Pray for more discernment

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In response to the letter by Bobby Etheridge (“Country was much worse,” Nov. 14): He rhetorically asked the question: “If the United States was founded on Christian principles, how did slavery exist for decades after the nation was founded?”

I will answer his question with a question. How can Mr. Etheridge, a self-professed Christian of 53-plus years, support a president and other politicians who openly and aggressively promote sinful behavior? The answer is, of course, that Christians are not perfect, and sometimes it takes a while for us to get it right.

In Mr. Etheridge’s case, I would think 53 years should be enough time to gain discernment, but I will continue to be patient and pray that he sees the error of supporting those who advocate in favor of abortion, same-sex marriage and many other anti-Christian principles. As horrendous as slavery was, it was corrected, and I would contend that America’s record on abortion is far worse in the eyes of God.

I would agree with Mr. Etheridge’s premise that it is our responsibility to help the poor. However, his view that “help for the poor” must be done through federal programs is, I think, un-Scriptural. I completely support helping those who cannot help themselves. However, we must re-evaluate who should be helped and who should be required to help themselves. I personally know several people who are able to work who have chosen not to work because of the many federal programs available.

Dr. Ben Carson’s evaluation of Obamacare is accurate in saying it is the “‘worst thing that has happened to this nation since slavery. It is slavery because it aims to make all of us subservient to the government. It was never about health care. It was about control.”

This logic also extends to most federal anti-poverty programs, because many who are “helped” end up being “enslaved.”

President Obama promised many things when he and the Democratic Party forced through Obamacare. One such promise was that elective abortions will not be covered. However, as we have recently learned, what he promises and what actually is may be two different things. The back door to taxpayer-funded elective abortions has been left wide open with multistate plans, not to mention forcing all plans to cover abortifacients and contraceptives. Obama has never attempted to hide his support for abortion or Planned Parenthood. Please don’t be deceived again.

I would encourage Mr. Etheridge and all Christians who are relying on our federal government to be the purveyor of morality and charity to prayerfully re-evaluate their support in the light of Scripture. We find no instruction in Scripture to cast our responsibility to help our brother on an ever-increasingly Godless and secular government. Pray for America and discernment in our churches.

Robert M. Sheffer

North Augusta, S.C.

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deestafford
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deestafford 11/18/13 - 01:46 am
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Excellent, excellent letter

Liberals always want to help the "poor"....but with OPM--other people's money.

In his early years Obama was educated/indoctrinated in Islamic schools and by his actions has shown sympathy to the Muslims and their view points. One of the teachings of the Muslims he seems to have taken to heart from his early indoctrination is that it is OK to lie to infidels in order to accomplish one's goals. Maybe he considers the American people infidels for the purpose of his ultimate and stated goal to "fundamentally change America". I'm not saying he is a Muslim...just saying some of his early indoctrination stuck with him.

Bodhisattva
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Bodhisattva 11/18/13 - 06:22 am
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That's exactly what you're
Unpublished

That's exactly what you're saying. It's just like the, "I'm not a racist, but...." line. It's also like the, "I'm not racist, I'd vote for Ben Carson (or Herman Cain, or fill in the black person du jour)." It's no different than the old days with, "Yeah, I like old Tom. He's not like the others" It's the right wing saying they only like black people who think just like them and act just like them. The right wing lives in a fictitious land invented by the rabid, fear mongering, talking heads that make up anything they want because there are no repercussions. If anything, they're rewarded. The more outlandish and untrue a statement is, the more likely their ratings increase. Their lapdogs of a listening audience feed on it like morphine. It gives them approval for hating, being a racist, homophobe, despising someone from another religion, and on and on. Even the botched quote in the letter was from a lie by Carson at the Values Voters summit. He made up a quote that he claimed was from Lenin and the right wing audience of propaganda addicts mainlined it. If Mr. Sheffer doesn't know that we ARE a secular government, then he's been hooked on the right wing propaganda too long. The founding fathers saw to it that we were. They came from a state controlled religion in Europe and they saw the separate states here run roughshod over individual rights with government sanctioned religion and would have none of it for this nation. It's just unbelievable that people believe the nonsense that some propagandists, like David Barton (another master of fiction who never saw a quote he didn't like to make up, take out of context, or misquote) throw at them. The rule in this country is, "to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Is that too hard for the right wing to understand. I'm sure it's among the parts they want to get rid of as they claim to support it so much and carry copies around in their pockets. The best I can tell, they only want to keep the last part of the 2nd Amendment and 6 words of the 10th.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 11/18/13 - 06:59 am
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Bod, did you have a point in

Bod, did you have a point in all that rambling nonsense you just posted? You stated "The rule in this country is, "to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." "

Maybe you need to remind your President what the rule of the country is since he seems okay with not following the Constitution. As for religious test not being required.....no one said there has to be but if a man makes a profession that he is a Christian, a follower of Christ, and then everything he says and does goes against the principals of that belief then I'd say that man is a liar. No one has required it of him, he proclaimed it on his own free will and his character has shined through loud and clear displaying the opposite.

ymnbde
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ymnbde 11/18/13 - 07:52 am
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school choice is the best way

now, to save this country
give anyone, much less a few totalitarian
racist religiophobic bureaucrats in Washington
power over a country's education
and they will rule that country
simply give vouchers payable to whatever school
the family chooses
the current system is systematically unable to educate
only babysit and indoctrinate

Gary Ross
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Gary Ross 11/18/13 - 08:25 am
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Good letter!

The only thing I would have stated differently is "what he promises and what actually is may be two different things" ARE ALWAYS TWO DIFFERENT THINGS! Try not listening to him speak but watch what he does instead. You'll see what I mean.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/18/13 - 08:59 am
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Totally rediculous

"Yeah, I like old Tom. He's not like the others" It's the right wing saying they only like black people who think just like them and act just like them." Imagine, saying you will vote for someone who thinks like you!! How silly can you be? I mean really, come on. Do Republicans vote for white people who do not act like them? Of course not.

deestafford
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deestafford 11/18/13 - 09:38 am
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Bod, I challenge you

to provide a quote from David Barton that is untrue or inaccurate. Please give the quote, context, and source that proves the quote is not true.

The Founders said that there could be not NATIONAL religion. They did not restrict the states from establishing a religion nor did they have any intent of ever moving religion from the public square.

It would help your knowledge of the Founding if you would rely more on original sources than from leftist interpretation.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 11/18/13 - 09:48 am
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Bod sounds like your are

Bod sounds like your are describing progressives and yourself. Got any new conspiracy theories you promoting this week? Right and blacks didn't vote for Obama just because he is black-which is strange since they have economically suffered more under his administration than any since the 60s. I guess racism is blind. We have a secular govt but the population and govt is made up of mostly people of faith. So now you have personally attacked these folks we can use ad hominem to denigrate every Democrat and progressive who ever lived-they were all bad, liar, thieves, greedy, pedophiles. See it's easy.

GACopprhed
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GACopprhed 11/18/13 - 09:49 am
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Bod, they're right wingers,
Unpublished

Bod, they're right wingers, they have no ability to "discern" the Constitution from the Bible, and you know this. They would have a theocracy if they had their way. The Christian right is no different from the Taliban. They wish to force others to live by their moral standards. They have NO idea that Christ didn't force anyone, nor did He advocate for rebellion or to make laws. Abortion is wrong, morally and ethically, yet our Constitution says it's legal. I'd vote for a Constitutional amendment to stop it, but until then it IS the law of the land. The same goes for homosexuality, it's immoral, but IMHO it's Constitutionally protected by the equal rights clauses. The "Moral Right" needs to listen to Pope Francis, and advocate for the poor, spread the Gospel and mind their own damned business the rest of the time.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 11/18/13 - 10:07 am
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You can't force anyone to do

You can't force anyone to do anything-well except Obama who is forcing people to buy health insurance. So which is worst with the forcing of ideology-government or religion. Of course govt.

carcraft
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carcraft 11/18/13 - 10:07 am
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I love bod, "right wing

I love bod, "right wing fantasy land". While we live through the turmoil of a left wing fantasy totally ungrounded in reality! He always provides a laugh. The clowns in DC can't even set up a web site but they can manage the entire health care system of America! Any one else see a reality disconnect here? Talk about living on a fantasy land! There is an old saying "delusional people build castles in the air, neurotic leopard live in them". ! I think Obama care is a castle built in the air and it is interesting how many Dems are trying to live in it!

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 11/18/13 - 10:12 am
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Good point Bizkit. Remember

Good point Bizkit. Remember this quote from the congressional black caucus: Congressional Black Caucus Chair Emanuel Cleaver said if it weren’t for President Barack Obama, members of his caucus would be “marching on the White House” in anger over the high unemployment rate for black Americans,

Bizkit
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Bizkit 11/18/13 - 10:13 am
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You need to tell progressive

You need to tell progressive to mind their own damn business and quit meddling in Americans lives and forcing their perverse ideology on the majority of Americans. Causing people to lose their health insurance while many are battling major health issues. But heartless progressives want them all dead, and could care less about a few million folks-all because of their concern over a few million folks who either don't have or chose not to have health insurance. Progressives don't have a logical bone in their bodies and just like all the tea party is racist-all progressives are liars. So keep your lies and deception to yourselves.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 11/18/13 - 10:17 am
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Remember Obama's comments

Remember Obama's comments about "typical white people". Must be like Ole Tom eh.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 11/18/13 - 10:35 am
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copprhed

So....opposition to abortion and same sex marriage, make me a "Taliban" ! May God have mercy....

Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 11/18/13 - 10:38 am
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Government is supposed to be godless and secular.

It could be a lot smaller, though.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 11/18/13 - 10:53 am
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(GAC) " The Christian right

(GAC) " The Christian right is no different from the Taliban."

Wow, didn't realize there was a "Christian right" and a "Christian left". I find this statement troubling coming from one who so profoundly professed their "Christian" status a week ago. GAC, if the Constitution was amended that said every female's first child had to be aborted as a way of population control, would you abide by this law. I was taught you respect your government but when it goes against God's teachings you speak up. Hiding your head in the sand and keeping your mouth shut about the things that displeases God is (IMO) the same as committing the sin yourself. What was it Christ said about being luke warm...oh yeah, Revelation 3:16 "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." Riding on the fence playing Christian but acting like the world, is nothing but a dangerous game.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 11/18/13 - 11:07 am
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Good post ICL

GAC seems to be one of those Christians lacking in discernment. For a Christian everything you believe flows from Faith in God's Word and not informed by politics. Your example is a good one but I don't think he can answer it without admitting he is wrong.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 11/18/13 - 11:10 am
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Well I don't really believe

Well I don't really believe all progressives are liars nor bad folks. But I get tired of all the inflammatory rhetoric and the Alinsky crap .I don't like broken relationships and division. I think GAC is following he's heart and relationship with Christ-who am I to judge. He's broken, I'm broken, we are all broken coming to Christ-we are all on the same path-just different places. I have to agree with GAC that Reps made it a political strategy to manipulate an interest group like Christians (which is actually very diverse)and make it a political labile-the christian right. I find that offensive and manipulative-no different than Obama playing on and manipulating interest groups-women, ecological groups, etc. I'm tired of division in America and really don't want another civil war-so we need redemptive relationships. I've watch loving Christians and their "church family" divide and spew nothing but deceit, anger and hate-I understand fully where that comes from but have they learned nothing from their Lord. The word "christian" is becoming a meaningless term. It isn't a belief, but brings fundamental "hope" to many lives and should bring "change" to all believers-something Obama can never really do.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 11/18/13 - 11:12 am
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Jon Lester

"Government is supposed to be godless and secular". Don't worry...America is almost there ! Hope you will like it !

GACopprhed
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GACopprhed 11/18/13 - 11:13 am
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ICL, you should read the next
Unpublished

ICL, you should read the next verse, it's more pertinent. By the way,I don't
practice homosexuality, nor abortion, have never advocated for abortion, and have only spoken out against it. There is a difference between advocating for the Constitution to be applied equally to all citizens of the United States, and forcing God on others. As God instructed, I obey the laws of the land. The Christians who are attempting to force their ways on others drives more away from God than attracts them to Him. The hypocrisy of the words of the right wing leaning Christians along with their LACK of empathy and help for the poor show the true nature of their worship...it's not God, it's power, judgement and money.

GACopprhed
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GACopprhed 11/18/13 - 11:21 am
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Bizkit, I agree with your
Unpublished

Bizkit, I agree with your sentiment about divisiveness, it needs to stop on both sides. It would take volumes to tell you all where I've been in my life that has changed my political belief system so radically. I have been good, and very bad. I have had wealth and lost every thing I owned. I have lost friends, loved ones and brought to the bottom of humanity, all as lessons from God to correct my ways of life. I still don't practice my beliefs to anything close to God's desires, but with His help I will improve. Moderates in politics are what we need, not spenders or "deciders" but representatives who wish to serve the country, ALL of it, with all it diverse peoples and beliefs. The Constitution MUST be applied equally to all. It is, after all, FOR ALL THE PEOPLE, not just a privileged few.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 11/18/13 - 11:25 am
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ICL I think all believers are

ICL I think all believers are riding on the fence (the narrow path) with doubt, struggles, just being broken. Christians aren't suppose to be of this world-but centered on eternity. But I know of no christian who isn't still broken, a sinner, and of the world-because the only way we aren't is when we are Spirit filled according to the scriptures-and that isn't often enough. Christians are suppose to fight evil with good-which does happen but often no just a reciprocation. But I do believe living in the world a christian will "change" and be convicted of their worldliness. If Obama were really my enemy I should love and prey for this man. I've been convicted of late to do exactly that and prey for our president-because he needs some supernatural help. I apologize to all you atheist and progressives for any insults-that is a poor response on my part-an ad hominem. What kind of Christian am I if I display anger or hate or cast insults. So I fell for the worldliness of blogging but am convicted I have to change. Isn't that the way its suppose to work?

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 11/18/13 - 11:26 am
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Bizkit

Once again discernment is the key word. Christians are called to be discerning. We must measure if something is true by God's word. We are to "test everything; hold fast what is good". I could not care less about politics but I will always contend for the truth. When I see many Christians being deceived by smooth talking politicians on either side it really bothers me. Issues that cross over into the political arena like abortion will cause me to remind others who name the name of Christ re-evaluate what or who they are supporting.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 11/18/13 - 11:52 am
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GAC, I never accused you of

GAC, I never accused you of practicing homosexuality, nor abortion or even that you advocated for it. Let’s stay on topic here. I fail to see how verse 17 is more pertinent. I did not comment on you proclaiming yourself wealthy or in need of nothing, nor have I myself proclaimed such. I commented on you professing you are a devout Christian but then blindly following man’s law instead of taking a stand for God’s law, by bashing, criticizing and calling names of those believers who are outspoken about the things of Christ, referring them as terrorist. I find this very insulting to God and to the body of believers.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 11/18/13 - 11:58 am
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Bizkit, we all may be broken

Bizkit, we all may be broken and on a path, but I don’t believe we all are necessarily on the same path. I believe one is the road to righteousness (which all Christians should strive for) and the other road is to destruction (which is living by the world’s standards). I make no judgment on GAC’s profession of being a Christian, that is between him/her and God but I can make a discernment whether an action is good or whether it is detrimental to the character of Christ. When you say you are a Christian, your actions and words should glorify Him, not the world. Too many Christians have become complacent and not been more outspoken about the things that go against God’s teachings, and have become comfortable just going along because they don’t want to seem “unChristianlike”. What a wonderful tool Satan has in his pocket. Yes there are those who are, shall we say, overbearing for the cause of Christ, but the majority of Christians, care about the poor, help their fellow man, and truly want others to know Christ without being an in-your-face Christian. It’s just sad that the spotlight is always drawn to the group who make the most noise and in most cases it’s the one non-believers love to exploit and lump everyone in together (much like GAC did).

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 11/18/13 - 12:07 pm
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Taliban and Christian "right"

I believe there is a Christian right and left, just as there are political "lefts" and "rights" among most subgroups of Americans. At least that has been my experience in the churches I have attended.

As it relates to the Taliban, I recall a sermon by a guest when I was visiting the old church where I was baptized. In his message, he more or less said "those who does not adhere to Protestant tenets are (to borrow a term) INFIDELS." Who does that sound like? "We want you to share our morals and religious beliefs else you are going to hell".
In my mind, the only difference is that the Taliban is willing to send you there in short order.

To think that it is "my way or the highway" is pretty darned radical if you ask me, and a group of people I want no part of; Taliban OR Christian religious nuts.

Fortunately, I believe (hope anyway) that the "religious right" in this country is outnumbered by the "religious moderates" and those who believe in individual rights.

I don't want the federal government dictating ANYTHING to ANYBODY beyond protecting us from each other through sensible laws.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 11/18/13 - 12:15 pm
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Yes ICL

You will know them by their fruits......we are therefore to be "fruit inspectors". A lost person in need of a savior and a sinful undiscerning Christian is two entirely different people in need of two very different responses.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 11/18/13 - 10:33 pm
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itsanotherday

A better analogy would be Christian conservatives and liberals. Conservatives like myself believe in a literal interpretation of Scripture as opposed to liberals who have more of a buffet approach to Scripture.

ymnbde
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ymnbde 11/18/13 - 12:45 pm
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hey Copperhead, how is that "civility" thing going?

the taliban nations refer to Jews
as "pigs" and worse, and act upon those beliefs
the KKK referred to blacks and jews as something
similar, and worse, and acted upon those beliefs
the Nazis refered to jews as something fully less than human
and did the worst of all
and the taliban, the kkk, and the nazis are rightfully vilified
should we do any less to someone with comments like copperhead?
comparing Christians to the taliban?
my goodness, he's reached a new lower level in civility
and his ignorance of proportions and history simply astound any decent person
a person who can't "discern" between the taliban and Christianity
must be simply eaten up with hate
have you no decency?

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