13 thoughts on “News/Politics 7-5-17

  1. Ricky,

    This sums it up for me.

    “However, “the ab­sence of a single suc­cessor to the U.S. does not mean that what awaits is chaos. At least in prin­ciple, the world’s most power­ful coun­tries could come to­geth­er to fill Amer­ica’s shoes. In prac­tice, though, this will not hap­pen, as these coun­tries lack the cap­ab­il­it­ies, ex­per­i­ence, and, above all, a con­sensus on what needs do­ing and who needs to do it.”

    Same as it ever was. And will continue to be. They don’t have to like it, agree with it, or accept it, but reality says things will remain the same, even with Trump in charge. They won’t step up, so it’s still US that runs the show. And whether they admit it or not, they like it this way since it takes the pressure off of them. They could step up and assume the roll, but they won’t, because it’s hard work, work they don’t want to do themselves. So as usual, it will still be the US of A.

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  2. AJ, You may be right. It depends on how long the US is led by a horse and how the horse behaves. The whole thing makes me want to study what happened in world history during the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s incapacity.

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  3. It is likely that Babylon was run by Daniel and Shamrock, Meshach and Abednego, and others like them. They likely didn’t need Nebuchadnezzar anyhow. A powerful figurehead.

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  4. Nebuchadnezzar was a more powerful political ruler that the president of the U.S., as Daniel notes while explaining Nebuchanezzar’s vision of the image (I was just thinking of this passage when I put up the link on the Daily thread about the strength of Roman concrete):

    “This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. Your Majesty, you are king of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and glory. Wherever people live—or wild animals, or birds of the air—He has handed them over to you and made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold.
    After you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours, and then another, a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole earth. A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron; for iron crushes and shatters everything, and like iron that smashes, it will crush and smash all the others. You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter’s fired clay and partly of iron—it will be a divided kingdom, though some of the strength of iron will be in it. You saw the iron mixed with clay, and that the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly fired clay—part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. You saw the iron mixed with clay—the peoples will mix with one another but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay.
    In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. You saw a stone break off from the mountain without a hand touching it, and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation certain.” (Daniel 2:36-45, HCSB)

    Somehow, this seems apropos – I found it a bit surreal to think of all that effort to survive beyond the end of the world and how futile the efforts of humans are to be immortal:

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  5. Chas, So in place of Daniel and friends, we have McMaster, Pence and Mathis. Do we have a fourth wise advisor?

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  6. Ricky, Babylon had some pretty smart guys running the country at that time.
    And the people obeyed their leaders.

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  7. Someone once said “Democracy can survive until the people learn that they can write themselves checks out of the public treasury.

    We’ll see.

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  8. More on the discussion of God and country from Joe Carter:

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/civil-religion-has-no-place-in-gods-house
    _________________________

    … I understand the motive behind such “Freedom Sunday” services. I consider myself to be as patriotic (rightly understood) as anyone. I spent one-third of my life serving my country, and would still lay down my life in her defense. I love my country. I love the American flag. I love the Fourth of July. I even still love that cheesy Lee Greenwood song, “God Bless the USA.”

    I just don’t think the symbols of the American nation have a place in the embassy of the kingdom of God.

    My main objection is that such veneration for our country within our churches detracts from the glory of the gospel. Admittedly, it’s rather naïve of me to assume the gospel is preached in every evangelical church every Sunday morning. But if a gospel is going to be preached in our churches, then it should be the gospel of Jesus, not the gospel of Rousseau. …

    … Our God is a jealous God and is unlikely to look favorably on idolatry even when it’s put to good service. While we should be as tolerant of civil religion as we are of other beliefs, we should be cautious about submitting to it ourselves. That is not to say that we can’s say the Pledge or sing “God Bless the USA” and think of the one true God. But we should keep in mind that this fight over ceremonial deism isn’t our fight, and the god of America’s civil religion is not the God who died on the cross.

    When we bring civil religion into our worship services, we are confusing our patriotic duty to the temporal country God gave us with the allegiance we owe to the kingdom in which we will be citizens forever.
    _____________________________

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  9. Very interesting article linked @ 11:56

    We are not 2 people: a secular self, and a religious self. In the article Joe Carter says “The Pledge of Allegience is a secular document and the “under God” is referring to the Divinity of our country’s civil religion.” If he is correct (and I’m not saying he isn’t) , and the pledge of allegiance is wrong in church because it isn’t referring to the one triune God, then isn’t it just as wrong on the ballfield or the classroom as it is in the sanctuary, for the same reason?

    I know that many people may think that every Sunday should be roughly the same—or not include community celebrations. If the choice is between being the same or being idolatrous, I would agree. But I think part of being a community of believers is community celebration. And conversely, anything worth celebrating as a community is worth putting the Lord at the center of it—but the “worth celebrating” part is important.

    Before a celebration, it’s appropriate to spend some time leading up to the celebration day in community reflection and repentance. Some of our community-wide national celebrations, such as 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, offer a great opportunity to do so, particularly when there is not a conflict with the church calendar (which many churches pretty much ignore anyway). It’s also a perfect time to clarify the distinction between what is and is not idolatry. It is a good time for a church to remember and emphasize specific types of blessings—and warnings. As it stands now, these are pretty much lost opportunities to strengthen the church and build community, in my opinion.

    Concerning the 4th of July, patriotic music can be appropriate or inappropriate in the church. I love ‘God Bless America’. To me, it is a prayer set to music, and it’s very appropriate. And honoring those who have served is also appropriate–as part of giving thanks to God for safety and our many other blessings. However, there is something distinctly disconcerting in hearing my choir on Sunday morning belt out “ the caissons go rolling along” (and the songs of the other military branches) while a 15’x 20’ screen flashes their insignias and pictures of caissons, battleships, etc., and all the more so when there has been no prior period of community, congregational reflection or repentance. I think we’re trying, but we haven’t gotten there yet. Celebration is easy—it’s the reflection, repentance and the humility and courage that both of those activities require that is missing. :–/

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