SEEK FIRST God’s Kingdom, and God’s goodness. (Jesus, Matthew 6:33)

Politics – Loving Neighbors and God
from a Biblical, Christ Follower perspective


WHY DO we call him, “Lord, Lord,”
and do not do what he says? (Luke 6:46)

Recent Posts

Good Older Ones

Palm Sunday: The King We Need

8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" - Mark 11:8-9 CEB The Arrival Of The King Last...
Welcome yourself! This a part of forgiving yourself. To forgive means to not hold prior offenses against a person - even if the person is yourself.

Forgive Yourself – Welcome Yourself – Improve Your Relationship

I've often heard "I just can't forgive myself" or "How do you forgive yourself?" Good question. It can be tough. Does it go without saying that forgiveness requires honesty? - that is, confession. It does. It requires openness to reality, without obsessing...
Hand writing in notebook - on a clean page. How do you want to write in your new year?

It’s YOUR New Year! Some Simple Suggestions for 2018

It’s YOUR New Year. Maybe you can’t change a whole lot in your life or your self. Maybe you don’t WANT to change a whole lot. Maybe you don’t even want to change ANYTHING. How nice 😊. But - maybe in an area or two. After all, within certain very real limits, it is...
The rich man wins because unjust laws rig the race. Isaiah 10 speaks bluntly about that kind of oppression. "What will you do on the day of reckoning? ... Where will you leave your riches?"

“Woe to those who make unjust laws.” – Isaiah

Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when...
Break through fear. Find sunshine and freedom beyond it.

Let Nothing Upset You; Let Nothing Frighten You; Even Now. (Teresa of Avila)

  An Exercise in Calm   This image - a sledge, hammering against "FEAR" - seems the opposite of the calm Teresa promotes in this little poem-saying. But you know, as Gandhi and Martin King argued and proved in practice, sometimes you can bring great energy...
Jesus -

Are You One of Those Whom Jesus Favors? Who IS He Willing to Teach and Help? (Matthew 11)

Jesus is Different. The Christ is NOT an arbitrary, or unaccountable, or irrational chooser - which is made obvious in Matthew ch 11. Stories in Matthew 11 Jesus and John the Baptist Jesus Began to Speak to the Crowd Woe on Unrepentant Towns The Father...
claw - fear

Are YOU On This List Yet? We are All In Increasing Danger.

TARGETED! One way or another, THESE people, mostly fellow American citizens - all fellow humans and all loved by God - THESE people are living in increased fear now compared to a year ago. "Making America Afraid Again" This is not a careful list; it's just...

We Can Change and Relationships Can be Saved!

“Most of us are not really approaching the subject [scriptures] in order to find out what Christianity says: we are approaching it [them] in the hope of finding support from Christianity for the views of our own party.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. It is obvious...
It's complicated. The “powers that be” can be frightening, dangerous, very stupid. BUT even in that situation, the true, invisible Church – us! - shows the wonderful wisdom of God.

God’s Wisdom: That We Make the Invisible Church VISIBLE.

We can see "First Church", standing on the corner. And we call it “a church” or “my church”, because one meaning of “church” is a building. But another meaning of “church” is a group of people  who agree to do “churchly” things together, often in a...
You can pay good money and get bad opinions. You have to honor your own freedom of conscience, and consider the attitudes of the person giving advice. Sometimes it's just gossip!

Protect Your Freedom of Conscience from Bad Advice & Gossip

In making our own decisions - or in sticking with them -  It can be hard  to exercise our own good conscience without being too strongly influenced by the opinions of others.  How do we do that? A.  OPINIONS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH: Sometimes, of course,...
The Bible speaks most frequently and directly to the BELIEVERS - to those God calls "my people." It's not the foreigners, atheists and gays who are the target.

It’s Not Foreigners, Atheists and Gays Who Must Turn! 2 Chronicles 7:14

In this Scripture it’s NOT the foreigners and unbelievers who have to “turn”! WHO ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE? Bible passages were not written to us personally. We are looking over the shoulders of people long gone – trying to learn important things about...

NO RELIGIOUS BULLIES. We Must “Lift Our VOICES” – While We Lay Down Our SWORDS.

"Declare to my people ... their sins." Jesus, Isaiah, the prophets, the apostles - in all of them there's a STRONG Bible pattern of spiritual people speaking up about evil in society. Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet....
The Bible is potent - like fire, it can save our lives, or destroy us. We have to handle it very honestly, and with humility and respect.

7 Signs of a Healthy, Christ-Following Christian Faith

  Unhealthy, dangerous forms of “Christianity” seem epidemic today. Are there healthy forms? Here, I believe, is a good example, from the church I attend. A summary of priority concerns of a Christ-following, healthy faith. 1. We strongly emphasize the...
When our Congress and Administration assault our people, as in the December "tax reform" - we will get death and devastation - like this bombed village.

Many Will Die. This Tax “Reform” is a Vicious Assault Against Us and People We Care About.

  We never know for sure what's happening - what may be going on behind the scenes. But the GOP wants their "tax reform". If they get it, it seems fairly certain that MANY OF US WILL DIE MUCH EARLIER than would have been the case otherwise. Just hurry up...

Is That Us? – a Navajo Critique of Christianity – “part-time religion”

These are the thoughts of Raymond Friday Locke, from his The Book of the Navajo, Mankind Pub Co, 2001 edition, p5. His take on Navajo culture and perspectives is widely respected. The Navajos for the most part have long resisted Christianity. They look upon it as a...

Anteaters Use AND Preserve Their Crucial Resources – Unlike Humans

I'm not interested in imitating their diet or lifestyle. But they act like they're disciplining their appetites in the interests of thinking ahead. What a way to live. I presume these little dudes are not very good seminar-facilitators. Too bad, because we need to get...

Am I An Enemy of the Churches?

I’m not the one driving youth from the churches; many churches have proven very capable of doing that without my assistance. I’m trying to show them that the churches, in spite of appearances, are carriers of the most precious of...
Short Quotes from Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" Good stuff! Check it out.

Short Quotes – Martin Luther King’s "Letter from Birmingham Jail"*

King's letter is one of many treasures often ignored in American liberal democracy and in bringing Christian moral theology to public life.   These are a few shorter quotes, but it's worth reading the whole thing. (Underlines have been added.) I cannot sit idly by in...
Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II

John Paul II: Private Prayer and the Dangers of Public Life

For decades he resisted Nazi, then Communist oppression. How did he cope? Connie and I recently watched Karol: A Man Who Became Pope. It portrays Karol Wojtyla's life from his late teens, when the Nazi's invaded his city and nation, through WWII, then through decades...

These Are REALLY Short and Sweet.

Thy Kingdom Come

Some social and economic patterns ARE 1) Humane, 2) Holistic, and 3) Honest.

Jesus and the Prophets promote these. Even in times of crisis THAT kind of healthy society is what we are really pursuing! The “Kingdom of God” – the new economy – the Beloved Community – the new world order – the wonderful society that the Bible promotes. ☛   See some posts about this.

Recent Politics

Politics is a big issue all through the Bible from Moses to Isaiah to Jesus.

In fact, Jesus was killed for being a political problem. Those who pay no attention will get what the people who ARE paying attention really want. That’s often not pretty. ☛   Posts on Recent Politics

Like a Trumpet

Call out religious fraud. The Bible does. Jesus, the prophets, and the apostles do it often, and with bluntness and clarity. Isaiah, in ch 58, is very direct about it, “Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion.”

☛   Click for a post about Speaking Up, Without Bullying.

Non-Violence

“Turn the other cheek” clearly does NOT mean support evil people! Did Jesus EVER urge us to support evil people? He actually teaches us to RESIST evil people but to do so without using their world-destroying tools of violence. ☛   Posts on NonViolence

As IF You Were Good

God is NOT happy with imitation religion. “They seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways – AS IF they were a people who does what is right.”

“Why have we fasted – and You have not listened!” ☛   See: “Lift Our Voices Like a Trumpet!” – another post about Isaiah 58.

What God Clearly Wants

Micah nailed it 2700 years ago.

What does the Lord require of us? That we act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly. Pretty straightforward, but not always easy. Still, God holds to this. ☛   Micah 6:6-8, at Biblegateway

Books, Films, Quotes

“A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit.” -John Milton Some people actually DO know more than we do! And some people just say it SO well.

☛   See posts in this category.

Prayer / Meditation

Nothing is more relevant to social conditions than the transformation of persons that comes from prayer at its best. -Dallas Willard

“Jesus OFTEN withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:17 If Jesus needed to do that, it may be something we need to learn. ☛   Click: Posts on Prayer & Meditation

Main Issues – Key Articles Here

fish racism

Jesus and Racism – Samaritan Lives Matter – Black Lives Matter

Samaritans in Jesus' day were both religiously and racially despised. The phrase "Samaritan lives matter" would have been very offensive to the Jewish culture in which Jesus was raised and in which he was a teacher and doer of good. But to Jesus, clearly Samaritan...

"THIS IS HOW they made the pleasant land desolate."

The Bible fairly often makes a direct connection between the desolation of a land (and its people - and, obviously, its economic life) and moral corruption in the people's prior social, legal, and economic patterns. Here's an example from Zechariah 7. The residents...

Why Many Christians Do Not Vote Republican

This was written about 12 years ago (as of today, in February 2017). Wow. And the problems remain, and have grown; which means these things still need thinking and talking about. References and Bible quotations...
2 kinds of religion are very distinct – maybe opposites. Many, many churches or individuals show one or the other to be blatantly dominant.

Two Types of Religion – Authority vs Love

Seems to me there are obviously two primary modes for religious practice in this world. That amazement is the opposite of complacency and self-satisfaction. And that gentleness is very different from constant critique and...
Jesus -

Why I Pay Priority Attention to Jesus Christ

WHY? Why should we focus any more on Jesus Christ than on Abraham or Moses or Isaiah? Or on the laws in the Bible, or prophecy, or the end of the world? Is focus on Jesus more needed than pointing out sins – especially other people’s sins? Is Christ actually more...

Prophets MUST Improvise, In and For Our Cities – a review of “Resurrection City” by Peter Goodwin Heltzel

The prophet’s task is to “reorder” and “refashion” the urban environment to be more just and peaceable. Yet ... the work of social transformation must be based on a deep inner transformation. That's the burden of this excellent book (quote from p97). Resurrection City...

On War – and Its Effects on Humans

Quotes from the e-newsletter I get from Information Clearing House. ... the United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights: one of U.S. benevolence, generally held by the public, and the...
Religion Running Government, Theocracy, We would regret it

Theocracy (Religion Runs the Government) – We Would Deeply Regret It

I am a church person, a person of faith. But I don't think we need a government that rules as if it were the voice of God. This nation's Constitution was written partly in order to help us avoid theocracy. Unfortunately there are Americans today who clearly think the...
Don't go with the flow. Turn the other cheek means resist them, nonviolently, as Jesus did.

Turn the Other Cheek MEANS Resist Them Non-Violently

I. THE PROBLEM: Jesus says to turn the other cheek. [See a summary of this post.] Is it ever appropriate for Christians to resist authority? Many of us feel there is much in the behavior of our national leaders that cries out for criticism and resistance. Are...

German Christians Sold Out to Power and Glory

[A Review of Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, by Charles Marsh, 2014] This book is not written to coddle nor to discomfort whatever our self-image is as American Christians today; Marsh is trying to show reality. To me, two eras of Bonhoeffer's life seem...
Advent - God With Us - Immanuel - How do we respond?

Advent: Christ Has Come. So, What Do We Have TO DO?

  CHRIST HAS COME. SO WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO? 1. STAND ALONE “Peter … asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘… what is that to you? You must follow me.’” John 21:21,22 If Christ is really present to us in this world, we have to personally respond...
Neighbor

If You Do Not Love Your Neighbor Whom You CAN See – Can You Love God?

The author of "1 John" makes a simple, blunt, very logical analysis of our emotional attachments - or professed attachments. (1 John 4:20) If you do not love your brother whom you can see, how can you love God whom you cannot see? Well, John, that's easy! We do it all...

Family Values, Christian Morality – Defended by Hitler

  Current prominent figures, speaking words the "Christian Right" wants to hear, are not the first national leaders to use Christian morality as a rallying cry. These words are from 1933: "The National Government will preserve and defend those basic principles on...

The Moral Priorities of Jesus – What Did Jesus Teach?

He said, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' but do not do what I say?" Maybe he meant it. This short book (40 pages) is available as a free pdf, or as a paperback at LULU.com (see the links below). It treats the following issues.  Here, each chapter title is followed by...
Moral economic behavior stressed by Isaiah

Are Economic Matters a Moral Issue? Isaiah Thinks So.

  In spite of Isaiah, and other Bible sources, we’ve all heard this - something like: I. It is NOT the government’s place to interfere in economic matters - tell people how they should spend their money or how they should treat their employees. That warps economic...
100 quotes

100 Quotes

  Nerd alert! This is a list that used to be behind the quote widget on the upper right of the page. They are from various places, maybe half from my personal reading (books). I'm not documenting sources because I don't have time or did not record them. There's good...
The Bible is potent - like fire, it can save our lives, or destroy us. We have to handle it very honestly, and with humility and respect.

7 Signs of a Healthy, Christ-Following Christian Faith

  Unhealthy, dangerous forms of “Christianity” seem epidemic today. Are there healthy forms? Here, I believe, is a good example, from the church I attend. A summary of priority concerns of a Christ-following, healthy faith. 1. We strongly emphasize the...
Jesus -

Is Trump a Christian? What Does It MEAN to Believe in Christ?

There was some excitement among certain Republican Christians when Dobson said Trump had become a "baby" Christian and should be cut some slack on that basis. Two problems with that: A novice at practicing the Christian faith is not someone we should automatically...
Jesus urged us to "Seek first the Kingdom of God." We can DO that! Jesus and the prophets can coach us in building the Kingdom.

Let’s Build The Kingdom. Jesus said, “Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God.”

"Over and against these senseless modern myths ... there is the "myth" of the God of goodness who has chosen people to prepare a kingdom of justice, truth, and love on earth. This myth dies hard. Why should we refuse to admit that Christ taught it to us?" [from Andre...

The Civilized Are Responsible

Originally published in 1976. My how times have not changed. The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless...
It is dangerous and un-American to want some group of self-styled "Christians" to carry the weapons of the law, or use the power of the state to enforce its own dogmatic interpretations of morality.

Christians & Churches Should Not Enforce the Bible on Us.

  Here's another example of the misunderstanding and misuse of Scripture by the 'religious right'.  This was quoted to me to show that no Christian could ever vote for Democrats. "Don't you realize that if even one person is allowed to go on sinning, soon all will be...
hand writes with a pen in a notebook

The Quiet Places in Our Lives Make Our Public Activity Safer

  Contemplation and Public Action The public good is most in danger when the voluntary visits to contemplation are neglected in favor of immediate communitarian action. We don't have to go off and become full-time contemplatives. But times of stepping aside from the...

Jesus Pushes Us to Judge Our OWN Lives – Not Other People’s

  Jesus was a highly respected teacher of morality and of the spiritual life. So, logically enough, a man asked him to take a stand on a moral issue between the man and his brother (Luke 12:13-15) - Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide...
Gun on Bible

Fascism Appearing In America (says “The American Conservative” Magazine)

I've written some articles comparing America today to Hitler's Germany; and it seems it's not just me being paranoid and over-reactive. That concern is appearing in a number of places. Now The American Conservative magazine is running an article, "Hunger for...

Prophets MUST Improvise, In and For Our Cities – a review of “Resurrection City” by Peter Goodwin Heltzel

The prophet’s task is to “reorder” and “refashion” the urban environment to be more just and peaceable. Yet ... the work of social transformation must be based on a deep inner transformation. That's the burden of this excellent book (quote from p97). Resurrection City...
Moral economic behavior stressed by Isaiah

Are Economic Matters a Moral Issue? Isaiah Thinks So.

  In spite of Isaiah, and other Bible sources, we’ve all heard this - something like: I. It is NOT the government’s place to interfere in economic matters - tell people how they should spend their money or how they should treat their employees. That warps economic...

Why Many Christians Do Not Vote Republican

This was written about 12 years ago (as of today, in February 2017). Wow. And the problems remain, and have grown; which means these things still need thinking and talking about. References and Bible quotations...
Advent - God With Us - Immanuel - How do we respond?

Advent: Christ Has Come. So, What Do We Have TO DO?

  CHRIST HAS COME. SO WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO? 1. STAND ALONE “Peter … asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘… what is that to you? You must follow me.’” John 21:21,22 If Christ is really present to us in this world, we have to personally respond...
The Bible is potent - like fire, it can save our lives, or destroy us. We have to handle it very honestly, and with humility and respect.

7 Signs of a Healthy, Christ-Following Christian Faith

  Unhealthy, dangerous forms of “Christianity” seem epidemic today. Are there healthy forms? Here, I believe, is a good example, from the church I attend. A summary of priority concerns of a Christ-following, healthy faith. 1. We strongly emphasize the...

The Civilized Are Responsible

Originally published in 1976. My how times have not changed. The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless...
hand writes with a pen in a notebook

The Quiet Places in Our Lives Make Our Public Activity Safer

  Contemplation and Public Action The public good is most in danger when the voluntary visits to contemplation are neglected in favor of immediate communitarian action. We don't have to go off and become full-time contemplatives. But times of stepping aside from the...
2 kinds of religion are very distinct – maybe opposites. Many, many churches or individuals show one or the other to be blatantly dominant.

Two Types of Religion – Authority vs Love

Seems to me there are obviously two primary modes for religious practice in this world. That amazement is the opposite of complacency and self-satisfaction. And that gentleness is very different from constant critique and...

"THIS IS HOW they made the pleasant land desolate."

The Bible fairly often makes a direct connection between the desolation of a land (and its people - and, obviously, its economic life) and moral corruption in the people's prior social, legal, and economic patterns. Here's an example from Zechariah 7. The residents...
Neighbor

If You Do Not Love Your Neighbor Whom You CAN See – Can You Love God?

The author of "1 John" makes a simple, blunt, very logical analysis of our emotional attachments - or professed attachments. (1 John 4:20) If you do not love your brother whom you can see, how can you love God whom you cannot see? Well, John, that's easy! We do it all...