CSN Sunday – Messages of Light – 10/25/2020
Dear CSN newsletter readers,
The Citizen Sentinels Network has maintained a project, originally deemed the David Project, since 2018. Especially, for those readers of faith, the Messages of Light originated as a genuine inspiration from Heavenly Father. It was initiated to bring Light into the dark in this time. At this time in the world, there is clear and present danger that requires the faithful to hold boldly and securely onto the foundations that are rooted in faith.
If you consider the messages in our Sunday edition relevant or meaningful and know others who might value them as well, consider yourself a Light mail messenger, please pass this who might value them as well, consider yourself a Light mail messenger, please pass this message on to those whom you feel could receive it. Otherwise, please receive it yourselves.
“One day an expert in the law stood up to test Him. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’c and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.””
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus said. “Do this and you will live.”
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus took up this question and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.
Now by chance a priest was going down the same road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
So too, when a Levite came to that spot and saw him, he passed by on the other side.
But when a Samaritan on a journey came upon him, he looked at him and had compassion. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him,’ he said, ‘and on my return I will repay you for any additional expense.’
Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
“The one who showed him mercy,” replied the expert in the law.
Then Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25=37
Since Election Day is just around the corner, and since I have completed my cross-country drive from California to Washington, D.C. and back again, I have something to express about the concept of voting for Trump or against Trump in the race for the POTUS. I began noticing the “Trump or No Trump” phenomenon on the East Coast emanating from a Marxist perspective that was intended to paint Trump as the most corrupt man alive – which in no way aligns with truth. The scathing attacks on President Trump originate from the Progressive Revisionists who also tend to vilify the likes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.
I next encountered the “Trump or No Trump” dichotomy in an excellent article in the New Republic by Andrew McCarthy in which he made the point that “it’s not about President Trump, but about the future of We The People.” We received an excerpt of his article entitled: “Trump: Yes” that had been sent in by one of our CSN readers. It was a part of a three part series of articles in a similar vein. The entire article, even the entire series would be worth reading at National Review:
The point that McCarthy was making, which I happen to agree with, is that the man is only a representative of a much larger movement that is shaping the course of America for years to come, which is essentially an effort to preserve the Constitutional Republic. For many people of faith, restoring the Republic is an expression or form of returning to original principles that God was able to instill in the hearts of our Founding Fathers in order to lay the foundation for a Land of the Free. Deeds not words are at the heart of such actions of the Trump Administration.
Yet, the third time I encountered this “Trump vs. No Trump” dichotomy came in the form of an influential pastor and Christian theologian by the name of John Piper. On this past Thursday, the well-known Christian writer posted a “long-overdue” blog of his learned opinion on the implications of the 2020 election. I am offering my “long-overdue” view of Christian leaders who assume the “holier than thou” attitude when it comes to dealing with the secular world. And, while I do not hold any priestly position, nor can I boast of a train of popular books on Amazon, I have to express what is in my heart. Thus, my response to Pastor Piper is humbly submitted as an opinion of a child of our Heavenly Father. This is long, because it is “long-overdue,” and I have a lot to say. Please read it if you dare, but this sums up in one place, why I feel so strongly about my country, and why responsibility needs to be taken by those who should be held accountable.
There are no videos in this message. It is only my reaction to many things that are in my heart and in my mind right now. May God have mercy on all of us.
These words are being freely offered and are being sent to you as part of the “David Project.” Please receive this message as a gift from those who care. They are only words that are being offered, freely, but some contain a deep message of faith, or a deeper expression of heart that readers can hopefully receive into their hearts. As it was written: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18 – KJV
May we humble ourselves, seek His face, seek His wisdom, seek His forgiveness and His redeeming love, and turn from wickedness – even if it may mean crushing our own egos in order to advance His Kingdom, to return dominion to Him in a substantial way so that we can once again proudly proclaim ‘One Nation Under God.’ Truly in this time, may God’s Will be done; may His Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Reflecting on John Piper’s Judgement of President Trump By D. A. Jamison October 25, 2020
I have read Pastor Piper’s words in “Policies, Persons, and Paths to Ruin,” as well as some replies to Pastor Piper’s perspective. I noticed some of the replies were quite respectful, and they danced politely around so as to not offend the learned Piper. But, since I have no church position nor reputation to defend, I will offer my response quite candidly, which is not solely directed at the position Pastor Piper took in which he offered a scathing attack on President Donald J. Trump without naming him specifically.
Some of the more formidable comments Piper made concerned his own attempt “to explain why I remain baffled that so many Christians consider the sins of unrepentant sexual immorality (porneia), unrepentant boastfulness (alazoneia), unrepentant vulgarity (aischrologia), unrepentant factiousness (dichostasiai), and the like, to be only toxic for our nation, while policies that endorse baby-killing, sex-switching, freedom-limiting, and socialistic overreach are viewed as deadly.”
My simple question to Piper and all of those ministers who take such a position: What have you personally done to eliminate these evils in our society? And not simply making a lame condemnation of such evil practices because words are cheap. Only a very small percentage of Christian leaders have ever bothered to enter the political arena, as it must have seemed too filthy – too slimy for their well-bred demeanors. They couldn’t be bothered to get their hands dirty. So, people like Pastor Piper will remain “baffled” by the society that they have permitted to grow under their noses — all the while feeling that their righteous indignation and words of condemnation would solve the mess that was festering in our nation.
As I read this perspective, it seemed to be more of an expression of who John Piper is and less of an expression of complete truth. Piper to me, is representative of quite a few preachers who are unquestionably naive when it comes to dealing with the secular world. I say this because he was pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis from 1980 until 2013. If one looks at his community of Minneapolis, where Greorge Floyd’s murder set off the entire nation in unwarranted rioting and destruction and even more loss of life, it is reflective of a tragedy. Yet, to his credit, Piper did offer prayers of consolation and reconciliation. Piper came out and publically prayed and condemned the evil (of course), but it had already happened – Pandora’s box had been opened. And indeed, there are quite a few ministers who would not even want to weigh in on the evils of what happened in that horrific time. Many ministers have been silenced by fear and political correctness.
The real problem here is essentially words vs. deeds. There is definitely a problem within the Christian community in which believers do not always practice what they preach, but although this is common, it is not what I am getting at on a deeper level. As long as ministers and pastors and like Piper believe that they can preach away the evils in the society, America will continue along the same trajectory it has been heading for the past seven decades — and unless people have not been paying attention, Trump didn’t put us in such a steep moral decline. So, people like Piper will remain “baffled” as they watch the slow march of the sins of unrepentant sexual immorality, boastfulness, vulgarity, factiousness, and the like. Piper, by his own admission is baffled, but would remain baffled because he seems not to believe in deeds, or doing God’s Will instead of just paying lip service to what God needs from His children.
Piper is more the kind of minister who likes to teach or pontificate, as in his Thursday blog. But, how did Minneapolis devolve into the kind of city that citizens witnessed this summer? With flowery words and wonderful quotations, people do not have examples of living, or doing God’s Will as opposed to simply espousing biblical verses or one’s own theological interpretations. In my humble opinion, all that it took for evil to triumph in Minneapolis this summer, was for good people to do nothing. All that it took for evil to triumph in America over the past seven decades, was for good people to do nothing.
Where would they get such a non-committal perspective? From ministers who are more concerned with words than with deeds. In responding to Piper’s Thursday blog, Beth Moore, a popular Bible teacher, tweeted that “Piper’s comments are consistent with the approach he’s always taken toward politics… The article yesterday came from the same John Piper I met 20+ years ago. 100% consistent. And if you want a preacher who will only preach what doesn’t offend you, you need to find one who doesn’t preach the Scriptures. There’s plenty out there. Knock yourself out.” But, it is more than that.
These types of Christian ministers are quick to take offense at the slightest indiscretions and to let everyone know of the speck in their brother’s eye, all the while, they ignore the log that is in their own eye. They naively think that they have “God all figured out” and pretend to display such refined faith for all their followers to see. However, there was this man named Moses who was raised in the enemy’s palace and educated as an enemy who were the slave masters, and who one day murdered an Egyptian man – a slave overseer. But, did God not use him to provide the very law that Piper is using as an excuse in judging our president? There was also a very powerful pagan king whom God used to free his people from captivity. Even there was a man named Saul who was involved in murdering the early Christians. Did God not use him to become one of the chief theologians for the fledgling Christian faith? To me, John Piper offers a testimony about his own limited perspective of God and how God has worked through human history. He’s written enough books; one would think he should know better.
Yet, this is the heart of the difference in his state of bafflement: he seems to grasp the words in the Scriptures intellectually, yet he doesn’t understand how God has worked providentially through whomever He could work through in any given time. Our dilemma as people of faith is that we are supposed to listen to teachers of the word who interpret for us what is important and what is not, yet for those who try to discern God’s Will from a naive and personal perspective of that Will, it is also seriously dangerous – even truly deadly to use Piper’s sense of urgency over the sins of Donald Trump. However, to limit God – even if it is the views rooted in the books of the Bible, it is limiting God to our view of who God is, or what He is capable of doing in our midst.
When we, the children, presume to judge what our Heavenly Father is about simply because we do not like the vessel God has chosen to work His will, we err and make a serious misjudgement of our Father in Heaven. In essence, it matters not what Pastor Piper is trying to convince his followers of regarding President Trump. If God is using President Trump to eliminate as much of the evil that has persisted in America for such a long time, then people like Piper may find themselves on the wrong side of their petty self-righteousness. The wisdom of Gamiliel comes to mind, in Acts 5:38-39, as he cautioned the members of the Sanhedrin who wanted to kill the disciples for their own “apparent” evil. “Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
So, after several decades, Piper and other ministers like him, are now suddenly focused in on how evil a leader is, and how dangerous he is to the future of the nation. These people didn’t do much to challenge the culture of corruption and death in this nation at the time other leaders and other presidents who allowed the rampant destruction of family and faith in this nation. When did they challenge former President Obama for fanning the flames of racism and fomenting civil strife and violence in America’s cities? Through words they may have raised their voices against these evils – but when did they enter the political arena? Yet, they easily sit in condemnation of those who enter the political arena to fight for the people.
God has used great men and women in advancing His Providence in America, and one He chose to use recently was Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Where are the ministers who even bother to lead a mass movement to eliminate the killing of babies? Or is it too controversial for the church? I am talking about leading people for serious and genuine change. Those ministers today are few because it is politically incorrect. Where are the ministers who are leading the way in the streets against the Marxist organizations that are determined to undermine traditional family values and traditional marriage? Too hot of a topic? Where are the ministers to lead the movement against the slimy morality of
the current efforts in many state legislatures to sexualize America’s school children? Is it a bit too controversial? It would require getting one’s hands dirty. Yet, someone who is not worried about getting his hands dirty is stepping up in many different ways to deal with the solutions to the problems rather than just reiterating the problems and wringing one’s hands over the horrors ravaging our people. What kind of stewardship is that?
God gave this world to us – He told Adam and Eve they were to have dominion over this world. What happened to that blessing from our Heavenly Father? When Jesus came preaching, he said to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven was near. What happened to that command from God’s son? To make a presumption that we have God all figured out, is dangerous – even more dangerous than the collective sins of a single man. God does not fit well into anyone’s back pocket – even those who so subtly presume it. We, as God’s children are accountable before our Heavenly Father – regardless of all the theological ramblings. The Bible is full of stories revealing that it is His Will that prevails — even when it appears that God’s Will is counter-intuitive to our beliefs regarding His Will.
Thus, poor stewardship of that which has been given to us, and an intellectual excuse for not taking action to do God’s Will, is extremely dangerous. To me, John Piper and his realm adhere to the concept that faith is all there is, and what one does truly doesn’t matter. History is littered with people who were not “motivated” to stand up to evil by taking some action to eliminate it. Condemning it verbally, is an incomplete effort. It will take tremendous courage to support those in the political arena to attack, annihilate, and eliminate the culture of corruption and death that we are immersed in. Piper does not impress me as one with such courage — it certainly did not take much courage to criticize President Trump – one is in the majority if one makes such a “bold move.”
Piper, and those like him. fall into the category of the type of Christian minister who has no genuine guts, and criticizing Trump does not take guts in such a time as we now live. The nation has gone to hell in a handbasket because of non-committal, self-righteous, and arrogant Christian ministers who judged those in the political arena, yet would not want to get their own hands dirty. And, when someone comes along to clean up the mess that no one else wanted to get involved in, that person the Christians find fault with in so many ways. True judgement is falling upon America, for the failure of the Christian leaders to take responsibility for the mess they allowed to fester right in front of them. There is little doubt that the words coming from John Piper are words liable for God’s judgement as well.
At a time in which our nation needs patriots, conservatives, and true Christians to stand up for the fundamental ideals and principles of the founding, it seems to me that John Piper and those like him, in their self-centered, self-righteous view of faith, they do a great disservice to those who respect him as a man of God. Something Jesus said to the Pharisees, and Sadducees, and the Scribes comes to mind at this point. These leaders that confronted Jesus were considered men of God — leaders in faith at the time of Jesus, and I believe that there are many who call themselves Christian ministers who could be viewed in light of Jesus’ words relating to the religious leaders of his day:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”
To say to his followers, I cannot vote for Trump due to his multiple sins was intended to influence a wide number of his people. This has been the stance Christian ministers have had for several decades, and “elections have consequences,” as former President Obama gleefully crowed. Christians who take this stance, have abrogated their genuine responsibility as stewards over the people’s government. And one can say, “I respect such a position” because it is the individual following the dictates of their conscience. I have everything to praise for someone who follows the dictates of one’s conscience. Yet, if one’s conscience is only covering one person — “me, myself, and I,” it is reflective of a Christian-centric idea regarding one’s personal salvation.
One thing I have observed about John Piper’s teachings regarding “Desiring God,” is that it offers a heavy dose of connectedness to God, and that is excellent, for without connecting to the source of love, we cannot allow love to pass through us to those who are around us. John Piper should know this as he wrote a book about loving one’s enemies — except for a guy named Donald Trump. Jesus said there were two great commandments – loving one’s neighbor as oneself. So, when one withholds their vote, it is an individual act – a personal reality, and if one acts according to the dictates of their conscience thinking only of their own relationship with God, concerned with their own salvation, regardless of what may happen to everyone else, it is a self-centered action devoid of concern, or with little concern of what will happen to the rest of the nation.
While John Piper thinks his conscience is clean because he upheld his personal faith and could have all his followers stand in awe of his deep convictions, I happen to see it differently. Jesus cautioned people who are secure in their faith and who would attempt to offer a gift at the altar to God. But he said in Matthew Matthew 5:22-24:
“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to the fire of hell. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.…”
Offering one’s gift can be viewed in one way as attempting to have a clear conscience before God. Piper makes a great deal in his writings about establishing this relationship with God, which is a great thing. But one’s sequestering of God, as if one’s relationship with him occurs in a “clean room” in Silicon Valley is presumptuous. Does not Heavenly Father care about all His children? So, one cannot have a clear conscience before God when one is only thinking of themself. The two concepts of loving God and loving God’s people are entwined – you cannot do one without the other if love truly exists. If one loves God with all his or her “heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” one will find it inescapable to “Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
Not voting is an abrogation of proper stewardship over the nation God gave to us, and justifying it due to the dictates of one’s “conscience,” is selfish unless that conscience is bigger than one’s self-centered perceptions of one’s own importance. Not voting by the people of faith, especially those pompous, self-righteous “gifts to humanity” has been one of the causes of the steady demise of America for seven decades. Such people who have been proud of their righteous stands have truly expedited the speed by which America is failing. It reflects such a waste. And, in my humble opinion, Jesus was right in saying that “You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.”