Reflections on the Election

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In this sermon, Pastor Bohr shares some thoughts on the events and issues that surrounded the 2004 presidential election win of George W. Bush, in the light of their possible implications for the future. Most political experts at the time were surprised to find that moral values and homeland security were issues that ended up being more prominent in the minds of many voters than the economy or the war in Iraq was. He discusses how perplexing problems, insecurity, and ferment have been increasing in various moral, social, economic, political and religious arenas and how 911 triggered chains of events that led to a change in people's thinking. The USA seems to be falling apart at the seams as its culture decays, and someday soon there will be a backlash in a misguided attempt by many Christians to rectify these problems.

Pastor Bohr draws parallels between America's problems and those that caused the degradation and fall of the Roman Empire. He shows that, just as Constantine came on the scene then to try to fix things by mixing church and state, so a similar try at fixing our problems will someday be made by Christians calling for state enforced morality. Matthew 24:6-8 predicts an increase of war, confusion and natural disasters in the end, which will shortly afterward be followed by persecution of the true saints of God as the scapegoats all these problems will be blamed on. Seventh-day Adventists who stand for religious liberty and keeping the Sabbath, will then be falsely and ironically looked upon as against God's law, morality and unified Christianity. Satan hates religious and civil liberty and is bringing in events to little-by-little lead our country away from these bedrock principles that we are built upon.

Pastor Bohr also shows how what we see developing today has a striking parallel in the way the different Jewish sects came together as one in Jesus' day against their common "enemy" by using the state to crucify Christ. He shares some enlightening quotes from the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy as to how a united clergy will someday influence a religious amendment to the US Constitution, by stirring up popular opinion calling for Sunday laws and other religious laws to try to save the nation's demise.

Satan today is trying to gather Christians together in a false and superficial ecumenical unity by using hypnotic modern worship styles and emphasizing some social issues that concern them in fighting their common enemy, secular humanism. Yet at the same time they do away with several other truths as being important to true unity and as having positive influences on society, such as God's law and grace working together in salvation and the seventh-day Sabbath being the true sacred day for worship. We see unity today between Catholics and Protestants in trying to enforce laws against gay marriage and abortion and wanting religious voucher support and prayer in public schools, while at the same time ignoring speaking out against serious errors in doctrine and practice that their own groups hold. But Jesus said that true unity comes in being sanctified by God's truth.

The changes seen in America in appointing Supreme Court justices with less favorable views of keeping church and state separate should concern us. We are to stand up for religious liberty as long as possible and not just lazily let it slip away thinking that the end is coming anyway.

The main theme of this sermon is that when the church starts to desire the honor and support of the world and lets false principles and practices in to mix with true doctrines and practices, it then loses its Spirit-led power to convict and transform society. In desperation to "get society back to God" it then tries to make up for its loss of influence on societal standards by seeking a way to use the state to enforce its chosen dogmas and values, yet it hypocritically ignores other aspects of God's Law and doctrine that do not fit its desires. It blames secularism and the government for the ills of society instead of looking at itself as taking most of the blame. Finally it ends up persecuting those Christians who try to show them where they went wrong in their compromising with the world.

"When the early church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of 'heresy.' In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends. Whenever the church has obtained secular power, she has employed it to punish dissent from her doctrines" (GC 443).

"When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result" (GC 445).

"Through fraud and falsehood Satan is now using those who claim to be Christians to divorce the world from God's mercy. They are working in blindness. They do not see that if a Protestant government sacrifices the principles that have made them a free, independent nation, and through legislation brings into the Constitution, principles that will propagate papal falsehood and papal delusion, they are plunging into the Roman horrors of the Dark Ages. But this need not be, just at this point of time, if the church is aroused to her duty and her work. A vast responsibility is devolving upon men and women of prayer throughout the land, to petition that God may sweep back this cloud of evil, and give a few more years of grace to work for the Master" (RH Dec. 11, 1888).

"But today in the religious world there are multitudes who, as they believe, are working for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ as an earthly and temporal dominion. They desire to make our Lord the ruler of the kingdoms of this world, the ruler in its courts and camps, its legislative halls, its palaces and market places. They expect Him to rule through legal enactments, enforced by human authority. Since Christ is not now here in person, they themselves will undertake to act in His stead, to execute the laws of His kingdom. The establishment of such a kingdom is what the Jews desired in the days of Christ. They would have received Jesus, had He been willing to establish a temporal dominion, to enforce what they regarded as the laws of God, and to make them the expositors of His will and the agents of His authority. But He said, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36. He would not accept the earthly throne" (DA 509).

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