Archive for category society
I used to call myself a Republican and more recently I’ve taken to calling myself a Conservative. Over the course of the last year, I think I need to not identify myself as belonging to any political ‘movement’ of any kind. It may be that the reason you’re reading this post is you are giving consideration to the same.
Conservatism and Christianity
If you’ve made a thorough and honest reading of the Bible, you’ll note something: God cared a great deal about His creation, particularly mankind. We are created in His image. He loved us enough to die for us.
It is in the example of Jesus that all Christians should be measured. He didn’t belong to a political party. He didn’t belong to a political movement. There’s only one instance that comes to mind when Jesus involved himself in a political discussion. When asked to get involved in the political matter of taxes, He said “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and the things that are God’s to God.”
God cares about your politics because how you vote affects how your fellow man, for whom Christ died, is treated in this world. Does He desire to be identified with your political party and political beliefs? No. He doesn’t. Jesus didn’t write the Constitution and although men of faith contributed to the birth of this nation and its founding texts, the Constitution isn’t found in the Canon of Scripture. It’s sad that so many Conservatives who claim the name of Christ, including yours truly, know the words of the Constitution better than the Word of God.
Would Jesus be as hostile to illegal immigrants in this country as you?
Would Jesus be as on fire for your Second Amendment rights as you?
Would Jesus be as enraged about additional taxation as you?
Would Jesus use as angry of a tone with the opposition party as you?
These are just questions to ask. There’s truth to the argument that some of the issues and tactics above are being used to bend the political environment from one of freedom of speech, religion, and expression to one which limits or seeks to eliminate the speaking of God’s Truth to a secular world. I get that.
There is good in fighting political battles, but if your demeanor and politics bring unnecessary harm to the Gospel, are you living out the Great Commission anymore? All I can do is be wise in how I deal with politics and politicians and act in a way in that is God pleasing and Gospel affirming. It’s a fine line.
“…be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16-23
I’m amazed at the truth in this verse: Romans 5:6 (NASB):
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
The world in which we live is vastly different from the world in which Christ lived and ministered: two millennia before the Internet, a millennium and half before the printing press. It would seem that the Gospel would have been better served had Christ been born at least at the time of the printing press, and how much more so in the modern age of instant communication? Why did God choose the time of the golden age of the Roman Empire?
The earlier years of the Roman Empire seem like a good time because of the reach of the empire at the time; as well as the relative peace of the empire at the time, the so called Pax Romana, but the best time or more accurately the ‘right’ time?
I, like many others, question God’s timing of nearly every event of my life. Why not at this time God? Why at all? Why not sooner? Why not later?
I’m somewhat ashamed to admit this, but the inspiration for this post is political in nature.
There was a vociferous back and forth between two conservative bloggers about the critique of what appeared to some as a movie trailer that had been produced by a conservative political group and played at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The critique appeared on what many conservatives feel is a ‘liberal’ website. One of the parties writes for the website started by Andrew Breitbart.
Andrew Breitbart passed away a little over a year ago, and since his passing, many have tried to carry on what they feel is his legacy. This post speaks quite well to the ups and downs of passing on his legacy:
After reading this, and having seen other instances in my lifetime of the same battle that goes on amongst devotees after the passing of a visionary leader, I’ve come to understand better why the time in which Christ lived, died, and was raised was the ‘right’ time.
If devotees of a visionary leader can be at one another’s throats within one year of the leader’s passing in this modern age of instant communication and cultural fragmentation, how fragmented and ineffective would Christ’s followers have been if He’d have walked the earth and shared his message in this day and age? How many of those disciples would have started up their own blog or Twitter account or Facebook page? How quickly would the energy and effect of His life, death, and resurrection decomposed? How far-reaching and outlandish would be the conspiracy theories?
Obviously, God’s hand was upon His disciples and His work on earth. No plot or scheme of men can thwart His ultimate purpose, but isn’t it amazing though that He chose a time for the life of His Son and our Savior that maximized the reach of the Gospel while at the same time preserving the integrity and force of the message?
At the right time, Christ died for the ungodly…
The article linked above highlights the need in the United States for a redefining of poverty as deemed by the Federal Government. When an “impoverished” American owns a refrigerator, has cable TV, and a cell phone; something is wrong with the definition.
Poverty is a worldwide concern, but in the United States, the government’s use of the term is only designed to manipulate. Just yesterday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner noted some interesting facts:
“…remember this country, this great nation with our great resources today, one in eight Americans are eligible for food stamps today. Forty percent of Americans born today are born to families eligible for Medicaid.”
When 40 percent of Americans, which is equal to around 120 million people are eligible for Medicaid; it may be time to redefine the eligibility. If 30 million Americans are in “poverty” and 54.5 percent, which is equal to around 16 million, own a cell phone; and there are 90 million more who are eligible for Medicaid, there’s a problem with the proof of eligibility.
Shouldn’t the number of Americans who are eligible for Medicaid come closer to the number eligible for food stamps–about 40 million, as opposed to 120 million?
I understand there should be some give in that number, but when the “poor” in this country have adequate housing–enough to be able to keep a refrigerator running–then as troubling as poverty is, the definition in terms used by the U.S. government is equally disturbing.
Bottom line: if you can afford to have a cell phone ($40 per month) and cable TV ($50 per month), then you’re really close to being able to afford cursory health insurance. In America, as illustrated by these figures, poverty isn’t so much an issue of can’t as it is won’t.
Let’s help the poor, but let’s be wise about the government’s use of the word “poverty”.
–the civil commentator
Follow this link: http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HTB4W4CSYDBWN6R2D5ESTASCUQ/blog/articles/270046
The link above will take you to the first page of a five page blog post on the reasons for limiting government recognition of relationships to that of the traditional nature: husband and wife which equates to one man and one woman.
To give you a sample of the argument laid out in the post, I have copied the text word for word from the first page below. If you’ve ever wondered how to argue intelligently about your views on traditional marriage, this is an excellent place to start.
–the civil commentator
The majority in this country have come to appreciate how gay people deserve the same individual rights and liberties enjoyed by all Americans, including the right to choose where to live, be educated, obtain health care, and work (so long as the work place isn’t a religious institution whose doctrine prohibits same-sex behavior). Integral to such rights is being treated with courtesy, respect, and kindness, which form the core of any civilized and democratic society.
Just like all citizens, gay people deserve these rights because they’re human. Indeed, these are the very inalienable rights described in the Constitution because they exist irrespective of what people do, say, believe, or act, so long as their actions don’t infringe on the rights of others or the welfare of society.
For this reason, it’s important to distinguish between the person and what the person does. A person simply is. He/she has no ability to be anything but a person, and is, therefore, deserving of rights, which no one can remove by vote or decree. The natural and immutable – or fixed – conditions of race and gender fall into this category.
A person’s behavior is another matter. Unlike the human condition, which is beyond our control, human behavior is not. Instead, it begins with an urge, which many perceive as having little to no ability to control. However, we can decide whether we’ll act on the urge or engage in the behavior resulting from the urge. Sometimes the behavior is beneficial; sometimes it’s not.
For this reason, the Constitution assigns the public or its elected representatives the right to pass laws governing human behavior for the benefit of the individual and society. In general, the intent of such laws ranges from prohibiting to encouraging different behaviors, based on their merits or lack of them. For example, some behaviors furnish positive benefits to individuals and society, and should, therefore, be encouraged with financial and legal benefits. Examples in this first category would include going to college, starting a business, buying a home, giving to charities, and entering into marriage. Other behaviors have the potential for harm but banning them would cause an undue burden on personal liberty. So, we limit these behaviors to consenting adults. Examples in this second category would be smoking, drinking, gambling, and human sexual relations outside marriage. Finally, some behaviors are so egregious that we prohibit them. Examples in this third category would be the taking of life or property.
For some behaviors, the facts are supportive, indicating why they should be placed in the first behavioral category and encouraged with legal and financial benefits. For example take traditional marriage between a man and a woman. In this relationship, people of differing genders offer psychological and health benefits to both partners and to offspring. Among these are reduced stress, increased lifespan, and the best environment for raising children. Heterosexual marriage also greatly reduces (if not eliminates) promiscuity and the potential for STDs, AIDS, and AIDS-related diseases.