The Gospel of John

About forty years ago I spent about six months in the Gospel of John while I was stationed in Cyprus with the Canadian Armed Forces, working under the auspices of the United Nations as a peacekeeper. It’s my favourite Gospel and I’ve read through it since then many times. I’m just starting to go through John’s Gospel again, only this time in my slow and deliberate, hands on the hard copy manner, that I’m currently embarked on. I have this inner awareness and anticipation that I’m about to partake in a twelve course meal. During the next few weeks I will be posting articles on things that catch my eye, so to speak, within the Gospel of John.

However, I do want to mention that the last few days have been a little troubling. I wrote a couple of articles that entered into the murky waters of politics, something that I normally try real hard to avoid, but I felt strongly led to do so because I sensed that a vital component of the divided nation conflict, with regard to the coming election within the USA, needed to be said. Hence, the couple of posts. Comments were relatively sparse which tells me that most of you folks who reside in the United States, were for all intents and purposes, being polite and gracious. I just wanted you to know that I noted that and I sincerely appreciate your patience with me. As was expected, I did ruffle some feathers. The good news is we’re still talking and calling each other “brother”. God is good.

Since I wrote those couple of articles that definitely had a political connotation, I wrote a couple more, but you can relax because both of them ended up in the trash bucket. I just couldn’t shake the inner witness that God did not want me to go there. I’ve also prayed about it and the direction to move on was consistently evident. It wasn’t so much that the essence of the vital missing component I saw was wrong in stating, but rather that the complexity of the subject matter and the negative repercussions that it could cause, would not be conducive to “lifting one another up”. I felt God saying to me that the problem was just a tad bigger than I could successfully tackle and that I should leave this particular subject matter in His more than capable hands.

So, with that experience under my belt, I’m letting you know that I shall endeavour to keep my personal thoughts and concerns regarding the forthcoming election in the USA to myself in the future and if for some unknown reason, I forget, please feel free to remind me.

Also please note that it was never my intent to infer or articulate any disrespect to my American brothers and sisters in the Lord.

There! I feel better already!

UPDATE: Actually the “discussion” continued with the gentleman whose feathers I ruffled after this article was posted (see comments) and there was a significant degradation in the tone. It was suggested that I not frequent this gentleman’s blog any more and I have complied with his request. It’s unfortunate but these things happen.

I have taken what he indicated to heart and I can appreciate his perspective and how he came to the conclusions he made about my statements. What I literally can’t understand or comprehend is how anyone can honestly look at some of the statements that President Trump has made, that are recorded on video and his numerous tweets and align his character traits with being representative of what a Christian should be. For me, there’s definitely a conflict there and to my way of thinking, to ignore that reality or deny it, simply defies logic. I don’t deny that President Trump has been an advocate for Christian morality, I just have sincere doubts about his motives. But then again, not being the end all authority on any of this, I could be wrong.

So, once again, my apology to anyone if I have offended you. That honestly was not my intent, I merely hoped that we might consider all of the ramifications of this political pursuit, especially as it applies to our fulfilling the Great Commission. In hindsight, I probably should have never voiced my concerns. And as per this post, I shall endeavour not to do it again.

I would also like to state that I have great respect for the people of the United States and especially the Office of the Presidency and I am especially proud to have served along side with members of your Armed Forces.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

26 comments

  1. You’re a wise and Godly man, Bruce, and I’m sure you haven’t offended anyone. Politics is always a subject, I feel, that is difficult to approach. For me, over here in the u.k., it helps me to understand the politics and how people feel in countries other than my own.

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    • Not sure about the wise and Godly but I hope you’re right about not offending anyone. Absolutely nothing is simple. I am constantly amazed and often confounded by the perspectives that some others hold. It doesn’t take much looking back in retrospect to realize that I myself, too often in the past and even now, fit into the same perspectives in other areas. Never realized how big that log in the eye could be. Have a blessed day Lesley!

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  2. I agree with you. I do believe that there are some political issues that are extremely important, but the MOST important thing is sharing the gospel. If anything I say about politics is offensive to or misunderstood by an unbeliever and places a barrier between us, it is NOT worth it! Once a person comes to Christ, I believe the Holy Spirit will direct him/her to make good choices, and it’s not up to me to be someone’s conscience. The best I can do – for anyone – is to pray.
    Having said that, I HAVE signed petitions and written letters to our leaders expressing where I stand, and if God were to direct me to take part in a demonstration of some kind, I would. But I would approach it very carefully, and with utmost respect for the other side.

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    • Hi Ann, wise words. One would think that the Holy Spirt would over ride our disagreements but I find both in the Scriptures and in life that this isn’t always necessarily so. That still quiet voice can’t be heard very well when we are shouting at one another. Too many focus on how Jesus dealt with the Pharisees as a group and forget how He dealt with the Samaritan woman at the well. I wonder how many strongly opinionated Christian Republicans have shared a meal with a Christian Democrat recently. Jesus did with the Pharisees. But then again, it was a Pharisee that invited Him. I think your advice is sound, use extreme caution and show respect for all. Thanks for taking the time to comment, always appreciated. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours.

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  3. You sure you don’t want to be bold and speak your opinion and stand up for truth? How else will your opinion ever become truth if you don’t boldly speak your opinion to truth?
    (Just being sarcastic Bruce) I can’t help it, politics are a joke to me. I find the christians today have a lot in common with the jews of Jesus’ time. It’s eerily freighting, even though there’s recorded history of what happened. And here we are 2000 years later
    Blessings

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    • Hi Stephen, I hear you. There’s nothing wrong in speaking the truth, it’s how and to whom you speak it. Too many focus on how Jesus dealt with the Pharisees as a group and forget how He dealt with the Samaritan woman at the well. And you’re right, some things never really change. Blessings to you also!

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  4. Sure is a lot of sarcasm and mockery in the comments here regarding Christian American Republicans. In your original political post you accused us of fear-mongering, xenophobia, racism, and misogyny, which are all liberal lies. Now your friend Stephen is being sarcastic about us standing up and speaking the truth and relating us to unbelieving Jews and you are agreeing with him saying we are treating the liberals like they are Pharisees. That is really discouraging Bruce. Are you a Canadian liberal socialist or what? Are you sure it is not your intent to infer or articulate any disrespect to your American brothers and sisters?

    There is actually quite a bit of disrespect towards those who are American patriots who love their country and support our great American President who honors God. I would like to know exactly where you stand. I let everyone know where I stand on my blog. Why do you believe the lies they tell about Trump and those who support him? If you want to know the truth about all the great things Trump has done for our country, please read my post “Don’t Fear Conflict.”

    Loving my country and praying the Lord protects our country and supporting our President who loves our country is neither racist or xenophobic. Those are lies we here from liberal socialists in our country every day in the liberal controlled media propaganda. I’m assuming you agree more with our Democrat party here in this country. Christian Democrat is an oxymoron. A Christian who supports abortion, gay marriage, and socialism, give me a break. How could anyone call themselves a Christian and support what they support.

    Both parties are filled with sinful people, yes, but conservatives are fighting for righteousness and the liberals are in the streets violently demanding that immorality and depravity rule the day. You are not American. You are Canadian. I respect your service, but you are not American. You live in a globalist controlled country and you will never understand our patriotic fire to fight for our freedom.

    I love my country with all my heart. Don’t disparage your American Christian conservative brothers and sisters with your socialist views. Stop listening to the lies on CNN about Trump and those who support him being xenophobic and racist. What a bunch of lies! Learn the truth Bruce. Enough with your America bashing and your sarcastic friends on here mocking us. That is neither Christ like or loving.

    Grace and peace to you brother.

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    • Hi Ryan,

      Well it won’t be difficult for anyone following the comments on this post to guess whose feathers I ruffled. Since our initial exchange on my post entitled “Christianity Is Neither Democratic nor Republican—It’s Better Than Both | Steven Mattson”, you’ve authored at least two posts where you continued to take me to task and you will note that I did not challenge you in either of them. Also please note that I did not take exception to any of your followers comments on either of those two posts of yours.

      I did put out another post entitled “Why Disagreements” where one of my followers asked me where I stood politically, and I did provide an overview as requested. If you can take the time to read that follow up comment of mine, you will note that I covered most of your accusations, and I don’t use the word “accusations” lightly. Also please note that in this particular post, in my comments to Stephen, I did say that there is nothing wrong is stating the truth, I did however indicate that how you do that and to whom you do it (collectively or individually) should be taken into consideration. One of the assumptions you made is correct however, I am not a fan of President Trump but I wasn’t keen over Hillary either. You make an awful lot of false assumptions Ryan. Any opinions I have formed about President Trump come from his own tweets he puts out (classic Presidential) and news videos where he is personally speaking. Unless someone is putting different words in his mouth I’d have a tendency to say what he himself actually says provides pretty accurate insight into his character. My apology to you if the “truth” that I perceive is not the same “truth” as yours. No, I am not a Canadian Liberal Socialist, which would negate, what you infer, that I hold Socialist views. Do I believe that President Trump plays loosely with the truth, (and I am being kind), yes I do. Do I understand that the various news media put a spin of what they put out, yes I am. Fortunately FoxNews doesn’t fall into that category. No, I do not agree with the all of the policies of the Democrats but I also do not necessarily agree with all of the Republican policies either (or lack thereof). You are also correct in that I am not an American. No argument there. It might interest you to know that Americans are not the only country who have lost many lives defending democracy in Korea, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq (to name but a few), every as we currently speak. But you, not living in a globalist controlled country like Canada, would not be privy to that information. Pity.

      To be honest with you, the only comment in your torrent of accusations that seems oddly out of place is where you wish me God’s grace and blessings.

      Yes, you are my Christian brother, no doubt in my mind there. But don’t ask me if I am disappointed.

      Blessings

      Bruce

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      • My accusations? Really Bruce? Come on sir. You want to sit there and say you’re not disrespectful, but then point the finger at me and call American patriots racist? How is that not accusatory? How is that not disrespectful? Saying Trump and those who support him are racist is very disrespectful and it’s a lie based on the liberal propaganda that you believe.

        I didn’t write two posts about it, so don’t know what you are talking about there. I wrote 1 and it’s called “Don’t Fear Conflict.” I never mentioned you by name nor did I “take you to task” in my post. You said in your post that we are racist, xenophobic, misogynist, and fear mongering. Those are your accusations that I speak of. You wrote those accusations, not me.

        I suppose we will agree to disagree about politics. I don’t care to hear political views about America from somebody who is not American anyway. And yes, despite your mocking comment, I am privy to the governments of other countries and what they have done in the wars. Furthermore, I am the one who is disappointed sir.

        And yes, I wish you grace and peace. A brother can wish another brother grace and peace even if we disagree on issues. Can you not?

        I leave you in peace.

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      • OK Ryan, I could discuss your last comment point by point but it would serve no purpose. If I offended you I am sorry, you’ll have to take my word that that was not my intend. As noted in this post, I will not be writing any more articles that touches on politics, so the disrespect that you perceive from my end is going to cease. Hope that meets with your approval.

        God’s grace, peace, mercy and blessings on you and yours.

        Bruce

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      • You can go ahead and discuss any of my comments or posts point by point. I don’t fear being challenged by you or anybody else. And you don’t have to worry about “meeting my approval.” That is a condescending comment.

        You won’t be hearing from me anymore. I won’t be reading your blog and I suggest that since you consider me a racist for supporting Trump, you might want to consider staying off my blog. I don’t have any fellowship with someone who spouts the same lies and disrespect as our liberal media and points their finger at me calling me a racist. We are beyond fed up with hearing that accusation here in America. I am not a racist. I am not xenophobic. I am not a misogynist. I am not fear mongering. And neither is Trump. By the way, Trump just stood up for Christians and all people of faith today by reinforcing our First Amendment protections for prayer in our schools! How awesome is that?! The man honors God, but you would rather tear him down and call him racist. Ridiculous.

        Thanks for the blessings.
        Ryan

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      • I don’t really know what to say Ryan. I think you pretty well authenticated the point I was trying to draw attention to in the initial post we exchanged comments on. Just so you know, there is a big difference between being complicit and you actually doing it. Complicity refers to the act of helping SOMEONE ELSE behave inappropriately or illegally. And that inference was aimed at all Christians, not just Republican Christians. But you immediately took offence and indicated that Trump doesn’t behave inappropriately or illegally so it’s obviously non-applicable. Case closed.

        I will honour your request and not bother you any more. I’m sorry our crossing paths turned out this way.

        I wish you well Ryan. God bless.

        Bruce

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      • Case closed? Don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t prove any of your points. You went against your own point and proved you are not respectful when you say to be loving and kind in our interactions with people of different views, but in the same post you accused us of being racist. You can’t say, “Hey, I mean no disrespect, but you’re a racist.”

        And yeah, I know what complicit means sir. You do know I am 41 years old, married 18 years, two kids? We are neither complicit or guilty of xenophobia, racism, misogyny, or fear mongering. Loving your country and protecting your borders are none of those things. Yes, you said Christians, but the accusations of racism, xenophobia, fear mongering, and misogyny are the same accusations the liberals have been saying about Trump and his supporters since he was elected. Everyone knows those accusations are being directed at conservative Christians and Trump. That was your intent as you said yourself you do not support Trump.

        You want to act neutral, but then in the same breath you call us racist. You can’t say, “Hey, let’s all get along and be respectful to each other, but just remember, you are a racist!” Give me a break.

        I wish you well too. God bless.
        Ryan

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  5. Sorry Bruce, I thought you were pretty graceful responding to me as I understood you weren’t fully in agreement with my comment.
    I like to call things on how I see it. Emphasis to be put on “how I see it” as to say my opinion. Didn’t think it would fall on you.

    Blessings

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    • Not a problem Stephen, Ryan took offence with my initial post long before your comment. I let him have his say and offered a response that he obviously wasn’t impressed with. It happens. I know what my intent was, lesson learned. Blessings and thanks for doing a follow up comment, appreciated.

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  6. I would love to have served alongside you in the military. I’ve got the maddest respect for Candian soldiers and I imagine most Marines and soldiers do too

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    • Thanks Jim. Respect obviously goes both ways. Don’t know if you had a chance to look through the comments but my encounter with Ryan C was quite the experience. The article I reposted in the article that Ryan took exception to was written by an American to Americans but I probably should not have added my own two cents. Lesson learned. Extremely touchy subject, especially when one is dealing with an outspoken Christian American 3%er far-right militia movement and paramilitary group member for the first time. It was sorely tempting to engage him but that would have just added fuel to the fire. Would have loved to have shared a coffee with you on this one and discussed. His latest post on his website in response to this encounter was very hard not to respond to but God is good and I kept my fingers off of the keyboard. I found the whole encounter extremely sad. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and your ministry.

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