Archive for category Politics

Greg Boyd: The Sword And The Cross – Part 16

Posted by on Monday, 14 November, 2011

Greg Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN compares the kingdom of the world to the kingdom of God

[Part 16 of an ongoing series. Click here for Part 1.]

Ministry: Woodland Hills Church
Full Podcast: The Difference Between the Two Kingdoms
Date: 4/25/04
Speaker: Greg Boyd
Notes: Our unique role as kingdom of God people is to see through the veneer, and don’t be fooled by it; If we buy the veneer–the civic religion–as closer to the kingdom of God than the civic religion in Cambodia or anywhere else, then we lose our focus… we pollute the distinct missionary call on our lives; You are a missionary in the United States as much as if you were in Cambodia, it’s just that it’s a little more difficult to see sometimes because there’s this civic religion–this quasi-Christian sort of veneer around–which convinces people that they’re already on the inside; What needs to happen is for God to get a hold of their heart and show them that they need Jesus Christ, not just in a social appropriate kind of way, but in the core of their being–in a transforming sort of way; The kingdom of God that you are should be no different whether you’re in America, or in Cambodia, or in South Africa, or in the Soviet Union… the kingdom of God stays the same; Your opinions about how the kingdom of the world should operate will differ from place to place; 2 Timothy 2; Our job is to–towards everybody at all places and all times by every possible means–sacrifice of our life to ascribe the worth that God ascribes to them on the cross of Calvary… that’s how this mustard seed, radically alternative, very different, foolish-looking kind of kingdom of God is gonna grow

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Greg Boyd

Greg Boyd: The Sword And The Cross – Part 15

Posted by on Sunday, 13 November, 2011

Greg Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN compares the kingdom of the world to the kingdom of God

[Part 15 of an ongoing series. Click here for Part 1.]

Ministry: Woodland Hills Church
Full Podcast: The Difference Between the Two Kingdoms
Date: 4/25/04
Speaker: Greg Boyd
Notes: Being a missionary in Cambodia (or any other “non-Christian” nation), you’re never tempted to confuse your opinions about how the government should be run with the missionary focus that you have as a kingdom of God person; That clarity is precisely what is lacking here in America; What we’ve got here is a civic or social sort of religion, but pull back the veneer of quasi-Christian externals, and what you will find is something that is altogether pagan; You are as much a missionary in America as you would be if you were in Cambodia

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Greg Boyd

Greg Boyd: The Sword And The Cross – Part 14

Posted by on Sunday, 13 November, 2011

Greg Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN compares the kingdom of the world to the kingdom of God

[Part 14 of an ongoing series...]

Ministry: Woodland Hills Church
Full Podcast: The Difference Between the Two Kingdoms
Date: 4/25/04
Speaker: Greg Boyd
Notes: The main thing that God leverages the advancement of His kingdom on is when His children obey Him and repeat Calvary to others–we imitate Jesus, not Caesar… that’s how the kingdom goes forward; If we identify this as a “Christian” nation, then Caesar gets wrapped up with the word “Christian”, and now everything America does gets tagged as “what Christians do”; The best America–or any other kingdom of the world–can be is a decent power-over regime… that’s the best a nation can do; A nation can’t replicate Calvary love towards others, and when we identify a nation as “Christian”, it pollutes our distinct, unique witness to the world, upon which God leverages everything; Romans 13; 2 Peter 2; We need to keep the two kingdoms distinct; Satan uses this confusion to pollute/dilute/ruin/undermine the witness of kingdom people to the world; It is to our advantage–it’s to the advantage of the kingdom of God–to say as loudly and clearly as we can, “His kingdom is not of this world“; There is no national kingdom of God–the kingdom of God by definition occurs wherever there are people who are willing to come under others, and lay down their lives for others, and serve others, and turn the other cheek, and do that radical, foolish thing that characterizes the kingdom of God; The kingdom of God happens when people imitate Jesus, not Caesar… we’ve got to keep those two things distinct, and the idea of this as a Christian nation–or an almost Christian nation–undermines that

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Greg Boyd

Greg Boyd: The Sword And The Cross – Part 13

Posted by on Friday, 11 November, 2011

Greg Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN compares the kingdom of the world to the kingdom of God

[Part 13 of an ongoing series...]

Ministry: Woodland Hills Church
Full Podcast: The Difference Between the Two Kingdoms
Date: 4/25/04
Speaker: Greg Boyd
Notes: We live in a version of the kingdom of the world that asks our opinion about how this version of the kingdom of the world should operate–what should be a crime in our society?; What are we called to do to further the kingdom of God?; How do we best replicate Calvary towards one another and to the outside world?; It’s precisely because our opinion is asked in this version of the kingdom of the world that we have to be particularly careful to not get sucked in to thinking that our opinions about the kingdom of the world are synonymous with the kingdom of God

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Greg Boyd

Greg Boyd: The Sword And The Cross – Part 11

Posted by on Sunday, 6 November, 2011

Greg Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN compares the kingdom of the world to the kingdom of God

[Part 11 of an ongoing series...]

Ministry: Woodland Hills Church
Full Podcast: The Difference Between the Two Kingdoms
Date: 4/25/04
Speaker: Greg Boyd
Notes: The world of 1st century Judaism that Jesus came into was a politically hot world–there was a widespread hyper-vigilance on political matters; John Yoder’s “The Politics of Jesus“; Everything Jesus did would have been being watched by people through a political lens–everything he did was politically significant; People tried to pull him into the politics of His age, but Jesus never allows Himself to be dragged into that; The very fact that He didn’t let them define the terms of the issues that He was addressing was itself a huge political statement… He was saying–directly and indirectly–that the kingdom that He comes to bring is not of this world; What Jesus did, He did on purpose; He allowed Himself to be crucified by the kingdom of the world to establish the kingdom that is of God, and now His people are called to imitate Him

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Greg Boyd: The Sword And The Cross – Part 9

Posted by on Tuesday, 1 November, 2011

Greg Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN compares the kingdom of the world to the kingdom of God

[Part 9 of an ongoing series...]

Ministry: Woodland Hills Church
Full Podcast: Taking America Back for God?
Date: 4/18/04
Speaker: Greg Boyd
Notes: The slogan “Take America Back for God” expresses a trust in the sword–in power-over; If the church is going to throw the first stone, the church better be without sin; We are called to imitate Jesus, and Jesus went to Calvary for sinners; Our one singular task in life is to ask the question, how can we express that Calvary kind of love to others?–that’s the question that we live in as kingdom of God people; Our first allegiance–bar none–is to our King and to imitate the radically counter-cultural revolutionary way that he acted to build the radical, counter-cultural, revolutionary, unique kingdom of God that He came to establish

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Greg Boyd

On Fighting The Right Enemy

Posted by on Monday, 13 September, 2010

Derek Gilbert from A View From the Bunker discusses how giving in to anger and hatred causes us to fight the wrong enemy… and lose the fight.

Show: A View From The Bunker
Full Podcast:
VFTB Live: William Ramsey — Aleister Crowley and 9/11
Date: 9/10/10
Host: Derek Gilbert
Topics: We can’t let the enemy–the powers and principalities that Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus about–drive us and provoke us into hating those with whom we disagree; By allowing ourselves to be drawn into that kind of anger, we’ve already lost; We’re fighting against the wrong enemy… we’re not wrestling against flesh and blood; By believing another person is the enemy, we have already lost the fight; Christians are simply running in a different race… or we should be

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Derek Gilbert - VFTB

Unarmed Truth And Unconditional Love

Posted by on Friday, 4 December, 2009

In the audio clip below, James Corbett introduces an excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, in which King declares that “right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant“.

Although not included in the audio clip itself, I found the following excerpt from his speech to be equally compelling:

“Therefore, I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize. After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time–the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.”

“Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr. (Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech – Dec. 10, 1964)

Show: The Corbett Report
Full Podcast:
Episode #108 – Peace Prizes for Warmongers
Date:
11/15/09
Host:
James Corbett
Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Speech: Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
Date: December 10, 1964
Location: Oslo, Norway
Excerpt: “I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear annihilation. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK, Jr : A Time To Break Silence – Part 3

Posted by on Wednesday, 2 December, 2009

Here’s one more clip from Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s speech Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence, delivered on April 4th, 1967.

I also came across a separate MLK, Jr. quote that I found quite remarkable… and quite biblical. It’s from the book “Strength to Love“, which is a collection of classic sermons preached by Dr. King:

“To our most bitter opponents we say: ‘We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you.’…. Jesus is eternally right. History is replete with the bleached bones of nations that refused to listen to him. May we in the twentieth century hear and follow his words before it is too late. May we solemnly realize that we shall never be true sons of the heavenly Father until we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr., “Loving your Enemies”

[Part 3 of a 3-Part series]

Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Speech: Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
Date: April 4, 1967
Location: Riverside Church, New York City
Excerpt: “This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I’m speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men — for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the Vietcong or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this One? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?”

Related Audio:
Martin Luther King, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK, Jr : A Time To Break Silence – Part 2

Posted by on Tuesday, 1 December, 2009

Here’s another clip from Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s speech Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence, delivered at Riverside Church in New York City on April 4th, 1967.

[Part 2 of a 3-Part series]

Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Speech: Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
Date: April 4, 1967
Location: Riverside Church, New York City
Excerpt: “As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”

Related Audio:
Martin Luther King, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK, Jr : A Time To Break Silence – Part 1

Posted by on Monday, 30 November, 2009

A time comes when silence is betrayal…

[Part 1 of a 3-Part series]

Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Speech: Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
Date: April 4, 1967
Location: Riverside Church, New York City
Excerpt: “A time comes when silence is betrayal. And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam. The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on. And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.”

Related Audio:
Martin Luther King, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Untold Stories Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki

Posted by on Wednesday, 12 August, 2009

About a year ago I watched the HBO documentary White Light, Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Looking back on it now, I think that was about the time I started to get my soul back

I learned more from that one documentary than from all the years being taught about it in school combined. What made the difference? For the first time, I actually put myself in their shoes.

I thought about my own family going through what they went through… my kids being forced to watch their parents die a tragic, horrifying death right before their eyes. I could see tears of pain streaming down their faces as they reached out for us in terror and helplessness.

I thought of how tragic it would be for their innocent little bodies to be so badly burned–to stumble through the streets with no food or water, and no one to care if they lived or died.

I saw the light in their eyes grow dim from the heartache of it all.

And then it hit me… their children were no less innocent than my own.

I was distraught that not only had my own country caused this death and destruction, but that up until that point in my life I had simply believed it was a “good thing” because it “ended the war”. At least, that’s what I’d always been taught to think. I bought into the notion that it was a “necessary evil” for the “greater good” (meaning it’s somehow ok to commit evil for the sake of good, or that the ends justify the means).

But are we really so sure we have God’s favor in deciding to take another man’s life, regardless of what he has or hasn’t done? I’m having a hard time finding that one in the new covenant of Christ…

“‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…

- Matthew 5:43-44 (ESV)

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

- Romans 12:14-21 (ESV)

Lately I’ve been coming to understand that the proper way to understand Scripture is to just take it at face-value. It seems that when God writes a Book, He says what He means and means what He says. Just because we have a hard time coming to grips with it in our human understanding, that doesn’t mean we should cast it aside altogether.

So how does one make the leap fromVengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” toTake matters into your own hands and kill them before they kill you“?

I believe this happens when we put our faith in the wisdom of man instead of the wisdom of God. It’s an easy thing to do, because if we’re not fully engaged in the spiritual battle that is being waged over the souls of men, we lose sight of the fact that God has called us to something much greater than self-preservation. He has called us to live or die for His sake, making disciples of all nations and building His Heavenly Kingdom of which there is no end. What higher calling is there than that?

For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

- Philippians 1:19-21 (ESV)

Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?‘”

- Matthew 16:24-26 (ESV)

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

- 2 Peter 3:9 (ESV)

So the question we have to ask ourselves is… Does God love “the enemy” any less than He loves us? Does He desire for them to be saved any less than He wants us to be saved? Is any man–no matter how egregious his sin–beyond the power of Christ to save, heal, and forgive? If the answer is “no“, then how can we possibly justify taking their lives, for any reason whatsoever, when there’s still a chance they might come to know Him?

There is indeed an enemy in our midst… we just need to be clear on who that enemy is.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

- Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

Many thanks to Derek and Sharon Gilbert of P.I.D. Radio for discussing this issue when no one else in the news media would even go near it…

Show: P.I.D. Radio
Full Podcast: P.I.D. Radio 8/6/09: Plagues, Protests, and PROMIS
Date: 8/6/09
Hosts: Derek Gilbert, Sharon Gilbert
Topics: The documentary White Light, Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; The aftermath of the bombings; Entire world changed in an instant; Incredible loss of life; Radiation “disease”; Do we really know what it means to “nuke” another country?; Bombing occurred on the 33rd parallel by a 33rd degree Freemason (Harry Truman)

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White Light/Black Rain

P.I.D. Radio – Christ First, Or Country First?

Posted by on Tuesday, 2 June, 2009

How can you tell the difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man?

It’s really not as complicated as modern American evangelicals have made it out to be. First, you unplug the T.V., turn off the radio, and shut down the computer. Then you still your heart, search the Scriptures, and ask God alone to speak.

You have to completely set aside any thoughts or opinions that are parroted over and over again from the government, mainstream media, friends and family, your favorite political commentators, and especially… your own mind.

Listen for the Holy Spirit alone to convict you according to the Word of Truth. That is the only place you will find answers that you can truly rely upon.

In regard to the torture debate, I have to ask myself one question: If the Bible and the Spirit of God were literally my only inputs (no mainstream media, government officials, political analysts, T.V. shows, newspapers, movies, Jack Bauer, or anything else), where would my convictions rest?

If I put Christ above country, do I end up with torture, or something radically different?

Derek and Sharon Gilbert from P.I.D Radio break down their thoughts on this topic in the 3 min., 2 sec. audio clip that follows. I must say, I completely agree with their commentary.

Show: P.I.D. Radio
Date: 5/22/09
Hosts: Derek Gilbert, Sharon Gilbert
Topics: Torture; Discerning between what God tells us to do through His Word and what is “right for the nation”; All kingdoms of the earth under the domain of Satan (no exception for the U.S.); Is the United States truly a “Christian” nation?
Related article: When Christian Love Grows Cold, Evil Flourishes
Full podcast: P.I.D. Radio 5/22/09: Dodgeball

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Derek & Sharon Gilbert

Derek & Sharon Gilbert