The infamous "They" say that the most dangerous topics to discuss are religion and politics and that you should never mix the two... boy... am I in trouble. These are at the top of my list, and for two very good reasons... If you get your religion wrong, you go to hell, and if you get your politics wrong, your country goes to hell.
Many tell me that the religious aspect of my politics will turn-off and alienate others towards any possible candidacy of mine. So be it. That level of intolerance, ignorance and bigotry is unfortunate, but understandable and expected. There is a constant tension between the God-ly and the worldly... and there always will be. For those who find a living faith... uncomfortable, but are still willing to try and understand, I would like to offer the following explanation, which you might even find interesting. Christians may also find the explanation interesting, and I hope a bit challenging.
I can no more divorce myself from my faith and the role it plays in every aspect of my life than I could stop breathing. The reason is that my faith is much more than a mere man-made "belief", it is my very Life. When I was born physically I was given by Almighty God, physical life, when I was born again by Almighty God, I was given spiritual Life. It should be noted that I sought out the second birth to the same extent I sought out the first. To deny the second would be as ridiculous as denying the first. Just as I had no control over being born physically, I had no control over being born again. Both births... were miraculous gifts, given by a loving, gracious and merciful Heavenly Father. For both, I will praise and thank Him for eternity. When I was born the first time, I was created. The Bible teaches that when I was born again, I was recreated. There is no going back and no undoing what Almighty God Himself alone
Now... I hope those who have not been born again will fight the temptation to argue that being born again is not a real, verifiable and bonafide occurrence. Because you haven't experienced something or are not immediately able to understand it, does not make it false, fabricated or nonexistent. It is just unknown to you. Any sincere seeker of God, will come to know its reality.
I know what I have just said is a bit unsettling to some, but it is the absolute truth, which I cannot deny... and actually greatly enjoy sharing with others.
One of the most interesting aspects of my life as a Christian is observing the sense of humor of my Heavenly Father. Slowly, yet consistently, He has and is transforming me, molding me into the very image of the Christian I once thought unreasonable and " radical". I can now say with absolute conviction that I was wrong then, and they were right. What I saw as radical was in essence their proper recognition of the truths found in the Bible that I would not accept at that time, or had been too lazy to search out. Some might take warning... I am still a work under progress...(tic)
What I want people to understand is that we, all of us, talk about and with others on subjects that mean the most to us. For some it is sports; for others it is television shows, cars, guns, boats, quilting, food... the list is nearly endless. For me it is God, His Word and the application in one's life. Yet just as others have, I also have many other interests (such as politics), pursuits and concerns, but because of being born again, all things... I repeat, all things, are examined in the light of Scripture. Some would say this is very dangerous and not compatible with the laws of our nation (with respect to politics)... referring to that so called "separation of church and state" thing. I maintain that they are as wrong as can be... and I can say so with great authority; not of myself but from those who founded our country and wrote and ratified the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.A basic principle embraced by the Founders of the United States was that no man- made law should ever contradict the Word of God.
This principle and nearly universally held belief was commonly quoted and is best expressed in the writings of Sir William Blackstone in his Commentaries On The Law: Blackstone was a jurist, political philosopher, professor of law at Oxford and author. He was studied and referenced by many of the Founders. On this matter he said: "Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being... And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker's will. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature... This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God Himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original... The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law and they are to be found only in the holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature... Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these."
- (emphasis added)
This legal principle was in part the legal and moral foundation behind the American Revolution and a driving force in structuring the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. People can accept or reject this fact, but the fact cannot be changed. I fully subscribe to it.
Now, back to my individual faith.
Does my faith call me to want to force my beliefs on others? Absolutely not. (please re- read paragraph 3) Even if I wanted to, I know that belief in Almighty God and the Lord Jesus Christ does not come through any venue except the direct intervention in a life, by God, through His grace, mercy and love, imparting faith to believe. My faith is however, and rightly so, engaged in every thought and action I take. For centuries this was recognized as being a very good thing; men's words and actions were tempered by the counsel and wisdom found in Scripture and not given over completely to the inconsistencies and varieties of secular humanistic thought and rationalizations.
Does my faith and accompanying love for God and Scripture mean I want to tell others about God and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? Absolutely, yes. Just as you desire to tell others about what you enjoy and/or feel is important, I cannot be silent about the greatest experience a man, woman or child can have - being born again... knowing and being known by Almighty God and the Lord Jesus Christ... being translated from death (spiritual) to Life! Going from wandering around wondering what the meaning of life is and who I am, why I am here... to knowing the Answer and answers.
Proper religious belief cannot, under any circumstances, be forced upon anyone and no man should even try. What is unfortunate is that many see just being exposed to religious thought and action, as someone trying to force them to believe. It is most interesting that those who evidently see no problem in bombarding others with trivia and the frivolous nonessential and petty, are usually the ones most offended when conversation turns to that of substance and eternal immutable truth.
Because I have absolute confidence in my Christian faith, does that mean I have absolute confidence in my perceptions of all things? Of course, not. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Many interpret the confidence a believer has in his/her Christian faith as a "self-righteousness" attitude. Again, a Christian's faith and right standing before God is something that is done for the Christian by Almighty God and not done by the Christian for himself/herself. The righteousness a Christian possesses is solely the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore there is absolutely no claim to " self-righteousness". Such a claim, if made, would be of the darkest and most offensive of heresies.
Another popular misconception of a person of faith is one of a "know-it-all". I submit that this errant perception comes from observing Christians applying of the Word of God (Bible) to everyday living and circumstances. The confidence a Christian has in the judgements made in Scripture make other individuals very uncomfortable. For instance: A Christian can say with confidence that living together (in the popular use of the phrase), outside of the bonds of matrimony is a sin, therefore, under all circumstances it is wrong. Or: Homosexuality, lesbianism and "same sex marriages" are grossly perverse, deviant and inherently immoral, therefore, these sins are under all circumstances wrong. These clear Biblical judgements, and many others, make many in America today uncomfortable, and since they are not willing to accept Biblical truths, they lash out and slander the messenger(s).
If the real truth were to be known, the vast majority of the time a charge of "self- righteousness" or "know-it-all" is levied, it is done by someone possessed by bigotry and hatred of most, if not all things Holy.
A specifically guaranteed and enumerated Constitutional right is the right to freely exercise one's faith. As a good citizen of these United States of America, I choose to exercise that right - even if I choose to run for political office. If people don't like that, their quarrel is first with the Word of God, and then the U.S. Constitution.
The level of intolerance and lack of understanding in our country today regarding the Christian faith is as greatly amazing as it is tragic, especially given that every good aspect of American culture today has its roots in Biblical Christian doctrine and every bad aspect of American culture today is rooted in the rebellion against that doctrine. Further, every wrong that has been righted in the United States finds its demise in the correct application of Biblical Christian doctrine, and every wrong that is loosed or gains strength, finds its existence and survival in the rebellion to Biblical doctrine and principles.Only in a Christian society
will you find a consistent and proper reverence and respect for human life, a respect of property, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, decency, propriety, correct moral standards and a tolerance of diversity. A little acknowledged truth today is that the blessings America has had and still does to some extent enjoy today, are the results of the blessings of Almighty God, not the industry of man. Those blessings have come by His hand of favor, extended, by grace, to the faithful, and yet benefit all, even the secular part of society. For this reason it is imperative, for all, that Christians wake up and be more faithful to their calling; or those remaining blessings may altogether be removed.
Even the so called "deists" in American history recognized this principle. The man often referred to as being the least religious of the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, in trying to promote harmony at the Constitutional Convention, gave the following address on June 28, 1787. His comments were directed towards the President of the Convention, George Washington. "Mr. President: The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance and continual reasonings with each other-our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom since we have been running about in search of it. . . . In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights, to illuminate our understanding? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel: we shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and byword down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, and conquest. I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."
- Benjamin Franklin
Franklin's plea was heard and complied with. Our Constitution was born. Today, the ACLU and groups like the People For The Separation Of Church And State would seek a lawsuit to have Franklin drawn and quartered for what he said, and Washington banished from the country for allowing Franklin to say it! These current "politically correct" God haters are far, far removed from historical reality and the actual relationship between the Church and State.
I fear that America today has lost sight of the principle behind Franklin's message and is totally unaware of the remainder of that verse: "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."
- Psalm 127:1 Franklin and his peers understood the absolute necessity of the Lord being intimately involved in the formation and the sustaining of their Country, along with the need for them to properly acknowledge Him. We desperately need this understanding today, before it becomes too late.
If Christians abandon their individual responsibility under God to such things as political party affiliation or complacent and apathetic behavior, they are sinning against God and there will be consequences. This is not just an observation of mine or an opinion, but an important message and principle found in the Bible. The degradation and corruption of American society is evidence of those already mounting consequences, and it will only get worse unless Christians stand up to be counted.Christians should not be lending their name and support to any of the current major political parties, period.
Believers, whether they are now Democrat or Republican, are called by Scripture to shun the very appearance of evil. You cannot do that by subscribing to party politics. Both parties willingly and openly accommodate outright evil, solely for the sake of their party's success. The Democrats have become the power base for evil in America today through their open endorsement of such things as abortion, sexual deviancy (homosexuality and lesbianism) and secular humanistic philosophies. The Republicans are increasingly accepting of the same evils and will not discriminate against them because of their "Big Tent" philosophy. Both parties openly run candidates that are pro-abortion, pro-sexual deviancy and anti-God. Both should now be shunned.
Being independent and voting independently is a Scriptural calling and as American as George Washington, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, mom and apple pie. By not aligning with a political party you not only are free to vote for the best candidate, you are demonstrating another quality that has made America great - rugged individualism. Christians in America are not to be part of the group think, group speak crowd but are called to stand and be willing to fight for what is right (as defined by the Bible) - all the time. Put another way, it is time for Christians to stop singing in their congregations "Bless the Name of Jesus
" unless they are willing to live in a manner worthy of those words.