Portland Protesters, PLEASE Beware!

Portland, Oregon has (in recent history) had a very active army of protesters. Their purposes and messages are usually distorted by their chaotic antics, and at times are outright incoherent.

Anarchists and mobsters usually join the public foray, instigating the unlawful destruction of property and creating dangerous situations for well meaning and law abiding protesters, business owners and employees, and police and emergency personnel.

PROTESTERS, PLEASE BEWARE!

I do NOT want the following tragedies to transpire, however will you hear the following warning?

Please, beware of the possible outcomes of your actions. You are entering an atmosphere in our community when playing with fire just might end up burning you. I do NOT want these things to happen, so please do not erroneously interpret my warning as a threat, or a wish list, or a veiled call for people to revolt against the revolters.

So far, your demonstrations and associated actions have been mostly tolerated by the general public. However, the toleration of SOME citizens is wearing very thin, and they themselves are on the borderline of becoming criminal in their reactions to you. Your destruction of property, your blocking of roads, and even your in-your-face screaming at non-protesters may be met with deadly force.

The next few roads and freeways that you block as a mob tactic, there may be one or two drivers who might genuinely feel their own lives are endangered enough by the surrounding mod to prompt them to plow right through your arm-in-arm road blocks. You may be hurt, maimed, or even killed!

Even if you are convinced in your own mind that you would “never hurt anyone,” your actions are communicating a very different message. Other citizens do not have the privilege of reading your mind and knowing your heart; all they are able to do is look at the mob that is surrounding them with signs on wooden 2×4’s, facial expressions of anger, voices that are loud and incoherent when raised with 100 other voices at the same time, and seeing reports of buildings and vehicles being destroyed.

If you feel the need to demonstrate and protest, then do so with intelligence and common sense, not with mob-sense. If you feel you need to lay your life on the line in order to take a stand, then give your life daily to the productive service of your community and your country. If you insist on using the mob-tactic to announce your message incoherently, don’t be surprised when your friend who is arm-in-arm with you gets run over by a car.

Protesters, please… BE SAFE, and police yourselves. If anarchists hijack your demonstration, find the police and point them toward those who are creating trouble. If the mob gets out of hand, leave! Better to live another day. If your friend gets crazy, be the calming influence for them. You just might save their life!

#PastorsTip

Forgiveness First, Then Healing

A normal experience in life (unfortunately) is to be hurt by others, either deliberately or accidentally. The hurt might include physical pain, but it always involves soul-pain. The soul-pain may be short lived, or it might be a long term pain due to an actual injury or wounding of the soul.

It has been said that “time heals all wounds,” but this is misleading if time is considered to be the only element in the healing process. While the healing process may take place over a period of time, there is a critical element that must be highlighted.

“Forgiveness heals all wounds” would be much more accurate, if a simple and short statement is being sought to describe the healing process.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…”

~ James 5:16

Confession to each other and prayer for each other implies that forgiveness has been established. Only then can healing taking place. This principle of ‘Forgiveness First, Then Healing,’ is illustrated throughout scripture in both the Divine-with-Human relationship and the Human-with-Human relationship. For example:

“if My people… will humble themselves and pray… I will forgive their sin (Forgiveness First) and will heal their land (Then Healing).”

‭‭~ 2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬

Too often we unwittingly want to wait until we are healed [and don’t feel the soul-pain anymore] before we will consider forgiving the person who hurt us. This is contrary to the truth that actually does bring healing: ‘Forgiveness First, Then Healing.’

“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Ro. 5:8) so that He could offer to us healing for our body, soul, and spirit. Likewise, while those who hurt us are still hurting us, we should begin our internal struggle of “dying to ourselves” so we can reach the place of being able to give them total forgiveness, even if we have to do it “seventy-seven times” (NIV) or “seventy times seven” times (NKJV, Matt. 18:22).

Our unforgiveness of them is just as deliberate an act as would be our forgiveness of them. Our ongoing act of unforgiveness is tantamount to us rubbing salt and poison into our own wounds which they initially inflicted in us. In studying the scriptures regarding forgiveness and unforgiveness, I am convinced that our act of unforgiveness is worse in the eyes of God than any injurious sin another person has committed against us.

Forgiveness of others is not easy because we hold so strongly to a general principle of giving only what is deserved, like: wages for work, applause for good entertainment, or a bonus for an extra effort. However, the very definition and nature of forgiveness is that it is NEVER deserved, but is ALWAYS required.

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#PastorsTip #James5 #Forgiveness #Healing #Unforgiven #2Chronicles7 #Soul #Pain #Injury

Self Defense & Insult vs. Injury

“Always turn the other cheek;” “the individual’s right to Self Defense;” “Measured Response;” “Escalation;” “never let an attacker survive the encounter;” and several other doctrines, philosophies, and even plain ol’ “Red Neck common sense” vie for a substantial place in our world view. Interpreting, understanding, and applying the lessons of scripture is paramount in this category of life.

In some cases we are dealing with life and death issues: the wrong person might be met with no resistance when there should have been (scripturally) plenty of resistance; an innocent person might die and a murderer might live through an encounter; there are many variations to the outcomes. Naturally, we desire a scriptural outcome.

Jesus Regarding Personal Attacks

“But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also…

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

‭‭( Matthew‬ ‭5:39,44-45‬ )

How can we, or how should we, respond to someone who is hurting us physically?

Insult vs. Injury: Different Responses

In verse 39 the reference to “an evil person” is defined in the verses that followed. Unfortunately some have misconstrued the “evil person” as including those who might attack us with intent to inflict extreme physical injury or even death.

The “evil” person’s actions defined in this passage are related to insults, not injury. A slap in the face in the biblical sense is that of an insult. Other passages refer to injurious attacks as striking with fists, rocks, or weapons.

Responding to Insults

We are called upon to respond to those who verbally and/or physically insult us with offering our other cheek (physically or proverbially), with love, with blessing, with goodness, and with prayer for God’s blessings upon them.

As “sons of [our] Father in Heaven” our response is to be unbiased with regard to how the other person thinks of us and treats us: enemy or friend.

The world’s pattern tends to promote an extreme reaction to being insulted, especially if the person even touches us physically. It is an attitude that says, “You slap me, I’ll break your legs. You punch me, and I’ll shoot you dead!”

Self Defense against Injury

If harm and injury are intended toward us, self defense is a biblical right (and even a mandate when it involves protecting the weak) and is perfectly appropriate; a measured response on our part for the purpose of self defense, not for retribution or vengeance.

As Jesus was preparing His disciples for future ministry, He gave an interesting instruction to them:

“He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you donʼt have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

( Luke‬ ‭22:36‬ )

Yes, Jesus Himself told His disciples to self-arm for self defense. He even made it a point to say being self-armed is more important than being warm in cold weather!

Also, the swords were not for forcefully subjugating people into the Christian faith (like some false religions or political ideologies continue to do for their own survival), they were for personal self defense in a world that is at times very dangerous and very violent, attempting to inflict injury at-will.

We must know the difference between an attack of intended insult and an attack of intended injury. Our proper response is predicated upon our quick and proper (accurate, truthful) interpretation of each event.

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#PastorsTip