What’s Left of the Religious Left…?


imageAnd what do they stand for?

I’m speaking to all religious Democrats (the Jew and the Gentile, peace-loving Muslims, and moral, freedom-loving believers everywhere!). What do you treasure? What are your religious values and how do you seek to live out your faith?

America is a land where Jew and Gentile (and those of every religious persuasion) should be able to live side by side and exhibit dignity and respect out of a mutual love and concern for all humanity. This does not mean there will not (nor should not) be plenty of room for debate as it pertains to ultimate truth and salvation. If we are secure in our faith we should withstand all sorts of ideological, historical and empirical scrutiny. But we should have a mutually inclusive understanding of what it means to live righteously before our fellow man and uphold a moral standard in which lives are not sacrificed and creation is not defiled. We also need to have an understanding of the limitations of government (i.e. economic realities, fiscal restraints, political deceit, etc.) How long will shameless ‘divide and conquer’ propaganda keep us in bondage?

As far as the Christian and the Jew are concerned, here are the principles that sustain us…..

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”

Do we not owe our very existence to our God? How do we show our gratitude and devotion to Him and His many blessings?

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Do we seek out all types of idols or does God hold the prominent place in our lives?

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”

Do we love God in times of prosperity and persecution? Do we strive to honor and respect God in all that we do?

 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

Do we make time for Him and take a special day of rest in which we offer praise and thanksgiving?

 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

Do we love our  earthly fathers and mothers and show them proper respect and admiration?

 “You shall not murder.”

Do we love our neighbor as ourselves? Do we love our own bodies and chreish our offspring? Do we love are enemies? Do we protect the weak and vulnerable? Do we uphold the oppressed and afflicted or do we merely disregard and ignore the pain, suffering and lethal persecution of others?

 “You shall not commit adultery.”

Do we respect our vows? Are we faithful to our spouse? Do we cherish our families and seek to preserve them and refrain from doing harm unto our married neighbors?

 You shall not steal.

Do willingly and knowingly deceive others? Do we excuse those who deceive on our behalf? Do we do our due diligence in ensuring those we support, defend and uphold are not abusing their power?

 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Are we seeking to falsely accuse and destroy those we disagree with simply to secure a victory?

 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Are we failing to see the big picture by placing our own concept of righteousness and equality over that which God favors and ordains?

Everything comes from God. Every good gift is from God and we should preserve what we’ve been given and share willingly and charitably but we are not to take that which is not rightfully ours. Without God’s wisdom how lost would we be?

“If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. If the stolen beast is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double.

If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.

If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution.

If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man’s house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property.  For every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, ‘This is it,’ the case of both parties shall come before God. The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.”

The battle unto which we are devoted should not be right vs. left, but rather, right vs. wrong. We are all equal before God in sin and salvation. Which side are you truly on???

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A.J. Castellitto is a freelance writer who resides in NJ with his wife and five children. He holds a B.S. in Counseling and Human Services from the University of Scranton and his writings have been published at The Center for Western Journalism, The Christian Post, Intellectual Conservative and Reformed Perspective Magazine.
A.J. Castellitto
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