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GOD’S 2 CENTS

What does the Bible have to say?

1297345334798_ORIGINAL

The Teacher Strike ~ Ontario

This message was brought by our Senior Pastor Rick Boyes Sunday morning Jan. 27th. Him and a panel of 3 other Pastors: Pastor Tim Schwindt, Pastor Blair Mercer & Pastor Dave Andrews spoke on 4 “World Topics”.

The Other 3 Topics:

  1. The Mayor Joe Fontana Controversy (Pastor Dave) ~ (BLOG here:  The Mayor Joe Fontana Controversy    )
  2. The Shooting Tragedy in Connecticut (Pastor Tim(BLOG here: Shooting Tragedy In Connecticut    )
  3. Hurricane Sandy & Natural Disasters (Pastor Blair) ~ (BLOG here:   Hurricane Sandy & Natural Disasters  )

We often ask questions, presume, accept, reject and guess about many things in our world today. It was wonderful to hear them all clarify, encourage and empower us that morning.

God’s divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness….he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” ~ Pastor Rick Boyes

For each topic a list of scriptures were given to use to reference. Here’s the PDF of Questions & Scripture References To All “4” Topics:  Sermons ~ God’s Two Cents

Questions & Scripture References  ~ The Teacher Strike

  1.  Is it acceptable to defend your rights as a citizen or within your society (work, neighbourhood, community)?
  2.  Should Christians ever strike or protest? 
  3.  Does the bible say anything about standing up for yourself or others? 

1 Peter 2:18-20 ~ Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 

Luke 19:11-27 ~ As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.” 

Ephesians 6:5 ~ Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:17 ~ Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Titus 2:9-10 ~ Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.

1 Timothy 6:1-2 ~ Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honour, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things. 

Colossians 4:1-18 ~ Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 

Colossians 3:22 ~ Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 

Romans 13:1-7 ~ Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.

Ecclesiastes 5:8 ~ If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. 

Psalm 43:1 ~ Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me! 

Psalm 82:3-4 ~ “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” 

Isaiah 1:17 ~ Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

 

PASTOR RICK’S SERMON NOTES

~ As we begin a new component to weekend messages….we’ve entitled it God’s two cents…

~ Everyday there are events and actions occurring within our world….society…our city…

~ Stuff that greatly impacts our lives…stirs our emotions…causes us to think thoughts that surprise even ourselves…things that cause us to question…presume …accept, reject and guess…

~ And all the while God has given us his final word on all that is necessary to live right..honour God and glorify his name in our community…

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness….he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind,….. forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. (1Peter 1:3-9)

~ And so throughout the year between our series when significant events that effect our lives occur within society…we will pause and ask the question… What does the Bible say?

~ I must confess to you my concern that among those of us who call ourselves Christians…we seem to be so quick to spout off our own thoughts, feeling and opinions on whatever social media before us…

~ And yet, rarely to I find any of our rants beginning with… “as a Christian, I believe the Bible wants us to think…feel…act…

~ So that’s what these weekend messages will be about…things that are happening in our world and what’s God two cents on the matter…???

~ Agree or disagree…we are not going to make personal commentary nor opinion on issues that are complicated and controversial…and we are not trying to solve the issue or bring all the answers to your questions…

~ We only want to share God’s two cents and then allow you to decide if what God thinks has any bearing on your thoughts, feelings and actions as a Christian…

~ If you find yourself saying….I don’t care…I still think…or that’s not fair or right…

~ Let’s remember….God is not ever wrong and His Word is always true….the Bly ones who are ever wrong are us!

Folks, it just seems to me that if we are followers of Christ and His Word…then his two cents need to carry more weight than what I think or feel or what the latest Youtube video or Twitter fee  is suggesting…

~ Today, we have 4 things that occurred in 2012 that seem to stand out and will give us a good idea of what these weekend messages will look like…normally we will deal with only one at on a weekend and therefore of course in more depth….

1. Pastor Blair.…Hurricane Sandy…what does the bible say about natural disasters?

2. Pastor Tim….Sandy Hook Connecticut shooting….what does the Bible say about why there is so much violence and why doesn’t God do something?

3. Pastor Dave….the controversy regarding Mayor Fontana and what the Bible has to say about integrity…both Ours…and those in authority over us

4. Last, I will look at Bill 115 and the struggle between the teachers/their union and the province of Ontario…asking what the Bible has to say about personal rights…should Christians strike, protest or stand up against man or gov’t.

~ YES, some of you may think us crazy…but, if the Bible doesn’t speak to us today …about real life…and real events…then maybe it doesn’t speak at all!

~ And if it does speak…as Christians, maybe we need to listen?!?!?!?

~ Lets get started: Blair…Tim…Dave…(timer – 8 mins each) 🙂

 

BACKGROUND ON THE TEACHERS STRIKE 

~ The Putting Students First Act (formerly known as Bill 115) was an act passed by the legislative assembly of Ontario in Sept this past year.

~ The law allows the provincial government to set rules that local school boards must adhere to when negotiating with local unions …and to impose a collective agreement on the board, and it’s employee’s…or teachers…

~ This bill also limits the legality of teachers’ unions and support staff going on strike.

~ Collective bargaining is ongoing in an attempt to have the government’s education partners reach agreements that respect local circumstances while remaining within limitations established in the legislation.

~ Many union leaders, teachers and those who sympathize with them believe that Bill 115 is a threat to all unionized employees as well as democratic rights and values….

~ Because of its power to limit strike action and impose a collective agreement without negotiation….meaning that this is just the beginning and they are probably right….

~ Protests have been ongoing though out Ontario in an attempt to bring attention to this Bill and it effects to teachers…the education system and to our children and families.

~ Protesting has for the most been very peaceful with a work to rule approach that limits all extra-curricular activities for students before and after school…filed trips, sports teams and any activity outside the parameters of the teachers job requirement.

 ~ Much more could be said, but this is the highlight of a very delicate and difficult situation for all involved…

~ The emotions are intense…the opinions are vast and diverse…

~ We have teachers in our midst today…and obviously a host of parents, and children who are affected by some of the choices and decisions that are being  brought forth…

~ Let me say two things before we look to the scriptures….

1 ~ Teachers, we love you …we bless you and we thank you for the great job that you do and we recognize that this has been very hard on you…we pray that this matter comes to a compromised resolve…that allows you to get back to doing what you love most…teaching our children!!!

2 ~ Let me also say that I appreciate the incredible difficult and unpopular position that govt finds themselves in trying to give us as citizens the best quality of life that anyone could ask for on this planet…and in doing so …given the task of trying to find a way to pay for it all…and keep us happy!

~ We have a massive deficit and the Government is trying to balance the books….the Public sector pay is therefore one area that has come under the microscope….and it won’t end with the teachers…it’s just the beginning…

~ We need to be careful when we point fingers at those in authority who vote into power… for shouldering all of the blame….

~ There is hardly a gov’t …agency or nation that isn’t struggling with very, very difficult choices that in spite even my own arm-chair coaching…I don’t envy any of them!!!

~ Just consider the banter and debate of our own city this past week on 2013 budget

 So What Does The Bible Really Say About Striking/ Protests…standing up for your rights…standing up for the rights of others?

~ Well…perhaps to state the obvious….

~ It’s really hard to try and justify sabotage, arson, destruction of property, riots or any form of violence as an appeal to Christ’s role as a liberator…

~ Revolutions destroy society and kill people… my focus is not on world issues…totalitarian gov’t’s… the sex trade… 3rd world labour laws… genocide… peace-keeping interventions… diamond mines/oil fields or ocean access corridors….nor is it about gender-oppressive states…

~ When we speak of oppressed people….we don’t need a theology of revolution, inciting violence…

~ What we need is a Theology of peace ……which is found only in Jesus Christ….and this is an entirely different discussion…

~ We have to acknowledge that in our current North American governmental systems…in our democratic society…civil disobedience…public protests and strikes are considered a valid method of speaking to government….

~ The Bible was written during a different day and a different understanding of govt…there was no such thing as a democracy or rights of the people….so context is important…

~ A quotation from the Declaration of Independence of the United States is instructive on this point and the spirit of Canada’s constitution reflects similar values…

. . . We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute a new government. . . .

 

~ And so in a modern western democracy a good citizen is one who calls the government to account for its actions and who, through the political process, works to make the government better….

So what does the Bible say to our personal response ?

Ephesians 6:5 ~ Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:17 ~ Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Titus 2:9-10 ~ Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.

 1 Timothy 6:1-2 ~ Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honour, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things.

Colossians 4:1-18 ~ Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.

Colossians 3:22 ~ Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

1 Peter 2:18-20 ~ Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

 

~ Now consider this…if this what the Bible calls for during a time of slavery….how much more does it speak to us!!

How else should Christians respond?

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority, resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgement on themselves…Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.”  (Rom 13:1-5)

 

What should people do if they have been treated unfairly?

~ The Lord Jesus taught that we should always pray and never give up….

~ In the parable of the persistent widow, He taught that even an unjust judge will do what is right in response to persistent prayer and pressure….

Jesus told his disciples a story about how they should keep on praying and never give up: In a town there was once a judge who didn’t fear God or care about people.  In that same town there was a widow who kept going to the judge and saying, “Make sure that I get fair treatment in court.”

For a while the judge refused to do anything. Finally, he said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about people, I will help this widow because she keeps on bothering me. If I don’t help her, she will wear me out.”

The Lord said: Think about what that crooked judge said. Won’t God protect his chosen ones who pray to him day and night? Won’t he be concerned for them? He will surely hurry and help them. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find on this earth anyone with faith? Luke 18:1-8

~ God hears our prayers….Prov. 21 says, The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

~ We need to all Christians to be informed, involved, and interceding…. Prayer is our foundation for action.

~ Jesus said, …“You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world…let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matt 5:13-16.

 

And yet, Christian protest has a place:

“Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for Me against evildoers?” (Ps 94:16)

~ As ambassadors of Christ, we are to be salt and light in society – salt bringing preservation (of morals) and light bringing the hope and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ thus dispelling darkness and evil.

To him who knows to do good and does not do it…it is sin.” (James 4:17)

~ It’s ok to stand up for righteousness…it’s ok to stand against injustice… but remember to do so prayerfully in wisdom, humility and order

Psalm 82:3-4 ~ “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Isaiah 1:17 ~  Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

~ But, God help us if out attitude is not in honour of authority over us and we become poisoned by our anger and judgement…

 Romans 13:1-7 ~ Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

 

~ There are many more more scriptures that speak to this topic…

~ Being agents of peace is the priority for Christians….

~ Standing for righteousness, justice and freedom is our calling…

~ But it must be exercised with deep humility, respect, honor and submission…

 

It is important for all of us to remember how easily and quickly we can become captives of the system of thought and economics that prevails at present in our society. By God’s grace we are called from conformity to the transformation of our lives by the renewal of mind and spirit to know and do the will of God. The potential for good of such obedience is as limitless as God’s love and grace, and God’s peace will flow from His church like a river to bless the nations.

 ~ Duane Heffelbower ~