing great harm. Jesus prayed that as Christians we will not face the same temptation that He had to go through. . Remember, that Jesus faced temptation in the 40 days in the desert. He was even tempted by Satan who offered Him control over the whole world. Jesus prayed for the disciples not that they would forget about Satan and consider him to be metaphorical, but He prayed that His followers, the first Christians be lead away from the place of temptation. We are not "Jesus", we should not think our selves so highly that we will not fall when faced with the trials and temptations of our lives.
We are to avoid temptation, seeking to walk closely in the will and love of God. Temptations will come, but we are not to seek it, rather to do all we can to avoid it. We are not to go into the desert seeking to tempted for we shall surely fall. The same offer will be given and the Christian Right have fallen greatly. We have bowed down to the rule of power, wealth, and glory, we worship instead of Jesus Christ. The temptation is far too great. In many cases, the likes of Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson started out as a simple ministry with good motives, but they grew and grew, politics came in, with the need to sustain growth and maintain an empire through an anti-gay platform.
It was unavoidable that with time, we will fall into the temptations that Jesus faced and sucummbed to it. Jesus knew that one day the church would be fallen. Indeed the Catholic Church have long since fallen to the temptation of the powers of this world. And this same temptation of the wealth and power and glory of the nations is pulling Christians away from the Gospel of Grace. Not surprisingly, when we follow the culture and ways of the world, we become anti-Gay. The cry for today, is to "deliver us from the evil one", for the church is deep in sin of hypocrisy and self righteousness, and basking in the power, wealth and glory it receives. The evil one has set the trap, the same trap that was set for Jesus, and we had fallen straight into it, and now could not get out of it.Not only that, we have enjoyed living in this lifestyle of sin, in its power, wealth, and glory. May God deliver us and have mercy upon us.
Deliver us, O Lord, by your grace and mercy. For we have sinned and desired the power, the wealth and glory of this world above and beyond worshiping You alone. We have left our faith without even knowing it. We have no strenght to overcome. Lord jesus, save us, heal us, deliver us, for thine is the power, the glory, forever and ever, Amen