Category Archives: Uncategorized

Being Submissive to Government

A question that I get asked often is, ”Aren’t we supposed to be submissive to the government?” ”When is it OK not to be?”

God is all-powerful, He is sovereign over all. But He has delegated some of His sovereignty to four different human institutions.

The first institution that He has given authority to, and instruction on being submissive to is the family.

Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

The second institution that God has given authority to is business, the workplace. Obviously in this verse we can change the word slave to employee and master to boss. We all know that the boss is in charge and gives the orders.

Colossians 3:22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

The third institution that God has shared His authority with is the church.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

And the fourth institution that we are instructed to be submissive to is our government.

Romans 13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

Each of these institutions has a realm of jurisdiction, that is, God has given them authority over a particular area of life. If they attempt to exercise authority outside the realm of their God-given place of jurisdiction, they will create rebellion, anger, and war.

Pastor Mike Dedera and I function as co-pastors. He preaches most of the primary weekend services, and I teach Leadership classes and preach at our Wednesday evening service. He leads the staff meetings, and I usually lead our Elder meetings. We meet almost daily to discuss and talk about the decisions and direction of the church. But I am still the Senior Pastor, the boss. I have pastored at JBC for 44 years, Mike, about 12 years, I am 72 years old, and I don’t think he is 50 years old yet.

So, let’s suppose as Mike’s Boss I order him to sleep in a different bed than his wife, even a different room because if he gets COVID she is almost guaranteed to catch it sleeping in the same bed with him. What will his reaction be to my command to him as his boss? It will be anger, resentment, and rebellion, and justifiably so. This example is laughable, it is so ridiculous. My authority as Mike’s boss doesn’t extend into his home, no matter how well-intentioned my motives are. My jurisdiction stops at the church.

Governor Brown of Oregon has attempted to extend her jurisdiction, her authority into our church telling us how many can meet together, and who can do what. She has attempted to move into my home commanding us, under the threat of fines and arrest, not to have more than six family members gathered together at one time. Giving her credit for having the noblest of motives does not matter one iota! She has no jurisdiction in my church or my home, and my resentment, anger, and rebellion over her attempt to control them is not being insubmissive to God’s will.

There was a very Biblical reason that our countries Founding Fathers put the First Amendment into the United States constitution. It basically means that government can’t boss churches around or tell them what they can’t do or have to do, the church is outside the realm of their jurisdiction.

Authority gone too far in the family is called child abuse, spousal abuse, and people are arrested, tried, and jailed for it. Bosses often become abusive, and overbearing, and you quit and find another job. Pastors often start thinking they are God and Lord it over people in their church, and those people then find another place to call their church home. So what do we do with this blatant abuse of power from our government? At this point I am just going to ignore it, see what happens, and go from there.

I invite you to come along with me on my adventure.

The Journey to Socialism – Control – Control and more Control

This is a repeat of a blog I wrote about eight months ago.

In 1968 when I was a Freshman in College the Hong Kong Flu broke out and was a worldwide pandemic, and 1 to 4 million people died in the world and about 200,000 to 300,000 in the United States. The Hong Kong flu was basically treated like any other flu, that is allowed to run it’s course, and then it was over. During those years the big fuss was the Vietnam war and the flu was a minor issue. Though many died and got sick, there was no quarantine, no travel restrictions, no masks, and I never missed church. Some would say that if it hadn’t been for the Government’s restrictions that this present Pandemic would have been much worse, we will never know the answer to that, but based on recent findings, I doubt that to be true. The problem is that those who communicate the news are so agenda driven, prone to overhyping everything, and outright lying it is very hard to know exactly what is true.

But in the midst of swirling hype, exaggeration, and lies I do know eight things to be true;

1. What I do know to be true is that governments always move in the direction of controlling the lives of people, and then over control. Studying world history and the various world empires, the Egyptian Empire, the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar, the Persian Empire, the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire under the various Ceasars, Germany under Hitler, Stalin and then the Soviet Union, and dozens of other repressive governments that exist today demonstrate that governments all move in the direction of controlling the lives of the people that it is over.

2. Another thing I know to be true is that Governments almost always attempt to control people by creating fear. The media created a huge level of fear in a short amount of time, which fed on itself, which created a mass hysteria that caused people to almost immediately fall in line with all of the rules with little fussing even though our Constitutional Rights were violated to the max.

3. Another thing that I know to be true is that Governments will always eventually move to control people by controlling the economy and the availability of life-sustaining resources. I think it is called socialism.

4. Another thing I know to be true is that Government always wants to expand geographically, control more land, more area. Historically this has happened by wars, but the current method is through politics; the political push is towards Globalism rather than Nationalism. The ”Beast”, the Anti-christ will be a world wide ruler.

5. Another thing I know to be true is that amid this movement of governments to control the lives of people that disunity and hatred will grow stronger and stronger between people, even in families and churches. In the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:10, ”At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.”

6. Another thing that I know to be true is that all Governments sooner or later begin to resist and attempt to control the spread of Christianity than oppose it than persecute it.

7. Another thing I know to be true is that the reason for all of this is stated in Ephesians 6:12; ”For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

8. One last thing I know to be true is that Jesus is going to return one of these days and establish His Kingdom on the earth and then righteousness will reign.

Kate Brown

I see that our governor has made some new rules. I am not allowed to have more than six people in my house and not more than two different families, which is over Thanksgiving. She says that she will be enforcing this new rule with Oregon State Police and local law enforcement personal.

I wonder where the line is, that rule which is too much, too far. In the book of Acts, the government told Peter to quit preaching the gospel, and he said, ”what do you think, should I obey God or you?” In the book of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, the Pharoah of Egypt commanded all parents to kill their boy babies; Moses’s parents didn’t obey. In the book of Daniel, Shadrach and his two buddies refused to bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar, and they were thrown into a fiery furnace, and they lived to tell the story to their grandchildren. Daniel was ordered not to pray, and he prayed anyway, so they threw him into the lion’s den, but he survived miraculously but his accusers didn’t fare so well, they were thrown in and eaten alive.

Revelation 13:15-17 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

What is this control about?

Verse 15 says that they will worship the antichrist because to blindly obey is to worship.

Our government is controlling people by creating fear in them, by threatening them with consequences, by shaming them, and by peer pressure. Dr Fauci was quoted last week as saying, ”be a responsible citizen and just do what you are told.” The media has communicated huge amounts of skewed, biased, and false information in order to create this mass hysteria, this fear of catching COVID and dying. Face book, Twitter, Google, and YouTube have censored and banned almost all contrary information.

Thousands of doctors and scientists have published documents and signed documents that say the consequences of lockdowns are worse than catching COVID, that we are just postponing the inevitable, and that masks do no good. But they are all censored and banned.

Kate Brown is not ordering me to not have my family over for Thanksgiving because she is concerned for my health, she is ordering me to obey her because she aspires to be a god.

Endurance

I used to run marathons and half marathons. I think I ran 8 marathons in my life and about 30 half marathons. Half marathons were way easier than a full marathon. They were half in length but about ten times easier. Actually, I probably ran way more than thirty half marathons because, in the days when I was training for my one marathon a year, I used to run fifteen miles in the countryside around our house almost every Friday that the weather was decent. A half marathon is only 13.1 miles. So why is a marathon ten times more difficult than a half, maybe really twenty times more difficult? Because my body has enough energy readily available to run 13.1 miles, but once I hit the eighteen mile mark my gas tank was on empty and my body needed to start converting body fat to energy. For some reason it didn’t seem like it wanted to do that, my body liked that fat and wanted to keep it, or so it seemed. The last eight miles of a marathon were hard physically, but more than that they were very hard mentally. My brain started yelling at me, ”STOP! You fool! You are killing yourself! It is hard to ignore your brain when it is so sure it is right😫 I never quit a marathon, but I wanted to in the worst way, and when it came time to sign up for my next one I remembered the pain, and they got farther and farther apart, (wait, is it farther or further? Oh man, this is as bad as to or too!) Anyway the marathons that I signed up for got farther and further apart. I think it has been close to ten years now since the last one I ran.

It is really no big deal on the marathons at this point in my life. But what is a big deal is living life responsibly, diligently for the sake of others, what is a big deal is living life for the Lord obediently, what is a big deal is accomplishing more with my life that matters for eternity.

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Living life is like running a marathon, it isn’t the physical tiredness that is the problem, it is my brain yelling at me all the time ”You are an old man!” ”You have done enough?” ”Take it easy!” ”You are so tired!” ”Come on, man, sleep in a little!”

So, I have created some lines to use in my self-talk to myself in response to my feeble, self-centered, lazy brain. ”Work hard; it won’t be long now before you are standing in front of Jesus, giving an account of the life you have lived, and you need to do some catching up!” ”It won’t be long now, only a couple of miles left; let’s sprint across the finish line!” ”Who is in charge here, you or your lazy flesh?”and my most motivational line is, ”Get with it, you lazy bag of bones, you are barely keeping up with Patty!”

Nasty Storm

I was supposed to go salmon fishing on the Alsea River with a friend today, but we decided it would be too stormy, so then I decided to go duck hunting with another friend; we lasted about an hour in the wind and rain and called it a day. I wasn’t going to do anything but fish today so I am now sitting in my nice warm room, in my nice warm house, in my nice warm and comfortable recliner, writing this blog. I will probably write a couple of extra blogs to use on days when I am extra busy fishing or hunting. I am not reading the news or Facebook today so life is good as I sit in my recliner with my dog Roscoe on my lap with a whole thermos of coffee that I made to take hunting on the floor next to my chair. Did I already say that life is good, even if I didn’t get to go fishing?

Storms like what we are having today often change our schedules, but we usually just hunker down in a comfortable place and wait until it passes, and it always does.

In life we have storms that are not weather related, they usually have to do with other people in our life, our health, our jobs, our finances, even politics, some trial that messes with our life and our schedule. Often the best thing to do is just hunker down and wait it out because they always pass, sooner or later. Many people make a lot of bad choices during a storm, and then when the storm passes there is a whole new storm created by the bad choices. The bad choices are usually made in an attempt to hurry the storm along, or in anger or frustration because of the storm. It usually is best just to hunker down, be patient, and say, ”this too will pass.”

Bicycling

When I wrote my goals about a month ago I decided not I do a bicycle trip this year for a variety of reasons most of them because I am getting wimpy. So, I decided a couple of days ago that I wasn’t going to get wimpy, or act wimpy so I planned a bicycle trip. It is a three-week trip covering 1300 miles. We will leave Jefferson and head East to Bend, then go North to Mt Ranier, then West for a bit and then back North go the Olympic Peninsula, then South down the Washington coast into Oregon and when we get to Newport we will head East back to Jefferson. We will camp most nights in campgrounds carrying everything on our bikes unless we get a support vehicle to go. We will average about 70 miles a day and see some beautiful country. Now that I have the route all planned I am checking out all the roads using Google earth. It is fun traveling the roads via the wonders of modern photography and electronics.

Now that I have made the decision to do this trip I am getting all excited about it. Even though I have done a long distance bicycle trip for the last seven summers this is still a very big goal in the sense of difficulty in accomplishing for me. Thinking about the struggle that I had on the last two trips is what prompted me to skip it this year. I am getting excited about doing it, the challenge of it, the scenery, the camping, and the time alone on my bike eight hours a day to think, create, reflect, and ponder. But I am also getting nervous about the pain, the exhaustion, and the struggle every morning to get out of my sleeping bag and get on that stupid bicycle.

I know that the benefits of the trip on my health are very high, but I also know that the benefits to my character are even more significant—that is why I am doing it.

Prophecy

I am having a ton of fun doing my prophecy class. It isn’t so much the teaching but the study that I am doing in preparation for the class that I am enjoying so much. I do a fair amount of reading in books and commentaries on prophecy anyway, but in teaching there is a whole new level of motivation for me to study, read, and write. There isn’t much that I enjoy as much as learning truth from the Bible, and then getting to teach it is the cherry on the Sunday. The verse that I think about all the time now is Proverbs 25:2, ”It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” God hides things to see if we are really interested in learning and discovering the truth, and if we demonstrate to Him that we are, He guides and leads us in discovering what He has hidden.

There probably isn’t a topic in the Bible with as many different views and opinions as prophecy. The reason is that the language of prophecy is metaphor and typology and requires a much more careful study to arrive at the right interpretation.

Arriving at the one correct interpretation is undoubtedly my goal but it isn’t required to get into heaven. So why study prophecy then? A key benefit of studying prophecy diligently is the great security it gives, and the peace in the midst of all the craziness going on that comes from knowing that God is God, He is sovereign, He planned everything out, and it truly looks like things are coming to an end quickly. I am so ready to get my new body and to be done with this life.

What Should I Do?

I am at that point in life where I run out of gas before I get everything done in a day and a week that I want to get done. It is terribly frustrating to recognize the reduction in my performance in the last year, especially the last couple of months. I used to write my daily ”todo” list randomly, with no particular order in the list of things I wanted to do because I almost always got everything done on my list. Now there are quite a few things still on the list at the end of the day, so now I write the list with the most important things first and least important last. I am starting to write shorter lists, but it makes me feel so lazy when I do that.

In my leadership classes, I teach goal setting, time management, the importance of ”to do” lists, passion and motivation, dreams, diligence, being a self-starter, bearing much fruit for God, and always wanting more to do for Him. Today I didn’t even write a ”todo” list. I figured it was short enough; I could just remember it.

I am still faithful on my exercise every day, I work hard at not allowing any negative thoughts to stay in my head, I rarely eat any sugar or anything else that is unhealthy, I am sleeping more in a day than I used to, I have plenty of hobbies, I ask God for strength everyday for sure, I read my Bible faithfully, and I confess all know sin everyday. It seems like I should be boiling over with energy. I am hoping that I am just in some kind of phase in my life, and any day now I will pop out of it, but my suspicion is that it is permanent, and probably going to get worse.

A huge plus I have as I deal with this decline in energy is that most of the high energy things I do aren’t required to continue serving well as a Pastor. Reading, writing, praying, listening to podcasts, and talking to people are all ”sit down” jobs that require very little physical energy. Preaching and teaching require a lot of emotional energy, but I am doing well in that area of my life. Another big plus is that my mental capacity seems as strong as ever as I study and write sermons, blogs, and lessons.

So, I guess, the bottom line is I am doing great. I will just not do as many projects that I had made goals to do. I will take out three rows of apple trees, not plant the blueberries I had made a goal to do, I will cross off doing a 10k and a half marathon, and restore one car instead of three. I am still going to fish, and hunt. I am still going to climb Mt Adams this summer. And I am still going to go on a thousand-mile bicycle trip. So now that I have processed my frustration that I experienced today by writing about it in this blog I feel guilty even letting anybody read this. Thank You, Lord, for my life, my history, my upbringing by such great parents, my family, my church, and thank You for my great health.

My Enemies

King David in the Bible had many enemies, and he prayed for them, here is one such prayer in Psalms 109:9-12;

Let his children be fatherless
And his wife a widow.
Let his children wander about and beg;
And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes.
Let the creditor seize all that he has,
And let strangers plunder the product of his labor.
Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him,
Nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children.

I have prayed that prayer a lot lately. I Dont really expect God is going to answer it, but it sure makes me feel good.

Many years ago the wicked king of Israel was trying to capture Elijah in 2 Kings 1:9-12 in the Old Testament in the Bible.

Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him, and behold, he was sitting on the top of the hill. And he said to him, “O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’” Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. So he again sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he said to him, “O man of God, thus says the king, ‘Come down quickly.’” Elijah replied to them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

Sometimes I visualize in my wild imagination that God gives me the power of Elijah, and I go back to Washington DC and I clean the place up.

But God takes care of things for me in the end.

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

I love stories with good endings.