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Preaching by: John J. Malone, Sr - JABSBG*

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Faith Failing in Kenya - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Behind the Lines,Venture in Africa
Author: John Malone
Date: 21st January, 2008 @ 04:14:30 AM

I visited Kenya recently, at the peak of the recent election run-up, for the first time since our investment there was expropriated by force by a corrupt Kenyan government, and then covered up by a corrupt US government.

Since my return, and after the close of the Kenyan elections, there has been considerable civil upheaval in Kenya. This reaction was anticipated by many close to the situation who understood that whoever lost that election would not tolerate the results.

The problem in Kenya is somewhat similar to many problems elsewhere, albeit on this occasion considerable violence attends. The problem is that there are no good guys in this battle. None at all.

The antagonists, on the other hand, are many.

On the one hand, we have the persistently corrupt incumbent Kenyan government of Mwai Kibaki. It is a Kikuyu regime, known to be patronizing to its partisans, and a government which openly looted from its inception. This is the government that expropriated my own investment in Kenya.

On the other hand is today’s “opposition,” fashioned largely out of Kibaki’s former coalition partners. This opposition is embodied by Raila Odinga, and his loyal Luo tribal following.

These two tribal groups demonstrate the kind of conflict that is seen all over Africa: the Nilodic peoples (ranchers) conflicting with the Bantu peoples (farmers). Combine that with the concept that control of government has, as its main purpose, “to the victors go the spoils,” and you have the circumstances for today’s Kenya.

However, you have to add in some more antagonists. The USA is another antagonist in this drama. So is the EU. In this case, as is usual, the US takes its cues from the UK when it comes to African diplomacy, and the west in general has a united front about what it wants for Africa.

And that front wants some questionable – and awful – things from African nations in general, and Kenya specifically. First and foremost, the internationalist west is interested in something less than a sovereign nation. This has been the agenda for quite some time. Second, the west is interested in population reduction of Africans. Third, the west is interested in business opportunities. Fourth, the US is interested in a military base in Kenya, probably off Lamu Island.

The EU wants most of these same things. They might be less enthusiastic about the military base, but I would guess the EU supports the idea of the US having it, manning it, and paying for defense against mutual enemies.

So, where are the protagonists? Aren’t there any good guys? The good news is there are some good guys.

Kenya is substantially a Christian nation – used to be substantially a Protestant Christian nation. There is salt and light in Kenya, but over the last 15 years especially, the Kenyan Christians have allowed themselves to eat so much of the leaven of Herod that they have rendered themselves useless in the current crisis. I have some reason to think they will shake themselves from their useless condition, but it could be a long road back.

How did this happen? In much the same way it has happened in the USA and elsewhere. Christians have become worldly, and have turned to political and economic means to achieve the spiritual purposes of God, which will never be achieved through such means. The Kenyan Christians have tolerated evil in their midst: in the pulpit, among elders, and among other leaders. Today in Kenya, wealthy men and politicians are allowed to speak and are praised in the churches regardless of their standing before God.

The real problem today in Kenya is that the only good guys around have put themselves on the sidelines some time ago.

It’s time for them to suit up and play.

Christians and Temporal Government. - Comments (3)

Printer Friendly Category: Applied,Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 12th January, 2008 @ 04:30:20 AM

I received Christ, and therefore eternal life, in 1975. When 1976 rolled around, Jimmy Carter was running for President, it was the Bi-Centennial, and the Cincinnati Reds were the “Big Red Machine.”

Carter more or less shocked the country with his declaration that he was a “Born Again Christian.”

My little world got rocked at that time because I was President of the student body of the university I attended. The campus newspaper decided I was news because I was being baptized as an adult.

At that very time, the Lord called me away from the life of a politician, despite having a warm invitation to pursue that career by the Governor of Nebraska. Ever since that time, I have been somewhat of a student of the correct relationship a Christian – including a Christian preacher – should maintain with respect to temporal government.

The Leaven of Herod.

The first problem with temporal government for the believer is the “leaven of Herod,” about which the Lord warned. While it is not the only leaven – there are two others: of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees – it is a peculiar one, for it is a teaching that improperly weds the believer to the world system.

These three leavens have “leavened the whole lump,” just as foretold in the the parable.

The directive that we are to be in the world, but not of the world, is difficult to navigate, but by grace through faith , the Spirit of God will lead us through.

The leaven of Herod is the teaching that we need to be part of the world’s political system in order to be faithful before God. It teaches that God wants his people to occupy important positions of leadership in the world system. It teaches that it is the agenda of God’s people to ” make the world a better place.” It teaches that the greatest good for the greatest number is the guiding principle of Scripture.

The Lord warned us to beware of this leaven, but we also know that it has successfully leavened the whole lump. It is now a matter of personal governance to be faithful in the matter of avoiding this leaven.

God Provides Human Government.

Because we are in an age, designed by God, wherein he tolerates much evil-doing in order to, in his mercy, allow the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ to reach his enemies, many overlook God’s superintendence not only of His creation, but of the affairs of men.

Rest assured that God will do all that is necessary in this present age to hold up the dispensational framework necessary to afford that proclamation. Part of that framework involves the “ powers that be” – human governments – which are ordained of God in order to secure God’s purpose. Nothing escapes His planning and arrangement.

On occasion, this is a very difficult concept to accept and hold. We know from Scripture “the whole world system” lies in the hands of the evil one. But holding the thought of God’s superintendence of the age, His planning of the ages, and the consideration that these ages are framed by the Word of God , with the expressed purpose of revealing the Lord Jesus Christ to an unbelieving world – finally visibly – and at the same time understanding the heavenly conflict against that disclosure, is required for Christians to be effective witnesses and soldiers in that conflict.