Mrs. Clinton’s Modern World

“Now extreme views about women? We expect that from some terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world,’’ Clinton stated. “But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States, yet they espouse out-of-date and out-of-touch policies.

Hilary Clinton made these remarks about the Republican presidential candidates. ‘Modern world’. Hmmm. I want to live in the modern world but my sense of modern considers a different ‘reality’ from Mrs. Clinton’s. The modern world in which I live is the world of the Kingdom of God as revealed in the Scriptures. It is a world where every life matters to God who created these lives even as difficult a situation as some may find themselves in. Even though Mrs. Clinton accuses some candidates of being so wrong about not choosing abortion in cases of rape or incest I doubt that this ‘would be’ President is interested at all in protecting the lives of all the unborn in most any situation. I am not sure what kind of ‘modern’ world Mrs. Clinton envisions but it seems to be one that does not include babies within the womb.

I am not in favor of criminalizing abortion. But I believe that in the Kingdom of God modern world we as intelligent people should be doing everything possible to help families NOT to have to choose abortion. It is a barbaric Dark Age world where abortion is used as a tool of convenience for choices people make in their lives. And I am personally aware of one situation where a young woman who was raped and still carried her child to term. She did this with the help of many loving people. And her little girl has a good life.

The Kingdom of God is about living a ‘good’ life, something the people of God need to encourage even in the hardest situations. We live by the Book that says God works all things to good for those who are in love with God and I suspect for lots of people who don’t even trust God.

Calling Republicans ‘terrorists’? Well, I guess that goes with the political territory. That’s modern world language for you. And it is most likely fodder for the news cattle.

I am sure that much of what I believe would be considered by Mrs. Clinton as ‘out of touch’. Out of touch with what, I don’t know. But I am more concerned to be ‘in touch’ with the reality of God’s kingdom. I want to search out God in all these matters and I want to do God’s will as best I can discern it. I’m not sure I will find it in all this political ballyhooing, but hey, you never know where God’s graceful presence may surprise us.


Recall that after Jesus teaches his disciples about prayer he concludes that if we don’t forgive others their sins, God won’t forgive us. Is that really true or was Jesus just using hyperbole to encourage this band of students to keep their community alive in love.

I want to throw this idea out there. It’s probably from someone else because that’s where all good ideas come from. Forgiveness means letting go of someone as though you were holding him or her by the neck for their debt to you or their trespass against you. It’s hard to hold out your hands to receive from God if you are preoccupied with payback from another.

You may remember Jesus telling the parable of the unforgiving debtor, one who having himself been pardoned by his master subsequently finds a debtor to himself out of whom this man almost literally chokes the life. Jesus concludes by saying that the first debtor was locked away for good.

Here’s the thing about forgiveness. It’s grace. It means doing for another what they cannot do for themselves. Grace means that you and I take the debt on ourselves as Jesus did for the whole world. If we cannot issue grace to another then it is evidence that we do not receive the grace of God and if we do not place our confidence in the grace of God we are left alone, removed from God as it were.

Amidst all the evilness of the world there is no one who does to us what we did to Christ. And make no mistake. He willingly took all that upon himself. He did it to make the world right with God. And anyone who wants to stand in that new world needs to do the same work with the help of God working in and through us.

Certainly it is possible to desire to forgive when the action comes with difficulty. God understands that. How hard was it for Jesus to take action to bring forgiveness to the world. Towards the end he would have like to escape such self-denying love.  So when it is difficult for us to forgive the best place to go is in the arms of our Savior to rest with him and abide with him and let him do the loving within and through us. Maybe it’s a little baby step at first but baby steps are good when we look to the growth they will bring.

So think of someone who needs your forgiveness even someone who has died. Think of someone far away or maybe in your own household. Then go to school with Jesus and let him teach you…and me the essence of his Grace.

And if we won’t forgive? Well, what we are saying to God is ‘no thank you.  We will handle life in our own way’, and we won’t want God anyway.

Many will come in those last days to Christ saying, ‘Lord Lord’ but Jesus will say that some will have to depart because they really didn’t want God’s will anyway.

But I would submit that forgiving another will be one of the greatest christian spiritual experiences of your life when you …and I let go of another to embrace God. That is the good life. So let’s be students of the good life.




What is the good life? The life of joy and peace? Jesus offers us this life, his pulse beating through our hearts. Here are some of his final words to his disciples for their preparation to live:

“As the Father loved me, I too have loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete. 12 This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. (John 15)

Jesus, the savior and the moment-by-moment teacher of life has given us everything we need for our joy. He has forgiven our sins. He has given us the gift of his commands, which leads to life. Some folks look at obedience to anybody as a challenge to their own rights but Jesus offers to instruct us how to live and not just as a dead teacher’s good advice but as one who is alive and with us right now. Recall his words to his disciples just before he leaves them. “I will be with you always.” (Matthew 28)

See nothing can separate us from God’s love, not even death. (Romans 8)

Jesus offers us the way to life through his words and his love. Just as he has kept the Father’s commands he offers us the way to salvation through keeping his words. He is promising us that we will be joyful people who attend to his words.

I hear someone once say that the commands of God are like guardrails keeping us safe on the road of life. Others say they are like prison bars keeping us from being free.

Fish live in water because it’s their environment for life. If they should choose to jump out onto the sand they would soon find out that freedom leads to death in this scenario.  I once had tropical fish in my office and one morning upon entering the room I noticed that one of the fish decided to be free- on the office carpeting. Free and dead was my little friend.

Have you ever played soccer or seen it played, or maybe basketball or for that matter any sport? Without boundaries and rules these games would be just chaos, no fun for anyone. So it is with life. Jesus offers us boundaries and rules to make the ‘game’ fun. You can condense all those commands into just two if you like. Love God as much as you can and love your neighbor as you love yourself.(Matthew 22) That pretty much says it all.

But because we are weak in the flesh we need more acute instruction. And so Jesus instructs us about things like anger and lust, worry and giving etc.

Jesus says that the freest place to be is within the Kingdom of God. You and I were made for the Kingdom. I know that atheist folks say ‘hogwash’ to that but what do they know, really? How do they know what they think they know?

Jesus comes along as the smartest, wisest, most loving man in all of history and invites us to live with him, according to his commands and tells us that the reality of God’s kingdom is the one thing you and I can count on. And who’s to say he is not right? Some folks blame their unbelief on years of religious oppression and cruelty, which Jesus never endorsed. Such history is lived outside of God’s kingdom, which is righteousness and peace. And the rules that Jesus lays out are meant to realize that peace and justice and goodness.

For example when Jesus tells us not to be angry he is inviting us into God’s reality of love and forgiveness. So when we learn how not to be angry (which can take some time for most of us) we begin to see life with God’s eyes and love with God’s heart.  Jesus shows us God.

One of the disciples once asked Jesus to show them the Father because they still couldn’t figure this kingdom stuff completely. Jesus said to them that after all this time of his presence with them they should be able to see the Father.

Consider these words from Jesus in John chapter 8-So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Continuing in Jesus words means that we listen to what he has to say and that we obey his teachings because we have confidence that he knows best for us. If you want to learn to play piano you listen to your teacher. If you want to learn to be an electrician you study hard and listen to your mentor. If you want to do anything well in life then you listen to your instructor. Well, if you want to learn best how to live this life, how to be happy, loving, and righteous and the best person you can be and be free then you listen to your teacher, Jesus. He knows. He really does.

Freedom in the Christian life means that you don’t have to live in sin. We are freed by Christ to live the good life a life that is meaningful, purposeful and eternal.

It means that when you wake up in the morning you wake up in the Kingdom of God, with God, knowing that no matter what happens in that day you are not in the least removed from God’s love and presence brought to us by Jesus who himself said to us that he would be with us forever.

And get this. The apostle John writes in one place that the commands of Jesus are not hard. And Jesus himself tells us that he wants to connect up with us and give us responsibility that is in actuality quite easy. (See Matthew 11) Easy meaning that it fits us well. Of course there are to be problems and suffering in this world. Jesus faced it all but he has given us the tools to face insurmountable odds. At one point he says, ‘my peace I give you, not as the world gives.’

He knows everything about life, our lives, and the life of this universe and eternal life and invites us to entrust our lives into his care, guidance and to live by his rules.

The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best advice ever on how to live this life in the Kingdom of God. It’s three chapters long found in Matthew 5,6,7.

They are words from the very WORD of God to teach us that anybody can live in the Kingdom of God and that by listening to/reading his words we can have the best life ever.

What I sometimes find is that people misunderstand what the rules are. They think it’s about smoking, dancing, drinking and the like. No. His rules are avenues into our hearts. That’s why Jesus says that it is not enough not to kill someone. It’s about loving everyone especially those who are closest to us. We don’t have to work hard not to kill but to love is another story, another adventure if you will. This day or the next you will have opportunity to test that truth as you encounter people who aren’t always on your wavelength so to speak.

Now if we choose to live outside the Kingdom life it would like stepping out of bounds on the basketball court, like riding our cars with no gas (I want to be free of higher gas prices). I’m sure you can think of all sorts of analogies like jumping off a roof thinking that you can be free of gravity. Sure you can be free but you will be broken if you are into that kind of thing.

Jesus offers us the kind of freedom that allows us to love, to be kind, forgiving, and compassionate and in love with God. The Kingdom of me is about selfishness, anger, resentment, retaliation…it is a way that leads ultimately to the death of the soul. Maybe that’s why Jesus once said (Matthew 7) that the way to life is narrow and few find it. Perhaps for the most part people are into the ‘me’ life. The ‘I did it my way life’. I have to admit that on the surface it is mighty appealing and I am known to have walked that way often. But it is not the real life, real meaning the life that God has prescribed for you and me. It’s fleshly satisfying and fleeting. I want a life that endures, that is built on solid ground. It takes worth but then again what good thing doesn’t?