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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Is God a Conservative?

The purpose of this post is not to cause divisions or sow discord but to truly examine a belief that has become more and more prevalent over the years. It is vital that we walk in the TRUTH and not buy into “religious fads.”

We are coming up on the next presidential election this year and all of the political gridlock and drama has already begun to surface. I’m hopefully going to stick to my promise to the God and try and stay out of the political debates and hype as much as possible. After all, politics has done nothing but cause dissention, hate and divide this country in such a way that it is really quite sad. I believe that this division may be one of the very things that bring on the downfall of this country as I’m reminded of what Jesus Christ says in Matthew 12:24-26. Nowadays, I read blogs that are full of hateful comments and racist rants that make me think that we are back in the times of Jim Crowe. And I’m really sick and tired of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” because frankly, I no longer really know what they mean because their definitions seem much skewed. I call myself an “independent” because I will never put my faith in any political party ever again.

So why am I asking whether or not God is a “conservative?” Well, I will be honest and say that it is a waste of time asking whether or not He is a “liberal” or Democrat because the answer is a no-brainer. Their overall agenda is called “progressive,” but as far as I’m concerned, they have only progressed into blurring the morality line, if not completely erasing it, when it comes to various issues. However, many of the so-called Christians in this country support the conservative agenda and label you a heathen if you don’t, no matter how holy your lifestyle might be. So just as black Americans are often accused of being brainwashed by the Democratic party, I submit to you that many Christians have drank the Kool-Aid of believing that the Republican party actually represents Jesus Christ. Therefore, I see the need to examine this ideology a little closer.

A good friend of mind said it best: Republicans stand for righteousness and Democrats stand for social justice. I guess the better way to say this is that they at least appear to stand for those things. Well, I stand for both, so I don’t fit into either one. Scripture also supports that God stands for both because while He obviously hates sin, He also abhors oppression and dishonest scales, which are mentioned at least a couple of times in the book of Proverbs.

It amazes me that the same people who are jumping up and down screaming about taking prayer out of school are the same folks who have an insatiable lust for capitalism. Don’t get me wrong because I am not necessarily anti-capitalism and I do believe that it is a travesty that prayer has been taken out of school. It just seems like I’m worshipping a different God than many of them because He clearly stated that we can’t serve two masters, according to Matthew 6:24. We will hate one and love the other. I have read and heard many people say that they believe that Jesus Christ would be a Republican if He were still on earth. Uhh… The Jesus I know and read about in the Gospels wasn’t a politician; He only personified the Truth of God. Politicians have to change with the times in order to satisfy their constituents and also end up compromising their belief system through bills and laws that are passed. Also, since when did Jesus Christ become a capitalist? Would He have considered anyone that is not rich, lazy and irresponsible? These are the common talking points of conservative talk radio and the attitudes of many of those who profess to have the love of Christ in them. They would have us believe that Jesus would have favored laws that benefit only the wealthy, which brings me to my next question: Was Jesus Christ an elitist? Would He have supported favoritism shown towards the rich over the poor? According to scripture, He didn’t even have a place to lay his head and traveled from city to city with his disciples. The things He spoke to the rich young ruler about selling all of His possessions and following Him says something quite different than the Jesus that this political party has tried to portray. Read Matthew 19:16-23 for the full account.

While the conservative movement may have views on the issues of gay marriage and abortion that line up with the Word of God, does that really make someone a true believer in Christ? Well, I know that that crazy pastor from Arizona who called for his congregation to pray for the death of Barak Obama surely isn’t. (Google this story) There were also polls taken that indicated that a very large number of conservative politicians believe that President Obama is the anti-Christ. Absolutely insane! Obviously, these “Christians” don’t read the Bible, or are just as flat out lost as they claim everybody else to be. The same folks who talk about family and God are the same ones who I love the spoken word video by Jefferson Bethke that has now gone viral on YouTube (Why I hate Religion but Love Jesus) because there is a line in his poem that says “just because you call others blind, doesn’t mean that you have vision.” This is the TRUTH screaming loud and clear at all of us.

I want to bring up this term “evangelical Christian,” which I hope nobody ever calls me. Why is it that this term always comes up in the midst of politics? I personally believe that this term has a political agenda attached to it (like The 700 Club), and it seems to refer only to a certain demographic of people. A few years ago someone emailed a prophecy to me spoken by Pat Robertson. Near the end of his prophetic word, he said that “they’ll embrace Socialism to ease their pain.” While I’m certainly not advocating Socialism, I don’t believe for a second that the Holy Spirit said that to him. This is the problem when politics involve PIMPING Jesus Christ in order to gain favor with certain groups of people! This is kind of similar to all the rhetoric I heard back during the previous presidential elections since 2000 that stated that “true” Christians would vote for George W. Bush. Again, God is not a politician! The conservative agenda has involved attaching their manmade political ideology to a pure and holy God! This is very dangerous and deceptive!

While I fully understand that there are in fact true followers of Christ who happen to support the conservative movement, I believe we just need to understand that politics is simply that: politics. A manmade political ideology that did not come from God can never be righteous or holy. The gridlock we see in this country with biased reporting from the overwhelming majority of news networks has nothing to do with God. Well, I hate to bust your bubble, but the conservative movement is no different. It also uses isolated statistics and typical rhetoric to further its agenda. The idea that conservatism represents “Christianity” is one that I personally can never support because there are way too many contradictions from my vantage point. However, each one of us will have to make a choice of what to believe. The God I know doesn’t have a political party and never will. His Word will remain the same forever and ever.

Nathan Allen Copyright© 2012

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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Spirituality

 

Incomplete Repentance

24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in His own country. 25 But I tell you truly many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 “but to none of them was Elijah sent except Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 So all those in the synagogue when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 The passing through the midst of them, He went His way. Luke 4:24-30 (NKJV)

It was the third day of my journey to the holy land of Israel. We had visited a number of spots that day which included Megido and the place where the sermon of the beatitudes occurred. Early evening had set in and our bus had arrived to the city of Nazareth. Immediately, I was overtaken by the views of the architecture that adorned the sides of the mountains and hills. My camera flashed as I acted like the typical tourist. Little did I know, I was about to have my defining moment of the entire journey. I had expected that my moment would come in the Garden of Gethsemane, or the Wailing Wall, or even the place where Jesus was crucified. But we can never predict when the Holy Spirit is going to move on us.

We were on our way to Mount Precipice where Jesus Christ had escaped from the people who had tried to push him off the top of the mountain referenced in the opening scripture. I didn’t think that this place would have any real significance spiritually but boy was I wrong! The bishop who was leading our group began to read the scripture and eventually implored us to not just be tourists for this journey. He tearfully cautioned us not to leave the Holy Land unchanged; only having souvenirs and tons of pictures as evidence of our being there. And that’s when my moment began…

As tears began to well up in my eyes, the bishop finished his sermon and we closed out in prayer. The tears began to fall as we all walked down the mountain back to the bus. For the next 10-15 minutes during the bus ride, the tears wouldn’t stop falling. The Holy Spirit had begun speaking to me about incomplete repentance. The conviction on my heart was heavy and I continued to shed tears for all of the souls of men that could not yet be entrusted to me because my repentance was not complete. I began to see the faces of so many men who I believe were representing the souls I am supposed to reach in this lifetime. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that I was just like the crowd who tried to push Jesus off of the mountain. Whenever I am ignoring His instructions and not following through on disciplines that I had promised to make in my life, I’m quenching the Spirit. Just like the crowd in the scripture, I’m pushing Jesus Christ off of the mountain. There are doors of opportunity that remain closed in my life because of this incomplete repentance. It’s a maturity issue. Something else that came to mind as I wept on the bus was something that the bishop at a church I used to attend would say: Someone else is waiting on your obedience. Tears continued to fall as the Holy Spirit asked me, “How long? How long are you going to be a hold-up? How much time are you going to waste clinging on to past and current disappointments? How long are you going to continue being infatuated with worldly views of ‘success?’ Will there be blood on your hands when you stand before Me?”

What this revelation ultimately boiled down to was that there are other areas of my life that I have not surrendered to Him. They may not be directly related to the areas of deliverance that I’m currently walking out, but they are a part of the total surrender and repentance that He desires from my life. He desires the same from all of us. So as a result, I’m only walking in a measure of deliverance and there is still an open door to run back to the old vices when the going gets tough. However, when a person’s repentance is complete, there are no open doors because they have given it all to Jesus. They walk in the child-like faith that is willing to do whatever He asks. Yes I have salvation, yes I hear the Lord’s voice loud and clear, but I’m quenching the Holy Spirit in my life. My desires, my will, my fascination with certain things all prevent me from being the pure vessel that He can use. The truth is that I could be walking in so much more of His power and authority when it comes to ministering to others. I could also be enjoying a peace that I’ve never known if I was willing to center my entire life around Him. I think about this gospel song I love called “He Wants It All.” It epitomizes this experience I had and what the Lord is ultimately saying to me in this hour. He wants it all. He is telling me and even you, “Stop pushing me off of that mountain.”

This experience I believe is the Father’s heart cry to the body of Christ. Since returning from Israel, I have wrestled in my heart and mind about this issue. I realize that I have become so consumed with my future and my circumstances that I have lost intimacy with Him. I have misused the scripture in Proverbs about hope deferred as a reason to secretly remain resentful and bitter towards Him. Hence, I’m pushing Him off of that mountain. When I shut down, whether it’s by not giving my time to an outreach event or avoiding fellowship with other believers, once again I’m pushing Him off that mountain. When circumstances and desires for other things push me into complacency for the Kingdom, I’m shoving the One who died for me off of the mountain. So it’s no wonder that I’m unable to surrender the other areas of my life. But I’m so thankful that I can still hear His voice! Hallelujah! Some of the instructions I received as much as two, three even four years ago have begun to resurface, and I know this is Him giving me another chance. He is being so patient with me! No longer do I want to push Him off the mountain. I will never forget this experience and hope that it will be a constant reminder that true freedom comes only after complete and immediate obedience. It’s time to surrender all to Him and to stop quenching the spirit. I pray that you will do the same.

Nathan Allen Copyright© 2012

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Spirituality

 

The Life of Larry Tilly

It is the first day of 2012 and in just a few hours I will be attending the funeral service of a very dear friend of mine. I would never have thought this was how I was going to start off the New Year. But alas, such is life…

I will never get the chance to ask him to be a groomsman in my future wedding. He and I will not have the opportunities to minister together in the future, as I believe we had both expected. I will miss our occasional early morning conversations that were full of deep honesty, spiritual wisdom and just plain craziness (mostly on his part lol). I was looking forward to more opportunities to show up unannounced at the antique shop where he worked so I could heckle him. No more of Larry Tilly reserving a table at a restaurant under some ridiculous, made-up last name lol. That was just one of the numerous antics that he would pull, and all I could do was smile, shaking my head. I admit that tears are beginning to well up as I am typing… The death of close relatives and friends is something that I have been fortunate to not have experienced much. The last person I was really close to passed away back in 2007 so I am still learning how to cope with these types of situations.

I met Larry back in the fall of 2009 and we seemingly became instantaneous friends. It’s funny how God places the most unlikely people in our lives and it’s almost as if you already knew them. As different as he and I were, we still had much in common in the spirit realm. It wasn’t too long before I got the chance to work with him in ministry at the church where he was attending. I got a chance to experience the unique, creative anointing of this man. He was so committed to the healing and transformation of others! What amazes me about him was how selfless he was! He was willing to go penniless (and he often was) just to help somebody else and I must say that he taught me by example. Larry ministered to anyone who crossed his path in some way, but he really enjoyed reaching out to those who are considered undesirable. He loved those who most people wouldn’t even want to touch or be seen with. This was truly a man who walked in the compassion of Christ.       

The last time I saw Larry was in late August/early September and we had had lunch. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while because he was going through a transitional phase in his life. It was nice catching up with him and we had vowed to keep in closer contact. As I got in my car and began to drive off, I had some fleeting thoughts that this was the last time I was going to see him. I didn’t know why I had these thoughts running through my head, but I quickly dismissed them. Over the next few months, I was unable to contact him. No returned voicemails, no text messages, and I had no address for him. I began to get concerned about him, but I also knew that he tended to be a private person and I imagined that he was likely just dealing with some things. However, within the past few weeks I had began to feel that something was seriously wrong and I suspected that it was his health. Well, on Monday night, December 26th I got my confirmation. The next night he was gone…    

I know now that heaven has a new comedian. I can already imagine Larry cracking jokes with the angels or even the Lord Himself! LOL! I imagine that his mansion is probably HUMUNGOUS, considering all the people he touched in a relatively short period of time. This is a man who made one of the most amazing transformations I’ve ever known! For most of his life, he was in bondage to various vices and sins. He hit rock bottom and came to the end of himself and became instantaneously obedient to the Lord. I understand that people do overcome the type of life Larry lived, but I’m just not so sure that hardly any of them become SOLD OUT to the gospel the way that he was. Also, he walked in a freedom that I have still yet to obtain. He could care less what people knew about his past because he became a SON of the Most High in the truest sense. He knew who he was in Christ and found his found his affirmation at the foot of the cross. I know that some of his boldness rubbed off on me. He would always emphasize to me that the most important thing in my life needs to be my relationship with the Father. That was all that mattered to him…

I will forever treasure the legacy that Larry left on the earth and I pray that his family, friends and I can mourn him but more importantly, CELEBRATE the fact that he is home with the Father. He would want it that way. I’m glad that he doesn’t have to suffer any more pain in this life. Thank You Heavenly Father for the gift of fellowship and brotherhood with Larry.

To learn more about more about Larry Tilly, go to YouTube and type in “Redemption of Larry Tilly.” His testimony is in two parts. I will also share the videos on my Facebook page. I pray blessings over you all as we start the New Year.

      

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Spirituality

 
 
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