Better Marriages 

The Heart Evil of Our American Imperialism

June 19, 2011

The Heart Evil of Our American Imperialism


Jesus never taught the version of our modern day imperialism that seeks the hidden control of nations and the eradication of nations that we deem unworthy of existence with our military might. Modern day Americans have lost the original spirit of our pioneering fathers who fought for freedom from tyranny and the propagation of justice and equity. 

The Great Commission calls modern day believers to take His Words and His method of reaching a lost world to bring His message reconciliation in urgency carrying the authority of a royal edict without shame in the Spirit's power, and in turn, millions of lost humans are translated into glorious subjects with the title of king and priests in His Kingdom of Love and Grace. 

Yahshua is our greatest example of how to build a worldwide empire that is solely based on His kingdom principals. His will and work will be realized one day on this planet to be sure but we must act in accord with His heavenly will today to become a participant of His KIngdom!
 

He commanded us to go and tell His story of Messianic and vicarious death connected powerfully to a glorious resurrection demonstrating victory over death and hell. Reversing the curse hanging over all of us. By copying His method of soul conquering power we carry out the exploits of His Kingdom as we walk by a simple obedience to His Spirit's leading. 
 

His heavenly message then instigates internal change of heart in those that accept His words and makes them subjects of His kingdom in a spirit of thankful love and grace. So then, only Jesus has the power to still our native imperialism, the natural inclination of all Americans for world conquest and national pride. Only Jesus has the power and the right to bring men to their knees by removing their pride and showing them His glory... only this activity will bring an end to wars and rumors of wars!

In spite of His clear teaching to us, we christian americans still operate in an imperialist way of thought. In ignorance we believe that the red white and blue are God-blessed and sacred. We justify our worldwide enterprises in war and in trade because of our self named goodness as a nation, a dutiful study of our history will not bear this reality.


We are simply part of a grand experiment with a strong delusion of thought, we are better than everybody else, an experiment initiated 400 years ago on our shores. Some of our forefathers genuinely sought true peace and tranquility on our shores, but sadly they were not the norm, the US and her history is fraught with numerous wars predicated on pride and the quest for control and power... otherwise known as classic American imperialism. 


The carnage of our history is set clearly on display as we observe together a world littered with our religious counterparts seeking the same power our forefathers sought hundreds of years ago. Who fought numerous wars over our differing beliefs and views on government and the sharing of wealth. We have been led to believe by the church today that our forefathers were all men of faith in Christ, but this reality does not bear out in what they did with their power, many of them were filled with rebellion and pride and used religion to galvanize military action. Simply put, most of our battles were fought for land and financial supremacy and this work continues to the current hour.  

Now let us take this truth and reality and apply it to the modern day condition of the church in America.  There are over 22,000 denominations in so called bride of Christ today, did they all come into existence because they were fighting strictly over truth and error, or the application of truth?  
 
Of course not!

The History of mankind and our church history both represent the story of God's dealing with men. A revelation of His work in the lives of men.  God is the caretaker of our history, He raises up men and women for a time and season to do something that is not being done in accord with His prescribed Will clearly presented in His Word, if not we would be lost. God raises up His prophets and apostles to bring His people back to Him and His timeless Words.


After this work He initiated serves its purpose for the season it was set to change, this move of God takes on a man's name, when it takes on a man's name it immediately becomes a dead thing, just because a group of people subscribe to a beautifully named work of a man doesn't mean that the work continues to be the holy and good work of Christ.  Many times great works of revival in church history have lost their vitality decades before the people in the group even realize it is spiritually dead. 


They follow what they perceived the pioneers of their work did to spread the fame of Jesus but now those original works of God have become about the work of spreading their distinct view of the original message wrought by His Spirit in that unique time, instead of seeking for fresh revelations from Christ and His Words for our unique times.  

Jesus has given "us" the entire world, and we will gain the world one day if we simply obey His commands.  We already own the ground that He purchased with His blood. We are His disciples and we must walk as He walked.  For us to fight over turf and seek to gather more people then our brother or sister in Christ is put our will ahead of His will.  

We must never diminish in our fight to remove error from His church, but to fight with people over our version of the truth is quite silly and out of step with the will of heaven. Most of our division is based on fear of a differing view, representing change.

 

What is even more foolish is the sad reality that on any given Sunday  many of God's children will travel all over a region all the while passing by like-minded believers and their ministries to find one that fit our humanly derived criteria for a truth based worship service. 


As we crisscross our brother's field to find another that makes us happy we violate His will for each one of us.  A place where we might like the pastor's style or the music, or maybe we have a couple of friends that go to the church we like.  
 

It is not doctrine that separates men from men, but rather, it is the doctrine and supremacy of self love that drives us to please ourselves.  Jesus taught us to operate in community.  If God leads us to a new place to dwell then we should first look locally by seeking out people that love Jesus, begin the hard process of relationship building and trust with them and unify in prayer for the beginnings of a real work of grace to rise up in the place where we are strategically located.  


Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Ps 37:3

Why then do we separate every Sunday morning and in doing so preserve the status quo? If we are spiritually sensitive at all we might even complain to our friends that our town is spiritually dead and the churches are messed up with immorality and idolatry, but our complaints reveal that we are part of the problem. Do we have a right to complain? Don't we have to earn the right to complain by attempting to do something about the problems that plague our neighborhood?  


The breakdown in communication and eventual decay in our American Church has happened over a long period of time  The doctrines predicated on family traditions and territorial control has been at work for centuries. Most communities were established by these lines of division.  These lines either kept us in our grandfather's church and preserves the status quo; or these lines drove us out to find a new and better way. This because we didn't feel like we were cared for or we simply wanted to be a part of something new... so we found another place to worship that we liked at that time in our family's history.  


What will it take to foster change from this abnormal and unhealthy situation in the Body of Christ?  

I contend that we must destroy our natural inclination toward "American imperialism" still very active in most of our hearts. We must not accept the way of thinking that allows us to accept our division as normal.  

In order to change the current downward spiral within our communities we must determine to foster unity among the members of body of Christ. To seek to know the existing core groups within your community and to reach out to the newcomers that decide to settle among us. To develop relationships and start to help others find their place within our local community.  As your relationships begin to develop with your spiritually awakened neighbors we begin again to build a new spiritual community with a real component that incorporates sincere prayer for more unity in the truth of God's clear revelation to gather in His name.  

We must make a personal decision to stop the propagation of division in the family of God!  

 

How will this positive turn happen unless we put a stake in the ground and start doing something that promotes true unity?  If we declare to our local world that division is over, then I believe over the process of time real unity will happen!  If you are willing to fight for this kind of positive change, it will happen.  If we stand for change, our prayers will refocus around the will of heaven and we will pray different and then begin to act different!


Your prayers dictate where your feet go!  People in your local community will discern in your heart a real commitment to help the community and build the Body of Christ in your area.   

What do we pray for and what do we pray about?   Weak anemic prayers of blessings for this one and that one without a focus on the tough and important stuff will bring to His Body no real change.  God's Word desires that we reach higher and go further then we have before.  If we start crying out for our neighbors today and keep on crying, your feet will be aimed toward them instead of away from them! 


 

Listen carefully to the prayers of your currently leaders.  Look around you, can you see light and hope in those you currently associate with?  If not, then look to a local leader that is seeking to gather God's people. Associate with them and build with them.  Those that seek to bless your community.  Look for men and women who inspire life and change, if none exist, then you must pray for this to happen in our town.  


 

You can be certain that if God is awakening your heart their are others being awakened too.


 

These men and women will cry out with you and I believe that you will eventually see the miracles that bring societal change. A Jesus imperialism verses an imperialism based on the premise of competition and spiritual pride. 


 

We must refuse to accept the results of the past and morbidly slide into complacency. Most of our towns have had better days, lets seek to revive that which brought our forefathers together.  We must uncover the good that brought our forefathers together to create our town, we may discover that God's word and his messengers were the key men and women who inspired the town's formation.  We must follow the footsteps of our faith filled forefathers. 


Folks like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Samuel, David, the prophets Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others.  History is full of men and women who have walked the steps of Abraham and his sons and life has come to their world.  
 

If we continue to let the heroes of scripture be our heroes, eventually we will see a our society move toward the biblical ideal.  Never lose sight of your goals. We will discover people in our lives who will do things outside the norm, we will take risks, we will look past all the problems and suffering of standing for real change and wait for Our God to move things out of the way for us!   Its God's will for mankind to walk in peace and harmony.  
 

We must maintain our personal peace with men until He comes. We have to be His instruments of peace until He comes to bring the ultimate peace when in comes back to earth in power and glory. The bring true world dominion saturated in love and grace.


 

If your god is not able to move you out of your sad state of self absorption, what kind of god is he.  Our God may lead you and me into a time of affliction to get us where He wants. This is what it takes to find the path of life, we must not buck at His directives.  A real God is the boss of His Kingdom! Each of us then must surrender individually to His authority.  


 

He has rights over your life and mine, no matter who you say you serve, you serve somebody (Bob Dylan).  Freedom comes when we don't make a claim over our lives.  Jesus told us if we lose our life, we will find it, if we try to save our, life we will lose it!


 

Jesus is the only Lord of the universe.  By dying for man's sin and standing in the most uncomfortable place imaginable, under the Almighty's wrath against our sin, Jesus earned the right to be the true imperialist, the One who is the Prince of Peace. His government of peace shall be upon His capable shoulders.  He is the only one that can change us from the inside out!  He is the only one who can conquer our disease of self and release us to move into His way....the way of a love-based imperialism. 


 

We are sinners for sure but what does that mean?  Sinning is bad because it destroys us and harms others.   When we fall into sin we destroy ourselves and threaten our future peace.    


 

When we don’t worship Him we hurt ourselves because worship brings healing to our bodies and our soul.  Spiritual thoughts are eternal thoughts, all faith systems have this in common, they focus on a higher plane, a plane that moves a man to a source outside themselves for help!


 

So who will rule over you. A kind beneficent Leader that has willing laid down His life for you. Who has shown clearly His love for man by becoming in the likeness of us and then taking our sins and placing them on real human body. Took all the wrath of the Father to Himself and died a righteous death in our place. This is His version of imperialism.


 

All faith systems look to a sovereign deity that maintains the law of good and evil.  If you are a Taoist or Buddhist, you will seek to become one with the Spirit of the eternal unseen to experience "enlightenment" to connect with eternity's good side.  


 

If you are a Muslim you will seek to please Allah, either through a personal Jihad of the soul or a physical Jihad that conquers the nations to bring delight to your master.  


 

If you are an animist, you will worship the earth and nature and its rules and its beauty, it will make you change your diet and ways to find peace.  


 

Do you see what I am getting at?


 

You and I can not make another man believe what we believe.  We all have to find our true Master and Maker.  


 

I have chosen to follow the One who came into my world and a real human, who suffered under the same cruelties that I suffer under today. Who endured perfectly the temptations that have already ruined me forever. Conquered the idol of selfish pride that Adam and Eve allowed to seduce them.  


 

My Master endured horrible lashes and cruel mockings as perfected only begotten son in order to release me from my bondage of self.  No longer do I need to be an imperialist, He has already won that battle over the nations. Those of us that are His, already live in the inheritance of heaven, simply by virtue of our personal faith in Him, yet we struggle to merge our heavenly reality with what our eyes and heart see here on earth.


 

What has to happen now, in light of the lateness of the hour, we must stop doing what comes so naturally to us, the service of self, and begin to become "other" people oriented.  


 

If we let His Power and Grace work through us, then we will conquer our community with love and grace. As one community changes, then another, low and behold we find that we, through Him, are conquering the planet... one community at a time.  


 

Since we have limited time, we will not fight the old territorial battles over doctrines that divide us, like modes of baptism, and church government. Our differing views on worship and styles of ministry!  These issues only separate us! 


 

If we do differ on these contentious views, then we will still draw near our brother and sister and build relationship without emphasizing our differences until we all come the unity of the faith. Eph 4:1-3.  


 

In time Christ will reveal to us what is important and what is outside His work at this time in human history.  Most importantly we will learn that working side by side with people who are different then us helps us defeat the independence and selfishness in our world.   


 

If we are open to change then anything is possible!  You all will change your view on something in the next 5 years, that's the way it will be until Jesus comes back to rescue us from ourselves.


Much Peace,


 

Jonathan

 

Soulish Pride Ruins Great Relationships

December 2, 2010

Pride Promotes Strife


What is the soul of man and how does it hinder us from finding true love and great relationships?


It is a distinct part of man. It represents our emotions, motives, intelligence, rationale, logic, culture, family upbringing, political bent, sensitivities, likes, dislikes. and our schooling and training.


It is our natural man. It can be called rightly the “flesh” as spoken of in Rom. 8:7 which we are told is at enmity with God and His Holy Spirit. 


“For the fles...


Continue reading...
 

Livin Life Intentionally - CW Parry

August 14, 2010

AS BELIEVERS IN MESSIAH YESHUA/JESUS WE HAVE COME TO BELIEVE THE FOLLOWING AFTER MANY YEARS OF BUMPS AND BRUiSES IN THE FAITH - THAT THE UNIVERSE IS REALLY QUITE SMALL... WHEN YOU LEARN TO LIVE INTENTIONALLY. 



WHAT WE MEAN BY THIS IS THAT WHEN YOU LEARN TO LET GO OF THE REIGNS OF YOUR LIFE AND PUT THEM INTO THE HANDS OF THE ONE WHO MADE US, YOU WILL BEGIN TO CONSISTENTLY EXPERIENCE G-D ORCHESTRATED PREDETERMINED DEEP, RICH, SATISFYING FULL OF BREATH AND WIDTH RELATIONSHIPS. 

 NOT BASED ON CONJ...


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TBTS & LL - Dead or Alive?

September 15, 2009

Many have wondered and have even asked me, “are you going to have a TBTS this year?”  I like to answer that question with a question.  Have there been more venues and bands launched since we started LL cafe and TBTS?  I would like to believe that many of you have been inspired to start a band or venue ministry because you were inspired by our struggling effort to do LL and TBTS in Pilot Mtn.  


By witnessing our investment in making a positive place for kids to come and have fun and worsh...


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Great Relationships - Part 2

April 1, 2009

In part 1 of "great relationships" I sought to explain the basis of unconditional love and why it is important for all of us to understand and grasp the elusive “true love” that makes for high quality long lasting relationships.  The Bible tells us that God is love.  As we saw yesterday God defines love His way.  His way is so much better then ours, but it is much harder to grasp and understand because it is supernatural and spiritual.

Practically speaking, in order to build a long lasti...


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Better Relationships Part 1

April 1, 2009

Since my wife and I have been involved with Livin Lattes we have been exposed to the real devastation of broken relationships and marriages.  When a man and women divorce they are "breaking the covenant" they made when they vowed to love each other for life.  Technically you can not break a covenant because covenant means, "oath bound promise"  A promise means forever.  If you break a promise you can not do so without repercussions or consequences.

I have observed pain in the hearts of today...


Continue reading...
 

Overseer


Jonathan Keener We recognize that great relationships must be built by the Power of God's grace. Many times relational breakdown must occur before we find out how to walk in love and stay in great relationship with each other. In order to discover the blessedness of great relationships we must first be a student at the feet of Jesus, so we can learn from His example how to love like Him, then and only then will we learn how to love our fellow man. Shalom, Jonathan

Mom & Dad hiking with #6 and #7

our Pilot Mountain babies

they were not planned but we could not 

live without them

Celebrating our 20th in 2010

we can't even begin to explain

top row - Jenna - Kayla - Becca

bottom row - Zach - Seth - Steve - Matt

Mom and her newest youngest daughter - Zoe 

Mom and her former youngest girl - Makayla

full of spunk and determination

Dad and his boys

boy, they make me tired!

 Some old friends - Vineyard Camp

We called it "God's Alley"

The Dan River 

the source of the Jordan River

God is the source of life is His Son - the full image and definition of true agape Love

Communion Gathering at 

the Garden Tomb

True relationships begin around the 

table of communion

Synagogue Layout!

they gathered in a circle

...maybe we should try that?

The men of Livin Lattes Cafe

One of the greatest nights we ever had at LLC

The beginning point of great relationships

fun gatherings

Are we committing spiritual adultery?

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Better Relationships must start with a right

relationship with the Creator


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We can't have great marriages,

great family life,

and great churches


Without right relationship with God and 

His son Y'shua Christ