Archive for the ‘ Christians & Culture ’ Category

An Appeal to My African-American Brothers & Sisters

I am of the opinion that, Biblically, there is only one race, and that it is called “human.” Man is the one who has invented the idea of different races. In fact, we are all beings made in the image of God. Externals such as skin color are not that important. Yet we make them important to our detriment.

If we are Christians, that is our primary identity. Everything else is secondary to that. The real division in the world is not racial; instead, it is between those who are part of the kingdom of God and those who are not. As the Apostle Paul noted:

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26-28)

For too long in America, white Christians were not following the truth of the Word in this respect. It has taken a long time to remedy this; unfortunately, it has also resulted in much bitterness. Now, there are black Christians who apparently, in reaction to past treatment, are making race into the determining factor in politics. To be black in America in 2008 almost reflexively meant voting for Barack Obama. My brothers and sisters, this should not be so.

If I vote for someone because he is white, I am elevating externals over the truth of the Gospel. If my African-American brothers and sisters do the same by voting for a black candidate primarily because he is black, how is that any different? In both cases, we would be wrong.

We must vote based on whether or not the candidate advances Biblical principles in our society. That is precisely why I could not vote for Obama. It had nothing to do with race.

Interestingly, in California, the proposition on the ballot that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman (and which narrowly passed) was supported by 70% of African-Americans. They helped lead it to victory. Yet, those same voters turned around and voted for Obama by over 90%. He is no friend to the Biblical definition of marriage. How can those two votes be reconciled?

We must be consistent.

God calls us to always vote based on His principles. Those principles tell us to treat everyone impartially, and to show no favoritism. By no means should we allow race to be the deciding factor in our vote. I urge all my brothers and sisters in the faith–whether white, black, Latino, Asian, or whatever–to recognize this truth and act accordingly. Let’s work together for the kingdom of God.

Pro-Lifers for Obama?

Perhaps the most disheartening development in this election was the specter of some pro-lifers voting for Obama. One gropes for analogies: animal rights activists clubbing seals? radical environmentalists burning a forest?

How can this be? How can a pro-lifer, particularly a pro-lifer who claims to be a Christian, violate one of the most easily discerned commandments of God–never take the life of an innocent person?

I’ve heard the rationales. “Well, I can’t be a single-issue voter; abortion is only one of the issues a Christian must consider.” I agree. When I vote, I take all issues into consideration. However, there is only one issue that deals with immediate life or death of the innocent. “I can’t vote for McCain because he divorced his first wife.” Yes, he did. It was wrong. But McCain himself acknowledges that. He freely confesses that he was selfish and immature when he did it. Have these Christians never heard of repentance? Are they going to hold a person’s sins against him for the rest of his life, even when he admits he was sinful? McCain, by the way, has continued to take care of his first wife, and she even supported his bid for the presidency. If she can forgive, what can’t we?

I must repeat points I have made previously. Barack Obama has stated that one of the first pieces of legislation he hopes to sign into law is the Freedom of Choice Act, which will wipe out all restrictions against abortion nationwide. He also pledges to nominate people for the Supreme Court (and all federal courts) who adhere to his philosophy. By the end of a four-year Obama term, this nation may be changed drastically for the worse.

And some Christians will have helped make that happen. I don’t wish to be harsh, but if you consider yourself a pro-life Christian and you voted for Obama, you have contributed to the ongoing slaughter of thousands upon thousands of unborn children. You will have to be the one to explain to the Lord why you did it. Neither I nor anyone else who values the sanctity of life will be able to plead your case for you. That blood will be on your hands.

New American Motto?

This is what happens when Biblical principles are no longer our foundation.

America's Suicide Attempt?

Noted British historian Paul Johnson titled one of his chapters in his book Modern Times “America’s Suicide Atempt.” Johnson was talking about the 1960s and 1970s.

Assassinations (John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King), the Vietnam War, race riots in the cities and student riots on campuses, the entire Watergate fiasco, and the miserable economy of the 1970s were his targets. We can add Roe v. Wade to that list. It was as if America had lost its mind.

Today is election day. Will we lose our collective mind again? Will this day usher in a transformed America? Not all transformation is good.

The 1960s and 1970s were followed by a recovery of sanity in the 1980s. Reagan was the human cornerstone for that recovery, but ultimately we need, as a society, to acknowledge the true source of all blessings for a recovery to take place. No matter what occurs today, a spiritual recovery will remain the crying need of the times.

Politics is only one part of a society. Government is not our savior. Yet both politics and government will heavily influence what our society will become. If they are going in an ungodly direction, the only thing that will hold this society together is the Christians’ commitment to real discipleship. If we are what God wants us to be, He can still do great things.

Let’s move forward in His Spirit.

Palin in Lakeland

My wife, Jan, and I attended the Sarah Palin rally held near our home in Lakeland this past Saturday. We also attended one in nearby Kissimmee the previous weekend. Normally, I don’t get too excited about going to political rallies. I’m one of those people who prefers to stay at home and avoid large crowds. But I am glad I went to these two events.

First, it was an encouragement to see so many people with the same concerns and desires that I have with respect to the upcoming election. My spirit, I have to admit, was lifted.

Second, the Lord used these events to help me concentrate even more on His purposes. What is He attempting to do with this nation? How does Sarah Palin fit into His plans? (The following pictures are from the Lakeland rally, courtesy of one of my students.)

While I don’t want to let emotions rule, it was truly an emotional time when she came out to speak. There is a love for her that flows from the people in a way I have not experienced since Ronald Reagan.

Now, rallies such as these are never times for candidates to say new things. This was her second of the day, to be followed, I understand, by three more. You can’t come up with new messages each time. Yet what amazes me is how fresh she seemed, speaking with real conviction on each point.

When she finished speaking, she stayed around for quite some time, talking with people and signing autographs. Yes, I know this is typical for all politicians. But in my spirit I sense that she is the real thing–the genuine Christian who is trying to do God’s will.

As I said more than two months ago when she was first chosen by McCain, she needs our prayers. And we need to pray that no matter what happens in this election, that God will use her to help turn this nation around. While we’re at it, we should pray for the Lord to raise up more like her. The tide can be turned if God’s people humble themselves, pray, and obey His Word.

Willful Blindness

This political cartoon pretty much summarizes the problem we are facing with the media this election year.

This is a willful blindness caused by an ideology that has rejected the Biblical worldview. We still have a few more days to pray.

Conservative Snobbery–Part II

No pictures this time. Just some ponderings.

I mentioned at the end of my last post that politically conservative Christians need to beware of falling into the snobbery trap. I have witnessed some classic examples, but will name no names.

There is the temptation, once a person has achieved a certain status either within the conservative movement or within government itself to let that achievement change his/her character. The perks of notoriety or position are hard to resist. Everyone needs to wait upon you and do whatever you say. It feels good to, in essence, snap your fingers and watch people move. After a while, if one is not careful, the attitude becomes that of entitlement: I deserve to have all my needs met by my underlings.

When this happens, one no longer is a witness for Christ. The world now revolves around this “special” person who is God’s mighty instrument of the hour. Pride dominates, and God becomes a means to a particular end–the advancement of the “special” person.

Watching this happen made me rather cynical for a short period. Even while I was teaching students for the purpose of placing them in public policy positions, I began to doubt the wisdom of doing so. Would they change? Would they become self-important and lose the vision that God had originally given them? I shook off this feeling eventually when the Lord reminded me that not everyone succumbs to the temptation, and that much good can be done through those who keep their motives right.

We all need to remember these words of wisdom:

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. (I Cor. 1:26-29)