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The ugliness begins

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

One very ugly story today in the Guardian. It’s ugly in two ways: first, for the story that is told, and second, for the way that story is told.

The story is that minorities are alleging a massive attempt to deprive them of the vote. The way it’s told is that the leftist Guardian first trumps up the allegations with hyperbolic rhetoric, assuming they are all true, and then gives only a thin gruel of substantiation at the end, after the reader already has been programmed. Classic manipulation of public opinion.

You will recall that certain political elements – read, Democrats catering to their special interest groups – have consistently resisted commonsense attempts to protect the integrity of the vote in America. You can hardly make a large purchase without a corroborating photo ID, but somehow requiring this level of validation is construed as being antithetical to our personal freedoms when used to prevent voting fraud.

So too, there has been a long history of denial of voting rights to those convicted of a felony crime. We may argue that the law should be made more flexible, but we can hardly deny that there is some basis in logic to keep those of poor character out of the voting booth.

We are in great danger of losing all confidence in our electoral system. And if that happens, then rioting begins. From buying off voters with amenities in Chicago – the city of “vote early and often” where Barack Obama learned down and dirty machine politics, to deceased voters somehow continuing to exercise the franchise, to the fraudulent registration lists of ACORN doing their work on the public dime in the name of voter participation, vote fraud has increasingly become an endemic part of the American fabric. It is a cancer eating away at the public trust, until now we barely have any.

But evidently we haven’t seen anything yet. Remember the painfully divisive aftermath to the election of 2000, when Al Gore would not let go? That will be nothing compared to the ugly racial rhetoric that’s ahead. It will be impossible to level any criticism of Barack Obama without being branded racist. I know this will happen because it already has been happening. It has happened to me, and it has probably happened to you as well.

If you search the pages of this blog you will see where I once pleaded that we inaugurate Allan West immediately. But that won’t count to exonerate me of racism because West, who is Black, is a conservative. One is considered Black by liberals only if he is liberal and accordingly endorses racial identity politics.

It’s been a great nation. We’ve had quite a run. But as Lincoln (and Jesus) warned, divided we cannot stand. Here we have identity groups going outside the country to bring external force to bear on it in order to implement their own agenda. It is widely believe that even Obama himself, the hope and change guy himself (even there I wanted to say “boy”, as I normally would colloquially do, without regard to the race of the person, but I flinched because of our supercharged racial atmosphere), is going to run an unprecedentedly divisive campaign, scorching earth in order to preserve his sinecure. This is nothing less than the potential demise of the nation, and immanently so.

While this is sad, and we should do all we can to prevent it, it presents an opportunity for the church. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and shaken we are. But this is the time to rise up and bear witness to Christ. Our power is not rooted in politics, but in the Spirit. So many people are needy, and not just financially. Families are falling apart. The world is an increasingly dangerous and evil place. Even the heralded Arab Spring is being shown to have only cleared the way for Islam to rear its ugly head. Real hope is a scarce commodity indeed. People need strength to face their challenges and live their lives.

At the same time, however, the church itself continues to be shaken, so much so that we wonder how we will be strong.  There is only one answer: we must abide in the secret place of the Most High, the place of immunity. From that place of rest we will be refreshed, and the Lord’s power will be perfected in us.

Do not fret at the evil around us. The evil one is certainly having a measure of success now, but his day will come. God has not abandoned us. His hand weaves its way through history, and through our circumstances, working all things to our good (Romans 8.28). He will not be thwarted.

These are difficult times, but those who know their God will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11.32). let’s join together in prayer and keep one another strong. Christ is in our midst.

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Another chance for America, another chance for the church

November 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. -Prov 16:18

And so it’s true, pride comes before a fall; I’m telling you, so that you don’t lose all. – John Lennon, “I’m a loser”, 1965

Yesterday, America gave the Democrats an historic drubbing. It’s worth taking a look at why this happened and where were going.

  • Four years ago, when Barack Obama ran for senator from Illinois, he pledged that he would serve his full term and not merely use it as a springboard to the presidency. He broke that pledge one year later.
  • Obama then pledged that he would fully support the public campaign finance system, which has long been a Democrat pet issue, but when it was clear he could raise more money by private donations, he broke that pledge as well. He went on to remove even the most basic fraud preventions from his online donation system, opening his coffers wide to foreign and overlimit money. The FEC has yet to investigate this.
  • During the campaign Mr. Obama promised that he would govern pragmatically, not ideologically. But as soon as he was able to say, “I won”, he began an aggressive ideological agenda that was at odds with the will of the people. Far from seeking consensus, his opponents found themselves shut out of the legislative process, as Democrats threatened use of unheard of obscene parliamentary tactics, such as “deem and pass”, to achieve their goals.
  • Obama promised to be a uniter and a healer to a nation badly in need of both. But he used the presidency in an unprecedentedly divisive way, such as running a racially biased Justice department, and calling his opponents “enemies” and telling them to get in the “back seat”.
  • While America was crying out for jobs, Obama increased government regulation, spent a full year pursuing a radical agenda whose preoccupation was health care reform, and planned to raise taxes on “the rich”.
  • On the congressional side of things, when the Democrats took over the House in 2006, after she had finished her victory dance Speaker Pelosi pledged the most ethical, transparent Congress in history and that the congress would put an end to deficit spending. But this congress has been anything but ethical or transparent, and has far and away been the most fiscally profligate congress in history.

The Democrats have just found out that the tea party movement is not the fake “Astroturf” they insisted it to be. Americans decided that when the alternative is driving over a cliff, it’s better to put the car in a ditch. Sometimes we need to learn the hard way.

The good news here is not just the rebuke the Democrats have suffered, it is that the Republicans are doing no victory dances. Instead, they are repenting – in the case of Minority Leader Boehner, even with public tears – for having betrayed the American trust themselves when they were in power. If there was a victory yesterday, it was the Republican Party’s, it was America’s. A lot of people are getting the message that it is the nation that matters, not any fallen political party.

The challenge before the Republicans is to be faithful to the charge the people have entrusted to them: get government in order and out of our lives, shrink government so the private sector can create jobs and prosperity, rein in deficit spending so our children will not spend their lives in hoc to creditors around the rest of the world, and get our borders under control.

This election was not the final solution, it was only a beginning. We are still alive, and we have been given a chance to continue the reforms. That work will continue. The tea partiers came out of nowhere, seemingly, to become a major force in America. In the movement’s immaturity, some candidates were chosen who were weak. I doubt that a lack of viable candidates will again be a problem. If they are really serious about serving the needs of the nation, this movement will continue to prosper.

Even those Democrats that did survive, especially in the Senate, will now be looking over their shoulders. Obama has proven that he cannot protect those who support his unpopular agenda. We are going to be seeing an awful lot more conservative Democrats in the days to come.

Finally, I’d like to relate this to the church. America has been dealt a number of hard blows in the last decade, from the terrorist attacks, to two long, expensive wars whose lasting benefits are hard to distinguish, to one of its greatest financial collapses. We have been suffering from a deconstruction of values and institutions for several decades. Three generations have been indoctrinated into the defacto national religion, secular humanism, and the fruit has been bitter indeed. In short, America has lost its way.

This nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. How those principles play out has always been a subject of legitimate contention, but there was a line that at one time we would not cross. We now have crossed that line.

This is where the church comes in, in two ways. First, the church is to model the character and life of Christ to the culture. Ultimately, people always look for the basics in life that satisfy – truth, love and contentment – and this is what the church should be offering hungry souls. Secondly, the church is to speak prophetically into the culture, giving encouragement when it goes the right way and warning of the consequences transgression will bring.

The problem is that the church has been so shot through with humanist values, compromise and corruption that it has lost its witness and cannot speak with any authority. We no longer model Christ personally or corporately, so we no longer can speak to the culture with a clear voice on His behalf.

And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? -1Cor 14:8

The church needs its own major turnover like what we saw last night. We need a clean sweep of the arrogance and complacency that has kept us from acknowledging our neediness, putting God first and repenting of our sin.

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. -Rev 3:15-19

America is hurting and looking for answers, and the church is charged to provide them. If we don’t want to suffer the fate of the Democrats yesterday, we will be ready repenters and we will return to the Lord and His purposes for our lives.

Thankfully, the warning also comes with a promise, which we should take to heart and strive to obtain:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”  -Rev 3:20-22

Yesterday, America was given another chance to get itself right, to come back to the ancient paths, to return to the Lord, that Rock from which we were hewn. The church too, including each one of us that awoke this morning and drew a breath, has been given another chance to get ourselves lined up with the Lord and His purposes for our lives. May each of us carefully heed what the Spirit is saying to the church.

Prayer:

Lord, you are our strength and our glory. Help us to surrender fully to the kind intentions of your will, and to serve you wholeheartedly, with gladness. Amen.

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Taking back America

October 30, 2010 Leave a comment

This has already gone viral, and for good reason. Christie has done an amazing job facing down deeply entrenched special interests that are destroying our nation from within.

I am glad that some people have the specific calling to the governmental realm, and are faithful to it. We with just the general call to citizenship need to get behind and support such people as they do the courageous thing. If we do not get this nation back on its foundations soon, it will be too late.

Economics are important, and indeed are essentially a moral issue, but the battle is not just economic. The root problem is spiritual. If we begin to separate the precious from the vile – and there is no shortage of “vile” floating around our culture – then we will have the Lord’s blessing on our economics, our war efforts, and everything else that we do (Matthew 6.33).

The church is central to this. The church speaks the prophetic word of God to the conscience of the culture. That is by no means the only way we bear witness to Christ, but it is an important way and should not be neglected. We have some work to do in fulfilling this role. We need to once again learn to speak the truth in love.

I’ve heard it said that we should not involve ourselves in “secular” matters. The nations are going to burn anyway, so let them burn, the argument goes.

It is true that the specific calling of the Lord must come before anything else. But one way the Lord works in us is by conscience, and conscience demands that we do what we can to protect what is honorable, and the innocent. We are called to occupy until the Master comes. We are called to be faithful stewards even regarding unrighteous riches, and that would include our fallen culture. And so very much is on the line in this coming election.

Each of us has a role to play. For Governor Christie, that role is to bring fiscal discipline to a government steeped in corruption and political correctness. He is doing a superb job supplying his piece of the puzzle.

Here’s the video, and the link for the full speech is underneath. Christie has a great speaking style. He simply narrates ad-lib, with an air of comedic audacity. But his underlying thesis rests on solid rock.

HERE’S the link for the full speech. Very much worth watching.

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