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I Guess I'm a Rebel!

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Dr. Richard Flanders
Juniata Baptist Church
Vassar, Michigan
"And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whither soever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not." (II Kings 18:7)

Sometimes I feel like a rebel! Don't get me wrong; I'm an old-fashioned Bible-believing Christian who believes in supporting authority, and generally I am against rebellion. The Bible says that "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft" (I Samuel 15:23), and I believe that to rebel against God or divinely-ordained human authority is the very definition of iniquity. Kids should honor parents; students should respect teachers; citizens should salute the flag and reverence the government. But the Bible speaks of a different kind of rebellion, too: one that it puts into a positive light. The Second Book of Kings (chapter 18, the first seven verses) says that Hezekiah, the king who "trusted in the LORD God of Israel" more than any other, "rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not." The very verse (7) that speaks of his rebellion tells us how "the LORD was with him" and prospered his every venture. God blessed a rebel? Yes, because he rebelled against the right things. When you follow the Lord, you must resist the devil (See verse 6 and James 4:7). The "king of Assyria" whom Hezekiah resisted was Sargon II, the grandson of a king with whom his father Ahaz had established a subservient relationship (See II Kings 16:7-8). The Assyrians were a pagan people whose dominance of Judah had led to the nation's moral and religious corruption. So when Hezekiah decided to do "that which was right in the sight of the LORD"and to "brake the images and cut down the groves" which had been set up for the pagan worship the Jews had learned, he had to rebel against the king of Assyria. To serve and obey God, he had to quit serving the Assyrians. Christians are rightly subject to divinely-ordained, duly- constituted authorities, but they are wrong to comply with illegitimate, anti-God influences over their lives. We must rebel a little.

I tend to rebel against our deteriorating culture. I'm one of those trouble-makers who might ask the waitress to turn the rock music down so that I can digest my food. I won't rent the latest video release because of the nude scenes and foul language, even though the story line is "great." I may get up from my chair in a waiting room to change the channel on the television without asking anybody else if they want to keep watching the soap opera garbage. I am starting to think that nearly all TV programs have become garbagey soup operas. I guess I'm a rebel.

I rebel against the new look and sound of religion today. I'll walk out of a church service when the rock n' roll starts to vibrate the hymnals in the pew racks. I'll look puzzled when the minister reads a once-familiar Bible passage out of one of the new Bibles. I'll complain when the Gospel starts to sound like psychology, and when the sermon wanders far from any biblical text. I like people to dress for church, and I act shocked when summer worshipers come in so many states of undress. People say it's all very good, but I guess I'm kind of rebellious.

As rebellious as it sounds, I vote against politicians who think that the solution to our country's problems can always be found in a new law or a new government program. I think gun-control promotes gun violence by taking arms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. I think government health care is the reason for skyrocketing costs, not the solution for them. I think taxes should be used to raise revenue, not to engineer society. I think budget surpluses should end up back in the taxpayer's pocket, but then I'm sort of rebellious. I think the Constitution is timeless and should be followed, not outdated and only to be ignored. I think freedom means less government and not more.

I really rebel against the times when I protest the masculinization of womanhood and the feminization of manhood. I think men make the best men and women make the best women. I am such a rebel that I subscribe to the revolutionary concept that men and women are different! I think that gender-blending tends to homosexuality, and I believe that homosexuality is a very sad and dangerous obsession. I don't buy the idea that people are born that way. If that were why people did those things, then genes would have to explain the rampant sodomite activity in prison. I don't really think that a large percentage of the prison population were "born that way." I think that perverted activities, mental perversion, and a positive opinion of perversion tend to give us sexual perverts. I'm not a hater, but I am a rebel against the pro-gay movement of our day. If the time ever comes when sexual deviation becomes a protected right, and homosexuality a respected practice, the normal family unit will be doomed in our country. And I rebel against that.

I rebel against the idea that adultery is OK. I think that marriage vows are sacred, and that men or women who break them are sinking pretty low. I say that immorality is born of selfishness, not love. I just can't go along with the new morality. I believe the Ten Commandments were written in stone, but then I'm sort of a rebel!

I remember when I was a teenager in the 1960s how some of my friends rebelled openly against the norms and standards by which we had been reared. Behind those standards were truths taught in the Bible, although most Americans had forgotten this fact by 1963. It was in that year that I found Jesus Christ, or more correctly I should say, He found me. When I began following Him, I began rebelling against the moral revolution of my generation. Now we have passed the threshold of a new century, and I am still a rebel against the revolutionary thinking of the '60s, which now seems to dominate everything. But it doesn't dominate me. I guess I'm just as much of a rebel against the anti-Christian trend of the times as my classmates were against the morals of Christianity. And I hope to stay rebellious in this way until the tide turns back or until I see my Lord. I won't go along with the downward slide. I won't listen to its trashy tunes, laugh at its dirty sitcoms, vote for its sleazy politicians, endorse its twisted values, or bow before its pagan gods. Why don't you join me? Let us surrender to the true God and rebel against His enemies.

Monthly Article
Fri, 2 Jun 2000
by Dr. Rick Flanders
currently Pastor of
Juniata Baptist Church
Juniata Baptist Church
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
juniatabaptist@juno.com
(517) 823-7848

Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data

Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)


Articles published in the;
Sword of the Lord
Baptist Preacher,
Frontline,
Christian View of the News,
Pulpit Helps,
Maranatha Watchman
Church Bus News,
and other national periodicals.


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