Recently I sent a letter to President Trump. The contents of the letter are below.

 

Dear Mr. President,
I apologize if it feels like many Christians won’t stop attacking you. What we actually are trying to do is proclaim the beautiful gospel of Christ. It just seems like we are attacking you because the gospel runs contrary to most of the things you and your administration stand for.

I mean think about it, you are pro-torture, Jesus isn’t. You have no problem enacting laws that will desecrate sacred lands and ruin the environment, but Jesus calls us to care for creation. You are for putting up walls and leaving the refugees to fend for themselves, but Jesus calls us to tear down walls and welcome the alien and the stranger. You have no problem with lying but Jesus is not only for truth, he is the truth. You think greed is good, but Jesus condemns it. You’re all about groping women and treating them as sexual objects but Jesus tells us that we are sinning if we even look at a woman with lust in our hearts.

Our proclamation of the gospel just makes it seem like you are being attacked, but make no mistake, the gospel attacks all of us relentlessly with its loving words of transformation. Jesus does that to everybody, not just you.  It’s Jesus who is attacking you, not us. We’re just trying to proclaim the gospel and you keep stepping in front the the oncoming train that is Jesus.

This is why Empires never like Jesus. Empires always crucify Jesus and his followers but Jesus still brings the Empires down in the end. We beg you to join us on the side of the gospel Mr. President. We welcome you to the table of grace, mercy, peace, and reconciliation.

Everyone is welcome at the table of Christ, including you. Every tribe, every tongue, every nation and social class. Please join us sir, and we do apologize Mr. President, but it’s not us attacking you, it’s Jesus. He loves you too much to let you get away with it.

Sincerely,

Rick Lee James

My fellow Christians, this is about as political as I plan on getting.

I’m a Christian. Christians have their own political system.

The Nicene Creed is the Christian’s Constitution

The Sermon on the Mount is the Christian’s bill of rights.

We’ve rarely, if ever, had a candidate in this nation that represented our creed or our sermon.

Love anyway. Don’t panic.

Our holy book tells us that Non-believers will know we are Christians by our love.

I fear that we are coming to be known by our fear, our name calling, our judgmental attitudes, our intolerance, our racism, our homophobia, and our panic.

Remember who you are.

You’re better than this. You’re called to be better than this. Be better than this.

If you don’t know the Nicene Creed or the Sermon on the Mount then you might want to look them up, learn them, and build your life around them. They kind of sum up Christianity. Actually, that’s exactly what they do.

Rethink everything (That’s what repent means)

Be God’s

That’s all I’ve got.

Blessings,

Rick Lee James

 

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Song Charts, Tracks, and More Available at Llifeway Worship March 17th, 2016

I’m not saying this to be argumentative, just sharing my honest thoughts. Convince me that Jesus would ever use violence against anyone and I’ll be convinced that followers of Jesus may resort to it as well. Violence may be the best idea men can come up with but that doesn’t mean Jesus endorses it. Sure, killing our enemies seems like a good and effective way of stopping them but Jesus preferred dying at their hands rather than resorting to their ways. Short of having a new word from Jesus that says, never mind, don’t love your enemies, don’t turn the other cheek, don’t bless those who curse you…fight them instead…then violence is a hard sell for me. I realize there are many justifications for violence and that scripture can be used to support it, but if Jesus came to show us what God is like and how we’ve misunderstood Him (and scripture) then I have to go with the life, teachings, and witness of Christ above all else.Truthfully, I’d rather be like John Wayne ( who ironically may have been a draft dodger) and charge in with guns blazing, but Jesus’ way doesn’t let me take that route. The Jesus way will probably get us killed, but there is no greater love than a man lay down His life for another. Why should we expect anything else for ourselves as followers of Christ than to have the same violence done to us. On the other hand, there’s more to life than living and it takes more guts to lay your weapons down than it does to pick them up. The call of Jesus is a foolish call to courage, but if He is in fact, God in flesh, then we better heed the call. He will use the foolish to shame the wise and the weak to conquer the strong.
-Rick Lee James

Joshua 5: 13-15 reminds us that God doesn’t back any candidate or nation so don’t panic if you missed the debate last night.

“Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. “

In an election season, each side seems to shout their agenda at the other, and no one shouts louder than the religious right.  Most of the time I feel like they are the religious wrong, yet they assume that since I’m a Christian that I’m on their side.  I don’t mean just me, they assume all who profess Christianity are on board with their fear tactics and their rallying cry to “take America Back”, whatever that means.  Perhaps they want to take it back to England. If they really wanted the way of Jesus, they might want to “take America back to the Native Americans.  It’s too bad the Native Americans didn’t have a border patrol and tough immigration laws to keep them “safe” from illegal aliens.  I wonder how often they have longed to take America back as they live in the squalor that we forced them into. Make no mistake about it, we didn’t start as a Christian nation.  We started as a group of illegal aliens who came in and committed mass genocide on the people who were here before us.  

Trying to force Christianity on non-believers is kind of like forcing a feast on a person who isn’t hungry. When Christians insist that non-believers must eat their feast, shouting at them them all the reasons that their feast is the best thing for them, and that they need to get rid of the food at their own table, it doesn’t make the non-believer any more hungry for the things of Christ. If Christians were to throw a burlap sack over the non-believers head, bind his hands and feet, and then force him to sit at the feast table, it should be no surprise that the non-believer will have no appetite for the food being forced upon him.
I’m convinced that the, “take America back for Jesus” attitude is not only dangerous, it’s Un-Christian. The United States are not the Kingdom of God, they never have been and never will be. I agree with Pastor Brian Zahnd that Christianity may need to die out in this country so that it can be born again and grow up in a healthy manner. Christians do believe in resurrection after all and sometimes things need to die so that they can be reborn.

We receive an invitation from Christ to a generous feast. We don’t take it by force or force it upon anyone. Grace and mercy are free gifts offered to all. To be “called” by God is to be invited. (Look it up in the Greek, that’s how it translates in the New Testament).  The call (invitation) from God is a call to become “saints” in His Kingdom. The kingdom of God stops being the kingdom of God when it is forced upon others. Force-feeding your guests is not in the spirit of a proper invitation.

“Saints” are not moral exemplars who climbed the highest mountain and swam the deepest seas. They are the ones who heard the call (the invitation) and showed up for the feast.  “Saints” are simply the ones who have accepted the invitation to the feast. Also, “saints” serve the feast to others at the pleasure of their King. It’s never the King’s pleasure to gag His guests.

So if you’re a Christian, simply live a life that makes people hungry and thirsty for the good things of God. Love each other. Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. Forgive and forgive again. Keep setting the table even if it ends up being empty. Share the feast. If you’re a Democrat, reach out to and love Republicans. If you’re a Republican, reach out and love Democrats. Stop trying to force feed each other because that only makes a person gag. Invite, share, and partake together. Love without end.

And for heaven’s sake, let’s have some faith that Christ reigns…currently even…right now!!!  That won’t change, even if Hitler gets elected president. I caution you though, if you are a believer, you should probably stop embracing partisan politics and start embracing the politics of the Kingdom of God. If you don’t know what God’s politics are, you can find them in Matthew 5-7. I invite you to read it.