Unconventional… August 31, 2012

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I received contact this week from two friends. Both of them are believers in the life and times of Jesus. One is a Republican and one is a Democrat. They were each  sharing their particular rendition of what they believe to be the best profile for our nation in the upcoming four years. Each one believes himself to be a patriot of some sort; each one thinks that the other political party is detrimental, if not dangerous, to the progression of our country’s values.

Neither one believes that the philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth can be applied in purity into a real-world situation of social and political upheaval. They honor the idealism of the Master but doubt that the range of ideas that Jesus presented would practically work in real-time situations. How do I know this?

Because one’s a Republican and one’s a Democrat.

They pursue movements that utilize the name of Christ, but fail to engage his heart and will. They revere political ideas that truly praise him with their lips but keep their hearts far from him.

Here are two outstanding examples of Jesus principles that escape both approaches:

1. You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.  It seems that you can not be involved in politics and keep the sanctity of that idea. Matter of fact, it’s joked about and even given other names, like “disinformation” and “playing loose with the facts.” Here’s what I know: those who gathered in Tampa this week did so failing to recognize their most recent President, George W. Bush, and pretending as if the eight years of his administration did not exist. That’s called a lie. Maybe they didn’t like what he did. Then they should explain how the new platform and ideas will differ. Maybe they thought he got a bum rap from the press. Then they should speak to his honor and his goals. But to totally ignore eight years of a Presidency from your party during a time when you are allegedly celebrating your aspirations and victories is misleading and downright dishonoring of the truth.

And the Democrats will gather in Charlotte next week and will continue to do what they have been pursuing for the past several months–fail to take responsibility for the lackluster performance of the past four years. Honestly, there may be reasons for it. It isn’t like America exists as an island unto itself, able to produce all of its own products and provide its own resources. We are part of a global economy and there certainly are difficulties that arise because of our dependence upon other nations. But instead, the Democrats pretend. They pretend that things are a little better. They pretend that they do not have any responsibility in their Democratic party for what has transpired over the past four years. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats do go back and invoke the name of George W. Bush–as the villain of the situation.

So Jesus says the lack of truth from both parties will cause our nation to be absent of freedom.

2.  Secondly, I become concerned with the political leanings of my two friends–one Republican and one Democrat–because Jesus told us that “the poor will be with us always and we should do what we can for them.” Unfortunately, that is not what I heard in Tampa this week with the Republicans. The Republicans hold to the concept that hard work brings prosperity, everybody wants to be better off and if we all just pull together, we can all be financially solvent and successful. We know this isn’t true. We know that no matter how hard some people work, there are limits on wages for that particular occupation, and certainly doors closed to advancement that would take them into a new tax bracket. It isn’t an issue of whether we discourage people from trying to climb up the economic ladder; it’s just that some people are given shorter ladders. To extol those who succeed with what we consider to be the obvious evidence of financial prosperity, while ignoring those who are still successful in their own way, but without the “dough to show for it,” is not only short-sighted, but could be deemed by the Master to be mean-spirited.

On the other hand, those Democrats who will gather in Charlotte contend they are on a mission to eliminate poverty by trying to make things more fair in the realm of capitalism. Let’s understand two things: (1) capitalism isn’t fair. It rewards those who have the most and then gives head starts to them in the race; (2) Jesus said “the poor you will have with you always.” We are not going to eliminate poverty. What we can do is give everybody a chance to excel and then provide an idea for what happens if they fall short.

As you can see, I’ve only mentioned two of the hallmark principles of Jesus, and both parties fail miserably to either address the ideas or set in motion a plan to honor the principles.

So as I thought about my two friends who are Christians, who have divided into separate political camps, I realized that the reason I remain apolitical is that I am not willing to sacrifice precious, powerful precepts which I know work in an attempt to compromise on lesser notions that have been historically proven to be ineffective.

We need something unconventional–but it is unlikely that this will ever come out of a political convention.

  • The Republicans need to be honest about the administration of George W. Bush, take responsibility, and offer a plan on how they might right their own wrongs.
  • The Democrats need to admit that they had no idea of the scope of the difficulties they were facing and that they spent their time spreading around idealism instead of hard-core principles to address the issues. They failed to embody the idea of hope–and the Bible says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

Heartsick. That might be a good description of the American spirit.

So for those of you who insist on pursuing a political solution, may I point out a criteria for what you should require before releasing your vote? Here are the two questions. Which party comes closest to the truth by November 6th? And which party has a realistic approach to poverty instead of idealism or placing the issue on the back burner?

One thing is for certain–our country will need a little bit of luck and an awful lot of blessing to come out of this spin. To do that we must honor something other than ourselves. We must tip our hats to history, respect one another, work together and never stain the facts by ignoring the truth.

I love both of my friends dearly. I am just sorry that they are sacrificing the power of their belief for a temporary solution. The end result could be a complete loss of respect for the truth and the ignoring of the poor.

Jesus’ response to that would be, “I never knew you.”

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Are you saying a Christain cannot be a Democrat or Republican? That is ridiculous. WWJD is a confused concept. Jesus lived 2000 years ago. Would Jesus be a Vegeterian,would he drink Scwepps bitters with lemon.would he drive a Prius? Seriously you cannot apply literal interpretations to current time. Jesus would love people. Give them space and Hope for a better future, Jesus would let people find their own path through Freedom. Now whatever party you feel holds “those truths to be self evident” vote that way. Your continual dogging of our countries political systems seems misguided. Should the church run the world. A theocracy? That has never worked out well. The Republican platform calls for an outlaw of abortion,destruction of Planned Parenthood,ban on Gay Marriage, and a dismemberment of entitlement programs. Now I would never say what Jesus would say about all of that but none of it has to do with Freedom or loving your fellow man.Yes politics has liars for players and always has including Kennedy and Lincoln. But throwing our hands up in the air as conscientious objectors of all things involved in the running of our country is terribly short sighted. In your attempts to remain neutral in your blogs you miss the point.Opinions are important. Commenting on a specific issue is valuable because it generates the most powerful change agent…conversation. You are not saying ” The Emperor has no Clothes” you are saying “We don’t need an Emperor”. We do. We need loving leaders just like loving grocery clerks and that is what Jesus would say.

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