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People often ask, What is WRONG with America?  Why the hatred, Discord, and division?

Our Worship Pastor Bill Risinger and I talking about that just this week.  I believe his observation is correct. Too many people, too many Citizens believe that Personal FREEDOM is the HIGHEST ETHIC.

Many people today believe MORE than Anything that they have the Freedom to do whatever they WANT and if you Don’t like it, then it is acceptable to insult,  harass ,  disparage, assault and/or shut businesses down.

Therefore when there is disagreement over such issues as The Sanctity of Life, Marriage, Sexuality, Abortion, Immigration, Legalizing of  drugs, Gun Rights and such, the focus is on individual desires.

But Individual Freedom is NOT the HIGHEST Ethic…..Love is!

The bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I believe if we could Love like Jesus, if  we could interject a concern, interest and open dialogue with whom we disagree there would be less division, discord and hatred in our national discussions.

If this is going to happen then Good Citizens Must…….

 

PRAY FERVENTLY

Do you pray for our country?  If you don’t pray for our country then now is the time to start.

Dick Halverson, the former chaplain of the United States senate wrote;

“Intercession Prayer is the truly universal work for the Christian. No place is closed to intercessory prayer, no continent, no nation, no organization, no city, no office. There is no power on earth that can keep intercession out. What an incredible opportunity intercessory prayer affords the one who takes prayer seriously”.

Pray for our President;  pray for our nation’s leaders,  pray for those in authority over us.

The battle for godly government is best won on Humble Knees in Pray not with Raised fists against each other.

LIVE SOBERLY

Though the tide of public opinion often sways and even storms against Christ-followers, we must strive to live worthy unto Christ, our Lord.  Peaceful, holy, quite Lives.

Faithful Christians make good citizens.  In fact, the best, most diligent, most honest, most loyal, most patriotic citizens of the United States of America should be dedicated Christians.  We ought to be the ones that our government can count on to be honest, law abiding and Peaceful citizens.

WITNESS URGENTLY

In his Book, “Why the Cross Can Do What Politics Can’t”  Erwin Lutzer writes,

“It is tempting to wrap the cross of Christ in the flag, to equate the American dream with God’s dream for this nation. We have attached a myriad of agendas to the cross of Christ, often clouding the one message that the world needs to hear with clarity and power. Incredibly, the church has, for the most part, abandoned the very message that is most desperately needed at this critical hour of history.”

I add……The Message Needed is Jesus is the only hope for our country.

It has been Said;  Nature forms us.  Sin deforms us, Education informs us; but only Christ transforms us.”

The great Empire of Rome fell NOT from the outside, she fell FROM the inside. Rome was rotten and corrupted in its government and in its people. Rome fell.

We will fall just like Rome unless we have a transformation of the hearts and minds of our everyday citizens and Jesus is the answer to changing hearts and minds.

You want to do something great for your country? Be  faithful to the gospel message found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Realizing the truth of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

I would be honored to share more with you about HOW you could come to be Transformed by the Power of Jesus.

What do Good Citizens do?

Pray Fervently

Live Righteously

Witness Urgently.

 

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2600 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship that is locally, regionally and globally engaged.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “TomSmileyMinistries”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/  His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his TomSmileyMinistries website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

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It isn’t often that I find myself “looking for words” but I have to admit that on the Eve of the 2016 Presidential Election I am struggling to express how I am feeling.

There a few presuppositions that I hold which inform my heart and desires.

First, I hold an uncompromising Biblical World View.  This of course is opposed to a Humanist World View or even a “Christian World View”.  (The problem with a “Christian” World View is that the word Christian has been so misused and abused that in many cases I am not sure what some people even mean when they speak about a Christian World View.)

In addition I love this Country.  I see the good, the positive and the generosity of this Nation and its people.  Two grandfathers and my Dad were combat veterans and I have a strong respect for those who serve this nation.

Moreover, I believe that the Sanctity of Life, a Supreme Court whose Justices revere the Constitution, a fair and balanced tax code, smaller government, personal accountability and an immigration policy that seeks to assimilate new Citizens who will love America are ALL Critical to the survival of AMERICA.

I also believe that a strong America is important to the Global Mission of the Great Commission.  A strong America can be that “beacon on the hill” that spreads the life giving message of The Gospel.

Given all that I feel, my heart hurts.  My heart hurts that there are so many who don’t respect the rule of Law, who don’t have a love for all Life, every color, every age and every social standing.

My heart hurts because I see current policies that creates vast government bureaucracies , policies that don’t promote self reliance and personal accountability and policies that penalize the hard working class of our nation.

My heart hurts because there is a sense of “entitlement” expressed by many in this nation who have contributed so very little to the greatness of this nation.

I don’t know what Tuesday, November 8th will reveal but I know Who is my King.  I know that above EVERYTHING Else I will trust, proclaim and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I KNOW  God’s sovereignty is defined as His complete and total independent control over every creature, event, and circumstance at every moment in history.

I KNOW God is subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent, God does what He pleases, only as He pleases, always as He pleases.

I KNOW that God, the One True God, is Unlimited in HIS power, unrivaled in HIS majesty, and not thwarted by anything outside Himself, our God is in complete control of all circumstances, causing or allowing them for His own good purposes and plans to be fulfilled exactly as He has foreordained.

I hope you KNOW this God, the One True God, by acknowledging the Gift of Jesus. (I would be honored to share more about how You could be assured of  eternal life at death and purposeful life here while you wait).

I don’t know how I will feel on November 9th, but am confident in KNOWING God really does care about us and I can rejoice in our God’s sovereignty, because it is overshadowed by His goodness, His love, His mercy, His compassion, His faithfulness, and His holiness.

I believe God’s Love wants what is Best for me; I believe God’s Wisdom knows what is Best for me; I believe God’s Power will accomplish what is Best for me.

I hope God Blesses America!

 

I don’t apologize for my Principled stance that First World nations have a right to preserve our own unique identity, character and values.

President Obama said in refereeing to the recent Paris Attacks that the event “was an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

Many people consider these words to be “safe phrases” or expected political speak.

However, the selection of his words reveals a deep misunderstanding. (One I am afraid many Christians mistakenly hold)

At issue is that these words reveal that our President doesn’t understand that Islam, Radical or Moderate, DOES NOT SHARE THE VALUES that the Western World, our world, holds dear.

Need convincing…….Consider a soccer game between Turkey and Greece in Istanbul.  During this game the Turks booed during the moment of silence for the Paris dead and chanted “Allahu Akbar.” Where in the Western World have people booed a moment of silence for those suffering or dead?

Need convincing…..Among 1.6 billion Muslims, hundreds of millions do not share the values regarding women’s rights, abortion, homosexuality, free speech, or the equality of all religious faiths.

The default position usually taken by those who disagree with me on this matter is, “Oh, those are just the Fanatics of ISIS”.

REALLY?

Ask yourself this question, does Saudi Arabia share Obama’s universal values regarding sexual freedom and the equality of Christianity, Judaism and Islam?

Can you point to ONE Muslim Country that allows for anything like the First Amendment? How does the Sunni or Shiite sect of Islam look upon the Freedom of Speech, Religion, and a Free Press?

The values of secular France and the values of Americans are not shared by the Islamic world, Moderate or Radical. Their False Prophet, False Book and False god won’t permit it.

I’m open to a rebuttal from a person of the Islamic Faith, who would tell me different and say it in any Middle Eastern Country except Israel.

Mr. President you are Right, Partly….. The Paris Attack was an attack on all of humanity….….BUT NO those values ARE NOT SHARED by the Muslim World.

I don’t see the “REFUGEE” debate as an argument about whether Americans will be open and welcoming Rather, I frame this discussion from the vantage point that the world is reawakening long suppressed truths.

Truths such as race and religion matter. To some they are life-and-death matters.

The point missed is that not all creeds, cultures and tribes are equally or easily assimilated into a Western nation.

I don’t apologize for my Principled stance that First World nations have a right to preserve our own unique identity, character and values.

I believe the time may be at hand for a moratorium on all immigration and a rewriting of the immigration laws that reflect the understanding that our own unique identity, character and values have a right to be preserved as we welcome new people groups into America. At one time the immigration laws of America did that exactly.

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry and Church Well Solutions, a ministry consulting work.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307 or email at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

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