Dear Representative of the People

Dear Representative of the People,

I have been deeply concerned by the recent debate and unofficial regulations regarding the transgender bathroom use, and I urge you to not succumb to the political pressure of our day at the expense of our children.  So you know that I am not simply jumping on the bandwagon of social media, I consistently work with members of the LGBT community, have read the documents including title IX and the presidential letter to school districts, and counsel youth and adults whose basic human rights have been violated.

Many differing reasons have been given for the allowance of transgender bathroom privileges.  When boiled down, the arguments seem to all include the ideas of fairness and dignity.  The most succinct evidence of this is shown in Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin’s statement, “This is a truly significant moment not only for transgender young people but for all young people, sending a message that every student deserves to be treated fairly and supported by their teachers and schools.”[1]

The idea is repeated by President Obama, “We’re talking about kids… potentially they are vulnerable. I think that it is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are all loved, and that they’re protected and that their dignity is affirmed.”[2]
I would submit that the dignity of the individual is destroyed by the support of legislation allowing transgenders to decide which bathroom they feel most comfortable with as well as the more moderate approach of building special bathrooms for transgender use.  The individual dignity is destroyed by these types of legislation, and we are confusing our children in several areas.

     First, we are modeling for this vulnerable generation that dignity is something that can be bestowed upon us from outside of ourselves.  If my dignity is able to be given me by my government, then it can also be taken away by the same entity.  If society can give me dignity, then society can take it away.  Should the government mandate who can be invited to after school parties or which players should be selected for the football quarterback based on their own self-identification?

     Second, we are commending the destruction of our society by supporting anarchy.[3]  By supporting such legislation, in the name of love or dignity, we are supporting nihilism and moral anarchy.  Catering to this type of legislation undermines the very fibers that hold all societies together.  This is not to say that transgenders using the same restroom will destroy a nation, but that the driving philosophy behind the legislation is acidic to the foundations of any civilization.  Actions like these are training our children to be the moral compass.

Third, we are confusing our children not simply genetically, but morally.  We train them in school to believe that they can identify their own gender based on a subjective standard, but then preach to them that actions of bullying and terrorism are wrong.  “What if I self-identify as a bully?  What if bullying makes me feel affirmed and dignified?”  This seems to be a dual standard.  It is impossible to have a moral statement without a moral anchor.

Fourth, we are confusing our children by telling them that what they do determines their value.  By refusing to allow bathroom legislation you are not attacking anyone’s dignity, but affirming that dignity is not based on the actions of an individual.  Refusing a policy change is not a value statement on the individual or an attack against Trans-lives matter.  If that were the case, I would also say that murderers lives matter, and we should also have a rapist bathroom and schools that teach acceptance of torture and infanticide.  In fact when taken to its logical conclusion, regardless of your belief, you could not disagree with me without viciously attacking my dignity.

     Fifth, we are confusing our children by following the Luciferin narrative that humans can determine meaning and morality.  We are teaching our kids that meaning and morality can come from society untethered from God’s laws.  The same Bible that condemns murder, rape, and pedophilia also clearly states that man’s meaning and dignity do not come from ourselves, but from our relation to Jesus Christ. If we hold open the door for choosing one’s own standards, we are setting a precedent for more violence in our society.  If men and women like yourself are not courageous enough to stand up with a clear voice against this mafia style “love” enforcement and show that morality is not subjective, we will see an increase in Columbine or Roseburg type shootings.

I am not in favor of the denigration of people in society, but I want to encourage you that the rejection of the new bathroom policies is not an act of aggression against people of a varying view point, but is actually an act of love.  It is an act of love that seeks to stand with a clear voice warning the next generation of the effects of mistaken ideologies.

As a fellow concerned citizen, I urge you to stand against politicians playing philosophical Russian Roulette with the lives of our children and oppose any legislation that would seek to confuse our children and undermine the foundations of dignity and morality.

 

Daniel Mielke

7th Congressional District

Polk County, WI

 

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/US/obama-administration-public-schools-transgender-students-access-bathrooms/story?id=39081956

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/17/us/politics/obama-defends-transgender-directive-for-school-bathrooms.html

[3] A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.  Friedrich Nietzsche argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history. http://www.iep.utm.edu/nihilism/

 

Are You a Terrorist?

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Are you a terrorist? Would the government ever consider you a terrorist? With the incredible amount of technology and the ability of our government to spy on its citizens at any moment would they ever convict you of being a terrorist? A terrorist as defined by the FBI, “Involve(s) violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”

Before you get nervous about the government locking you up for buying extra ammunition, or keyword searching your emails and Facebook, let’s break down some characteristics of terrorists.

     Terrorists have no outside authority. It may surprise you to know, that I am personal friends with several trained killers. I actually feel very safe military-81782_640when I am with my friends, and the reason for that, is my military friends do not have the luxury of killing whoever they choose. When I realize that they are under orders, I am actually safer and feel more protected with my military friends. Because they are under their commander’s authority.

How about us as Christians?  Do we continually submit our actions to God’s authority, or are we spiritual terrorists? A soldier can neither make up his own orders or get creative with the ones already delivered (II Tim 2:15). As Christians we are duty bound to follow our Commanding officer.

Terrorists fight for their own purposes. Before we get on our moral high horse and condemn the acts of terrorists (and they are wrong actions), let us take a moment to consider our own actions as Christians. Do I follow my own purposes? Do I seek to destroy people because they offended me? Do I point to other people’s wrongs to justify my own acts of hatred? Do I lash out with destructive accuracy?

If terrorists are wrong for acting on their own authority and their own purpose, should not I apply the same moral standard to my domestic acts of terror?

At core, am I acting any differently than a terrorist when I want my own way? According to the FBI part of the definition of a terrorist, Involve(s) acts dangerous to human life…. Appear intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.” How many family members will I attack and tear down, in order to gain a piece of respect? How many friends will I coerce, so I can get what I want? How sweet will I be in order to get close enough to plant a bomb in someone else’s life if they do not give me what I want?

The problem with Christians is not that they have a difficult time standing and fighting, the problem is that we wage war continually against each other, in order to get what we want instead of what God wants. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your desires that war in your members? From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your desires that war in your members?” (James 4:1)

We must continually ask ourselves, “Am I upset, because God’s Kingship was called into question or mine?”

What does God want? What are the results of a true Holy War? Peace. Peace with God and then with each other. The Gospel is the message of good news of peace between God and man through the submission of my rebellious state (Rom 10:15). This submission to God through Christ, changes us from terrorists running around blowing things up for our own agendas and transforms us to mighty heavenly warriors with weapons that are unearthly. God’s weapons are those of truth, grace, and humility that can never be destroyed because they were forged in the armory of Heaven.

When I realize that I am included in the inheritance of God’s Kingdom, I do not have to fight and scrap for a measly piece of temporal ground. I become temperate and controlled as a warrior. Because I am no longer fighting for myself, I am able to boldly desire rebels (unbelievers and believers) to bow in submission to the commands of the Great King.

Ours is not a battle where the spoils are divided, but rather a call to submission where the Joy is shared.

     So back to the original question, “Am I a spiritual terrorist?” Do I continually submit to God’s authority as defined by the Bible? Do I try to coerce and force my own purposes on others? Our call to Christ’s service is clear, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (2Co 5:20).

Why Ravens

What Could God Want with These Scavengers?

Have you ever wondered why God puts certain details in the Bible? God doesn’t waste ink. God’s Word has incredible riches sometimes laying out in the open, and then there are times when He has us dig a little. Today I want to ask you to roll up your sleeves and dig a little with me as we answer the question, “Why Ravens?”

In I Kings 17:1-6, Elijah has his debut and is introduced as a prophet of God. God commands the new prophet to go and deliver a message to the wicked king Ahab who has chosen to reject the God of the Bible and institute Baal worship. After Elijah tells the king that there will be a drought and Jehovah God is in control of the rain, he is told to run and hide. (Good idea after telling a king that he is a wicked pagan, and that his economy is going to tank.) Then we see in verse 4 that God in his faithfulness is going to provide for all of Elijah’s needs and that God will send his servants to feed Elijah in the wilderness.

Elijah trusted God. He trusted when it made sense vs. 2-3. He trusted God when it didn’t make sense vs. 4.  raven-1312094Imagine the prophet of God, “What’s the Word?”  “Talk to the king, run hide.” “So like you got robin Hood hiding out in Jordan forest? How am I going to eat?” “I am going to have my servants bring you the food.” “Wow, room service. I can do this prophesying thing.” I will send Ravens.” “What they are unclean, I can’t eat that.” “You won’t have to, they are the chiefs.” “What?” “Go.”

After God tells Elijah His plan, he obeys and Elijah gets to see God fulfill His promises (6). The Word of the Lord came to pass (6). The moment God spoke the words into existence it happened. God never forgets His promise. As extraordinary as this plan sounds, God promised it in verse 4, and we see it coming to pass in verse 6 and 7. There was no rain, and there were always birds. They came twice a day. Gbread-1329360od ensured that for hundreds and hundreds of flights, his servant was fed. God promised, and delivered.

Because of Elijah’s trust, God provides a lesson. First of all, God provided protection. The first specific mention of Ravens is in Genesis 8:7, “And he (Noah) sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.” God protected the Raven species through impossible odds. Think of it. There are only two ravens alive on the ark, one bird leaves without coming back. Assuming there was not a nest of baby crows in the rafters, somehow the raven mate finds the other raven after the most catastrophic disaster in history, build a nest, and survive long enough to have baby ravens in order to provide for God’s prophet close to 2,000 years in the future. God protected His servants in order to provide for His prophet. (We can all be thankful that God didn’t choose the Dodo bird as his messengers.)

God also protected through uncommon means. Leviticus 11:13-15 states that ravens were unclean animals and could not be eaten by the Jewish people. Sometimes God’s laws don’t seem to make sense, but He has a plan. Just work with me here. If the Raven could be eaten what do you suppose would have happened during a famine? They would have eaten God’s messengers. I am sure some of the Israelites disobeyed God and were eating ravens, but for hundreds of years the Israeli “DNR” had posted no hunting signs, in order to keep Elijah fed. Even with God’s amazing provision, Elijah learned that he had to trust God daily.

God delights in putting his people in positions that do not make sense, so that they will trust Him more.

     In this very short story, God showed that He was in control. A seemingly insignificant prophet stands up and obeys God. Who knows how many child sacrifices were stopped or souls are in heaven because of that one act of obedience. The ravens obeyed and allowed for God to be glorified and provided for the next phase of Elijah’s spectacular ministry.

If we stopped there, we would be able to gather many nuggets of truth and be comforted that a faithful God provided for faithful servants.  Even though that is true, if we dig a little deeper, the immensity of God’s power resounds through the story like a thunderbolt.

Why a drought? Why didn’t God answer quickly like He does in the next chapter with a ball of fire? Why ravens? God could certainly have used the 7,000 servants who had not bowed down to Baal for food and shelter. If we step back to I Kings 16:30-32, we would see that this story about the ravens is predicated by the official establishment of the Canaanite worship of Baal.330px-Baal_thunderbolt_Louvre_AO15775

In the pantheon of gods, Baal was the chief deity. His name actually means lord or master. Many ancient religions held to the idea that differing deities were in charge of various aspects of life. We see this idea in I Kings 20:23 when the Syrians attempt to conquer Israel in the plains because they believed Jehovah was only the god of the hills. Baal’s area of power centered on three specific areas. He was in charge of rain (he is often pictured with a thunderbolt), grain, and fertility especially the first born.(1)

So when God sends Elijah to make a proclamation of drought to the king, he is claiming ownership over Baal’s territory. This story is not simply about the faithfulness of a beginning prophet, or the fate of a nation. This is a territorial battle of the gods, because Jehovah struck directly at the center of Baal worship. If it rained, Baal was God, if it didn’t Jehovah deserved worship. Even in God’s judgment He is merciful. He gave the nation of Israel 3 ½ years to observe that He ruleth in the affairs of men.

Because the rains didn’t come, the grain failed. Once again God is “allowing” Baal to answer on enkihis home turf. Every morning as the men of Israel woke up from hunger pains and watched the dust blow across the plains, they had to admit that Jehovah had defeated Baal. To make the story even more intriguing, Canaanite worship revered ravens as the messengers of the gods.

After the brook dried up, Elijah then is commanded to go to Phoenicia the center of Baal worship. (2) While there he finds a starving widow, provides an endless amount of grain for her, and then through the power of God, raises a boy to life. All in Baal’s home court. It’s as if God stood up in the heavens stuffed Baal and proclaimed, “Not in my house!”

How have you seen God working in miraculous ways?  I would love to read about the way God has used “ravens” in your life.

_______

1). As Baal was worshiped and adopted by many pagan religions his name, and responsibilities did vary, but the three major areas were that of rain, grain, and life

2). F.C. Fensham, “A Few Observations on the Polarization between Yahweh and Baal in I Kings 17—19,” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 92:2 (1980):234

3).  Also see Constable’s electronic notes on I Kings 17 soniclight.org

A Parable of the Modern Church

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There is a story told of a well in the middle east. It was in the desert, and some travelers came across it. camel2They hadn’t put any work into it nor did they know where it came from, they just knew that it met their needs and so they stayed. It was the only place for miles were people could get water. So they set up their tents and made it home. After a while children were born and those children had children. The oasis grew until it became a small village.

And the well kept providing. It seemed to those in the village that the well had always been there and they gave little thought to the source of the water.  Soon desert nomads came to visit and brought with them exotic wears and expensive spices. As time passed Caravans laden with dainties and precious treasures, became more and more frequent.

But a problem arose and the clan leaders all got together and had consul in order to decide what to do. Someone had voiced concerns that with the size of the village and all the caravans that the well would dry up. “That is impossible!” One of the elders cried out. “It has been here since before we got here and it will continue.” But questions grew and it was concluded that no one really knew how long it would last.

So a decision was made to ration how much water was given to the visitors. Almost instantaneously the council reconvened to discuss another horrendous problem.

“The caravans have stopped and our trade carts lie empty and I fear we may never get them back.” One man said. “It is because we have selfishly horded our water.” An elderly founder said with a cracked age ridden voice.” “Nonsense, what do those with expensive jewels and leisure want with water, there is nothing special about our well, and besides they are used to the finest wines in all the land, they have no interest in our water. What we need is to offer them something that would attract them.” “We could build a bizarre under a great tent with all sorts of trading goods and music, and torches by night.” “Yes, Yes!” The council erupted.

And they began to build. Shortly before they finished the grand bizarre, they sent men on camels to all the major trade routes to alert the mighty sheiks of the completion of the bizarre.tent

What a day it was. There were animals from all four corners of the globe, and feasting and wine, the village had never made so much money before and the coffers were full to overflowing. But just as suddenly the village grew quiet as once again the caravans failed to come. And dust collected under the mighty shelter of the once bustling bizarre.

Then a fierce drought came to the land and the villagers were drawing water from the well to water their crops, and once the council found out, they quickly posted guards at the well to monitor the water. Stating, “We cannot have ordinary citizens using our well, for their best interests.”

With time the guards soon become the only ones to draw water from the well, and people started to leave the village until the only thing left in the village was the abandoned huts, and a well that had never run dry.

What is the symbolism?  List your thoughts in the comments above.    grass