Chaos and community organizing at the center of power


Things really are in chaos in DC.

I think we all forgot that a community organizer’s #1 skill is reminding people that they’re mad at other people who hold power. So when the organizer is supporting disenfranchised people, they can force consensus by helping disenfranchised people to be noisy.

But when a community organizer is in power … shoot, what to do? Ask everyone to yell at their Congressman?? It’s working … Everyone’s yelling at their Congressmen and Congresswomen and Senators. And so they’re voting on weird procrastinatory diversions of legislation, just hoping they won’t have the face the music for one more day.

God help us all!

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About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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4 Responses to Chaos and community organizing at the center of power

  1. Leonardo says:

    Hi Carlene,

    How do YOU apply this in YOUR Christian life?

    Leonardo

    1 John 2:15-17
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    Do Not Love the World

    15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

    • I always find the largest challenge is that the people God wants to rescue are still in the world. They may be in the part of the world that is desperate with poverty and evil, or in the part of the world that is engorged with excess and success. Still, for me to be engaged in the work of rescue requires me to be “in the world” much of the time.

      So here’s one example: Today, while we were having lunch at a mall food court during a break in our Red Kettle outreach, I was telling the girls how, when I was at the hair salon this week, all the magazines were chock full of ads for a particular jewelry brand. And I don’t need any new jewelry. But I started to want that jewelry, just because in every magazine I opened I saw very well presented advertisements for it. And we were talking about what kinds of ads or other stuff incline us to feel that we need or want things we don’t really need.

      And then, a little later, my husband and I went shopping for knobs for a cabinet we had ordered made to match a cabinet that had belonged to my great-grandmother. The lady who ran this very nice specialty hardware shop complimented me on my Christmas sweater — and I just said “Thanks!” No need to tell her it came from a thrift shop, right?

      So there we have a cabinet we are still using after almost 100 years; one which has been built by a local business for us during a tough economy; and a sweater recycled from someone’s cast-offs. A lot of stuff, but I think It’s pretty good stewardship.

      I think where we sometimes run into trouble is deciding what represents LOVING the world and what represents STEWARDSHIP of God’s world. And the answer is right there in the very phrasing of the question. If you aren’t recognizing that it’s God’s world you’re looking after, then you’re loving, not stewarding. And all of us have planks in our eyes in any case. We usually don’t see as well as we think we do.

  2. Leonardo says:

    Hi Carlene,

    When a Nation rejects God & His Laws, the end result is CHAOS! This is HELL! Those who personally reject the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth ARE HELL BOUND.

    What is it to Preach the Gospel?

    “For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!”

    1 Corinthians 9:16

    What is it to preach the Gospel? Is everybody preaching the Gospel? No!
    Is everybody who claims to preach the Gospel preaching the Gospel? No!
    What is it to preach the Gospel? To Preach the Gospel is:

    To Tell The Truth About God

    First, to preach the Gospel is to preach the truth about God.

    1. We preach the God of eternal existence. The Scripture says, “in the beginning God.” When Moses came to the burning bush, God said, “Go down and deliver my people out of Egypt.” Moses said, “whom shall I say hath sent me?” and God replied, “I AM.” Not, I was; not I shall be, but I AM, the eternal I AM, the everlasting I Am. I Am that I Am!
    2. . We preach the God of creation. “All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made.” In him we move, we live and we have our being. God created all things.
    3. . We preach the God of sovereign mercy. The Scripture says “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” The Bible says, “I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy; I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious.” We preach the God of mercy, yes, but sovereign mercy, the God of grace, yes, but sovereign grace. God will be gracious to whom he will be gracious. He owes no man anything; if he bestows grace, his mercy, it is sovereignly bestowed. He is an immutable sovereign, and unchanging sovereign.
    4. . We preach the God of righteousness. Our Lord said, “I will in no wise clear the guilty. The soul that sinneth it shall die. Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.” God Almighty is a righteous God. He is a holy God, therefore, Christ Jesus came into the world that God might be just and justify the ungodly. We preach a God that cannot show his love at the expense of his holiness. We preach a God that cannot show mercy at the expense of his truth and only at Calvary can mercy and truth meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss one another. The God we preach is the God of righteousness.
    5. . He’s the God of unchanging grace. “I am the Lord,” he said, “I do not change; therefore, you sons of Jacob are not consumed “Why is there no fear of God before the eyes of this generation? They’ve heard preached a false god; they’ve heard preached a weak god; they’ve heard preached a failing god; they’ve heard preached a disappointed god; they’ve heard preached a god whose hands are tied; they’ve heard preached a god who says I have no eyes but your eyes; I have no feet but your feet; I have no hands but your hands. That’s a lie! The God of the Bible is totally and completely independent of his creatures as far as his strength, his wisdom, his power, his beauty and his glory are concerned. We do not add to his glory! We receive and share in his glory. The God we preach is the God of eternal existence, the God of creation, the God of sovereign mercy, the God of righteousness, and the God of unchanging grace. He is the God upon whom we depend; the God to whom we look; and the God without whom we can’t exist! All things that we have we receive of him. We return nothing but that which he gives us. What is it to preach the Gospel? It is to preach the truth about God.

    To Tell The Truth About Man

    Secondly, what is it to preach the Gospel? It’s to preach the truth about man. Men do not want to hear the truth about God; and they do not want to hear the truth about themselves. But Gospel preachers preach the truth, not only about God, but the truth about the sinner, and they leave that sinner empty, broken and destroyed with all his foundations of flesh swept from under him, and all his self-righteous rags stripped from off him, leaving him naked and unclothed before the searchlight of God’s holiness. What does the Bible say about man? It says in Romans 3:10, “there is none righteous, no not one, there is none that understandeth; there is none that seek after God.” What are men seeking? Seeking their own pleasure; seeking their own comfort; seeking their own glory; seeking their own wills; seeking their own satisfaction, everybody seeks his own, they do not seek God. “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, for there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Christ said, “you have not the love of God in you.” Somebody says, “Well, I love people.” No you don’t. You just consider whom you love. You love yourself. You try and think this minute “is there anybody in this world you really love? Well, you say, “I love my wife,” that’s yourself. That’s your wife. Well, “I love my mother and father.” That’s still loving yourself! You love them because they are your mother and father. Well, “I love my son or daughter.” Your son and daughter! Do you love anybody else’s son or daughter? “I love my brothers and sisters” That’s yourself. Well, “I love my Saviour; my own personal Saviour.” That’s loving yourself. If He weren’t your Saviour, you would not love Him. Everything you love is connected with your own sinful, selfish self. Your whole world revolves around yourself, your own pleasures, your own delights, your own passions, your own seeking.

    “There is none good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues they have used deceit the poison of snakes is under their lips; their mouths are full of cursing, bitterness, murmuring, complaining, fault-finding, gossip, back-biting, their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their ways, the way of peace, they know nothing about it.”

    There’s no genuine, honest, sincere fear of God before their eyes, they don’t fear God; they do not tremble at the presence of God; they don’t fall at His feet as dead men, even religious worshippers today don’t fear God. If they feared God, they would be silent in the presence of God; they would choose their words carefully; their worship would be marked, not by shouting, but by awesome reverence and fear. Job said:

    “When I saw the Lord, I said I have spoken once, yea, twice, but I’ll never speak again.”

    John said:

    “When I saw the Lord, I fell at his feet as a dead man. My eyes have seen the Lord.”

    Isaiah said:

    “When I saw the Lord, I cried, woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips. When I saw the Lord I saw my guilt.”

    The average person goes to church and he comes away feeling good. If the preacher had preached the truth about man, they would have come away from that place crying:
    “O, God, be merciful to me a sinner!”

    To Tell The Truth About Christ

    Thirdly: What is it to preach the Gospel? It is to tell the truth about God and man, and it is to tell the truth about Jesus Christ. My friends, Jesus of Nazareth is not a weak, frustrated reformer; Jesus Christ of Nazareth is very God of very God. He is the Messiah. He did not die as a martyr; he did not die as an example, he came down here and died on the cross as the victorious, conquering, successful Redeemer of his people. He died as the covenant Redeemer. He died for the covenant people; he died to accomplish a task given him by the Father before the world’s creation. When he completed his suffering on Calvary, he said, “It is finished.” He cannot fail! Christ is not a frustrated Redeemer; he is not a disappointed Saviour; he is not a defeated Saviour; he is not a poor, weak, reformer up there in heaven, crying his eyes out because people won’t let him have his way. He is the conquering, victorious Messiah who is seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting until his enemies become his footstool! He is the Lord of the living and the dead. A preacher said to a congregation one time, “won’t you make Jesus your Lord?” I emphatically declare that you cannot make Jesus Christ your Lord! The Father has already beaten you to it! He is your Lord! He is your Lord if you are saved; he is your Lord if you are damned! He is your Lord if you are on the right hand with his sheep; he is your Lord if you are on the left hand with the goats! He is your Lord! Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess in heaven, earth and hell that he is Lord. You don’t make him Lord, you recognize him as Lord. God made him Lord. The Father has delivered all things to the Son; the Scripture says he is the Lord. He purchased that right through his death on Calvary. Jesus Christ is not a fire escape from hell, he is the Lord; he is not a doormat named Jesus, he is Lord. If any man shall confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in his heart that God has raised him from the dead, he shall be saved. His life is a perfect righteousness; his death a perfect sacrifice. We’d better start telling the truth about this man called Jesus. To preach the Gospel is to tell the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ.

    To Tell The Truth About Salvation

    Fourthly: I am come to preach the Gospel and tell the truth about God, about men, about Christ and to tell the truth about salvation. Now let me tell you something about this thing of salvation. We use that word rather loosely in this day. Salvation from sin is not by the deeds of the law. Even those who are supposed to know something about salvation by grace have to remind themselves again and again that salvation is not by the works of the flesh, not in any way! Salvation is not by reformation; salvation does not come by decision; salvation does not come through church ordinances; salvation is not ours by church membership; salvation is in Christ the Lord. That’s where salvation is, not in man’s purpose, not in man’s plan; it’s in a Person. It’s not in a proposition, it’s not in walking an aisle, it’s not in a church ordinance, it’s in Christ! It’s not in a law; it’s not in the deeds of the flesh; salvation is in Christ. A man does not have salvation until he comes by the power of God’s Spirit through faith to a living, personal, vital, intimate union with Christ as the Lord. A man is not a Christian until he has a vital union with Christ. A man is not a Christian until he is inseparably joined, personally joined to Jesus Christ. A man is not a Christian until Christ becomes his life. A man is not a Christian unless you can cut into his heart and find love for Christ; cut into his mind and find thoughts of Christ; and cut into his soul and find a panting after Christ. Christ in you, that’s the hope of glory. The Holy Spirit convicts a man of sin; the Holy Spirit empties a sinner; the Holy Spirit brings a man to faith in the Son of God, faith in the living Lord. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” Most people’s so-called Christianity can be taken off with their Sunday clothes; but a man who is genuinely saved has Christ living in him as an everlasting fountain springing up into everlasting life, he’s been born-again, he’s been resurrected from the grave, he has the very image of the Son of God stamped on his heart and it cannot be moved. What is it to preach the Gospel? There are not many folks preaching the Gospel because there are not many people telling the truth about God. Everybody has a god. But eternal life is to know the living God. What is it to preach the Gospel? It’s to tell the truth about man, and we are not going to like what we hear. It’s to tell the truth about, Christ, and it’s to tell the truth about salvation.

    Nothing To Glory Of In Preaching

    The next thing that Paul deals with here is “though I preach the Gospel I have nothing to glory of. Why is it that we who preach the Gospel have nothing to glory of? Well, firstly, we are conscious of our guilt. Any man who is not conscious of his own guilt can’t preach the Gospel because he doesn’t know the Gospel. And you can’t tell what you don’t know any more than you can come back from where you haven’t been. A man who preaches the Gospel is conscious of his own guilt. The man who was led of the Spirit to write this Scripture said, “I am not worthy to be an apostle, I see no worthiness in myself.” Later on he said, “I am less than the least of all the saints.” Pick out the least saint in God’s house and I am less than the least saint. Then later on he said, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” When somebody asked, “Paul, who is the chief of sinners?” He replied, “I am.”
    A man who really knows God never graduates above that statement right there, “I’m only a sinner saved by grace.” He may grow in grace, grow in talent, grow in gifts and grow in knowledge, but he’s still only a sinner saved by grace. We have nothing to glory of, we’re just using borrowed gifts. 1 Corinthians 4:7, states:

    “Who maketh thee to differ?” Are you able to preach? Who gave you the power? Do you have a little more than somebody else? Who gave it to you? Do you have more talents than the next fellow? Who made you to differ? “What hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if you received it, why dost thou glory?”
    Why do you glory in your beauty? God gave it to you. Why do you glory in your strength? Without God you would not have it. Why do you glory in your wealth? God gave it to you. Why do you glory in your talent, in your singing ability? Without God’s grace you’d be a simpleminded imbecile. Who made you to differ? What do you have that God didn’t give you? If you are walking around with something, something somebody gave you, why are you bragging as if you have it of your own natural ability? Why do you think that you are better than anybody else? Only God’s merciful grace; God’s gracious grace enables you to be anything.

    Necessity Laid Upon Me To Preach

    Read the next line of our text: “Necessity is laid upon me.” Why is it necessary for me to preach the Gospel? Preacher, why are you so compelled; why is it that every time you speak it’s always Christ and him crucified the Gospel? I’ll tell you why because of the truth and the beauty of the Gospel. I see in the Gospel of substitution a beauty beyond all things. I see in the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Good News of the Son of God, the truth of God. Only Christ can meet the perfect law. Only Christ can satisfy the justice of God. Only Christ can open the way for us into the holiest of all, into the presence of the Father. Only Christ can supply the need of the bankrupt sinner, and only Christ can keep me from falling.

    “Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and who is able to present you faultless before the throne and the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; to him be glory both now and forever.”

    That’s why it’s necessary for me to preach the Gospel: the beauty of it, the glory of it, and the truth of it. I could tell you that salvation is in the church, but it wouldn’t be true. I could tell you, let me baptize you, and by obeying the baptismal commandment you will go to heaven, but it wouldn’t be so. I could tell you that if you live a good life and pray and go to church on Sunday and give a little offering, God will take you to heaven when you die, but it wouldn’t be so. I could tell you to quit drinking, live a good, moral life and you will go to heaven when you die, but that would be a lie.
    But when I tell you that Christ died for our sins; that Christ is a sufficient Saviour; that Christ is an effectual substitute who came down here and gave us a righteousness which we didn’t have and couldn’t produce, went to the cross, bore our sins, paid our debt, satisfied the justice of God; that he is our living advocate at the right hand of the Father; and that if you come to a living, vital union with him, you’ll be saved, that’s the truth, and the only truth that will make you free.

    Woe Is Unto Me If I Preach Not

    Paul said it first, the Holy Spirit inspired him to say it, “Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel.” I’m in trouble, real trouble. I can’t think of a crime more terrible than to be entrusted with the immortal souls of eternity-bound boys and girls, young people, men and women, like every preacher is entrusted every Sunday, and then stand up in church and waste precious time talking about myself, about my problems or my so-called denomination or my church, or talk about my ideas of what is right and what is wrong. I can’t think of a more awful crime against society than to deceive people who are given to us to instruct in the things of the Lord. I’ve got to preach the Gospel! Woe is me if I don’t. God have mercy, and he won’t, if I don’t! Woe unto the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, woe unto the Christ-crucifiers of Jerusalem, but double woe upon the preachers and shepherds and pastors who for advantage, filthy lucre and praise of men deceive men’s souls. God help them, but he won’t. Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel, and there’s not another one, it’s the Gospel of Christ. If an angel from heaven preaches unto you any other gospel, Paul said, “Let him be accursed.” I’m preaching as a dying man to dying men; I’m preaching as one who may never preach again, and under God I’m going to tell you the truth. I say this, woe is me if I preach not the Gospel; but I have something to tell you: woe is you if I preach it and you do not believe it. You may not understand it; and it may not fit in with your tradition; and it may not fit into your denominational pattern, and I’m sure if it’s the Gospel it won’t because Christ didn’t fit the denominational pattern when he came down here either. He didn’t fit into their religious theology; he didn’t fit into their tradition; and he didn’t fit into their mould; and they crucified him!

    What is it to preach the Gospel? It is to preach the truth about God, the truth about man, the truth about Christ, and to preach the truth about salvation.

    I hope I have done that, and that you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

  3. Thank you, Leonardo. I think those who know me — including those I’ve helped to introduce to Christ as THEIR Lord and Savior — are assured of my faith and my salvation.

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