THE NATIONAL DENS OF THIEVES

{This is Study #12 in the Advanced Studies in
Jeremiah, and after completion will be published as
an ebook as Volume 7 of the LEARN CHRIST
COMMENTARIES.}

This article, shortly to be posted, is a continuation
of "The Second Tragedy in Tucson", really not a
single event but a way of life in government and
American Thought that is a continuing tragedy for
most of the American citizens, especially those still
unemployed and hungry! One fact alone tells you
how like in Judah before the destruction of
Jerusalem, the United States has become:  in spite
of the economic needs of the majority in this nation
now and in spite of the huge debt of this nation, the
less needy, and few citizens in the high income
category were able to exert so much influence on
Congress as to recently get tax breaks that could
have helped save the economic stability of this
nation.  The best of all nations in the world is in
trouble, yet greed instead of patriotism or any
Christian values dominates the motivations of the
more influential special interests few.  Oh, like
spoken by one of their millionaire leaders, the
majority head in the House, they need more
stability for the future in order to invest to the extent
of more jobs; however, the point remains that with
their incomes and assets they do not hurt, and
many for whom they refuse to create new jobs are
hurting.  And exactly what they are doing is what is
criticized as "mistreatment of the people in the
land" in the book of Jeremiah.
Once again we quote from J.A. Thompson in his
fine commentary on the book of Jeremiah.  {It is
part of the repeated conclusion from "The Second
Tragedy in Tucson", part of the sequel of three to
conclude with "The Royal Law of Leviticus and
James".

                 
Repeated Conclusion

Like the introduction of “Second Tragedy in
Tucson” and “National Dens of Thieves” this
conclusion will be repeated for both articles.
11-5:  Then with intellectual honesty, Live up to {or
Fulfill} the “Royal” Law with justice for all
Americans.  Perhaps one reason justice is blind
before the courts of law, is that it can be rationaized
without full truth in love for neighbors that grows
feet.  Twice in Jeremiah 7:5 alone the word
“throughly” in used to describe the execution of
justice in the land by leaders.

“For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your
doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment
between a man and his neighbor.”  (Jeremiah 7:5)

Once again J. A. Thompson in his wonderful
commentary on Jeremiah talks about the leaders of
the nation who were in a position of power to do
good for all the people, and yet withheld and
abused that power to do good.

“...there was no limit to the wicked deeds {of the
leaders called wicked men, because
} they failed to
plead the cause of the fatherless and thus bring
about a just settlement of their case.  The claims of
the poor were negelected.  The charge seems to
be directed against the men in whose power it lay
to bring aid to such needy people.  In the
Jerusalem of Jeremiah’s day not many could do
this with any real effect.  Those who should have
cared were precisely the rich ‘officials’ who could
recite ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the
Lord, the temple of the Lord’ (Jeremiah 7:4), while
ignoring gross injustice in the land.  By virtue of
thier high position and reputation for piety the
weak an
d helpless came to them for help, but the
impressions we gain from this passage (the
passage of 5:20-31) is that any help they gave
was a means to filling their own coffers.  The
rewards of ‘justice’ remained with them while they
gained power and control over those whom they
aided.  The leaders had somehow been able to fit
in with Josiah’s reforms on the religious level, so
that they attended the temple and ceased to
attend the shrines while avoiding the deep ethical
implications of the reform.”

Yes, even the neighbors of Congressmen is more
than the fellow wealthy and fellow government
officials; yes the neighbors of government princes
and business leaders is more than other wealthies
with whom they feel so much at home; and yes,
until there is not one single unemployed in this
nation, until there is not one child or adult that goes
to bed hungry at night, until all have health care
and can manage in old age, these leaders have not
brought real justice through love of neighbor to all
their neighbors.
1.  It is easy for Americans to remember the 10
commandments of the Old Testament as recorded
in Deuteronomy 20 and Exodus 10, but forget at
the same time how the royal law as a summary of
these commandments was written in Leviticus 19:
18.

“You shall do no injustice in judgment.  You
shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the
person of the mighty.  In righteousness you
shall judge your neighbor.”  (Leviticus 19:15)

“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any
grude against the children of your people, but
you shall love your neighbour as yourself:  I am
the LORD.”  (Leviticus 19:18)

2.  If you really fulfill the royal law, according to
Scripture (James 2:8,9) you will not show partially
between the rich and men of positon and the poorer
people of the country.
3.  Christians will be judged according to the law of
liberty (James 2:12).
4.  Mercy trumps judgment.  “For judgment is
without mercy to the one who has shown no
mercy.”  (James 2:13)
                 
NOTE:  Do not be discouraged by the brevity of
these 4 comments as they will be enlarged as the
major body of Study #13, "The Royal Law of
Leviticus and James".  And while some of these
itching ears Bible teachers of the Messianic
Judaism and Learning Channel persuasion are
trying to get you to utilized the Rabbinic methods
for Bible study--foolish because most of the Rabbis
like in the time of Jesus strained at a knat and
swallowed a camel in their efforts at Bible truth--
why not take something in the Bible from James
which may sound new because we missed the real
truth in Leviticus of the Royal Law.  You know
clothes, and the way we dress, and the dress as
representative of our money and status in the world
as recently seen in the Globe awards, has so
permeated the lives and values of Christians that
the teachings of the Royal Law in James and
Leviticus seems strange.

Seating Arrangements Referenced in the Bible

NOTE:  This is the introduction to the article on (1)
“Second Tragedy in Tucson”, which is really the
continuing saga of why leaders are mistreating the
peoople in the land; and (2) “The National Den of
Thieves”, quotes from Jeremiah and Jesus, which
explain how our leaders are wicked simply because
of their failure to do good for the poorer and
unemployed as well as the wealthy and men of
status and fine clothing.  This introduction prefaces
and introduces both subjects.  By the way you saw
by way of the State of the Union assembly in D.C.
that being politicians and also concerned about
appearance {over reality} government leaders are
quickly trying to correct the impressions they
created in Tucson and by their reactions
immediately after the Tucson Tragedy; however
just that unusual reaction is within itself testimony
to their own realization of the way things really are.
1. Jesus criticized the Jewish scribes, Pharisees,
and other religious leaders of the nation of Israel of
His day because they “desired the chief seats in
the synagogue.” It is to our Lord and the author of
our Christian faith, another sign of “hypocrisy”.
Jesus taught about the scribes and Pharisees in
Matthew 23:2-7, saying--
“The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that
observe and do, but do not do according to their
works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind
heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’
s shoulders, but they them se les will not move
them with one of their fingers. But all their works
they do to be seen by men. They make their
phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their
gr aments. They love the best places at feasts,
THE BEST SEATS IN THE SYNAGOGUES,
greetings in the marketplace, and to be called by
men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’” (Matthew 23:2-7)
2. Pastor James in James 2:3 wrote of special
seating arrangements for those of “fine clothes” and
the lesser seating arrangements for those of lesser
clothing.
“...and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine
clothes and say to him, ‘You sit here in a good
place,’ and say to the poor man, ‘You stand there,’
or ‘Sit here at my footstool,’ have you not shown
partiality among yourselves, and become judges
with evil thoughts?” (James 2:3,4)
12-4:  The Great Apostasy of  today, called in the
Bible like in II Thessalonians “the Falling Away”,
demands that Classical Christian Apologetics and
Christian Evidences be expanded to include almost
all aspects of American life including the politics
and government of what happened in Tucson.
1.  For example the decrease in Bible knowledge
and hence Bible understanding, as indicated by
almost any survey of Americans on Bible, demands
that the most simple truths of the Bible be
presented apologetically and as forcefully as
possible.
You see that in just the simple question of Romans
and Isaiah, “LORD, who has believed our report?”  
(Isaiah 53:1 and Romans 1:16); and you can  not
think of it as simply the Prophets and Apostles
filling sorry for themselves because people are not
listening and believing the most simple of Bible
messages.  Here,  is what it is really saying:  WE
ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR PEOPLE TO
BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD, QUITE
DIFFERENT IN EACH GENERATION, BUT WHAT
NEVER MANY, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOME.
NOTE:  In fact, you might say that Isaiah was the
first Christian Apologetists.  And unfortunately
when you first hear the title of Apologetics, you
might think that we Christians and Christian
preachers are apologizing that we have to tell you
some things that you don’t want to hear.  Not at all,
the purpose of Classical Christian Apologetics and
the sub-heaing of Christian Evidences in just to
start with people where they are and in as patient
and as a determined manner as possible to take
them where God wants them as revealed in the
Word.
2.  No only do less and less Americans read the
Bible, but less and less even READ period.
Did you know that anymore a very high precentage
of American youth do not graduate from high
school, and further more than the national reading
level in recent years has dropped from the sixth
grade to the third grade.  Run portions of
Hemmingway through Grammatik software that is
now installed in WordPerfect, and you will find that
even Hemmingway, at the fifth grade level, is
beyond the average reading level.  Many of us love
to read USA TODAY, and it is written to the second
grade level.  Yes, I am not kidding you that
teachers and advocates of resume writing will
quickly tell you tha the average reading level in the
US is now the third grade!  You see where that
poses a problem for Bible reading, for much of the
Bible especially in the King James Version and the
New King James Versions that we love so much is
written for the second year of college level like the
Constitution of the United States and the
Gettysburg address.
How tragic it is when the average American citizen
can not read and understand the Consitution of the
United States, and how much we can appreciate
Congresswoman Gifford standing on the floor of the
House of Representatives to read the Constitution
of the United States!  And how tragic the average
American can not read and understand the words
“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men
are created free and equal, and endowed by their
Creator with certain inalienable rights as life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.”
NOTE:  Did you know that the framing forefathers
first wrote that as “life, liberty, and pursuit of
property”, then changed it to “happiness” to keep
from sounding so materialistic.  It is sort of ignoble
to suddenly go from “life” and “liberty” to something
as mundane as making a living and acquiring
wealth and property.  Yet a careful study of the
History of American Thought easily indicates that in
many ways and at many times, including the
present, the Gospel of Wealth and the corrolary of
success have dominated so much of what
Americans do and say.  Our pastors, preachers,
and Philosophers of Religion have been telling us
for years that we Americans are too materialisitcally
inclined, and that emphasis goes way back in the
history of American Thought.
3.  There is another reason that a modified
approach of Christian Apologetics have to be used
on even our own church members.  Since
increasing the world, including America and church
members, shield themselves with intolerance for
sound doctrine.  The exact words of the Bible are
“will not endure sound doctrine”.  Church members
today just will not not put up with sound Bible
teachings and preaching, often running off the
pastors who teach such or finding another church
or denomination that will go along with their
personal wishes.
As a matter of fact, when Paul wrote II Timothy 4:
4,5 he had in mind church members more than any
other group.
“For the time will come {the time is already here}
when they will not endure sound doctrine {this is
the intolerance toward sound Bible teaching and
preaching, replaced by personal aspiratons}; but
out of their own desires {church members and
leaders are now motivated more by what they want
and desire than they are for Christ and the
teachings of Christ} shall they heap up teachers
with itching ears, turn away from the truth, and be
turned into fables.”  (II Timothy 4:4,5)

12-5:  The American Democratic Faith and the
Christian Faith of the Bible.

Most of us appreciate our American Democratic
Faith.  Even with its flaws, we enjoy the greatest
form of government in the world today, and the
greatest form of government that has ever existed
in history.  Our government has provided for us an
average standard of living that allows us to enjoy
daily live without the pressures of a shortage of the
necessities.  Most American leaders of government
like Obama and Bohmer like to call it the “American
Dream” instead of the “American Democratic Faith”;
but the clue for such a description of our American
way of life came from an authority in the History of
American Thought when he wrote a book
entitled         MAIN CURRENTS OF THE
AMERICAN DEMOCRATIC FAITH.
And perhaps the best way to introduce the subject
of RESPECTOR OF PERSONS, or discrimination
based on status, clothing, and money--which by the
way, believe it or not we are rapidly approaching--is
to consider some of the differences between the
American Democratic Faith and the Christian Faith
of the Bible.  That is sort of what Pastor James is
asking us to do in James 2:1.

“My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality”.  
(James 2:1)  
{It is hard to mix these!}

You are brethren, certainly, that hold the faith of the
Lord Jesus Christ.  You claim to be a Christian, don’
t you?  Well, in other words, Pastor James--and
more importantly God through Pastor James, is
telling us not to mix our Christian faith with a
partiality of discrimination.  This is most often called
in Bible teachings and theology as THE
RESPECTOR OF PERSONS.
Now unfortunately for most of us that get confused
between our American Democratic Faith, which is
great and necessay but will not provide salvation,
and our Christian Faith, James 2:1-13 is not
addressing discrimination based on “race, religion,
and creed”.  I think all of us would agree that we
have made great strides in American life, especailly
in recent years, with discrimination based on race,
relgion, and creed.  No, what the Word of God in
James 2:1-13 is talking about is a discrimination
among Christians based on status, clothing, and
money.
“For if there should come into your assembly a man
with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should
also come in a poor man in filty clothers, and you
pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes
and say to him, “You sit here in a good place” {this
is exactly what happened at the memorial assembly
on the UA campus}, and say to the poor man, “You
stand there”, or “Sit here at my footstool”, have you
not shown partiality among yourselves, and
become judges with evil thoughts?”  (James 2:2-4)
Wow, that is pretty strong language to speak to the
President, the Attorney General, the head of
Homeland Security, the President of UA, and an
astronaut.  I am glad it came from the inspired
Word of God, and not from me.  Thankfully it is
message from on High from the LORD of the
Universe instead of from a lowly preacher is a loyal
citizen of this nation.  It is saying two things, bottom
line to all these dignataries, which won’t listen to it
anyway, and all these officials of government who
had the nerve immediately after the shooting to
discriminate verbally by saying “an attack on one
{member of Congress} is an attack on all {members
of Congress}”, a Fruedian slip of the tongue instead
of saying “an attack on one ordinary American
citizen is an attack on all citizens”, and here it is to
government and other Americans straight from the
Word of God who practice this protocal of
discrimination for position and money:
(1).  You are showing partiality, or discrimination,
right there in the middle of your government and
memorial services; and
(2).  You, and this is where it is really hard to take,
or even re-write in other words, “You have become
judges of evil thoughts.
           Repeated Conclusion
Like the introduction of “Second Tragedy in
Tucson” and “National Dens of Thieves” this
conclusion will be repeated for both articles.
12-5:  Then with intellectual honesty, Live up to {or
Fulfill} the “Royal” Law with justice for all
Americans.  Perhaps one reason justice is blind
before the courts of law, is that it can be rationaized
without full truth in love for neighbors that grows
feet.  Twice in Jeremiah 7:5 alone the word
“throughly” in used to describe the execution of
justice in the land by leaders.
“For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your
doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment
between a man and his neighbor.”  (Jeremiah 7:5)
Once again J. A. Thompson in his wonderful
commmentary on Jeremiah talks about the leaders
of the nation who were in a poistion of power to do
good for all the people, and yet withheld and
abused that power to do good.
“...there was no limit to the wicked deeds {of the
leaders called wicked men, because] “they failed to
plead the cause of the fatherless and thus bring
about a just settlement of their case.  The claims of
the poor were negelected.  The charge seems to be
directed against the men in whose power it lay to
bring aid to such needy people.  In the Jerusalem
of Jeremiah’s day not many could do this with any
real effect.  Those who should have cared were
precisely the rich ‘officials’ who could recite ‘The
temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the
temple of the Lord’ (Jeremiah 7:4), while ignoring
gross injustice in the land.  By virtue of thier high
position and reputation for piety the weak and
helpless came to them for help, but the impressions
we gain from this passage (the passage of 5:20-31)
is that any helpo they gave wasw a means to filling
their own coffers.  The rewards of ‘justice’ remained
with them while they gained power and control over
those whom they aided.  The leaders had somehow
been able to fit in with Josiah’s reforms on the
religious level, so that they attended the temple and
ceased to attend the shrines while avoiding the
deep ethical implications of the reform.”
Yes, even the neighbors of Congressmen is more
than the fellow wealthy and fellow government
officials; yes the neigbors of government princes
and business leaders is more than other wealthies
with whom they feel so much at home; and yes,
until there is not one single unemployed in this
nation, untile there is not one child or adult that
goes to bed hungry at night, until all have health
care and can manage in old age, these leaders
have not brought real justice through love of
neighbor to all their neighbors.
1.  It is easy for Americans to remember the 10
commandments of the Old Testament as recorded
in Deuteronomy 20 and Exodus 10, but forget at
the same time how the royal law as a summary of
these commandments was written in Leviticus 19:
18.
“You shall do no injustice in judgment.  You shall
not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of
the mighty.  In righteousness you shall judge your
neighbor.”  (Leviticus 19:15)
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grude
against the children of your people, but you shall
love your neighbour as yourself:  I am the LORD.”  
(Leviticus 19:18)
2.  If you really fulfill the royal law, according to
Scripture (James 2:8,9) you will not show partially
between the rich and men of positon and the poorer
people of the country.
3.  Christians will be judged according to the law of
liberty (James 2:12).
4.  Mercy trumps judgment.  “For judgment is
without mercy to the one who has shown no
mercy.”  (James 2:13)