Archive for the Politics Category

Who’s Fault Is It?

Posted in Christianity, Church, Culture, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Missional, Politics, Religion on November 12, 2008 by Scott

blameNo…not the election.

Who’s fault is it that we have become reliant on the government to solve our societal issues?

Christians have become a pawn in the political process and we allowed it to happen.

Meanwhile, our society is full of people who need help – the homeless, young women considering abortion, kids who are starving, families breaking apart, and more.

And where are we?  Canvassing for our favorite politician so that they can cure everything that is “wrong” in our country.

Pastor Greg Matte of Houston’s First Baptist Church puts it this way:

…government policy has stepped into theology. The beginning of life and definition of marriage are theological issues, not political… We redefine family and look to government as the lone savior – and here we sit.

Baby Boomers moved from biblical values to “do your own thing” which included raising their kids to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning instead of church.

We now raise our kids on the sporting fields while shoe polishing our SUVs each weekend with “Go Team! On to the ‘ships!” instead of teaching the difference between eternal rewards and plastic trophies.

All valid points.  So, now what?

Roxanne Wieman at Relevant Magazine has some great ideas:

We do not rest our hopes for change on a political party or candidate…. in January when Obama takes office, we get up and we continue our sojourn to follow Jesus. We live our votes for life, for justice, for peace, for equality.

We comfort our friend who tells us she’s considering abortion. Then we gently tell her why we believe life in the womb is precious. We help her find alternative options … and we stick by her side all through the pregnancy and birth and after. She is not a statistic or a faceless evil to us.

We love beyond racial, gender and sexual lines. We reject stereotypes. We embrace individuals. We work for reconciliation.

We do not talk about “that side of town,” we live there and work there and mentor there. We are a part of educational reform, and ESL, and rehabilitation.

We recycle. We reduce our imprint. We consciously make our purchases, recognizing the global implications. We strive to “live simply that others may simply live” (Ghandi).

We personally pray for our soldiers in Iraq, for the citizens of Iraq, for our leaders who are making tough decisions that affect millions of lives. We really do pray, and we believe our prayers matter.

We continue to work hard in the jobs God has given us, saving our money and stewarding our resources. We tithe. We donate. We volunteer.

We continually challenge each other to deepen our understanding of whole life ethics and Jesus’ call to follow Him.

Rather than sitting around and “grieving” the election results like James Dobson, it’s time we stop blaming the government, look in the mirror and heed the words of Jesus:

Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

If you really want to make a difference in the issues that plague our society, that’s where we start. It’s time to stop going to church and time to start being the church.


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Almost Over

Posted in Politics, Religion on November 4, 2008 by Scott

election2008After two hours of standing outside in thirty mile-an-hour winds, its over. I cast my useless vote.

Had some interesting conversations with people on all sides.

The best one was a guy who knew one of the local candidates.  He said, “He is one of the nicest guys I know.  Probably the most intelligent man I have ever met.  But I could never vote for him because he is a ….” (I’ll let you fill in the blank).”

A couple of observations:

  • The campaign stretches on for two years, but we only have 12 hours to vote?  Why not give us three, four or five days?  Maybe even a week.  And how about some food while we are waiting?  We can pay for it by taxing the rich people.
  • It’s 2008 and we’re the most innovative country in the history of the world and the best we can do is broken machines and paper and markers?
  • People talk about separation of church and state, but we vote in a church?

From Billy Graham:

“After the election is over, pray for those who have been elected, that they may seek God’s will for our nation and do it.”

Amen, Dr. Graham.

Presidential Bash

Posted in Christianity, Church, God, Jesus, Politics, Religion on November 3, 2008 by Scott

Anyone else tired of hearing that this is the “most important election of our lifetime?”  In hind sight, that was probably eight years ago.

Here we are again with two mediocre Presidential candidates and two unqualified Vice President candidates.  If either of the VP candidates actually have to take over…. well, we’re in trouble.

Aside from the candidates, the most annoying part of this election has to be Christians who spread lies and half-truths about the candidates.

Over the weekend I received yet another email about how Obama is a flag-hating Muslim who hangs around with terrorists and refuses to use the Bible when being sworn into office (if you think this is true, stop reading and go to the nearest neocon, evangelical, right-wing blog).

I am not sure which is worse – Christian’s spreading lies or the ignorance level of those who follow the Republicans like sheep because they are the “religious” party. Seriously,  Joe the Plumber isn’t even a plumber.

Not to be outdone, my friends on the left tell me daily that this is our last chance to save the planet, make REAL change, and ensure prosperity for our children.

Newsflash….the President has little or no power to do any of that.  I prefer to trust God.

The reality is that my vote will account for little because Presidential elections are decided by the electoral college and my vote has long been decided for me by the color on a map.

As I think about casting my useless vote tomorrow, I’m haunted by Mark 10:21:

Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

Sounds like redistribution of wealth.  Could it be that Jesus was a Socialist?  Say it ain’t so, Joe.

Scare Tactics

Posted in Christianity, Faith, God, Politics, Religion on October 27, 2008 by Scott

Focus on the Family published a letter as if were written from a Christian in 2012 – after Obama is elected President and a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate.

The includes this paragraph:

This letter is not “predicting” that all of the imaginative future “events” named in this letter will happen. But it is saying that each one of these changes could happen and also that each change would be the natural outcome…

The intent of the letter is to scare people into voting Republican. Here are some of the “predictions”:

  • Terrorist strikes on four American cities.
  • Gay marriage in every state.
  • Nationalized health care with long lines for surgery and no access to hospitals for people over 80.
  • Churches have no freedom to refuse to allow their buildings to be used for wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples
  • Tens of thousands of young churches suddenly had no place to meet when the Supreme Court ruled that public schools in all 50 states had to stop allowing churches to rent their facilities
  • The phrase “Under God” as part of the Pledge of Allegiance has been found unconstitutional
  • Television programs at all hours of the day contain explicit portrayals of sexual acts
  • Gas costs more than $7 per gallon

The best part is that the letter blames young evangelicals for breaking apart from “real Christians” with their votes.  Why point the finger at McCain/Palin when you can blame it on young people – the very same who will be paying for our mistakes and spending for decades?

Had Focus dealt with facts instead of creating fiction they might have had a chance to sway young evangelicals.

More than likely their scare tactics will have the opposite effect and have people running to the Obama camp.

Just the Facts

Posted in Christianity, Church, Politics, Religion on October 8, 2008 by Scott

You guys aren’t going to believe this, but according to Factcheck.org both McCain and Obama used some misleading statements and mangled the facts.

If they keep this up, how will we “Joe six-packs and hockey moms” be able to discern the truth?

Here are some of the misleading statements:

  • McCain proposed to write down the amount owed by over-mortgaged homeowners and claimed the idea as his own:  But Obama had endorsed something similar two weeks earlier, and authority for the treasury secretary to grant such relief was included in the recently passed $700 billion financial rescue package.
  • Both candidates oversimplified the causes of the financial crisis.  There is plenty of blame to spread around here. Plus, if they actually knew the cause, they might know how to fix it.
  • Obama said his health care plan would lower insurance premiums by up to $2,500 a year. Experts we’ve consulted see little evidence such savings would materialize.
  • McCain misstated his own health care plan, saying he’d give a $5,000 tax credit to “every American” His plan actually would provide only $2,500 per individual, or $5,000 for couples and families.
  • He also misstated Obama’s health care plan, claiming it would levy fines on “small businesses” that fail to provide health insurance. Actually, Obama’s plan exempts “small businesses.”
  • McCain lamented that the U.S. was forced to “withdraw in humiliation” from Somalia in 1994, but he failed to note that he once proposed to cut off funding for troops to force a faster withdrawal.
  • Obama said, “I favor nuclear power.” That’s a stronger statement than we’ve heard him make before. As recently as last December, he said, “I am not a nuclear energy proponent.”

How great is this fact check thing?  I wonder if they cover religion and Christianity?

Trash Talk

Posted in Christianity, Church, Jesus, Politics, Religion on September 29, 2008 by Scott

This from James David Manning, the leader of Atlah World Ministries – which claims to be “All Jesus, All the Time.”

…Obama’s momma was trash.  I mean, she was a bag of dirt. She was a bag of trash sitting on the sidewalk waiting there in Honolulu on one of those streets for the garbage truck to come by and pick her up and take her to the dump.

…the man was a pathetic loser. He couldn’t keep a job, knocking-up women all over that Kenyan village.

Let’s find out what your derranged, drug dealing, Satan worshiping, homosexual, sodomizing children are doing.

Let’s get down and dirty.

Might be time to update the organizational tag line of “All Jesus, All the time.

Kind of makes you want to jump on the bandwagon of keeping politics out of the pulpit, but we think it says more about who is in the pulpit in the first place.

Closet Republicans

Posted in Christianity, Politics, Religion on September 22, 2008 by Scott

According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, more Americans are questioning religion’s role in politics.

Here’s what is surprising… the greatest shift occurred among conservatives.

Four years ago, just 30% of conservatives believed that churches and other houses of worship should stay out of politics. Today, 50% of conservatives express this view.

Perhaps conservatives are finally catching on that the Republicans really only want their votes. Don’t worry, the environmentalists won’t catch onto the Democrats for years.

While the Republican Party is most often seen as the party friendly toward religion, the Democratic Party has made gains in this area.

38% say the Democratic Party is generally friendly toward religion, up from just 26% two years ago. Nevertheless, considerably more people (52%) continue to view the GOP as friendly toward religion.

“Generally friendly?”  How lame of a survey question is that? Is this as opposed to being violently hateful?

Nearly half (48%) say religious conservatives have too much influence over the Republican Party, up from 43% in August 2007. At the same time, more people say that liberals who are not religious have too much sway over the Democrats than did so last year (43% today vs. 37% then).

How about if no groups had too much influence over either party and they represented all of us?  No?  I can dream.

Two-thirds of the public (66%) say that churches and other houses of worship should not endorse one candidate over another, which is unchanged since 2004 (65%).

The problem here is that most people are ignorant to the real issues and the roles of those who govern – including Pastors.  Do you really want to listen to someone who doesn’t understand the process or issues?  Trust yourself when it comes to voting.

About half of registered voters (51%) identify themselves as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, while just 38% identify as Republicans or Republican leaners.

Only 38%. That’s leaves a lot of Republicans in the closet….