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Biblical Quotes Supporting the Belief that Jesus Is A Liberal -- By Becky Riley (member of The Christian Left)?

Peacemaking, not War Making: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. [Matthew 5:9] Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right... cheek, turn to him the other also. [Matthew 5:39] I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite-fully use you, and persecute you; [Matthew 5:44]

The Death Penalty: Thou shalt not kill [Matthew 5:21]

Crime and Punishment: If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her. [John 8:7] Do not judge, lest you too be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. [Matthew 7:1 & 2.]

Justice: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. [Matthew 5:6] Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy [Matthew 5:7] But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [Matthew 6:15]

Corporate Greed and the Religion of Wealth: In the temple courts [Jesus] found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and other sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. [John 2:14 & 15.] Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. [Luke 12.15.] Truly, I say unto you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 19:23] You cannot serve both God and Money. [Matthew 6:24.]

Paying Taxes & Separation of Church & State: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. [Matthew 22:21]

Community: Love your neighbor as yourself. .[Matthew 22:39] So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.[Matthew 7:12.] If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. [Matthew 19:21]

Equality & Social Programs: But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. [Luke 14:13 &14.]

Public Prayer & Displays of Faith: And when thou pray, thou shall 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 pray, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret… [Matthew 6:6 & 7]

Strict Enforcement of Religious Laws: If any of you has a son or a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? [Matthew 12:11] The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. [Mark 2:27.]

Individuality & Personal Spiritual Experience: Ye are the light of the world. [Matthew 5:14]

Follow the Truth.....wherever it leads you!?

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Both the Old and New Testaments stress the importance of government for protection and for maintaining order.

In the Bible, kings or other rulers were expected to rule with wisdom and justice. The Old Testament contains story after story of wicked, greedy and oppressive rulers who brought disaster on themselves and their people. Many of the Old Testament prophets, such as Elijah, Elisha and Daniel, delivered their messages of reform to Israel's kings.

Those of us who live under democracy elect our own "rulers." Our votes decide whether our government will be benevolent and just or harsh and oppressive. The Bible's advice and reproaches to the ancient rulers provide us wisdom to help us make wise choices in our own times.

A recurring theme in the Bible is that we should provide equal justice for all, not favoring the rich or powerful. Also, because all the peoples of the world are God's creation, we should not discriminate against foreigners:

He who oppresses the poor reproaches his maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. (NAS, Proverbs 14:31)

Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the righteous. Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt. (TNIV, Exodus 23:6-9)

Woe to those who enact evil statutes, and to those who constantly record unjust decisions, So as to deprive the needy of justice, and rob the poor of My people of their rights, in order that widows may be their spoil, and that they may plunder the orphans. Now what will you do in the day of punishment, and in the devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your wealth? (NAS, Isaiah 10:1-3)


The Bible often speaks of charity as an individual-to-individual act of generosity. The law of Moses and the Hebrews, though, provided an institutional way of providing for the poor that did not depend on the good will of any individual. Not only was individual generosity encouraged, but, as a matter of law, part of everyone's produce or income was to be set aside to aid the poor:

"And you shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove. (NAS, Exodus 23:10-11)

"When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns, and be satisfied. (NAS, Deuteronomy 26:12)

Let's also recall the celebrated story of Joseph, son of Jacob:

Genesis 41:25-42 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, "The dreams of Pharaoh are one. God hath shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years: the dreams are one. And the seven thin and illfavored cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: what God is about to do He showeth unto Pharaoh. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine shall consume the land. And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following, for it shall be very grievous. And for that the dream was repeated unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. Now therefore let Pharaoh seek out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up a fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store for the land against the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land perish not through the famine." And the counsel was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, "Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?" And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, "Inasmuch as God hath shown thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art. Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled. Only in the throne will I be greater than thou." And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, "See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt." And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck.

In above story of Joseph, "The Government" set aside the bounties of 7 years of plenty to be "redistributed" during 7 years of famine.  Enough said?

One doesn't have to dig very deep to learn the spoken sentiments of Jesus related to these matters:

Matthew 25:31-46 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

The ancient Hebrews lived in extended families or clans and could generally take care of their own. In modern industrial societies, though, families are often fragmented and many have nowhere to turn except to "The Government," which is really We The People.  In Jeremiah 22, when the prophet delivers a scorching sermon about the treatment of workers, aliens and the poor, he specifically addresses both rulers (government) AND individuals.?

Jeremiah 22
Judgment Against Evil Kings

1 This is what the LORD says: "Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and proclaim this message there: 2 'Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, you who sit on David's throne—you, your officials and your people who come through these gates. 3 This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David's throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. 5 But if you do not obey these commands, declares the LORD, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin.' " ?

13 "Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.

14 He says, 'I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.' So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red.

15 "Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him.

16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the LORD.

17 "But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion."


Everyone, both rich and poor, benefits when a government respects the rights of all and provides for the needy. Crime and drug abuse breed in areas of poverty and unemployment, where people may feel they have nothing to lose. Likewise, apathy and violence breed where people perceive injustice and feel excluded from the benefits of society. To the extent every individual feels empowered as a valuable, productive member of society, then society becomes healthier and more secure for everyone.

Amos 5: 11-12 You trample on the poor and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them;  though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts.

Courts?  That would be "Government."



Sources:

http://www.twopaths.com/govern.htm
Copyright © by Cliff Leitch
The Christian Bible Reference Site
www.ChristianBibleReference.org
Used by permission.

http://www.biblegateway.com/
Scripture taken from
The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica.
Used by permission of Zondervan.
All rights reserved.

Some Scripture quotations taken from
the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)

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“I’m sick and tired of trying to measure up to your expectations!” That’s exactly what I said to God 21 years ago.

I continued, “You’re God! You have all the power! You’re perfect! You live in perfection! I live in this s--t-hole! You have no idea what it’s like! No idea at all what it’s like to be a human being!”

I was having a MAJOR pity party. Major.

A voice spoke to my soul.  I didn’t hear it with my ears.  I heard it loud and clear in my spirit.

“Yes I do know what it’s like to be a human being. I became one. I know exactly what it’s like.”

I could not have come up with that at that particular time and in the frame of mind I was in.

It was all I needed to hear. God had delivered the perfect message to me when I needed Him most. My spirit was calmed immediately.

The next week-end I went to a Baptist men’s retreat for the week-end.  Unbeknownst to me, there was an author speaking at the retreat, Jeff VanVonderen.  He had just written a book called, “Tired of Trying to Measure Up.” Imagine that.  The very words I had said to God days before. I bought the book at the retreat and read the entire thing.

I still get mad at God sometimes, but he’s patient with me that way. After having a handful of experiences like the one I just described, it’s pretty hard for me to doubt Him.

Does he do these kinds of things in your life? I bet he does. Sometimes we just have to be willing to listen to his "still small voice" inside.

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Joshua 6:1-2 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.”

While we read about the revelations of Wikileaks and the trials of Julian Assange, I am drawn to the parallels and the sad contrasts to the battle of Jericho.  In this metaphor, the walls of Jericho are the walls of the modern military security state.

Several spies were sent by Joshua into the city of Jericho and were protected by a prostitute and her family.  Bradley Manning and Julian Assange penetrated the elaborately expensive walls of information.  Contrary to popular belief, these walls are only rarely designed to protect "our sources and our assets."  Rather, they are designed to prevent the American people from knowing the truth of what is being done in their name.   It is not a secret to Yemenis that their villages are being surveilled and bombed by American drones.  The only protection afforded Manning and Assange is the constitution, worn threadbare by those whose gulosity for money and power is maintained through secrecy.

The release of the documents and the arrest of Manning was the first sound of the trumpet.  We now have conclusive proof that the war in Iraq was unjustifiable, and we can only grieve the loss of the courageous families in the armed services, and those families, none of whom have been spared, suffering in Iraq.
The release of documents about Afghanistan and the State Department and the arrest of Assange was the second sound of the trumpet, a clarion call to all people that we built the walls that imprison us, and we hold the key. The walls of secrecy that protect the purveyors of war can only be maintained by our consent.  Our founders had a vision that to maintain freedom one must have freedom of conscience.  That freedom is enshrined in the First Amendment.  The same law, which protects the rights of various Christian denominations to worship as they see fit, which protects Muslims, Jews, Taoists and atheists also protects those speaking truth to power.   All our founders understood that freedom of the press and freedom of religion were different facets of the same jewel.  The right of a free conscience implies a duty for Christians that we act according to our conscience.

The hacking of Visa, MasterCard, and Paypal was the third sound of the trumpet. We learned that those who gain wealth by means other than labor, the usurers and the moneychangers are beholden to the security state.  Fearing change in the laws that allow them to amass huge sums of wealth, they obsequiously comply with the government's freeze on Wikileak's accounts.

This third sound of the trumpet calls to all Christians.  The Wall Street Robber Barons are only as powerful as we allow them to be.  Stop feeding the usurers.  To stop feeding the usurers requires a level of personal and spiritual confrontation with oneself.  Am I willing to forgo convenience for the sake of Truth?  We all are smacked in the face with this question as soon as we are out shopping this holiday season.  Do I stop using my debit card?  It is so convenient.  I ask how inconvenienced are you to just get cash from your local credit union and use that?  Not only do you deprive the money-changers, your local vendors will gain the percentage that would go to visa for the transaction fee.  Do I start saving up for that big purchase rather than giving the usurers the wealth that I created?  These personal confrontations can little by little take away money from those who have benefited handsomely from the laws of our land, have bankrupted the nation, and now sneer at the misfortunate and tell them to tighten their belts.  What more motivation does a Christian need?

Foretelling the how or when the next trumpet will sound, further cracking the anti-democratic walls of the security state is not possible.  We do not yet know if Assange will become a modern Joshua, leading us to decimate the walls of secrecy hiding the evil done in our name.  We can, however, ask ourselves when the seventh trumpet sounds, will I lend my voice to the shout that will cause the walls to fall?  Do I have the strength to make the simple changes in my life to support my community and deprive the avaricious?  Dare I ask God for the courage to speak against war and injustice, and the secrecy in which they flourish?  Dare we Christians raise our voice to support the need for Truth?

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Are Joel Osteen and other purveyors of the 'prosperity gospel' false prophets? Those are pretty harsh words. I like to give folks the benefit of the doubt.  Are they a bit misled? Very likely so.

What the prosperity gospel implies is that wealthy people are blessed and there’s something wrong with poor people in God’s eyes. This is a lie from the pit of hell.

It is written in Mark 10:17-25 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Does this mean all rich people are going to hell? No. It is also written in Mark 10, verses 26 and 27: "That set the disciples back on their heels. ‘Then who has any chance at all?’ they asked. Jesus was blunt: ‘No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.'"

There were many "Saints" in the Bible who could be described as being wealthy. Joseph of Arimathea was one.

Does the Lord want to bless his people? Of course he does. Are blessings always material? Nope.  Are we on dangerous spiritual ground when we start thinking the disadvantaged are out of favor with God? Very much so.

Let us not be too hard on Brother Joel. The Disciples themselves were often misled in their own thinking. Jesus had to correct them frequently.

In January 2002, Bill O’Reilly said, "Jesus would have demanded that the homeless people shape themselves up or else, because, we all know the passage 'The Lord helps those who help themselves.'"

Actually Bill, we don’t know that passage. It isn’t in the Bible, anywhere.

And please, spare me "the poor will always be among you." Many people use this statement as an excuse for their own greed and self importance.  Jesus didn't mean for it to be taken that way, at all.  All of his other statements confirm this.

 

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