Villains of the Bible Series

Sermon series by Mark Harris

Your Love is Your Life – Memorial Baptist Church, 22 Nov 2020

 

 

Blind by Design

Reality is hard, and we don’t like it. So we blind ourselves, and others blind us, to the truth, to the real world.

I work in Northern Virginia (NOVA) outside of Washington DC, a bustling metropolis of steel and glass, American history, and Federal workers, from janitors to the President. For decades, this area has been a stronghold of Democratic politics, with Republicans having nary a chance at the ballot box. I am also taking tap dancing lessons in NOVA, and the fine arts in America are another area in which you are more likely to get kicked by a Donkey than trampled by an Elephant. Last week, America endured a bitter presidential election, and waited days for the results.[1] So, I was unsurprised when I heard exclamations of joy and sighs of relief from class members.

Continue reading “Blind by Design”

The Purpose of Government

Governments, all governments, are established under God by the will of the people, although not necessarily all the people. They have specific and limited purposes. Governments cannot and should not try to do everything for everyone.

Democracies, in which each eligible voter selects their favored candidate for each office in a fair process, most visibly follow the will of the people. Dictatorships, however, also require popular support. Saddam Hussein used Sunni Baathists to place him in power and keep him there. As a result, he provided choice government positions to his loyal followers, favored friendly companies with government contracts, and then leaned on the recipients to keep their people in line. Simultaneously, Hussein ensured that Sunni Muslims, though a minority in Iraq, received more consistent electrical power, better services, and more opportunities than the majority Shia Muslims received. Had Hussein not cultivated powerful supporters, he would have fallen. A careful or even cursory study of Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Napoleon, and other dictators throughout time and space shows the same thing. No man is powerful enough to rule a nation alone; he must have help from the people to gain power and keep it.

Continue reading “The Purpose of Government”

Prayer in Life and Ministry

How many of us have ever had a “Sweet Hour of Prayer?” How would our lives be changed if we did? Reflect on the words of the old hymn:

  • Sweet hour of prayer Sweet hour of prayer
  • That calls me from a world of care
  • And bids me at my Father’s throne
  • Make all my wants and wishes known
  • In seasons of distress and grief
  • My soul has often found relief
  • And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
  • By Thy return, sweet hour of prayer
  • Sweet hour of prayer Sweet hour of prayer
  • The joys I feel, the bliss I share
  • Of those whose anxious spirits burn
  • With strong desires for Thy return
  • With such I hasten to the place
  • Where God my Savior shows His face
  • And gladly take my station there
  • And wait for Thee, sweet hour of prayer
  • Sweet hour of prayer Sweet hour of prayer
  • And wait for Thee Sweet hour of prayer

Continue reading “Prayer in Life and Ministry”