Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Regrettable Reaction

I like to joke about stuff that's not usually "funny" to others, but I'm also a curious person... I like to KNOW any issue when I talk about things. Not to be "superior" in discussions, I just like to see what makes people tick.

Decided to look up Steven Anderson on YouTube after my last post. After listening to the entire (hour long!) message that the article was based on (while I was working, didn't want to "waste" time on him), all I found was it did contain waaay too much politics for my taste, and wasn't heretical doctrinally. (I like to talk about politics, but usually after church, or out of church. When I'm in church, I want to hear The Bible.)

Was surprised to find out his message WAS mostly from Psalm 58 & 109 (like I mentioned earlier), but he also included Psalm 69 & 139, Jeremiah 7, 11, & 14 and some other verses (going from memory, didn't write them down).

I've had one particular friend (for several years) that twists a LOT of verses, so I'm getting pretty good at noticing when that happens, but didn't notice this guy take any verse to twist the meaning to "fit" or "support" his position... he mostly just read the verses and repeated them several times.

I'd started out extremely prejudiced against this guy, so was a little disappointed when he didn't pan out as a obvious "crazy" or a "twister" right away.

I'd say he's a bit on the "younger" side for a Pastor (think he said 28, but might've been 29 -- he started this church 2 years ago). He also seems minimally experienced: had trouble remembering where he was going next and some references... not that I mind... I have the same trouble. The only really "annoying" thing to me was he really likes to interject politics into his preaching. Without the politics he probably could have cut his sermon down by at least 15 minutes, maybe a half hour. If the message is going to be an hour long, then I'd rather have a solid hour of Bible teaching. When I spent a summer in Russia, we had service from 8am to 3pm... that was pretty cool. Never seen any Americans that could handle that much Bible in a day. (There was a seminary there, so the Pastor would preach, the head of the seminary would preach, and they usually had two or three seminary students deliver a message as well. The "scary" part for the students was... after their message, the Pastor and the head of the seminary would stand up and go thru the sermon point by point.... and look out if there was even the slightest hint of heretical doctrine or a verse twisted out of context. But I digress...)

One of his points in the sermon (had no discernible outline to me, so maybe it wasn't "a point," but I think it was supposed to be, and I found it important) was that you can't love innocent victims (abortion victims) and the people that are murdering them at the same time. So you have to make the choice of whom to love: the victims or the murderers. Hadn't thought of it that way before.

He went on to say that worse than just "accepting abortions are legal," if you go further and actually promote abortion, you are not only condoning the murders but also guilty as an accessory to those murders. Therefore, since the government is taking tax dollars to pay for abortions (and has been doing so for awhile) then the government is way past "condoning" murder, and is actually a party in the commission of murders... millions of them... because the govt is financing them. Another thing I hadn't thought about, but that I agree with whole-heartedly.

He was very disgusted at how Obama has repeatedly made fun of the Bible and Christians, and seemed annoyed that people worship this President as some kind of demi-god; those are huge pet-peeves of mine.

He was also annoyed that so many people today are quick to hand over the rights and freedoms we have as Americans... rights that others have bled and died for. So I'd guess he must have had a family member or some friends in the military... I do, and these are annoying to me. It made me realize that I don't really think about handing over my God- and state-given rights on a day-to-day basis, I just stay within the law and don't really think about what my rights are. (I'm glad we don't have Border Patrol checkpoints here in south Florida.)

One of the things he said in his sermon was something like, "Don't go to the rally tomorrow and get a tear in the eye for Obama. Go to your prayer closet and get a tear in the eye for our country." Kinda liked that one... should be the rallying cry of every preacher in America.

Another was, "It's not all Obama; he isn't the source of all wickedness in this country, but he's the tip of the sword for all of the spiritual wickedness in high places." He made it very clear he did not want anyone to go shoot Obama.

He was preaching from the standpoint that we should be praying against not just the wickedness that's rampant in our country, but also anyone that supports it. There wasn't any actual "death threat" or any "fierce opposition" as the news called it. His 2 harshest statements were the ones in the news article. I distinctly remember hearing several (more experienced) preachers deliver very similar sermons with Bill Clinton as the focus rather than Obama. A few older people have told me they heard similar messages where Jimmy Carter was the focus. There wasn't much outcry back then, so I'm wondering if the outcry now is just due to the media's access to YouTube.

Thus ends my doctrinal observations. He was right on track. Everything I thought I had a problem with, he had already done correctly. So it just goes to show me that I need to remember to take everything the media says (even Fox news) with a grand salt-shaker.

Later, I also went thru a bunch of other videos (this dude likes to make looooong vids... so yes, anyone can definitely see the context, but man -- is there ever a lot of repetition and down time to sit through).

Anyway, I'd heard from others that he was a "trouble maker" and was forcibly dragged from his car at a police checkpoint because he wouldn't show his driver's license, or answer any questions as to whether he was a citizen or not. I really don't have much patience for people that mess with the police, so I was ready to condemn him on that point... until I got some more of the facts about it.

I now understand his point of view on the checkpoint thing. There was (and is) no valid legal reason for the US Border Patrol to set up permanent checkpoints and stop all motorists on a major highway over 50 miles from the border -- plus search any car they want to -- with no warrants and no probable cause other than "you won't let us search your car, so you're suspicious." Craziness. This isn't the USSR during the cold war -- Arizona is still subject to the same Constitution the rest of the country is. That was not right... and it is definitely not legal either.

Also... in going through several of his other videos, I never saw him refuse to answer any important questions. He made it very clear in all the videos that he was a citizen, traveling on business between states, not transporting any illegals, and had not been anywhere near a border, needed to go on (for work, home, etc.), but he knew the law states he must stop until they let him leave, so he'd stay there until he could leave.

He seemed to stay well within his rights without being overly confrontational, but he didn't budge on even the slightest of those rights... even if it meant extreme pain and suffering. They actually tazered him twice -- once for 13 seconds, then immediately after for another 7... that is seriously over the top.

One tazering for 5-7 seconds is plenty. Unless you're dealing with a drug-crazed suspect, 20 seconds is past "excessive force" and into "brutality"... that could easily kill a person with a weak heart.

Since I initially thought he was at a regular police checkpoint, I was against him on that point (as well against him Biblically in my earlier post), but he wasn't at a police check point. Then I watched as he was stomped & beaten by Border Patrol just because they wanted to look in his car?? Border Patrol shouldn't even be allowed to ask for anyone's driver's license 60 miles from the border "just because they want to." Their jurisdiction is near the border, not an hour's drive from the nearest border crossing. They had to call to have a state police officer dispatched to "open" the car (since that exceeded their jurisdiction).

This whole thing is just crazy... they could easily have run the plates on his car to see who he was... all the photos from photo IDs are right in state databases for anyone in law enforcement (or any other part of the government) to see. If they had any real concerns they could have chocked his tires, jacked them up off the ground (so he couldn't drive away) and popped the trunk right there with him in the car -- or even had a unit interdict him at his house. Instead they tricked him into closing his eyes, broke both the windows on his car, jammed his face onto the broken window while he was being tazered, beat on him with night sticks, and then threw him on the ground and stepped on his head? Total, complete, irrational, moronic craziness by the Border Patrol. Waaaay out of control.

While I don't think I personally would have sat there that long just to stand up for my right not to be subjected to an illegal search (I'd rather sue them later, with my face intact), he did not do anything nearly enough to warrant any part of that kind of abuse.

I'm still withholding my judgment on whether he's completely nuts (I know I don't want any part of tazering) or just exceptionally patriotic, but the sermon wasn't "unBiblical" or "heretical" in my opinion -- just "not politically correct." (At an hour long, didn't have time to listen to any more than one sermon as well as look at the other stuff too. When I have more time I might go see what other sermon's are there.)

As far as the beating, I would not classify him as a martyr at all; those actions were for his politics, but the Border Patrol agents were waaay over the top in "exceeding their jurisdiction" -- now I'm curious as to how this will play out legally. I really hope he wins... or the rest of us are in for a horrific next few years.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Imprecatory Incitement

Today I saw Pastor Steven Anderson from Phoenix, Arizona says he is praying for Obama's death.

My first thought was that's sick, but it's still pretty funny. Not funny in the sense that he wants someone dead, but that a "spiritual leader" would be so immature as to voice this opinion in an attempt to get media attention.

Here we have a pastor that has not learned to pray properly. Luke 18 is pretty clear on which person (the Pharisee or the publican) had the better prayer. Christ said the Pharisee that prayed in the middle of the temple (and was condescending of others and their sinful lifestyles) was not "justified" and He went on to say that "every one that exalteth himself shall be abased."

Biblically, I don't have a problem with the man's prayer; only in his application and publication. In looking for Biblical examples of prayer, most people got to Psalm 23 and the Lord's prayer, but never examine those examples closely, or even look at the Imprecatory Psalms (specifically, Psalm 58 and 109) which clearly are prayers of cursing against those that oppress God's people, or are extremely sinful (this President does fit those qualifications).

Just before what is called "The Lord's Prayer" we find these verses on how to pray:
Mat 6:1-6
        Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
        Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
        But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
        That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
        And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
        But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
That's about as clear as you can get on the publication and application sides of prayer. Moving further to the Lord's Prayer we find how we should pray:
Mat 6:9-13
        After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
        Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
        Give us this day our daily bread.
        And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
        And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
I'm sure you're wondering why -- from these verses -- that I have no problem with the prayer against the President's life. It's from the second verse (v. 10b), "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."

Obviously, praying that God's will be done is Biblical. Furthermore, nowhere in the Bible does God approve of the killing of innocent children or those that condone those actions. By simply allowing pro-abortion agendas to proceed unhindered, the President can be said to be obstructing the will of God. So I don't see any problem with the man praying against Obama; I do see a problem with shouting it from the housetops -- not Biblical.

Also, I do NOT approve of reciprocity in the form of murder -- that is equally wrong. That is a battle best left to God (Rom 12:19b "...for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord").

David (in 1 Samuel 24:6) put it best when he said, "The LORD forbid that I should ... stretch forth mine hand against ... the anointed of the LORD."

Additionally, if one is going to pray an imprecatory prayer against the President for his stance on abortion, then to be perfectly just, that prayer must extend to all of the others that promote the same pro-abortion position. Many Congressmen, judges, and activists hold the same opinion and are furthering that agenda far more than the President.

Finally, just praying for the death of the President is futile. If his death were to happen (for any reason), there is a prescribed line of succession that would place other individuals with equally bad (or worse) ethics into the same office. All of those people should also be prayed for... that their hearts and minds are changed.

So, if you really feel like you need to increase your prayer life, here is that (most uninspiring) list of succession to the Presidency of the United States--

Veep:    Joe Biden
Spkr of the House:    Nancy Pelosi
Pres Pro Temp of the Senate:    Robert Byrd
Sec State:    Hillary Clinton
Sec Treas:    Tim Geithner
Sec Def:    Robert Gates
AG:    Eric Holder  
Sec Interior:    Ken Salazar
Sec Ag:    Tom Vilsack
Sec Commerce:    Gary Locke
Sec Labor:    Hilda Solis
Sec Health & Human Svcs:    Kathleen Sebelius
Sec HUD:    Shaun Donovan
Sec Transportation:    Ray LaHood
Sec Energy:    Stephen Chu
Sec Ed:    Arne Duncan
Sec VA:    Eric Shinseki
Sec Homeland Security:    Janet Napolitano

[EDIT: Not really sure why the table dropped so far down from the rest of the post; there isn't any whitespace in the code.]