The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News. Email letters to maconcountynews@ gmail.com.
Be accurate; consider context when quoting scripture
A response to Dave Waldrop:
There are several rules for Biblical hermeneutics.
First, the text must be accurately quoted. John 18:36 actually reads, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
Secondly, the context must be considered. When we look at a text, we want to know what God is saying: not use it to say what I want to say. In John 18, Jesus has been betrayed by Judas, and arrested. Peter, afraid to be identified with Jesus, has denied Him three times. Jesus has been presented to the high priest for questioning, and then turned over to Pilate, because the Jews didn’t have the authority to execute prisoners. Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius from AD 26 to 36. Jesus’ statement in verse 36 is responding to Pilate asking him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate wants to find out if Jesus is a threat to the Roman government. When Jesus answers, Pilate realizes that Jesus is not a threat, because He clearly states that His kingdom originates from somewhere else. So Pilate tells the Jews that he has found no basis for a charge against Jesus. Even Pilate’s wife is pressuring him to release Jesus.
So what is the nature of Jesus Christ’s kingdom? Does this statement by Jesus suggest that Christians shouldn’t get “entangled in worldly political activities?” In the book of Daniel, the prophet traces the course of four great world empires, namely, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, concluding in the climax of world history: the coming of Jesus Christ and the inauguration of the eternal kingdom of God, represented as a fifth and final kingdom which is from heaven. According to Isaiah 9:6-7, this final kingdom begins when Christ is born, and continues from then on, and forever. 1 Corinthians 15:25 says “He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.” That process is already under way, and will be, until its final culmination. Revelation 11:15 describes it this way: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever.” The responsibility of Christians is clearly stated by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20. He says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and (1) make disciples of all nations, (2) baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and (3) teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Notice that Jesus has been given all the authority of the King of kings already. He tells His disciples what to do to advance His kingdom: make disciples (subjects). A king must have subjects over which to rule. Look how broad and general (3) is! There is nothing in here to preclude political involvement. On the contrary, we are to make disciples everywhere – even in Washington D.C. And we are to teach them everything King Jesus has commanded (in the Bible). His kingdom, though not yet fully realized, has the right to rule every part of this world, because He is its Creator and Sustainer (Colossians 1:16-17). Everyone will acknowledge His lordship, either now, or on the Day of Judgment.
“Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
I’m encouraged to know that President Trump has hosted a weekly Bible study in the White House since his inauguration. He has invited many Christians to pray over him. He needs our prayers, our support, and our votes in 2020.
Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.
Barbaric inhumanity should drive us to our knees
The state of New York just voted to expand abortion access right up to the birth of the baby! To celebrate this unbelievable depravity they lit the One World Trade Center in pink! Women used to celebrate motherhood and find joy in their children. Today, in places like New York City, they are taking joy in destroying their children. The state of New York has crossed a line of inhumanity that should drive us to our knees. Forty-six years of the state-sanctioned killing of our most helpless and defenseless children should cause us to weep, to mourn, and to take action. What is to be thought of a society that kills her own children? What will the future be of such a heartless society that celebrates such barbaric inhumanity?
“If the foundations be destroyed what shall the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) We are calling for a national Day of Mourning and repentance. We are in desperate need for God to move upon the hearts of young and old in our nation. If our hearts do not break over the killing of these little image bearers of God in the womb, then how can we expect those growing up in this lost, confused and decadent culture to take our message seriously? Join us Feb. 23 for a “Day of Mourning.”
– Wear black
– Don’t shop
– Close businesses
– Repent for abortion
Lee Shankle – Franklin, N.C.
Conman Trump creating atmosphere of chaos
I would like to live long enough to see Donald Trump stand before a judge and hear his lawyer state (with a straight face), “My client is innocent your Honor,” and hear the judge (with an equally straight face) say, “Very well, call your first witness.”
Most all that can be said about Donald J. Trump has been said. Oh, we’ll hear more descriptive characterizations of our president, but none will really shock us or be much of a surprise. I would be hard-pressed to come up with anything new, exciting or not here-to-fore articulated many times over.
To say Donald Trump is a racist (for example) is to state the obvious but (as Bill Lueders said in The Progressive), “misses the point.” Of course he’s a racist, we all know that, but what we fail to acknowledge, his racism is purposeful. Whether it’s black people, Latinos, transgender, Muslims, immigrants, Trump’s racism “is the glue that holds Trump’s base together.”
As Lueder also eloquently expresses, “Trump’s appeals to fear and bigotry are so powerful that his supporters are apparently willing to forgive all his trespasses, though he forgives no one himself. His moral degeneracy, constant lying, wholesale corruption and rampant criminality, gross incompetence and frank stupidity, are all excused, because he has successfully aligned himself in opposition to The Other.”
It’s almost impossible to describe Trump without rehashing data that has shadowed this conman all his adult life. Now, having entered the realm of government, in just two short years Trump has managed to upend what most citizens considered the norms of American politics, creating not only an atmosphere of chaos but a sense of uneasiness about the present stability and very survival of the United States.
This is not all bad of course but Donald Trump confirmed and spread wide open the complicated and mysterious vulnerabilities of our constitutional form of government. What Trump has revealed is something arguably between laughable and a nightmare.
As a life-long Republican born into a family of Republicans I am deeply dismayed that someone as shameless and superficial as Donald Trump so easily outed the Republican Party as an unprincipled band of know-nothings lusting after power no matter the cost.
The Founding Fathers, and every generation since, recognized the free press as one of the vital underpinnings of our government. With rancor and forethought (and support from the charlatans among his followers), Trump proclaims the media “an enemy of the people.” He has diminished centuries-old civic and democratic values to an incomprehensible, illiterate “tweet.”
Trump has managed to confirm what our first president (George Washington) so steadfastly purposed to avoid, “that we have an imperial presidency that can make a mockery of cabinet governance, pack the courts with ideological automatons, undermine the rule of law, obstruct justice, and skirt accountability.” (John Nichols, The Nation, 2/11/19).
It may come to pass that when Robert Mueller’s report is completed, President Trump, his family and his administration will finally be held to account. Or, considering approximately 50 percent of the U.S. Senate and nearly 40 percent of the U.S. House are lawyers, genuine justice may prove as illusory as a desert mirage.
David Snell – Franklin, N.C.