I am sometimes asked about the wisdom of mixing current politics and religion. To be honest I sometimes ask myself about the wisdom of this path! There is ever a siren song of fame, broader appeal, more hits on the FB page if I would just tone it down, lay off all the Holy Spirit stuff and be funnier. Unfortunately, I believe the time for hemming and hawing is over. We are living in a world where the politics and honest-to-God Christianity have clashed. People- most people- even sweet Christian people- are completely oblivious. Oblivion is nice but it can get you killed.
The headlines ARE fulfilling Biblical scripture almost every day. Not to connect those dots is dangerous! We cannot afford the luxury of pithy phrasing, amusing anecdotes, or the polite, vague response. That cheats our neighbors and wastes precious time. In a time where Biblical knowledge is at an all time low and pastors rarely even give invitations to come down the aisle and accept Jesus in their hearts- we also live in a society where folks are afraid to speak out against sin and to call their nation back to Bible-based righteousness. What’s a girl to do? If not me-who?
If the clock is ticking down and I believe it is– how can I wait on others more qualified, more loquacious or famous to do the job? I once had a very vivid Godly dream where the Lord told me to be bold as I stood in the center of His hand. That’s motivational and I therefore leave the fallout and the popularity polls to others. There is a choice we all have- to either slink down the road less traveled as unobtrusively as possible or to step out boldly on that path and ‘splain what we know to be true about Jesus as plainly and often as we can.
As a student of history it has long been my intent to do a post on the terms which continue to be bandied about post-election. In less than a week we will all experience the upcoming Presidential inauguration. Serious and repeated calls for civil disobedience and mayhem have been issued by oppositional groups. Additionally, Paris Peace Accords are gathering of 70 nations have now begun. The goal seems to be powering through an official two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. My fear is that in this final week of Obama’s Presidency, he will attempt to double-down on his abhorrent UN abstention on the anti-Israeli resolution. My concern is that in his final moments in office President Obama would like to establish a legacy moment and rush through a vote in the UN mandating official Palestinian statehood. This could force Israel into an international court defense when they vociferously object. This surely places America in a precarious, dangerous place going forward. Gen. 12:3
It seemed an opportune moment for this” definition” post. I am not endeavoring to be controversial although I’m sure some will think that I am. I believe a primer of sorts could clarify confusion over semantics and political theory:
A Republic: Our country was originally created to be a Constituational Republic which operates under the Rule of Law as defined by the founding fathers in the US Constitution. This system has at it’s core, inalienable rights, limited powers, civil liberties and freedoms which are became the envy of the world.
A Democracy: A democracy is Rule of the People. “People Rule” may or may not chose to follow the law. A Democratic Republic attempts to balance both the rule of law with the rule of the people. A shared trifold system of protections with Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches were precautions against one branch taking too much power. The electoral college system was insurance to prevent one or two populous states from always holding sway in national elections. United States of America and Israel are examples of modern Democracy in action.
Monarchy: System of Government run by a ruling King orQueen or conglomerate of a Royal Family. America was started as a colonial enterprise under English Monarchy in the early 1600’s. Modern day Saudi Arabia and Jordan have acting Monarchy’s.
Constitutional Monarchy: Many countries moved from absolute monarchy’s to a parliamentary system or constitutional monarchy while maintaining a royal family either as figure heads or with limited powers such as Sweden or England.
Theocracy: System of government where priests, prophets or judges rule in the name of God or a god. Ancient Israel operated as a Theocracy from the time of Moses until the King Saul. According to the Bible the earth, in the Millennial Kingdom will be a Theocracy with the nations ruled by the Lord. World Atlas identifies theocratic countries currently as Vatican City, and Islamic Caliphates such as Iran and Afghanistan.
Christianity: Belief that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Only through personal belief in Jesus( and only Jesus). Christianity is based on the belief sinless, Jesus gave his own life- died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead for our salvation so that we can receive eternal life. He’s not a prophet, he’s not a good guy that taught good things, He claimed to be God,the King of Kings and he is coming back soon. One cannot be born a Christian: it is a definitive decision and act of faith to follow ( action verb) Jesus.
Judaism: The belief in the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob who gave with covenant promise the land of Israel to his chosen people. Christianity worships the exact same God, believing that Jesus is/was God incarnate. Early Christians were all Jews believing Jesus was in fact the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies. One can be born a Jew and live without believing in God or following the tenets of the faith. Most of the world’s Jewish population now lives in Israel and America.
Islam: The belief in Allah, a derivative of the ancient moon god which is why the crescent moon is depicted on their flag. Mohammad is the prophet who received the “angelic” or supernatural revelation in a cave and wrote down the writings. What began as a religious ideology quickly morphed into a rigid militaristic regime. One of the 5 pillars of Islam is belief in the One true god however, this is NOT the same God that Christians and Jews worship. The religion split into two groups with some variations in ideology following Mohammad’s death and subsequent power shuffle. The Sunni, which is the largest denomination, and the Shia includes primarily Iran, India, Pakistan are the two main off-shoots of this dispute. Barack Obama was raised as a Sunni Muslim. It is widely understood that the clearly stated goal of Islam is a world-wide Caliphate which will be under the rule via Sharia law. As demographics in Europe are tipping in their favor, there are areas which local police fear to tread and sharia law is being practiced to the exclusion of the law of the land.
Socialism: Merriam-Webster defines Socialism as a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies. England’s Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher is famously quoted as saying the problem with Socialism is that sooner or later you always run out of other people’s money. She had a good point. The former Soviet Union is a good example.
Progressive: Progressivism seems a spiffy re-packaging of old school liberalism and more palatable communism. At it’s core Progressives believe in some level of redistribution of wealth, and more government control into all areas of our lives. Often linked as Progressive Socialism or Progressive Democracy, The Heritage Foundation defines as following: Both Socialism and Progressivism use government power to control economic outcomes. The methods they use, however, are different. Socialism, strictly speaking, involves the government’s ownership of the means of production in a society. In a socialist economy, there are no private corporations that manufacture goods. All factories and companies belong to the state. Progressivism, by contrast, allows private ownership and control of corporations and manufacturing (thus a private economy and markets), although it does subject them to extensive government administration mostly through heavy regulation as well as other controls.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton claim to be Progressive Democrats.
Libertarians: Merriam-Webster defines them as persons who believe they should be allowed to live with little or no interference from the government. Liberty being the key word. Libertarians generally seem to be reluctant to become embroiled in foreign conflicts and hold to the limits which the founding fathers placed in the Constitution to keep the government from growing too big for it’s own britches. Recent presidential candidate, Rand Paul is a Libertarian as are noted economist Thomas Sowell, and actor Kurt Russell just to name a few.
Communism: Oxford dictionary cites this political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publically owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs. Merriam-Webster states Communism is a way of organizing a society in which the government owns the things that are used to make and transport products ( such as land, oil, factories, ships etc) and there is no privately owned property. Communism is a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian/Leninism that was the official ideology of the USSR. Notable Communist leaders include Mao Zedong of China, Vladamir Lenin, Trotsky, Joe Stalin, Che Guevara and the recently deceased, Fidel Castro of Cuba.
Capitalism: An economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. A capitalist is someone who has capital to invest trade and leverage resulting in prosperity, jobs and opportunities and tax revenues for the government which has been democratically voted on by it’s people. I want apples- you raise apples- I trade you money or barter for apples. You get what you need- and I get what I need. You plant more trees and grow more apples so that next year you can sell more apples to people like me. Everybody is happy. Free-Market Capitalists generally maintain that government’s job is to create an atmosphere where business can flourish and opportunity is thereby not over regulated.
Fascism: Wikipedia identifies Fascism as a form of radical authoritarian nationalism that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries such as Nazi Germany. Once in power Adolf Hitler turned Germany into a fascist state. Fascist was originally used to describe the government of Benito Mussolini in Italy. Mussolini’s fascist one-party state emphasized patriotism, national unity, hatred of communism, admiration of military values and unquestioning obedience. With the advent of WWII, a “military citizenship” and ideal of a perfect superior race arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war. Hitler killed an estimated 6 million civilian Jews and any others he didn’t like in concentration camps and gas chambers.
Islamic Fascism: Actual belief in the written Koran and the military standard therein that there will be Jihad until all the world acknowledges the superiority either by conversion or payment of the dhimmitude, of Islam. There is no middle ground, reasoning with or making of diplomatic treaties with a religious/military fascists who have the scripturally endorsed belief that it is perfectly permissible to lie to “non-believers” to achieve the goals of world-wide Islam. Additional stated goals are to wipe Israel off the face of the map.
Stalinism: This is a moniker applied to the ruthless, dictatorial style of Joseph Stalin who rose to power shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution. Joseph Stalin’s goal was to turn the Soviet Union into a modern military industrial power. Deaths attributed to his regime thru execution, gulag detention etc…conservatively range from 4-10 million. When deaths caused by the Great Soviet Famine (1932-33) are included the estimates soar from 10-20 million.
Dictatorship: A system of government where one powerful person rules the country autocratically and commonly very brutally. Hitler, a fascist; Stalin a communist, and currently North Korea’s Kim Jong Il are all considered dictators.
misogynist: Often used instead of “rude and obnoxious”. It is defined as someone who does not like or is prejudiced against women. This term is regularly hurled at anyone who tries to repeal federal funding for Planned Parenthood or objects to their selling for profit, murdered baby parts. Ironically, anyone who tries to represent the rights of unborn baby girls gets no brownie points this side of heaven.
xenophobe: Intense dislike or fear of folks from other countries. Anyone advocating for secure borders is immediately smacked with this label and additionally dubbed a racist or a bigot. One can love people of other countries and respect them and their culture and still believe that they ought to make application to come into the country legally.
Islamaphobe: Someone who fears Muslims or those that follow Islam. Americans have a hard time with this one because it seems unfair. We like to be fair and we like to wave our “freedom of religion” and melting pot credentials. However, unlike Christianity, Judaism, or most other isms, Islam’s religio/militaristic teachings the belief and intention to have world wide domination of Islam, and rule with Sharia Law. It is wise to be wary and limit immigration of the followers of Islam. Europe is now reaping the wild wind of their own lax immigration policies. Not all Muslims follow “radical” or real Islam however the percentage who do are extremely dangerous to any freedom minded, peace loving society. Islamic leaders repeatedly state their desire to destroy Israel, our ally and the only democracy in the Mid-East. ( Psalm 122:6; Genesis 12: 3)
While these political ideals often cross-pollinate it is important to know your history to prevent falling into traps which have failed spectacularly in other times and places. It is also salient to note: One can be patriotic and love their country, support the ideal of a colorblind police force and the idea of a strong military without being a fascist. One can promote favorable trade deals without being a Nationalist or Protectionist thug. Those who value individual liberty and constitutional restrictions against Orwellian “Big Brother” intrusiveness should be valued as Patriots and Watchmen on the walls – not ignorant “Deplorables”, clinging to our guns and Bibles!
Somehow, Americans are growing comfortable with the incremental mission creep of Federal Government- believing they hold the answer to any woe, and every issue. From Cradle to Grave only this nanny state is qualified to sustain us and we, in turn must gladly hand over greater portions of our hard earned cash and liberties for that dubious privilege.
Ironically, the further we goose-step away from those wonderfully crafted documents designed to preserve our freedoms and skip toward “progressive” socialism Americans appear completely oblivious to the fact they are losing the very “thing” that made them unique.
While I agree Americans should rigorously guard their rights: I have real concerns that some have confused Anarchy with Civil Liberties without the understanding that such disparate actions lead to very different places. It is increasingly common to see ridiculous demonstrations of violent rebellion, lawlessness and disrespect to authority. Is a call for mayhem and civil unrest at the upcoming inauguration truly reasonable following a democratically held national election? Is the clarion call to march in large cities across this country in support of abortion “rights” on January 21st a valid expression of true personal liberties? The Bible assures us that the Lord hears the cry of innocent blood. Murder of the innocent is a very big deal and included in the 10 Commandments. To nationally endorse it and the church, as a whole, to look the other way is reprehensible! Beyond the spiritual darkness summoned by this practice, I have real concerns that we are prostituting our hard-won freedoms by such supportive marches. Who will March and support the Civil Rights of the murdered babies who will never live to embrace their own “Women’s Rights”?
Why is there a hue and cry over the repeal of a failed healthcare policy which no one can afford and has deductibles so astronomical no one can use them? I understand the desire for affordable healthcare. I am not convinced that it is within the prevue of government to provide or guarantee, but let us set that aside for now. ACA is the perfect illustration of the chaos stirred anytime government gains control. Governments are not in business to produce anything. They have no paradigm nor incentive for efficiency. They have, however, snookered the public into believing they are! Wholesale intrusiveness is not merely bad ideologically, but is not sustainable and the 20 Trillion dollar national debt is proof in the pudding!
Wanting to enforce a country’s border sanctity should not be a radical fringe idea in a post 9-11 world. Nor is a reluctance to import thousands of immigrants from war torn portions of the Mid East, who cannot be vetted. It seems a basic, lowest common denominator for the safety of those already here. The Mid East situation is indisputably,really bad. This ought not necessarily translate into residency or citizenship as an automatic perk. Surely help, nearer their country, with financial aid of oil rich nations is a reasonable option. When the conflict ends they can go home and rebuild.
Let all Americans be cautious of labeling the brash or rude with the hideous brush of Stalin or Hitler just because you don’t like someone’s style. Stalin brutally killed upwards of 20 million of his very own citizenry and Hitler tried to exterminate the Jewish race and conquer the world. Try to keep things in perspective unless and until someone qualifies for membership into that exclusive club.
There has never in the history of this country been a perfect President of the United States. We’ve had lawyers, professors, gentlemen farmers, slave holders, professional politicians, womanizers, diplomats and generals leading our country at various times. Like them or not we are called ( 1 Tim 2:1-4; Proverbs 21:1; Romans 13:1;1 Peter 2:17) to pray for our national leadership: that they would be given wisdom and Godly revelation and a hedge of protection. They need it and it is difficult to despise someone that you are lifting up in prayer on a daily basis!
Now we have a builder-business man who doesn’t play by the usual rules and is not fettered by political correctness. It may be wildly uncomfortable, even for those in his own party, but the choice has now been made and it’s time to get to work. These are serious times and there are serious issues to be tackled.
If one can’t support the choice at least respect the office. I think we can all agree that Trump is good at building things. What say we give him that chance while we pray for for our country!