I just read a VERY DISTURBING news article... (which "inspired" this, the longest essay I've yet to write for this site. So please don't think all other essays are this long.)
Here is the link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080903/ap_on_el_pr/cvn_palin_iraq_war
(Unfortunately Yahoo takes down news articles after a while, so at some point in time I think this link will break.)
Ok, here's another version:
Here is a very simple essay showing why this most recent invasion of Iraq was not God's will: Christian Analysis of Iraq Attack.
I will try to analyze the article in detail, but first some background on me, in case someone comes to this web site through this article, or is otherwise unfamiliar with the groundwork I've laid previously.
I strongly agree with many/most of the principles on which the US was founded (the reasons for the "many/most" wobble are few). I have single-handedly, while standing on the shoulders of giants, taken on the task of updating the outdated language of our founding documents.
Besides loving what our country should be, I also do my best to love God. To that end, I have begun a series of essays (only two so far...not enough time) explaining why I think it's obvious that as long as imperfect humans rule over imperfect humans, religion should not be merged in to government.
I have attempted to clarify what I believe to be the most basic points in God's character.
I wrote a short article describing how the Golden Rule is an outstanding method for judging and shows that one does not need to have any religion to have a moral foundation, a starting point for making moral decisions.
I also wrote a recent article explaining, in simple terms, why it was not Christian to attack Iraq.
News Article Title: Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God'
Author: Gene Johnson, Associated Press Writer
Published: Wed Sep 3, 2008, 7:23 PM ET
The article opens by stating Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is speaking to ministry students at her former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God.
This does not disturb me. She can talk anywhere she wants and if they invite her to speak, fine with me. I have spoken in front of others many times, and I know that one must talk to the audience. Therefore it does not disturb me, either, that she uses the word "God" from time to time. In other words, what sense does it make to go to a seminary and discuss the price of eggs in China? Or the best time of year to put cotton in the ground, in India?
But I become SERIOUS DISTURBED when people vying for huge political power start using "God" as their reason for implementing their policies or creating laws. My mind kicks in to overdrive and I highly scrutinize what they say.
The article states that last June she gave the same group a presentation and claimed it was God's will a $30 Billion USD natural gas pipeline be built, and that they should pray for it. 1) Who told her this was God's will? 2) If it really is God's will, no amount of praying for it or against it is going to change things. 3) Does God will for such petty things? Doesn't God will that the hearts and minds of humanity see and think clearly, to repent and know God vs. knowing the latest sports statistics, for example?
Next, the article states that she asked them to pray for the troops in Iraq. Of course I agree with this. But please note that Jesus said, "If you love others who love you, what credit is that to you?" and "If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?" [Luke 6:32-36] So what is the lesson about "God's will" here? That we should pray MORE for those people who are busy throwing monkey wrenches in the works, the people who are planning evil and destruction, the people who love war more than peace, even the people who claim it is God's will to fight wars.
When I was a child, I accepted "Because I said so" plenty of times as the reason to obey my parents. But once I began to understand reasons and weigh variables, I no longer accepted "Because I said so" with the ease which it is said.
In the olden days there were prophets that God spoke to. God spoke to them and they heard it with their own ears. But many of the prophets said things that were akin to "eat your vegetables, no ice-cream for breakfast and lunch".
But there were many people who liked eating ice-cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Before too long there were people who proclaimed themselves prophets and claimed God had told them it was perfectly fine to spend their time eating, drinking, and being merry, as much as possible, go out and shop all day long, every day.
Then there were conflicting messages. Some people who were saying they were prophets said one thing, and other people who also claimed to be prophets of God, said something else, that contradicted the first group! What is a person to do?! Who do you believe?
If you check the Old Testament, you'll find that God offers one piece of advice on how to distinguish between "true prophets" and "false prophets". The prophet whose prophecies come true, has heard from God, and the prophet whose prophecies do not come true, are not from God. However, that requires hindsight, keeping track of who said what and when, as well as the fact it's not the most helpful when an important decision needs to me made in the present.
In other words, most people want to know what the best decision is BEFORE making the decision, not a few years after it's been made.
So what's the next step after this mess of who to believe and who not to believe? Well, there's another Old Testament prophet who said that God would remove the spirit of prophecy from the land. So that pretty much clears up the problem of false prophets.
I know that many people today who call themselves Christians will have a problem with this, they'll point here and there to Paul, and maybe Jesus.
Instead of adding more to this essay about the serious issues of "God's will" and "prophecy", I will save those for future essays, essays I've wanted to write for years, but haven't had the time yet.
However, in closing I'll note that seeking others' advice IS advised in the Bible. Also, there are folks who can tell better than others what God's will is, or might be, in a certain circumstance. And it doesn't take the voice of God to tell us the future in many circumstances, mainly because we are intelligent enough to see cause and effect relationships.
Not until Jesus comes back and establishes a government on earth do I want to hear such a simplistic explanation as "it's God's will," for a leader trying to talk us in to something.
On TV, not the article above, I heard her try to describe herself as a "hockey mom" who is something like a pit-bull with lipstick.
As far as I'm concerned, this is why our country, and planet, are on the path to destruction. Teamwork is being murdered by "competition", "might makes right" is the mantra they use as they crush you with oppression, claiming Darwin is on their side, even as they shun him, and lead you in to temptation and stuff you in the pit of debt. (Please don't think I'm leveling all those accusations directly at Sarah Palin, I'm not.)
I grew up in a neighborhood with lots of friendly dogs: mutts, various retrievers and setters. Maybe it was just the people raising them. But where I live now, pit-bulls are a form of pollution. They hate, they spread their hate with loud shouting. They get out and maul the neighbors.
What happened to The Golden Rule?
Do you hear someone saying that all humans, or perhaps all dogs, are God's children? Hm... let's think about this. First, God said every animal will face his judgement. [Genesis 9:5] What is the point of breeding, so profusely, animals that seem to have anger, hate, and destruction in their DNA? It seems the population of these dogs has exploded the past decade, and consequently so have the reports of so many maulings.
Secondly, Jesus clearly stated, even to a bunch of Jewish people's face, that they were not "Abraham's" children. Jesus said in no uncertain terms "you are the children of the devil." [John 8:33-45] Just because someone is of a specific race, or happens to be in front of you, does not make them a child of God. Did Jesus come in through the front door or did he break in, like a thief? [John 10:1]
Am I condemning "the Jews"? Hardly. Did Jesus say that as a condemnation of all Jews? No. He pointed out that not everyone is one of "God's children"... and folks spread that lie, even now. Being a human does not make you one of God's children. Want to be one of "God's Children", then worship God.
Considering we are nearing an election, to celebrate such an event I will include links to relevant polls:
Please also see my set of 7 Haiku: Talk Love, Don't Talk Fear. Written in response to a document that purports to give religious reasons for killing others.
You might also enjoy, laugh, or cry, over a short, "Once Upon A Time" essay entitled: "God Told Us to Kill You!" "No! God Told Us to Kill You!"