Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Scripture Twisting with the President: Sermon on the Mount

So I was listening to President Obama's address where he references the sermon on the mount. That is really the focus of this post. I won't get into the fact that his plan (at least from a face glance) seems to be founded on the idea that spending more money saves you money in the long run. Projections are showing that his plan will actually raise the deficit and spending to unparalleled heights not seen by either of the last 2 Presidents.

But I digress, on to his speech. Dear Believer reading this blog. Please be cautious of listening to anyone trying to cram a scripture into their worldly talk to fit their view. It is so important that we look at context when reading the Bible. What it meant to the original audience is what it means to us, then we look at whether is falls into the old or new covenant, what was going on in that culture... etc...

About 6:00 minutes in, President Obama decides that it is time for him to preach an out of context sermon twisting the scripture of the two types of foundations that can be built upon.

OBAMA: Now, there's a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells the story of two men.

The first built his house on a pile of sand, and it was soon destroyed when a storm hit. But the second is known as the wise man, for when "the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." "It was founded upon a rock."

We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity: a foundation that will move us from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest; where we consume less at home and send more exports abroad.

It's a foundation built upon five pillars that will grow our economy and make this new century another American century.

Here is the scripture Mr. Obama is referring to... let's dissect the REAL meaning. Matthew 7:24-27 (NASB)
24 "Therefore V)">(V)everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.

25 "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.

26 "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

27 "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."

Let's establish first of all that the sermon on the mount has nothing whatsoever to do with how a country is built. It has nothing to do with politics or economy. It has EVERYTHING to do with the Gospel. The foolish man built his hand not just on a "pile of sand" as Mr. Obama casually put it... He built his house upon a foundation of sand. There is a big difference. A foundation of sand reaches far deeper that simply stating it as a pile of sand. True, I may be a bit nit picky here, but I am willing to be labeled that way for the sake of thoroughness.

The foolish man's house was not only destroyed when the rains came, 25 "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. What would cause this house not to stand? What is different about the two foundations? What is the rock?

The Rock is Jesus Christ. This foolish man represents the lost unregenerate soul. It is a terrifying passage. We all remember the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina or the Tsunami that devastated Thailand just a few short years ago. Think about the destruction. Think about the carnage. Think about the lives lost, homes and businesses destroyed. Those folks had nothing to return to and in most cases no money to restart life with. They had nothing. Everything they had built up was gone. Destroyed... lost forever.

None of their possessions mattered in the face of the storm. Now think about this parable. When judgment comes, judgment being the winds and the rains referenced in verse 25, none of what this man had built up from an earthly stand point mattered. His good deeds didn't matter. His money didn't matter. His community service or charitable giving or church attendance... none of it mattered.

Why? Because the foundation was faulty. Works righteousness is not only a faulty foundation it is not a foundation (or Gospel) at all. You can't BE good enough to earn your way (or build your self up for) heaven. The foolish man says in his heart there is no God (Psalm 14:1). He has said that he doesn't need God. He doesn't see need o f a Savior. That he's good enough to make it through this life on his own steam, on his own merits. He has no fear of the storm to come (judgment) and thus does not build accordingly. Not only was his fall devastating, but Scripture says GREAT was its fall.

The second man. Seems to have had an equally respectable house. There is no distinction made between the two houses themselves in matters of property value except this house is built on a foundation of rock.

Think about it literally. When you build a home you dig down and pour your foundation of concrete. Why? Because you want a stable anchor for your home. You want to be sure that everything you build from the foundation up is safe and secure and that no matter what you are stable.

The wise man is the one who realizes their need for a Savior because he's looked at himself in the mirror of God's law (Exodus 20, Psalm 51, & Romans 7). He has fallen on his face before a Holy God and trembled before Him in humble submission to the God who gave him life (Psalm 139). His desire is to build only that which God calls him to build. That his house would be a home that serves and glorifies the Lord (Joshua 24:15).

He has seen that judgment day looms for us all (Hebrews 9:27) and he knows the only sure hope is that his life is founded on the rock. The truth, the life, the way. (John 14:6).

Mr. President and all those who read the beautiful sermon delivered by Jesus Christ on the mount. Please do not twist the meaning and miss the point all together. It is a warning. Heed the call of Jesus Christ. Surrender your all to Him today and be found stable when the storm comes.

So, NO Mr. President. That is not a valid application for that text unless you are planning on using God's Holy word as your foundation for decision making for this country as you should. Do not think that you can so easily sway and mislead God's children by feigning an attempt at devotion to the God you so often spit upon. Either repent and trust the Savior Mr. President (as I daily pray you will) or turn from Him openly. But stop trying to play both sides of the fence.

Believers, heed God's word to Paul given to Timothy... in 2 Timothy 3
Godlessness in the Last Days
1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

Paul's Charge to Timothy
10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.