Tag Archives: Politics

Who Are the Nazis of Today?

by Lee Hemen

Sadly there is little history being taught in public schools today; not who was the first President, Black History, or other such things but rather why certain things occurred and what differing groups believed and why and what resulted. A good example is the ignorance concerning Socialism, Planned Parenthood, or Nazism.

Nazism is National Socialism where the state controls every aspect of a citizen’s life from healthcare, education, retirement, to science. Everything is to benefit the state. Nazism gained power when radical crowds of organized, Nazi-funded, protestors known as Brown-shirts gained access to public meetings and disrupted them. They would shout down, chant, and bust heads if necessary. Public protests and riots were well orchestrated where protestors were trained, paid, and bused in.

Symbolism and slogans, placards and public protests became an important part of the Nazi Brown-shirt movement. Later music and public rallies were used to pump up crowds and indoctrinate the public. Anyone who stood in their way was branded as narrow-minded, uneducated, and worse racist against their own people. Eugenics, a thinly disguised way to do away with those deemed undesirable was promoted and certain groups were targeted as the reason for the economic failure. The Jews became the scapegoats and later anyone or any group that stood in their way. Popular movie stars and actors, singers, heroes of the day, the press, and even religious leaders supported Nazism. In fact the press became so enchanted and friendly that they fawningly supported its takeover as necessary. It wasn’t until later when anyone who dared disagree, was being re-educated, suddenly disappeared, or were utterly dismissed that the press realized that what they had supported was evil. Nazism was in fact an extreme minority until they gained the public square and began to control public opinion through their protests and the media.

Now if any of this sounds familiar it should. Recently we have seen well organized bused in groups of protestors, local public meetings disrupted admittedly done so by outside agitators, and the orchestration of blaming others for the failure of government. Symbolism and placards, well organized protests and the media’s culpability are seen as these groups dupe others into thinking they are the answer. The blame game is rampant and they have selected their scapegoat. They will do whatever it takes, shout down reasonable discussion, and use the media to promote their brand of National Socialism. Those who disagree will be dismissed as racist, haters, and phobic.

So, who are the Nazis of today?

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The Answer for Your Nation’s Future

The Answer for Your Nation’s Future
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 11, 2016

I know that some of you have encouraged caution and understanding toward those who are mentally unraveled because of Trump’s win, but to be honest it is getting harder and harder to do as each day pass and when another liberal screed is shoved at us from the liberal elites.

I was reminded by a very thoughtful personal friend that the rioting of the Vietnam era actually solidified moderates, independents, and conservatives to vote for Nixon and later Reagan. The riots today are actually doing the very same thing. Already several folk I know who voted for Sanders or Hillary are now completely dismayed at what they are hearing and seeing. One commented that she was now glad Trump won and hoped only the best for him and the Nation. When I asked her why the change she remarked “Look at those who are now rioting or sending hateful messages; that’s not me nor does it represent who I am. I am appalled.”

While I understand someone’s depression when their candidate lost, I do not understand their vitriol, contempt, or hatred. You would not have seen the same actions from those of us who voted for Trump if he lost. You did not see it from us when Obama won twice. Yes we wrote about his inability to lead, but we never encouraged violence, hatred, or murdering him. Now I am not talking about the ultra-conservative lunatic fringe. And what we are seeing now from the left is too often tacitly condoned by the media and others.

Actress Lea DeLaria found herself in hot water after she wrote on Instagram that she wanted to “take out” Republicans and Independents with a baseball bat. Only she used vulgarities that I will not include in this post. Others have done the same thing and many going so far as to ask that someone shoot Trump with a sniper rifle.

Fashion designer Andrew Warren has had to come to the defense of his longtime friend Tiffany Trump following a barrage of hateful posts and death threats against her and her family. And he has had to suffer vulgar hate-filled messages from his friendship with her.

The CEO of Grubhub, an online food delivery service, sent a company-wide email strongly suggesting employees who agree with President-elect Donald Trump’s behaviors and his campaign rhetoric should resign. It was a worded threat to those who voted for Trump.

Perhaps one of the best responses was by Jennifer Lawrence and while I totally disagree with her political views I believe what she wrote should be embraced by those who are struggling. The actress responded to President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, in an essay posted Thursday morning that she wrote for Broadly, Vice’s women’s interest channel. She wrote that “I want to be positive; I want to support our democracy, but what can we take away from this? It’s a genuine question that we all need to ask ourselves,” writes the Oscar-winning actress. “We shouldn’t blame anyone, we shouldn’t riot in the streets. We should think strongly and clearly about what to do next because we cannot change the past.” And concluded her remarks by writing “Do not let this defeat you — let this enrage you! Let it motivate you!” Lawrence added. “Let this be the fire you didn’t have before. If you are an immigrant, if you are a person of color, if you are LGBTQ+, if you are a woman — don’t be afraid, be loud!”

What Ms Lawrence is encouraging is exactly what those who voted for Trump went door-to-door for him and what they did to get him elected. Many Americans, me included, are not totally overjoyed at Trump being President but we could not stand by and let the same old thing happen again and have a completely corrupt individual who disdains her own Nation’s security be President.

Just remember as there is zany and unrealistic rhetoric to succeed from the Union, violent riots, and vulgar Facebook posts and Tweets you can throw the bum out in four years! Do what you encouraged us in middle class America to do the past eight long and frustrating years: Pray for your Nation, your leaders, and yes the President, because whether you want to believe it or not we did.

As believers we are to show compassion and encouragement to those around us, and we are to pray for the lost and our Nation.
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This article is copyrighted © 2016 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

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Corrupt Character Matters

Corrupt Character Matters
By Lee Hemen
July 27, 2016
It is truly sad we do not have better choices for President this year, but we do not. And while Mr. Trump carries with him a lot of baggage the sheer audacity and corruption of Hillary Clinton takes one’s breath away. Most millennials have no idea who they might vote for when they cast their vote for this feminine crook. Make no mistake this is exactly what she is; her whole life is one of staying one step ahead of the law, skirting the law, or figuring ways the law does not apply to her. From when she was the First Lady of Arkansas people soon learned that you did not cross the Clintons but especially Hillary.
Her metamorphosis from a geeky thick-lensed feminist to the political insider she is today would be breathtaking if it was not filled with so much corruption. Huffington Post reported on her Wall Street corruption in a hit piece on Republicans and linking Hillary to voting or not voting in order to enrich her campaign coffers. They related, “Hillary Clinton’s corruption thus far has not been exposed by the Republican Party, because they’ve had no need to do so: she hasn’t been the Democratic nominee for President.” They also related that “On 28 August 2006, the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition headlined ‘Senator Hillary Clinton: All Show and no Substance,’ and the well known government whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, along with the organization’s board member William Weaver, condemned her as: ‘an elected senator who has served six years in her seat, never taking a strong stand in support of her constituents on any serious or controversial issue; a senator who has used her record-breaking TV public appearances to say ‘nothing’ … an elected official who has no record of conducting investigations into cases that are matters of great concern to her constituents and to our country … a politician who has spent all her focus and energy on a campaign of shallow publicity glitz.'” (See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/why-hillary-clinton-shoul_b_4293469.html) This is Hillary Clinton, a person who is interested only in what is best for Hillary Clinton.
Hillary’s corruption has always looked for the cash. “Show me the money,” should be her campaign slogan. She has sold out her global warming friends, anti-oil, and personal friends. Whitewater was where Bill and Hillary Clinton were associates of Jim and Susan McDougal in the Whitewater Development Corp., an Arkansas real estate investment firm that went under when McDougal’s Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan was closed by federal regulators for illegal accounting. Taxpayers lost $73 million due to Guaranty. The Clintons lost an estimated $67,000 on their investment, but McDougal helped pay off Bill Clinton’s campaign debts, and Hillary Clinton’s law firm received an unknown sum in fees for representing a Guaranty project that also failed. Then there was her earning $100,000 from a $1000 investment in cattle futures.
And how about the Rose Law Firm billing records that all of suddenly magically appeared in Mrs. Clinton’s White House office, years after they had been subpoenaed? Afterwards there was the death of Vince Foster under rather unusual circumstances and the lies and cover-up that followed that still linger to this day. Millennials will not remember her testimony before congressional investigators as she answered “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” 250 times. Then there was Travelgate where after Bill became President Hillary engineered the firing of seven employees of the White House travel office and the hiring of a firm with ties to the Clintons to replace them. Multiple investigations absolved the president of involvement but Hillary Clinton was found to have made false statements to investigators. Sound familiar?
Few remember Filegate where hundreds of FBI background files on officials in previous Republican presidential administrations were improperly given in 1993 and 1994 to Craig Livingstone, the director of White House security who was a Hillary Clinton favorite. She also rented out the Lincoln bedroom to more than 800 donors and sold seats on Commerce Department international trade missions to corporate figures in return for big contributions to President Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign. Then there are her shady friends John Huang, Charlie Trie, and Johnny Chung. All three collected moneys to support Hillary and Bill. Marc Rich is another shady “friend” who was pardoned after his former wife made big contributions to the Clinton presidential library and to Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign.
Lest we forget there was the Benghazi attack where Hillary blamed it on an anti-Muslim YouTube video where she sat for an 11-hour hearing before the select committee in October 2015 and denied knowingly spreading false talking points about the attack. Yet emails revealed during the hearing suggest Clinton told her daughter the Benghazi compound was overrun by terrorists before she ever addressed the public about the controversial YouTube clip.
And finally we have her email scandal where she used her private email and a privately set up email server to send and receive top secret and classified communication which is in violation of Federal Laws. She has never released her speeches given before Goldman Sachs and others for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then there is the continued cover up of the Clinton Foundation which has received millions of dollars offshore from foreign corporations, countries, and individuals while receiving special treatment before the State Department while Hillary was Secretary of State.
Now, does anyone think the stealing, lying, and theft will stop this time if she becomes the most powerful woman in the world?

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Gaslighting: Liberalism’s way to control the masses!

Gaslighting: Liberalism’s way to control the masses!
By Lee Hemen
May 17, 2016

Back in 1938, there was a play called “Gas Light” that was later adapted into a movie in 1944. In the story, a husband works diligently to convince his wife and their acquaintances that she is insane by making very small and subtle changes to their environment. When the wife would point out the changes, the husband convinced her that she was wrong about the changes and that she was crazy. Slowly but surely, the wife starts to give in to the self-doubt created by those subtle changes, namely a gas lamp that the husband keeps dimming, hence the term “gaslighting”.

This form of mental manipulation has not gone away and in fact is part and parcel of how liberalism works. Liberals love to slowly change one’s reality and then hit you with the clincher that you are the one who is out of step, stupid, or phobic in some way. This is in fact how liberals have kept certain ethnic groups and others under their spell for decades; they have told them over and over that they cannot survive without their brand of progressive thinking. Those evil others will take away all we have gained for you; which turns out is societal slavery in the form of governmental giveaways. One becomes addicted to the handouts and begins to think they cannot do it on their own. When I was younger we used to call it “blowing smoke”.

From climate change to racial and gender conflicts liberals continue their process of gaslighting the unthinking masses. Logical arguments are seen as Neanderthal and you are encouraged to emote instead. “I feel your pain,” is enough to get the unsuspecting dupes to gush in emotional rapture. But what is occurring is the slow twisting and subtle changes in society and culture as a whole. When all constraint is finally done away with those who have wrested control will use any form to keep the masses in line; from coercion, drugs, or propaganda. Males, who act, well male, are controlled through drugs at an early age and are told over and over they have to conform; society’s norms are pushed further and further into perversion; and religion becomes the enemy. Why do you think marijuana is now seen as sheik, sexual identity is the new norm, and the new political peons are illegals? Those who control the gaslight do not care about the individual only their power to control the lighting and thereby control you.

Recently when a group of millennials were asked what the definition of male and female was, few would or could give a rational answer. Many answered with a form of garbled political correctness that had no basis in reality whatsoever. In fact when one intellectually gaslighted woman was asked how she knew if the person she wanted to date was male or female, she stammered and could not utter a rational answer. She is the product of liberal gaslighting.

This article is copyrighted by Lee Hemen, 2016, and is his sole intellectual property; if you desire to use it you must quote the entire article.

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The Wonderful World of Socialism

The Wonderful World of Socialism
By Lee Hemen
March 10, 2016

When millennials were asked what the definition of socialist was, they often thought it was something like Sweden; they are wrong. Sweden actually enjoys more freedoms than we do in some areas. They are a democratic society. Socialism is the precursor of communism. Socialist views, such as Bernie Sanders espouses, are not only dangerous, they will end up restricting many of the freedoms millennials now enjoy.

Socialism is an economic concept that advocates public ownership of all resources. The production and distribution of resources within a society are then controlled by members of that society collectively or by the government that represents that society. Goods are produced and distributed based on need rather than on market forces such as profitability, price and consumers’ purchasing power. In a socialist economy, workers contribute to society based on their ability and receive according to their needs, rather than being paid wages and using that money to purchase what they want. Private possessions are limited to personal-use items such as clothes, and there is no need or ability for individuals to accumulate wealth, so there is equality among the people.

Therefore, socialism wants big government to run everything from your birth to your death. It cries, “Power to the people!” But in reality it evolves into power to big government which dictates every aspect of your life. It takes from the hard working individual who desires a better life for themselves and their families and gives to those who leech off the governmental teat. The individual does not matter and is forced to share whatever they have garnered for themselves with others whether they like it or not.

It sounds altruistic to the young and politically innocent ears of the millennial but what is hidden behind those the likes of Bernie are horrendous. It takes away any personal initiative because why should anyone strive to do better if what they earn is taken away from them anyway? Why should one go into professional fields or gain a higher education if they know they will be taken care of by the government? Why should I save for my own retirement when the government will take care of me? The ultimate answer is that inherently lazy people won’t. This is why under Obama we now have the highest number of unemployed, underemployed, and welfare recipients in the history of this nation. (For those of you who forgot he did away with welfare reform within the first year of his administration whereby one had to find a job within a given time and get off the governmental dole. It was working and we had the lowest percentage of people on welfare and the lowest actual unemployment in history under those laws.) Your college education means little under socialism.

Socialism also takes away the rights of the individual to go and do what they want when they want to. No more rock climbing, base jumping, or unnecessary activities for you! Under the guise of such slogans as “recycle, reuse, reduce” one begins to discover that they cannot buy certain items anymore, they cannot drive their vehicles the way they used to, nor can they light or heat their homes the same way that is cost effective. In fact, one discovers that in the name of “earth first” socialism one is forced onto mass transit, restricted where they can vacation, and monitored according to the miles they drive. If you think I am wrong, think again. In fact, the individual is so stupid they cannot feed themselves or their families the way they want to because the governmental nannies will restrict what you drink or eat at school, work, or at home. (Those of you who value the new found freedoms of pot smoking are in for a shock when these folks not only come after you with egregious taxation, but how, when, and where you can smoke it. Secondhand marijuana smoke will be regulated and restricted just as tobacco is.)

But the truly scary thing is the restriction of freedom of speech socialism touts. Liberals love to be able to chant their “hey, hey, ho, ho” drivel, flaunt their proclivities, and drop any curse word at the drop of a hat, but woe be it if anyone who disagrees with their mindlessness. If you want to expose their naked dictatorial notions or their sycophantic worship to senseless made-up science they go ballistic. Freedom of expression is only for the politically correct under socialism. They will use terms as “hate”, “fear”, “afraid”, or add “phobic” to any idea they dislike; such as “His hate speech made me fearful and afraid and it sounded homophobic to me” in order to silence any opposition.

Yes the wonderful world of socialism will dictate for you what to think, what to eat, what to wear, and where to go because it will all be based on what big brother thinks is best for the whole community.

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Corruption: A path to nowhere! – Micah 3:1-12

Corruption: A path to nowhere! – Micah 3:1-12
By Pastor Lee Hemen
June 23, 2013 AM

One of my assignments for a course in seminary was to observe different kinds of worship services. They do this in order for students to not only experience different kinds of worship, but to also see how not to do worship. In one instance, students went to a church that met in an old theater. The service began with upbeat music that lasted about 30 minutes. The pastor came out following the music and announced he had received a vision from the Lord that 20 people would give him $20 and those who did so would receive a special blessing. He asked everyone to close their eyes and told those who would give the $20 to raise their hands. He then pretended to count and announced falsely that 20 had raised their hands. He then made the same false claim for those who would give $10!

We live in a world where greedy people use unscrupulous methods to reap dishonest gain. Pretended good is often an effective cloak for evil. Christians should examine their motives at home, at work, at school and the church to make sure they do not exploit others. In Micah’s day, the leaders of Israel were guilty of using people to obtain power and wealth for themselves. They failed in their God-given responsibilities to promote justice and the welfare of the people who trusted them. Micah graphically teaches us about how corruption is a path to nowhere! Let’s discover what he says…

READ: Micah 3:1-12

Micah introduces a broad condemnation of the leadership of Israel (also referred to as “Jacob”). Micah rebuked the leaders for failing to do what they knew was right. They were aware of their responsibilities to provide for and protect the citizens of Israel. However, they ignored their duties and savaged the people like wild animals devouring their prey. Micah predicted they would suffer for their crimes. Micah teaches us that…

I. Corruption is moral cannibalism! (Vv.3:1-4)

1. Micah spoke prophetically against the corrupt leaders of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. Jacob and Israel are used synonymously for both in this verse. God’s people had two basic categories of leaders in Micah’s day. The civil rulers were the king and those who served him as officials. The religious leaders included priests and prophets. Micah focused on the civil rulers in verses 1-4. God was to be the ultimate ruler; and the civil and religious authorities were to serve as He directed. This rule is called a theocracy. The leaders were to care for the people as shepherds do for a flock. The rulers were to lead the people to obey the laws both civil and God’s by godly example. These leaders were expected to “know justice”! Yet they hated good and loved evil! A godly king would appoint judges who would dispense justice impartially for all. These civil authorities however were ungodly and failed in their responsibilities. Their failure denied justice for the people and established a culture of corruption in the nation. (Sound familiar?) We live in a day whereby our court system is reinterpreting our Constitution to suit their own political agenda. The corrupt rulers of Israel reversed the moral code of God for their nation. They were supposed to pursue righteousness and avoid wickedness. Yet, like wild animals, they tore the skin off their victims and the flesh from their bones! The actions of the leaders were hypocritical and opposed to God’s will and His laws. The leaders were anything but shepherds of the flock. They were like wolves in sheep’s clothing! In very descriptive terms, Micah related that these cannibals “eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot!” When God’s final judgment came on them Micah warned, “Then they will cry out to the LORD, but he will not answer them. At that time he will hide his face from them because of the evil they have done!” Corruption is moral cannibalism!

EXAMPLE: All believers function as moral leaven in a spiritually corrupt world. We set examples for others, our families, our classmates, or at our workplace. The question we must keep in front of us is what kind of example and influence are we. Does it measure up to the ethical standards God has revealed in His word? We see evidence in our day that some civil and political authorities have lost their moral compasses and no longer know the way of truth. They call evil good and good evil. People suffer in a nation that will not honor the Lord and the basic principles of righteousness. What can Christians do when justice is denied and civic rulers fail to lead wisely? First, we can speak out as Micah did about the ungodliness in society. Christians who speak out about the sanctity of human life, the value of the traditional family, and other moral issues follow a long tradition of courageous believers who stood up for truth in the past. Second, we can vote and be active in the process of choosing our leaders. We are to be the salt of the earth and light of the world. We should use every opportunity to bring our biblical convictions to bear on the election and conduct of our leaders. Remember, Micah teaches us that corruption is moral cannibalism!

Micah condemned spiritually weak and corrupt prophets who failed to warn the people of the consequences of sin. He warned these disobedient prophets that they would not receive guidance from the Lord because of their rebellion. Their sins made impossible their receiving any revelation from the Lord. Micah contrasted his ministry with theirs, describing himself as a true prophet who spoke with the power of God’s Spirit. Micah reminds us that…

II. Corruption brings spiritual poverty! (Vv. 3:5-8)

1. Micah then turned his attention to the corrupt spiritual leaders of Israel. The prophets represented an office of spiritual leadership. True Old Testament prophets received revelation from the Lord and preached it to the rulers and the people. True prophets rebuked civil rulers when they personally failed to live moral lives. In Micah’s day, however, God identified the prophets as those “who lead my people astray.” They should have cared for the flock entrusted to them! Instead, they had become hirelings who would prophesy what the people wanted to hear. Micah related that, “if one feeds them, they proclaim ‘peace’; if he does not, they prepare to wage war against him.” These ungodly men were motivated by greed and lacked integrity. Their work was not a ministry but a way to gain wealth and power. They lacked courage and were no longer guided by the truth. They became prophets for hire who would say anything for profit. Many years later, Paul warned Timothy to, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:2-3 NIV) Micah warned that spiritual darkness would be their punishment, “Therefore night will come over you, without visions, and darkness, without divination. The sun will set for the prophets, and the day will go dark for them.” The darkness would fall on them because they failed to warn the people to repent. It also represented the judgment that would come. In fact, “The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced.” Why? In shame, “They will all cover their faces because there is no answer from God!” Judgment fell on the nation despite these leaders’ promises of safety and security. On that day, everyone would know just how corrupt these men were! Their false lies would amount to nothing! Corruption brings spiritual poverty!

EXAMPLE: Greed and materialism continue to shape the messages of many false religious leaders in our day. Many offer cures or guaranteed prosperity if contributors will give money to them. Some of these individuals align themselves with corrupt business or political leaders to defraud people through false offers of hope. Spiritual leaders today also need to be warned by the example of those in Micah’s day. The love of money offers many temptations that can corrupt a pure ministry. The fear of rejection can lead some to preach or teach only those principles that people want to hear. Avoiding sin and judgment is a way to be popular with sinners but not with God. The false prophets were the most popular religious leaders until judgment overcame the nation and the true prophets like Micah and Isaiah were revealed. We must always convey the truth without regard for the cost. There can be no permanent success when we suppress the truth of God’s Word. We must never forget that corruption brings spiritual poverty!

Micah condemns Israel’s political leaders for their injustice and bloodshed. These judges perverted justice by taking bribes. They exonerated the wicked and failed to protect the innocent. Micah condemned the spiritual leaders for condoning the sins of those paying them and for falsely promising safety from divine punishment. Micah warned of a devastating judgment that would destroy the nation.

III. Corruption demands accountability! (Vv.3:9-12)

1. Micah next summed up his condemnation of the corrupt leaders and identified the failures of civil and religious leaders. Those who abhor justice have no respect for God. God declares Himself to be an impartial Judge who is no respecter of persons (2 Chronicles 19:7). Justice is denied when bribes or partiality corrupt the process. God desires human judgments to reflect His fairness and equal treatment of all. Money, position, power, friendships, or other considerations must never be allowed to deny justice through punishing the innocent or releasing the wicked. Micah accused the leaders of perverting everything that is right. Sin is a perversion of something good. Lies are a perversion of truth. Adultery or same sex marriage is a perversion of traditional marriage. Betrayal is a perversion of loyalty. These officials had fallen down a slippery slope of personal ambition and everything they did was tainted by their sin. They despised “justice and distort all that is right” and had built “Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.” The leaders judged “for a bribe” and the spiritual leadership, the priests, taught the people “for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money”! WOW! The acceptance of a bribe in exchange for a political favor was prevalent in Micah’s day; nowadays we refer to it as political action! The disobedient priests and prophets had become so spiritually blinded to their own ungodliness they falsely professed loyalty to the Lord! They knew they were corrupt but wanted to continue their charade by displaying a false confidence by telling the people, “Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us.” All is well, no problems here! Spiritual leaders are supposed to be like watchmen on the wall who would warn the people of impending judgment. Micah alone warned that, “because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets!” The people could not imagine such destruction. The majority of the civil and religious leaders told them God would never allow such to happen. They were wrong. The prophecy of Micah would occur and the fulfillment would be exactly as he described. Yet, we learn that corruption demands accountability!

EXAMPLE: Corruption continues to be a major problem in our world, demanding vigilance and oversight by authorities. When the government becomes complicit in the bribery, justice is not possible. Money and greed have historically been the cause of much of the corruption in the judicial and political system. After all, a million here and a million there adds up to real money when it becomes billions! A major source of misery around the world continues to be governments that allow or participate in a corrupt judicial or political system. Western democracies have sought to include checks and balances to eliminate bribes and maintain a fair judiciary and government. Even so, the temptation to subvert justice for financial gain is too much for some, and they cash in on it. The church and its members must be above reproach in seeking any financial gain. Those who proclaim God’s truth must be people of integrity who would be willing to risk financial loss rather than compromise the message. We are ultimately accountable to the Lord for our ministries, and we can be sure He will judge us impartially. Micah teaches us that corruption demands accountability!

Conclusion:
Remember, Micah teaches us that corruption is moral cannibalism! We must never forget that corruption brings spiritual poverty! Micah teaches us that corruption demands accountability!

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 27 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2013 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

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Following God includes loyalty — Esther 3

Following God includes loyalty — Esther 3:2, 5-6
By Pastor Lee Hemen
April 21, 2013 AM

Sandra struggled with two seemingly irreconcilable forces in her life. She believed God had called her to be a missionary but she could not believe He would send her to such a dangerous place. Like many Christians Sandra has falsely assumed God’s primary function is to protect, preserve, and prosper His people. They focus on Scriptures that affirm God’s love and care for His own. These believers assume God would not lead them to serve Him where they would be uncomfortable, much less, where there is potential danger. However, God’s objective is to carry out His purposes through His people. Those purposes may require His people to serve Him at great personal risk. The Lord expects His people to exercise faith as they serve Him in the risky situations into which He leads them. Perhaps we forget that following God includes loyalty even when there is risk involved.

The plot of the Book of Esther thickens in chapter 3 with the introduction of the villain. A man named Haman accepted a promotion by King Xerxes to a position of prestige and power. The office to which he was elevated is not stated, but several details about Haman are noted. His father’s name was Hammedatha. He was an Agagaite, which identifies him as a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites during the era of Israel’s early monarchy. Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, teaches us that following God includes loyalty. Let’s discover what occurs…

READ: Esther 3:1-6

One cannot sort-of-kind-of follow God and expect God’s blessings. King Saul failed to learn this lesson and his disobedience affected not only himself but future generations. The Amalekites were a Canaanite tribe who consistently opposed Israel from the exodus out of Egypt to the reign of David. God had ordered Saul to eradicate the Amalekites in a holy war. However, Saul spared Agag until the prophet Samuel voiced the Lord’s displeasure and then executed the Amalekite king. Saul’s failure to completely obey God allowed the Amalekites to survive and to continue to harm Israel. In these verses, we discover that in following God…

I. God alone is worthy of worship and ultimate loyalty! (Vv. 1-3)
1. The writer of Esther portrays King Xerxes as a man easily manipulated by others. The king had ordered his subjects to bow down as recognition of Haman’s status. The Hebrew verb means to fall on one’s knees and bow down. The important aspect was not the posture but the attitude it reflected. The word translated pay homage often is used to denote worship of deity. No doubt Haman’s vanity had influenced Xerxes to order this gesture. The narrative does not state why Mordecai refused to bow. His behavior throughout the story demonstrates his personal loyalty to the Persian king. So his refusal was not a sign of treachery. Nor can it be attributed to some Jewish law against bowing to other humans. The Scripture offers numerous examples of Jews’ bowing to other people: “Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites”, so he could bury his wife Sarah.  (Genesis 23:7 NIV) David honored King Saul after he could have easily killed him, “David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.” (1 Samuel 24:8 NIV) Those who sought audiences with the King of Israel, bowed before him in respect (2 Samuel 14:4). And Bathsheba bowed before David in order to garner his support for Solomon to be king (1 Kings 1:16). However, Mordecai had both religious and political reasons for steadfastly not bowing to Haman. Jewish tradition held that no self-respecting Jew would ever show reverence to an Amalekite. So Mordecai may have seen his refusal as conforming to God’s command to not honor false idols, “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God!” (Exodus 20:5 NIV) Mordecai would have understood that the Persians saw such tribute as an act that bordered on acknowledging the honored individual was a god. In that case, bowing would have been idolatry. I would conclude Mordecai took the risk of offending Haman because he recognized God alone is worthy of worship and ultimate loyalty!

EXAMPLE: What risks have you taken lately for your faith, what risks are you willing to take? Many say they “love” Jesus and we all desire that He love us, but what has our love or His love motivated us to risk for His kingdom purposes. Do your co-workers, classmates, friends, neighbors and family members know you will not bow to the world’s ungodliness? Frank got up from the lunch table and walked out when one of fellow co-workers began telling a crude joke. The jokester snickered, “What a prude Frank is. He thinks he is better than us!” Art looked at him, stood up, and remarked, “No, perhaps he doesn’t appreciate your ungodly crude jokes, and in fact, neither do I.” Art then left the table. Later, as Art was working, the young man who had been telling the joke sought him out and apologized for his poor choice in jokes. He related that his wife did not appreciate his humor either and wondered why. Out of this conversation, this young man and his wife soon were attending Art’s church. Art had shared with him that as a Christian, we show our worship and loyalty to him even by the words we use. Just as Mordecai took the risk of offending Haman because he recognized God alone is worthy of worship and ultimate loyalty, we can as well!

Vowing revenge but scorning to lay hands on a single victim, Haman meditated on the extirpation of the whole Jewish race. He knew they were sworn enemies of his countrymen; and by artfully representing them as a people who were aliens in manners and habits, and enemies to the rest of his subjects, he procured the king’s sanction of the intended massacre. All because “Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.” Mordecai teaches us that…

II. Identifying one’s loyalty to God can result in hardship!

1. Mordecai’s loyalty to God in not bowing to Haman enraged the Persian. His anger revealed his true character. He was obsessed with his power and prestige and consequently craved constant human praise. His pride left no room for accepting less than unconditional adoration. Therefore, Haman resolved to kill Mordecai for not admiring him as much as he admired himself! The death of just one man would not satisfy Haman’s vanity. So great were his rage and his pride that he resolved in destroying every Jew in the Persian Empire. He believed only this result would be appropriate considering the so-called offense against him. The failed attempt to rid Persia of Jews is the primary plot of the Book of Esther. Identifying one’s loyalty to God can result in hardship. The hardship may affect the individual, God’s people, or both. In the case of Mordecai, it put him and all other Jews in danger. God’s people today sometimes confront hostility when they refuse to give others what God alone deserves. They are to remain steadfast and not allow opposition to lead them to compromise. On the other hand, God’s people must not blame an entire group for the actions of one member as some folks do when they decide to leave a church fellowship over their own personal pride being wounded. When Mordecai failed to show Haman the respect he desired, the Persian determined to eliminate all the Jews from the empire. When Haman cast lots to identify the proper time for his mass murder, it fell in line with God’s purposes. The Amalekites, not the Jews, would be annihilated. Afterwards the Festival of Purim was begun in celebration of the Jews’ deliverance by God from Haman’s evil plans. Haman had persuaded King Xerxes that the Jews threatened the Persian Empire’s national security. To these false accusations, Haman added a bribe and was able to accomplish his aims He obtained a royal decree setting aside a time for slaughtering the Jewish people. Haman’s scheme might have succeeded except for God’s providence. Mordecai’s cousin and adopted daughter was the Queen of Persia. God had placed Esther in a situation where she could make a difference if she trusted Him. When faced with a choice of either remaining complacent or standing for his beliefs, Mordecai learned that identifying one’s loyalty to God can result in hardship!

EXAMPLE: Isn’t it interesting that Jesus taught, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that, your brother has something against you; leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:21-24 NIV) Yet, far too often Christians act like the hated Haman and get easily offended when they are not properly recognized, bowed down to, or respected in the way they think they should be. What a contrast is Mordecai to Haman! Haman wanted and sought after human recognition, Mordecai sought only to honor God. Mordecai learned that identifying one’s loyalty to God can result in hardship!

Conclusion:
God alone is worthy of worship and ultimate loyalty! Identifying one’s loyalty to God can result in hardship!

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 27 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2013 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

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