If you’re a regular, you may remember So in love with two. The comes from a song about a girl in love with two boys. But I look at it as a Christian, in love with Jesus and someone or something else.
Ultimately it’s not up to us to decide what Jesus is asking of us.
It’s up to us to decide whether we want to do what He is asking.
If we decide which things we want to do and which we don’t – the result will be like that camel going through the eye of a needle – it’s not gonna happen.
If we do what Jesus asks – then all things are possible – including that camel making it through the eye of the needle.
So – what did Mikaila’s song choose?
Hey, hey, hey
I choose the both of you
Yeah – not a good choice. We, Christians, should be familiar with the Greatest Commandment.
22:34-40 pp — Mk 12:28-31
Mt 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The “first” one Jesus gave in answer to the question is ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
That leaves no room for “so in love with two”. It only leaves room for “so in love with Jesus”.
Worse yet, Jesus told us what happens when we try to choose two. His example was money. And for many of us, that’s a good choice. But money isn’t the only thing that can put us in the situation Jesus describes below in verse 24.
6:22, 23 pp — Lk 11:34-36
Mt 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Mt 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Mt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
The reality is that we often try to choose, or juggle, between more than two loves. More than two masters.
Lately, I’ve written a few articles about God and politics. How I believe that political candidates must make choices, and compromises, in order to pursue people of some religion in furtherance of their political career. Those compromises include watering down, or even outright going against, the teachings of the religion they’re targeting. Therefore, when people of that religion support them, we also must make compromises.
The question becomes when do we start to run into that “so in love with two” problem?
The problems with so in love with two
One of the problems with “so in love with two” is that it’s taking up too much time and space here on this site. Yeah – I really said that.
This one’s for what we’ve done to religion. How we’ve changed it from what the Bible says into what we want it to be. In essence, creating a religion, and therefore God, in the image we prefer. And while God and politics do fit in with that, I do have another site that’s more in line with that topic. It’s whichgodsaves.com. For instance, there’s a series being written, as of this time – late 2020 – about religious regulations in China. It looks at how China is trying to remake Christianity into its own atheist, Communist, view of things. And about how the U.S., although by a different path, seems to be traveling down the same road.
Whichgodsaves also look at the “god” of science, Islam, sports, among others. Also things like persecution around the world, atheism, universalism, Etc. The end goal is to show how only Christianity can save us. That’s save, as in salvation and eternal life with the God who created us.
If any of that sounds interesting to you, I invite you to check it out.
One parting thought on so in love with two
But before I leave it entirely on this site, I do have one final thought for you. It’s about the election. I know many Christians, including most evangelicals, think the election has the wrong result. You may also know that I disagree. I believe character has to count for quite a bit, because I don’t believe a bad tree can bear good fruit.
Mt 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Mt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
Can a person with bad character, not Christ-like, bear good fruit? Verse 18 says no. Verse 19 says that tree will be cut down.
There’s also this passage about our leaders.
Ro 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
Ro 13:6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Christians tend to stop there and claim all leaders are appointed by God.
So in love with two – Hosea style
However, that’s leaving something out. Something from a book we probably tend to not read. But a book I think we should all read and pay attention to. It gives a very different message. And yet, one that’s not out of line with the Romans 13 passage. Here it is:
Hos 8:1 “Put the trumpet to your lips!
An eagle is over the house of the LORD
because the people have broken my covenant
and rebelled against my law.
Hos 8:2 Israel cries out to me,
‘O our God, we acknowledge you!’
Hos 8:3 But Israel has rejected what is good;
an enemy will pursue him.
Hos 8:4 They set up kings without my consent;
they choose princes without my approval.
With their silver and gold
they make idols for themselves
to their own destruction.
Let’s take a look at what just happened in that passage.
Hosea 8:1 — An eagle is over the house of the LORD
Set the trumpet to thy mouth. This figure indicates the severity of the attack. He shall come as an eagle. This figure indicates the swiftness of the attack. They have transgressed my covenant. The judgment of God comes upon Israel because they did not take His covenant (the Abrahamic covenant, Gen 12:1–3) and Law (the whole Mosaic system) seriously. God, however, does keep His word and will send the judgment He has promised. Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 1677). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Of course, we need to remember that Hosea is Old Testament. Old covenant. Whatever is going to happen, we can’t rely on the Old Testament timing.
Under the New Covenant, we have two concerns. One is the long term issue of salvation. The more immediate one is consequences. The consequences of our actions in this life aren’t tied to salvation. After all, Jesus paid the price for our sins – if we truly repent and try to follow Him. But that sacrifice in no way takes away potential consequences of the things we do. In this article, we’re concerned with those consequences.
As such, the consequences may or may not come immediately. However, they may still come swiftly. Either way, the important stuff for consideration here is coming shortly.
Also, in Hosea, the House of the Lord was a reference to Israel. Today, for our purposes, we should look at it as having something to do with us in the U.S.
Hosea 8:1 — the people have broken my covenant and rebelled against my law
OK – there’s obviously a New Covenant issue here. However, we need to remember something about Israel’s past. They were continually turning away from God. Bad things happened. Eventually, they return to God. But never quite completely returned.
But you know what? We’re no different today. So let’s keep an open mind and see where this “so in love with two” thing can go.
Hosea 8:2 — Israel cries out to me, ‘O our God, we acknowledge you!’
Of course, today it’s not Israel, necessarily. It’s us. So if you, the reader, happen to be in Israel, it might very well be you. For me and those in my country, it’s the U.S.
The key thing that doesn’t change though, is the part about ‘O our God, we acknowledge you!’ And we do. Kind of. Sort of. But not completely. Just like in the Old Covenant days.
Here are two examples.
My God, we know thee—the singular, “My,” is used distributively, each one so addressing God. They, in their hour of need, plead their knowledge of God as the covenant-people, while in their acts they acknowledge Him not (compare Mt 7:21, 22; Tit 1:16; also Is 29:13; Je 7:4). The Hebrew joins “Israel,” not as English Version, with “shall cry,” but “We, Israel, know thee”; God denies the claim thus urged on the ground of their descent from Israel. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 657). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Though many in Israel undoubtedly cried out to God for help while under the impression that their relationship with the Lord was still intact, their faith was fickle and insincere (7:14). God promised temporal good to Israel in return for obedience (Nm 10:29; Dt 30:15), but their breach of the covenant was a rejection of God’s gifts and the cause of His temporary rejection of them. Goodrich, J. K. (2014). Hosea. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 1323). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.
While the people, including us today, thought they were in tune with God, they really weren’t. And today, oftentimes, we aren’t. I invite you to read This then is how you should pray…. It’s about how prayer is a two-way conversation with God. Prayer shouldn’t be just sending up a wish list to Heaven. It should really be a conversation with the Holy Spirit. Notice, I said conversation – not monologue. We must listen for a response. Why? Because the answer isn’t always yes! Sometimes it might be not yet. And other times, it’s No! If we don’t wait for a response, we won’t know that.
For instance, in the current situation with the Presidential election, I just read this earlier today.
The heading in The Hill was: Trump supporters pray outside of Clark County Election Department in Nevada. I know some / many of you have the same feelings. However, here’s what caught my attention.
“We give our hearts to you in the name of Jesus,” a woman can be heard saying, praying to God and hoping Trump can pull off a victory in the Silver State, ABC News reported.
It seems that so many Christians pray to God for Trump to win. That alone isn’t the issue. The thing I see as problematic is that’s the only thing they pray for. Not for the grace to accept it if they don’t win. For example, see the next excerpt from a Newsweek article titled Televangelist Weeps at the Thought of a Biden Presidency in Viral Video.
Despite heaping praise on Trump and his allies, Hibbs then insists that his prayer is not in support of either Republicans or Democrats.
“Lord, this is not a Republican or a Democrat prayer,” he said. “If there’s Republican or Democrat shenanigans, expose it. You’re not a Republican. You’re not a Democrat. You’re God.”
He then calls on God to “give us a president and an administration that is pro-Israel, pro-life, pro-religious freedom, pro-police, pro-military, pro-jobs, pro-Hispanic, pro-Black, pro every other color imaginable.”
However, even here Hibbs, a televangelist Trump supporter, doesn’t go all the way to what we just looked at as turning to God, or to a two-way conversational prayer. He does say Lord, this is not a Republican or a Democrat prayer. And he also prays for something that’s not likely to happen from either candidate when he includes, give us a president and an administration that is pro-Israel, pro-life, pro-religious freedom, pro-police, pro-military, pro-jobs, pro-Hispanic, pro-Black, pro every other color imaginable.
Your will be done
But he does stop short of actually listening for an answer and praying for all of us to have the grace to accept the outcome, no matter what. We really should do that, I believe. after all, there’s this verse in what we call the Lord’s Prayer that we should probably pay more attention to:
Mt 6:9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“ ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Mt 6:10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Notice where it says “your will be done”.
“Your will be done” doesn’t mean, “Hey God, do my will!” No. It means, “God, do your will and please teach me how to life a full Christian life when Your will takes place rather than mine.”
I don’t see or hear that very often from the Evangelical Christians that make it to the news. Maybe it’s there, but not reported? But for those who really are in the camp of only praying for God to make their chosen candidate win, regardless of the party, I believe that’s a problem.
When Trump ran for President back in 2016, it’s the first time I remember not being able to support a Republican candidate. I was a Business major in college, so it was just something that seemed to make sense. But as I got older and hopefully more mature in my faith, like returning to Jesus after so many years of being mad at Him, I couldn’t do it any longer. In fact, in 2016, I couldn’t in good conscious vote for Trump or Hillary Clinton. Neither seemed to have the proper character that I could support them.
Now, in 2020, Trump, if anything, is even worse on the character front. He proved to be even worse than I thought he’d be. Biden, while not at all perfect, does actually seem to care about people, especially the poor. And that’s something that resonates with me and what I believe about Jesus. As I’ve often said in other writings, there’s no such thing as a political candidate that’s going to live up to all the teachings of Jesus. But character and caring for the poor go much further than anything I see in Trump.
However, even after saying all that, I still know and acknowledge that God is sovereign. He allows people to come to power and / or raised them up into positions of power. He’s God. He gets to do that. His will, not mine. My task, as a Christian, is to learn what’s going on, as much as I can, and then live my Christian life within the confines of who God brings into power.
Assuming that we have someone God brings into power! We’ll return to that thought in a moment. Specifically, when we get to verse 4.
Hosea 8:3 — But Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him.
The excerpt below seems as if it was written for today. I could almost use it alone, with no explanation at all.
Israel—God repeats the name in opposition to their use of it (Ho 8:2).
the thing that is good—JEROME translates, “God” who is good and doing good (Ps 119:68). He is the chief object rejected, but with Him also all that is good.
the enemy shall pursue him—in just retribution from God. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 657). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Do you remember earlier, where we talked about consequences? When we reject God, as in “I’m praying for my will to be done, not Yours”, I believe we’re rejecting God. On top of that, we’re doing a horrible job of fulfilling the Great Commission. At the very least, setting a bad example. Here’s what I mean.
Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Notice where Jesus says, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
I have to ask Christians, myself included, how can we possibly teach others to obey everything Jesus commanded, when we can’t even do one of the really important things from what we call The Lord’s Prayer? If we pray for our will to be done instead of God’s, how can anyone, God included, trust us to fulfill what we acknowledge as The Great Commission? (emphasis added to make the point.)
Hos 8:4 — They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval.
The proof of Israel’s renunciation of its God is to be found in the facts mentioned in v. 4. “They have set up kings, but not from me, have set up princes, and I know it not: their silver and their gold they have made into idols, that it may be cut off.” The setting up of kings and princes, not from Jehovah, and without His knowledge, i.e., without His having been asked, refers chiefly to the founding of the kingdom by Jeroboam I. It is not to be restricted to this, however, but includes at the same time the obstinate persistence of Israel in this ungodly attitude on all future occasions, when there was either a change or usurpation of the government. Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 10, p. 74). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.
And so, when we reject God, there are consequences. For instance, if there is success in the courts to overturn the will of the people who did vote in the election, aren’t we maybe rejecting God’s will for the outcome? As of this writing, there’s still been no evidence in court of voting fraud that could overturn the results of the election. And yet, with so many federal and Supreme Court judges appointed by Trump, it could happen. The reality is, from his actions, that’s exactly the scenario Trump expects.
If that scenario does come to play out, and if we do reject GOd’s will in the process, do we really think there won’t be consequences? Consequences from God?
And if we refuse to “submit to the authorities”, like refusing to accept the winner, are we also not in danger of rejecting God? And won’t there be consequences for that as well?
Please notice – in all of this, I’m asking questions. I am not saying I am right – and you are wrong. None of us can read God’s mind. None of us knows what He’s got planned. The best we can do is pray and try to stay on the narrow path laid out for us as Christians, no matter what. The early church did that, under Roman rule.
By the way, a Roman rule that was far worse than anything we’ve got here in the U.S. today! They thrived. We’re just complaining. If anything, going backwards. Getting further from God, not closer. And rather than having more join our numbers to follow God, more people see Christians as no different than anyone else. Maybe worse, since we can’t stand it when we don’t get our way. When we can’t force Christian beliefs on everyone else by way of the government.
Hosea 8:4 — With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction.
The idolatry of Israel is a key theme in the book. Idols were worshiped to bring about material blessing for the worshiper, but in fact Israel’s idolatry only incurred God’s wrath. Verses 4b and 6b are parallel (they have made idols … cut off; a craftsman made it … broken to pieces) and bookend the passage. The calf idol of Samaria represents Baal and probably refers to the calf idol Jeroboam erected at Bethel (1Kg 12:28–29; cf. Hs 10:5–6). The incident is also reminiscent of the golden calf erected at Sinai (Ex 32). Just as Aaron ground the Sinai calf to powder (Ex 32:20), so God would break Samaria’s idol to bits. That the man-made idols cannot be divine is a common prophetic announcement (Is 41:6–20; Jr 10:1–5). Goodrich, J. K. (2014). Hosea. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (pp. 1323–1324). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.
Our idols today aren’t golden calves or things like that. Rather, they are along the lines of money, power, and even the ability to pass laws against our favorite sin(s).
In any case, no matter the “form” of our idols today, whatever they may be, they do draw us away from God. I can’t remember any election in which so many prominent Pastors have gotten so involved in supporting a candidate whose character was so far from what we’d normally consider a Christian! To me, I can’t help but wonder if that act is one of our idols. Rather than preaching the Word of God, we’re preaching the word of Trump. It’s not glory be to God! It feels more like glory be to Trump.
Conclusion – So in love with two – Jesus and politics/government/Trump
It just feels so wrong to me.
You know, for everything I’ve written so far, I can’t say I’m immune to what’s happening. That’s why at the very beginning I wrote:
One of the problems with “so in love with two” is that it’s taking up too much time and space here on this site. Yeah – I really said that.
It’s taking up way too much of my time on this site. I do have another one, where this kind of thing is “normal”, although still not so all-consuming. And so that’s where it’s going to go. https://whichgodsaves.com
My reasons for including it here were well-intentioned. It bothers me when I think Christians are being led astray. It also worries me when non-Christians look at us and get a truly wrong idea of what we should be. We know we should be different. As we call it – in the world not of the world. BTW, if you don’t know, that comes from the passage below:
Jn 17:6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
Jn 17:13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”
I underlined the portions above that show what should be a very important thing for us to remember, and to live by. We are in the world, but just like Jesus, we are not – or should not – be of the world. We should be different. More like Jesus.
And so, to that end, with two exceptions, this is the last piece of covering politics / government here.
The exceptions are (1) when government comes up in a passage being studied, and (2) if something comes up in life that I feel called to bring up here.
That said, I feel like my focus, for a while, should be on finishing the COVID and Lamentations series and doing some of the Parables of Jesus. The first parable will be a total rewrite of the Parable Of The Sower, using it as a template for examining not only the rest of the parables, but even for Bible studies in general.
I’ve finished the research for COVID and Lamentations, and look forward to being able to write it up.
Quite a bit has been done for the Parable Of The Sower, and it’s exciting to be able to do that one as well.
In a big way, it’s good to get off this political thing and get back to doing the Bible Study again. To be so in Love with One!
|↑1||Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 1677). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.|
|↑2, ↑4||Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 657). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.|
|↑3||Goodrich, J. K. (2014). Hosea. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 1323). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.|
|↑5||Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 10, p. 74). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.|
|↑6||Goodrich, J. K. (2014). Hosea. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (pp. 1323–1324). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.|