Left Right Centered
LEFT RIGHT OR CENTERED Freedom for Political and Spiritual Leaders
By: Dr. Charles R. Solomon Author, Handbook to Happiness
Grace Fellowship International 3914 Nellie Street | P. O. Box 368 | Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
Telephone: 865.429.0450 |Fax: 865.429.0144 www.GraceFellowshipInternational.com
© 2021 Charles R. Solomon, Ed.D.
GRACE FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL 3914 Nellie Street | P. O. Box 368 | Pigeon Forge, TN 37868 Telephone: (865) 429-0450 | Fax: (865) 429-0144 www.GraceFellowshipInternational.com
OR CENTERED? Freedom for Political and Spiritual Leaders By: Charles R. Solomon, Ed. D.
PREFACE Having lived(orexisted!) throughtheGreatDepression, as well as World War II, and several others, I believe it is my responsibility to address leadership with the only Answer, which is God’s. The Answer that I pose is foreign to most, whether inside or outside the Church. However, God sovereignly dealt with my life at age 35 and, at age 37 (1967), called me to formulate and pioneer a new Answer which is 2000 years old! The newness is that of packaging the core truth of Christianity in a manner which can be readily understood and appropriated by the simplest of believers or the most erudite, resulting in life transformation. It is set forth in my first book, Handbook to Happiness (Tyndale 1971, 1999) and made available on our web site, www.gracefellowshipinternational.com; the condensation of chapter 2 is the tract entitled The Wheel and Line , now in 48 languages. Ministry and training have been done on six continents, with lives transformed on each. However, Western Europe and North America have been too self-sufficient to pay it much heed (with major exceptions)—thus far! However, it is likely that desperation will typify the populace, if we maintain our present heading. This
writing is an attempt to meet that need in advance since the handwriting is already on the wall! Training, of course, is presently available in which we are hoping to make maximum use of media to get the broadest possible coverage of the population in the least amount of time. Reformation in the Church is greatly and urgently needed to make the way of victory readily available to those inside and outside the Church. It is my prayer that you will avail yourself of this Answer and go on to help us proliferate the Church and the nation with the key to victorious life. This message is simple to pass along to others, transforming their lives and making disciples! It has been proven with hurting people over the past 45 years and must be made readily available to one and all that God will be glorified! THE TOPICS EXPLAINED Today, it is generally understood that the Left refers to liberals and the Right to conservatives. It is not so generally understood what is central in either, though tempers flare over what are considered core issues. It is the thesis of this booklet to address that which is central to each and where the Church fits into the entire scene. Of course, there is more heat than light on both sides of political thought, and even less light on the ultimate good of either point of view. Wehavedrifted so far fromourmoorings thatwe cannot see the way back! Therefore, we are desperately in need of direction that only God can give. But both schools of thought (assuming there is thought!) are lacking spiritual principles on which to base their presuppositions. While the right is closer to the founding principles of our country, it is still far afield from advocating a return to God’s place in society.
While this treatise addresses, in brief overview, the left and right — the emphasis is on a centeredness and the place that God should have in the affairs of man. When push comes to shove, neither left nor right is pressing toward center and both are like a loose cannon! This booklet dares to take the position that the Godwho has been disinvited from public life is the only cohesive Force on which to base our unity. And, He is the only Force who can cause a return to being a nation that befits the name of the United States of America. It is my prayer that the over 50 years of changed lives on which this premise is drawn will cause some to stop and investigate the first principles and see the futility of our forsaking one nation under God for a nation without God and the present confusion which obtains! The scripture tells us what we can expect when a nation forsakes God and the way back into His grace, since wise men still seek God! Since judgment begins with the house of God, the Church must lead the way through the Wilderness of liberal and conservative error, if our national life is to be based on Truth. The bulk of this work will be devoted to the core problem of self, since liberal self, conservative self, or religious self in the Church (and outside) must be dealt with scripturally, if the Church is to be part of the answer, rather than the problem, as is presently the case. THE LEFT The drift (which has become a tidal wave!) toward liberalism began with the measures taken to deal with the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the entitlements which have gradually been put into place. Hard on its heels was World War II which caused the country to pull together to support the war effort of the 40’s and the common good.
The 50’s saw the populace occupying themselves with rebuilding their lives and the infrastructure of the country. But 1963 saw the Bible removed from our schools; and the ‘welcome mat’ for God in our public institutions was gradually withdrawn, so that it is no longer ‘politically correct’ even to mention His name in public functions. (A ‘moment of silence’ is yet acceptable, even though some sneak and pray silently!) The 60’s saw the sexual revolution; and, in 1973, the murder of unborn children was legalized, the same year that homosexuality was deleted from the official list of mental illnesses. The last 50 years have seen those two issues become political footballs and a litmus test to determine if politicians are ‘politically correct’ enough to seek public office. In our first two centuries as a nation, taking a stand on time honored positions in accord with God’s Word was an asset; now, ‘political correctness’ is based on error with Truth being banned to the shadows! The liberal mindset is so prevalent in public life and the press that error prevails over Truth such that it is wrong to be right because right is based on God’s infallible Word, which has fallen into disrepute with liberal thought. Secular humanism and situation ethics find a home in the liberal mind-set, with right or wrong little considered in the mad rush to do their own thing. Such thinking also pervades our legislative bodies and the Supreme Court where right and wrong and our founding documents take a back seat to opinions driven by political persuasion (Isaiah 5:20). It is rather obvious that self, and the ensuing selfishness, is central in the thinking (or lack thereof!) and the behavior which results. The former statements are an overview of liberal self, which is no better or worse than conservative self, since both are cut from the same cloth! Living life in our own strength and wisdom is inherently
in conflict with God’s revealed Word and will be explored also in conservative self, as well as religious self. The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart which can only be solved and resolved by the Spirit of God as we exchange the self life for the Christ life, becoming Christ- centered rather than self-centered, regardless of political or religious persuasion. THE RIGHT For purposes of this writing, I will be allying belief in God with conservative thinking. In doing so, I fully realize that all conservatives are not believers nor are all believers conservative! Also, there are those in the liberal movement who place their dependence on Almighty God, to the consternation of their peers! When history has not been rewritten, we read of Washington andmost of the founding Fathers of our nation imploring God for direction and supply of their needs. As the nation was established and living became somewhat easier, there was increasing dependence on self, as is the tendency of human nature. As with the individual, so with the nation, in times of great distress the heart turns to God for solace. A recent example of this was the momentary turning to God in face of horror during, and shortly after, 9/11. However, as the immediate effects began to settle like the dust, a resurgence of self-sufficiency as great, or greater, than before was, and is, very much in evidence. In my years of counseling, it has been those in desperation who are most open to God’s intervention. Those who have no known needs are more likely to depend upon their own resources. The uncomfortable are open to the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and the comfortable may need to experience discomfort before turning to God.
As a nation, our seeming prosperity has led toward self-dependence, such that those with a traditional or Biblical mindset are suspect, to say the least, and the enemy of the status quo to say the worst! For example, opposing the attempt to borrow ourselves out of debt is looked upon with disfavor! And, invoking the name of Almighty God or His Son, Jesus Christ, is treated with disgust, if not legislating or issuing directives to assure ‘political correctness’. After He is ruled out of the game, He is freely invited to assist, if not blamed, in the case of disasters! I am reminded of the man who implored God for help in his slide off the roof of a tall building. Suddenly, his clothing caught on a nail and his life was saved! His reaction was to inform God that He was on longer needed; he had solved his own problem! Having said all of this, conservative thinking is not synonymous with making God central in the life, as will be described in the next section. But living and governing by godly principles is much preferred to everyone doing that which is right in his own eyes, to the detriment of himself and others. With this as the national tendency today, we have sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind which only God can allay! The most recent thinking in the conservative vein in the WhiteHousewas thatofReaganwhoopenlyacknowledged his seeking God’s leading in his life and presidency. But, again, seeking God’s help and a life centered in Christ are not synonymous, as herein advocated. But, it is much preferable to doing that which is expedient in human wisdom (or lack thereof!) without consulting Almighty God for the desired direction and outcome! The current faith in conservative politics to right the wrongs of the liberal agenda is misguided and doomed to failure. Since we have relegated God to the trivialities of life and openly disinvited Him from public life, we are
rapidly speeding toward the point of no return—lost but making good time! We are urgently in need of national repentance from doing our own thing , whether liberal or conservative, and turning to God to do His thing so that we will know His empowering as individuals, the Church, and the nation. Such is the subject of the next section where I will discuss religious self, as compared and contrasted with liberal or conservative self. Such an about face is the crying need of the Church if it is to pose and exemplify the answer, rather than continuing to be part of the problem! CENTERED We have discussed being centered on self from a liberal and conservative viewpoint. However, it is also possible to be centered on self from the standpoint of the Church. Concurrently with the liberal stance in life style and government, the Church has tended to be more self-centered and self-satisfied as it has become more prosperous, from a human perspective. Therefore, it has all but lost its God-given right and authority to oppose self-centeredness (biblically called flesh), within its own ranks, and beyond! Thus, much church ministry has devolved into man-made programs carried out in the man’s wisdom and strength. As a consequence, those with major soul needs (other than salvation) are frequently—even usually—referred to mental health professionals for care when the Spirit is quite capable of cure! Thus, the unsaved seeker approaches the church and is offered Jesus as his answer, while the very needy believer is often given a referral! Since judgment begins at the house of God, the Church must get its own house in order if it is to speak forcefully to the ills of the nation!
With much, or even most, ministry done in the strength and wisdom of self, there are glaring needs within the church that beg for spiritual correction. As with individuals, so with the Church, we must get back to our Roots, which means a repentance from self-centered life and ministry, to one which is Christ-centered as admonished in Romans 6 and Galatians 2:20. As with secular society, so in the Church, there has come the tendency to do ministry in our own strength and seek God’s help as in Galatians 3:3. Self or flesh in the Church is just as abhorrent to God as is that of liberals and conservatives. In fact, there are liberal and conservative ranks within the church; but even the majority of conservative teaching is lacking the centrality of the cross for the believer. Just so, discipleship may be encouraging dependence on obedience to scriptural principles without having lost the fleshly life in exchange for the Christ-life. That being the case, it is absolutely vital that individual believers, and the Church, go through the death/resurrection process to be centered on Christ rather than self. Otherwise, most sincere ministry will be lacking the empowering of the Spirit which results in transformed lives to the glory of God. We have seen such life transformations consistently over past 50 plus years and God’s honoring it in churches which dare to deviate from the current norm. In fact, one church in South Africa has become an exchanged life church—from the pastor and his family to the remainder of the life of the church. Such teaching will be honored by the Spirit, with transformed lives and churches ushering in a new or completed Reformation. The first concentrated on justification by faith, but little was done with sanctification. If the Church is to lead in the dark times that are upon us, it must first experience the same renewal or centeredness that it would advocate for individual believers.
Our Lord called such a movement into being over 50 years ago and has been faithful to transform lives since that time. Now, it is past time for the Church to pick up the baton and preach the cross (1 Cor. 1:18) for the believer, that the world might have reason to know that God is alive and well. An impotent or powerless church has difficulty in keeping its own, much less attracting its detractors! Such a process for the church is amply described in my book, Handbook to Happiness and You, A Spiritual Clinic. It consists of giving the second half of the complete gospel: Christ came to atone for our sins, but He also came to give us life—His life which is eternal, giving us a new past as well as a new future! He came not only to give us new life, but also to live it (in us)! Just as with the individual believer, so with the Church, it must sacrifice self-centered living and ministry if it is to be transformed (renewal or revival) that all may see a church centered on Christ, the basic teaching of the New Testament or New Covenant. OUR COUNTRY IN NEED One need not be a rocket scientist nor a brain surgeon to see that our country is in deep trouble, for which the Church must accept some responsibility, even if only by default! Since it has not been typified by transformed lives of believers in recent years, the world has little reason for confidence that our country could be so affected. When believers are routinely sent outside the Church for help that the Holy Spirit freely gives, faith is not being exhibited by the Church nor is it a challenge to the world. In the New Testament, unbelievers saw healings by the Lord Jesus and the disciples which evoked faith on the part of many.
The world today could be seeing and hearing of lives transformed by the Holy Spirit, if the Church were consistently teaching the cross for the believer, as well as for Christ. The work of the cross in the believer results in resurrection life, to replace the self life, with observable changes in the life for which God gets the glory and the believer the victory! With the encroachment andheavy hand of government, combined with stifling indebtedness, there will be massive need that an impotent church cannot touch. Therefore, we must awaken to the deep spiritual need of the Church in preparation for the likely influx of needs, both spiritual and material, with which it is likely to be faced, sooner rather than later! However, the Christian establishment has been lulled to sleep and complacency and is not gearing up for such need for ministry as it has never seen, in my opinion. Since we have trained people with less than a high school education, we know that rank and file church members can be trained to give depth help to the saved as well as the lost! We have historically ministered to the desperate or those who recognize their need, with most of the populace unaware that they are needy. When that percentage is reversed, the Church is nowhere near ready to minister to those inside, nor prepare them for the likely onslaught, as the effects of irresponsible government impact us as citizens. Pray with us that we might effect training, in person and via media, that a rude awakening might result in a Church prepared for spiritual warfare and for our Lord’s soon return!
THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY THAT WAS ‘Tis twilight in our nation; The Light of the world is shunned. (John 8:12) If our country is to survive,
There is much work to be done. We’re past the point of no return; Man’s effort is of no avail. Unless we heed God’s warning, We’re bound to utterly fail. Humbling ourselves seems un-American— Our forte has been our pride; But going our own willful way Is the reason Jesus died. Attacks from without and decay within Couple to expose our weakness; The futility of carnal weapons Is underscored with bleakness. With war clouds on the horizon, We survey the ominous scene; The situation that surrounds us Holds little that is serene. As the turbulence mounts its fury (John 16:33) And the world longs for peace, Only those who walk with God Will have a Refuge for release. The toys we have around us (Luke 12:15)
Will suddenly lose their meaning, When our nice world falls apart And for necessities we are gleaning.
Will we find extended hands As the conflict we do weather? Or, will we suffer in isolation Not having learned to pull together? Jesus beckons His yoke to take (Matt. 11:28,29) And come unto Him and find rest; Many of us ignore His pleading, Only responding when sore distressed. World conditions are fertile soil To get mankind’s attention; Many will rail that God is unfair, Though the problem’s man’s invention. When man’s resources are exhausted And he has been brought to his knees, The Savior, His arms extended still, Says, “Those who will, come unto me”. (Matt. 11:28a) He is waiting to cleanse your sin— (1 John 1:7,9) To quell the storm it causes; There is yet a little time, while By His grace and love, He pauses. Soon will come the trumpet sound (1 Thess. 4:16) And the shout from the Eastern sky; Come to Him without delay For your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)
He offers pardon for your sins— His life in exchange for yours; You lose your life to save it (Matt. 16:25) As peace and purpose He ensures.
Charles R. Solomon October 31, 2012
First, the bad news — we sinned. Then, the good news — Christ died for sinners! Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12) But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. (John 1:12) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment, (Hebrews 9:27) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6)
I , though born a sinner In the line of Adam’s race, (Rom. 5:12) Jesus bore my sin and life (1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:6) And saved me by His grace. (Eph. 2:8,9)
AM , in time, is present tense: But, in eternity, there is no time; Eternal life is past, present, and future, (Jn. 17:3; Heb. 13:8) Which is a truth that is sublime. CRUCIFIED signals a certain death Of the old man and his kin;
Not only did the old life die (Rom. 6:6) But, in Him, I died to sin. (Rom. 6:7; 6:11) WITH signifies our union In His death and resurrection; Seated with him in heavenly places, (Eph. 2:6) Acceptance the answer to rejection. (Eph. 1:6)
CHRIST , the head of a new race Is the supreme Answer to the Fall; He is my Savior, Lord, and Life (Rom. 5:8; Rom. 12:1; Col. 3:4)
And has become my all in all. (Col. 3:11) “I am crucified with Christ;” (Gal. 2:20) It is no longer I who live.
Jesus lives His life through me, Since He died His life to give.
C. R. Solomon January 19, 2008
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RESOURCES AVAILABLE FROM GRACE FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL Books by Dr. Charles Solomon : Handbook to Happiness Hacia la Felicidad Ins and Out of Rejection Del Rechazo a la Aceptación Rejection Syndrome and the Way to Acceptance Handbook to Happiness & You Handbook for Christ-Centered Counseling For Me To Live is Christ Handbook for Soldiers of the Cross The Next Step? A Spiritual GPS The Dynamic Step in Discipleship Revival Now: Dying to Live! Dicipling for Revival—Hope for the Church From Pastors to Pastors: Testimonies of Revitalized Ministries Discpling the Desperate The Wisdom of (Charles R.) Solomon: New Covenant Poetry — Volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4 Gems & Jargon The Romans Road Tract Wheel & Line Tract Books by John Woodward: Man as Spirit, Soul, and Body Blessed Reassurance Conquering PTSD The Romans Road Let Us Rise Up and Build...the Church Completing the Reformation
Media Materials: Exchanged Life Conference Audio CDs and DVDs For Me to Live is Christ DVDs How to Exchange Your Life for a New One DVDs The New Life DVDs Training: Exchanged Life Conference Spirituotherapy ® Workshop Solomon School of Spirituotherapy ® GFI Counseling Institute— Distance Education Program Book by Dr. Phil Jones: How To Exchange Your Life For A New One Book by John Stevens: Suicide: An Illicit Lover Books by Dr. Lee Turner: Grace Discipleship Course Advanced Grace Discipleship Course Understanding Grace Book by Captain Reginald Wallis: The New Life
“I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE “ John 14:6 “I am the way” You are to walk; (1 John 2:6)
I’m to be the theme Of your daily talk. “I am the truth” You are to believe; New birth is yours (John 3:3) When Me you receive. (John 1:12) “I am the life” You are to live; (Phil. 1:21) As yours you lose, (Luke 9:24) My life I give. (John 10:28)
C. R. Solomon October 23, 2009
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