By Mike Ramey
Had a great time off, and am tanned, rested and ready for another go-round! To my friends, supporters, as well as my haters and trolls…wake the neighbors, get out the torches and brew the coffee ‘cause Mike Ramey is back–and still Black–on the funky electronic frontier.
A GREAT STARTING POINT:
Let’s start off with one of my favorite stories. In Daniel, Chapter 3 (KJV), we see the three Hebrew men: Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abednego). They were originally kidnapped as teenagers from their homeland (along with their friend Daniel), had their names changed, and over the course of time were promoted to leadership positions under King Nebuchadnezzar. One fine day, the king decides to erect a huge golden statue of himself. When it was finished, it was decreed that ALL the officers and officials under his reign would bow their knee to worship the golden image of the king–or face the death penalty.
I can tell that many of you have heard this one…if you’ve ever been to church or read the Bible. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow. Of course the rival leaders (who didn’t like them anyway because they were Hebrews) ‘snitched’ to the king about their refusal to bow to the king’s image. “Now, men,” said the king, “I’ve been good to you; I’ve set you up in fine positions and paid you a good wage. I’m gonna give you another chance. Please…bow…now!”
The three men didn’t miss a beat…because they knew God had their back. They refused. “Oh King, we won’t bow. We serve God. He can choose to deliver us, or not to deliver us…but we won’t bow!” Their refusal was made before a packed house of other officials. The king flipped out. “Bow…or burn!” The Hebrew men refused again!
Nebuchadnezzar ordered immediate execution. “Heat the furnace seven times hotter; tie these men up, and have the strongest men in my employ throw them in, and that will be that!” The heat killed the strong men, but did nothing to the three Hebrew men. Somehow, the king got a look into the furnace and saw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego lose, walking around, and conversing with the pre-incarnation of Jesus Christ.
While the three Hebrew men were later freed and promoted, the story didn’t end well for Nebuchadnezzar. Eventually, for his lifting himself up against God–and God’s people–the Babylonian king lost his mind (sanity), lost his family, and lost his kingdom.
There is always a high price for a nation and its leaders to pay, when they follow the same track. The Bible records a host of other public officials–from kings on down to governors–who exalted themselves ‘above’ God, and sought to abuse His people.
WHO IS ‘CAESAR’?
Let’s have a brief history lesson as to why I use the term ‘Caesar’ when I refer to the government or government systems. The Caesars were the leaders of ancient Rome, the world power that was in place when Christ walked the earth. While the Bible urges Christians to pay their taxes, pray for government leaders and others in authority and support the established systems of government, where government ‘crosses the line’ and; 1) disregards the teachings of the scriptures, 2) passes laws that are in direct conflict with biblical teachings, 3) deny the rights of the righteous by setting limits on the freedom to worship, or; 4) in any other way oppresses those who identify themselves as Christians, then it is the Christian’s duty to obey God, rather than the government.
The Caesars were arrogant, for the most part. Nero was the most ruthless of the Caesar class. His sins were many and mighty. Nero also had mental health problems. Not only did he persecute Christians, history teaches us that he set fire to Rome…and laid the blame at the feet of the Lord’s people, leading to widespread torture and persecution.
Of course, it didn’t end well for Nero…or Roman society. Do you see a pattern?
WHEN CAESAR GO MAD AND MOCKS GOD‘S LAW:
There have been more than a few examples popping up in the Mainstream Press (MSM) and the Internet of ‘Caesar’s kin’ going mad.
Let’s begin in California.
It’s no secret that Californians voted by more than two-to-one against sodomite (homosexual) marriage with Proposition Eight. While the people expressed their will at the polls, those who were on the losing side of the measure ran eagerly to the federal courts–where the will of the people was overturned for sake of immorality. Yes, this same tactic has taken place in other states of late, but let’s look at the result of the overturning of Proposition Eight in California through the eyes of Scripture.
A drought began in 2010 in California–and is still going on as I pen this column.
Allow me to continue. The drought is sooooo bad that Gov. Jerry Brown, in January, 2014 urged Californians to ‘pray’ for rain! You read that right! A governor of a state which has allowed God’s ideal of marriage to be mocked, is asking for prayer to break a drought!
In Oregon, a court ruled that a Christian-owned business could NOT stand on its principles and REFUSE to back a wedding cake for a homosexual couple’s ‘wedding’. This is not the first time that this has happened to Christian-owned businesses in the USA. On the large side, remember the venom pushed against the Chick-Fil-A chain? At the small business level, I recall that a Christian couple who owned a Bed and Breakfast Inn were hauled into court by a sodomite ‘couple’ for being refused service. That case was also long and messy, and socked the business with legal fees.
Make no mistake about it. Caesar is willing to take the tax money generated by Christians and Christian-owned companies. However, when Christians are being forced out of business, or out of state by the ungodly, God is not pleased, nor do the offending parties get away with their antics. I have yet to see a state prosper where laws have been passed and oppressive tactics used against God’s people.
Remember what happened to Pharaoh–and Egypt–when God intervened.
NOT ANY BETTER IN HIGH PLACES:
In the White House, President Barack Obama has–since his first term–sided with homosexual marriage, abortion, and turning America’s back on the nation of Israel in favor of Iran, Syria and other enemies of the Jewish state. The particularly troubling note in those decisions is that President Obama and his family spent some 20 years in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Chicago church, sitting under his pastorate and preaching. Even a ‘casual’ scan of the KJV Bible will reveal that God’s hand of blessing is not on a nation that turns its back on Israel, let alone additional types of national immorality.
What has been the ‘blow-back’ of President Obama’s decisions to the American landscape? Well, according to the latest news, some 20 percent of American households are on food stamps. There is a 40 percent rate of OOW births, while the US has recorded some 55 million abortions since the Roe v. Wade case from 1973. Traditional marriage has declined, along with the birth rate. According to one financial analyst, the REAL unemployment rate is 37.4 percent–IF you add in those who are no longer looking for work! Black unemployment and Black Teen unemployment are BOTH in the double digits and are NOT expecting to go down anytime soon. Throw in one of the worst winters in recent memory, and you have a mess of major proportions.
When Caesar goes mad, the righteous aren’t the only ones who suffer. Those outside of Jesus Christ also suffer, though they won’t admit it. It rains on the just and the unjust. The cries of ‘tolerance’ and ‘peaceful coexistence’ that we see plastered on bumper stickers and in newspaper headlines are really buzzwords for open hostility against godly morality and those who believe in it. The only prayerful stance against those who have ‘gone over’ to a reprobate mind is a simple one: Deliverance from evil.
Many of us have come too far, to bow our knee to the Caesars now.
MIKE RAMEY is a syndicated columnist, book reviewer and Minister who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emails always welcomed to firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2014 Barnstorm Communications.