Corruption in Politics…
Corruption in the Church…
R.S. Helms/ Bob’s Opinion / 10-17-2016
COULD IT BE, that corruption in U.S. Politics goes back further than we would suspect? During my book research I became involved in the causes of the Civil War, rather than Slavery; this becomes so involved in the early politics of our nation. Nonetheless, George Washington was appointed twice, and had no party designation. Likewise, John Adams was appointed twice as Washington’s Vice-President, however he was in the early forming of the Federalist Party, and won the election of 1786 as a Federalist, against the Democrat-Republican Thomas Jefferson. Nonetheless, these two founding fathers established the first two actual political parties in our nation, and the introduction of corruption into our political system.
Charles Finney, (1792—1875) a lawyer, and at age 29 became a licensed minister in the Presbyterian Church, he was the one of the great revivalists of the Second Great Awakening. And it was in the book “Principles of Victory” (compiled and edited by Louis Parkhurst. Jr. 1981 Bethany House). that I found affirmation to my notion that all politicians are corrupt, liars, thieves, and in general dishonest representatives of the American People. Finney, not only confirms the notion but delineates that the real corruption is in the ones that follows the parties and that Christians should not be a follower of one party or another.
Finney was a Princeton educated lawyer, and educator, starting the Oberlin College in Oberlin Ohio, it is still in business today, and likewise his Charles Finney School. In addition, he pastored the Oberlin Congregationalist/Presbyterian Church. To me, his “Finney’s Systematic Theology” is a great theological tool, however, it is written in such a way that it is rather hard for me to understand at times; being a Southern Baptist, orthodox conservative theology, and Finney a Presbyterian “Calvinist” there is some theological differences, but not strong enough to stop me from appreciating the works of Charles Finney, as a Lawyer, Educator, and Theologian.
I will not attempt to quote the whole of several pages but some of the points which he made in the Nineteenth Century. Finney was the individual most responsible for the Abolitionist and Women’s Movements, and during the reconstruction era Finney called for more education, and suffrage movements for blacks and women. So I feel good about what was happening in politics then is not that much different than what is being done today; COULD IT BE, that the “We the People” have really come to realize that enough is enough? – at least a majority have.
Now, here is some of what Charles Finney has to say about politics and politicians. In the book he has a sermon entitled “Conformity to the World” it was lumped into ‘Preaching to Christians’ and ‘Sermons from Romans.’ Finney brings three areas that we are not to be conformed to the world: Business, Fashion, and Politics, it is of course the last point of interest that I am drawn.
Be not conformed to this world in politics…
“I will show why professing Christians are not to be conformed to the world in politics.”
1). “Because the politics of the world are perfectly dishonest. Who does not know this? who does not know that it is the proposed policy of ever party to cover up the defects of their own candidate, and the good qualities of the opposing candidate? and is not this dishonest? Every party holds up its candidate as a piece of perfection, and then aims to ride him into office by any means fair or foul. No man can be an honest man who is committed to a party to go with them. Let them do what they may; and can a Christian do it, and keep a conscience void of offense?”
COULD IT BE, that in the 1800s, Finney was talking about our political climate today as well as then?
2). “To conform to the world in politics is to tempt God…By falling in with the world in politics, Christians are guilty of setting up rulers over them by their own vote, who neither fear nor love God, and who set the law of God at defiance, break the Sabbath, and gamble and commit adultery, and fight duels, and swear profanely, and leave the laws unexecuted at their pleasure, and that care not for the weal or woe of their country, so long as they keep their office. I say Christians do this. For it is plain that where parties are divided, as they are in this country, there are Christians enough to turn the scale in any election. Now let Christians take the ground that they will not vote for a dishonest man, or a Sabbath breaker, or gambler, or a whoremonger, or duelist, for any office, and no party could ever nominate such a character with any hope of success.” “But on the present system, where men will let the laws go unexecuted, and give full swing to mobs, lynch-murders, or robbing the mails, or anything else, so they can run in their own candidate will give them the offices; any man is a dishonest man who will do it, be he professor or non-professor. And can a Christian do this and be blameless?”
3). “By engaging with the world in politics, Christians grieve the spirit of God… Ask any Christian politician if he ever carried the Spirit of God with him into the political campaign? Never. I would by no means be understood to say that Christians should not vote and to exercise their lawful influence in public affairs. But they ought not to follow a party.
4). By following the present course of politics, you are contributing your aid to undermine all government and order in the land. Who does not know that this great nation now rocks and reels, because the laws are broken and trampled underfoot, and the executive power refuses or dares not act? Either the magistrate does not wish to put down disorder, or he temporizes and lets the devil rule. And can a Christian be consistent with his profession and vote for such men to office?”
Finney goes on for another six or so points, on Christian witness, and that the world sees how they live or believe what they preach, and that Christians really need to look at what is going on around them, and actually understand the motivation and ideologies of where the candidates are going to take them.
Christians (if you are truly ‘born again’ a new creature in Christ,) you will understand that there is no politician who is going to walk his Christian walk when he gets in office. Reality is, should he do so, he would try to form a theocratic government, it works okay in religion but is a bit restrictive for a Constitutional Free Republic, that is actually governed by the will of ‘We the People”, not the will of God.
Charles Finney, was a major player for organizing people to Stop slavery, he and Oberlin College was part of the “underground railroad” he was prominent in the anti-slavery, the suffrage movement for women and former slaves. He wanted the reconstruction to build schools, churches, and infrastructure for the war devastated South. He knew the politicians and the political corruption from the time of John Adams, and like today the people faced the same corruption, the lack of law, … especially by the complete disregard for the law of the land, as we have today.
I do have a problem with the “Evangelical” leaders who continue to judge their fellow laborers in Christ, who support Donald Trump. They have worn out the scriptures pointing to his past sins, and “love your neighbor”, then I ask which one of them would invite Satan or one of his imps to take up the spare bedroom in their oversized homes? The way I see it is that yes we are mandated to receive strangers, and to love our neighbors, even love our enemy, but the Bible also teaches us to avoid evil, and to be cautious, as in — walking circumspectly that we not entertain evil and walk in the way of the world.
We are sojourners in this world only passing through, on our way to our kingdom home, and yes I have commented on some of their posts, calling them Pharisees, and not actually attending to their own sin, not aware, (?) of what they are doing and saying. Donald Trump is not perfect, but neither are they or I for sure am not and yet they have promoted lies, even after Trump met with a newly formed coalition of Evangelicals, hearing him say, that he may not believe, in his “particular” Christian faith the same as each of them, but that one thing he could guarantee, was that he would protect “their churches” but that seemed to fall on deaf ears to some of the leaders.
Jesus said, that he who is without sin cast the first stone, he also said that we are to worry more about the plank (beam) in our own eye, before we attempt to remove the speck from our brother’s eye. Concerning Russell More, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC; I am happy to say that his self-righteous, (pharisaical), statements against other evangelical leaders and pastors only prove the “beam and speck” analogy of Jesus’ teaching, the traditional policies of some of the Southern Baptist Churches (which become doctrine) pharisaical leadership in our churches today is part of the reason that we are having such a hard time retaining membership and seekers.
God’s infallible – inerrant word (the Bible), does not change just as God does not change to meet our personal views, so by being unforgiving, is just as sinful as saying disgusting thoughts and of which he publicly apologized to those he had offended, we don’t know and perhaps in his faith we don’t need to know, if he has made his confession to God. While Southern Baptist Democrats are cheering Moore’s comments against Trump and other evangelicals, the Conservative evangelicals are calling foul.
And that is where most of the split in evangelicals really is, it is in our political party affiliation, I don’t know what Dr. Moore’s political preference is, and don’t really care. What I do care about is his attack on other evangelical leaders and pastors, and not properly using scripture to make his point. It is not the scripture which he used to make his point, but how it leaves the hearers heart… he did not take the opportunity to lift up the work of Jesus’ earthly ministry of repentance. i.e., The Apostle Paul… we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, we are all sinners saved by the grace of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. I am a sinner, and must confess my sin before the throne of God each and every day, not my past confessed sin, because God said he has forgotten it. But I have enough sin in my life to keep me busy telling God I am sorry and will do my level best not to continue down that path. Jesus said to forgive sin, sin perpetrated against me (R.S. Helms), seven times seventy; I have no choice in the matter, for if I don’t forgive those who have sinned against me how then can I expect God to forgive me.
But, if the evangelicals against Trump can get past the reality, that the RINOs didn’t get their (Liberal Theology) Christian Cruz, in as the nominee, and at this point their choice is all about protecting our religious freedom, and our country, or about becoming a socialist union (North American Union) like Europe, with Shariah Law instead of Constitutional Law, Islam the religion of the central government, — that is a choice they need to make. For me, it is about preserving our Christian constitutional freedoms. Securing the border, and get a handle on crime and our immigration crisis, and restore our values. I pray God can use whichever way we the people go.
Should we actually vote Hillary in, COULD IT BE, God is not finished teaching the Christian Church what he intends us to truly understand? Your Will be done, and if it is your will I am excited about what, You Lord, are about to do in the life of Your Church.
R.S. Helms… 10-17-2014 (and I approve this message).