Revisting the Formula for Healing the Nation

While growing up in suburban Baltimore, my mom, in her attempts to instill a sense of God’s ways in me, would often note that God does things in His own time and in His own ways.  The underlying message was that we can trust God to act on our behalf, but don ‘t expect Him to do it in the way we want Him to do it.  That’s a hard lesson to learn because we, in our human, linear reasoning, feel that we know the best way for doing things.  The problem, among others we have, is that we don’t have God’s perspective, and frankly we’re not that patient. Some time later, after reading scripture and listening to hundreds of anecdotes and testimonies by other believers, it became clear that the God who would use a prostitute in Jericho, Balaam’s ass, a terrorist named Paul, and a slew of other less-than-stellar personalities to affect His will, has a way of doing things that we humans, believers included, would never subscribe to.  Fortunately, God is not bound by our reasoning and strict “moral” guidelines.  As the scripture says,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways,” declares the LORD.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

In that scripture there lies a maxim that most people just don’t get.  Tragically, most Christians haven’t integrated into their lives either, and for that reason, the nation is seriously, at risk. When, according to the biblical account detailing the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, God provided a clear, unambiguous, instruction to follow if the land, crops, and people came under a curse from straying from His ways.  It seems pretty clear that God tied the righteous standing of His people to the earthly conditions of the nation.  He further provided an opportunity for redemption, if only His people would return to Him.  The scripture that exhibits this prescription is found in II Chronicles 7:13-15.  Most Christians are familiar with it, but most of those who use it to advance a political agenda rarely get the simplicity and potency of the message.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”

Unfortunately, although many politically active and interested Christians quote this scripture to promote the way the nation can return to God, there are so many that quickly start pointing to those outside the faith as the focus of this scripture.  In other words, they have shifted the blame and responsibility for national moral decline on unbelievers, while the scripture plainly points to the spiritual condition of the Church.  Instead of directing attention toward the condition of the Church, issues like abortion, gay marriage, and socialism become the primary issues on the scale.  Some will argue the point, but all one has to do is look at the letters to the Churches of Asia Minor found in the Book of Revelation.  God wasn’t warning some nation about their moral condition, but instead, focused squarely on those who called themselves by His name.  But even before the birth of the Church, Jesus spoke to his disciples about how important the integrity and holiness of his followers were to the overall condition and survivability of the nation.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:13-16

So here’s the deal.  There are plenty of texts in scripture that describes the condition of the world. Generally, the world is full of sin, death, injustice, hate, and rottenness.  People are self-centered, liars, and desperately wicked.  Of course there’s more, but I think you’ve got the picture.  Now Jesus spoke these words to a bunch of uneducated, nontheologians who had been under his tutelage and would eventually turn the world upside-down.  In this passage, Jesus made it clear that his follow’s spiritual condition was critical to the preservation of the world and to reflecting His glory in the world.  Consider this commentary:

There are two broad approaches to seeking to shape values in society. At times the Christian community may feel it needs to confront a particular value, decision or priority adopted by the community.  But the Christian community is also able to influence values day in, day out through bringing a distinctively Christian approach to the people we come across as we go about our daily lives. This is what we mean by being “salt and light” in the world (Mt 5:13,14), where by living distinctively Christian lifestyles we seek to influence those around us, and through this the values, decisions and priorities adopted by our communities.


Jesus challenges us to be salt and light – to influence the world, and to be seen to be doing so.  You might like to spend some time reflecting on this passage :
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Mt 5:13-16

1. You are the salt of the earth. ·By beginning with You, Jesus emphasises to the disciples that they have both the calling and the responsibility to be influencers in the world.   Salt is a number of effects :
twiddle.gif (853 bytes)as a seasoning agent, it improves the taste of the food that it comes into contact with, and so as we come into contact with society our Christian values should improve the nature of that society.
twiddle.gif (853 bytes)salt makes people thirsty – and as Christians we seek to create a thirst in people’s lives that can only be satisfied by Jesus, who said : “if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me  me and drink” (Jn 7:37)
twiddle.gif (853 bytes)Salt is used to thaw ice on roads : so it can have the effect of warming hearts that have hardened against the gospel – over time the saltiness of Christians can bring people to know Jesus Christ.
twiddle.gif (853 bytes)as a preservative, salt gives food an improved length of life. Ultimately, with enough salt, those who do know Jesus, and acknowledge Him as Lord and Saviour will have eternal life.

2. Salt which loses its saltiness is useless. · Jesus’ teaching is challenging.  There is little room for those who are Christians, but who have lost their saltiness, or their “edge”.  Without the testimony of lives lived out with integrity and consistency with the principles that Christians claim to follow, the testimony of our lips is useless.  But be clear : this does not require us to be perfect : knowing our sinfulness, and knowing our need to confess it and be cleansed of it is a vital part of the Christian gospel. Then, as v16 says, “let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

3. You are like light for the world. · Light shines on dark things and exposes what is there. This is a call to the church to challenge evil within our society, however uncomfortable this may be. Having humility and servanthood within our character does not make us toothless and wishy-washy. The light that we bring, is not our own light – it is not who we are in ourselves, but rather the light of God shining through our lives as the Holy Spirit works through them. This doesn’t mean that we have to refer to God in every other sentence, but when the opportunity arises, we can share with another person the light that God has given us.

4. Don’t hide your light. · We hide our light when we stay silent in the face of discussion which is contrary to that which we believe. We hide our light when we fail to accept and conform with behaviours that are not in line with Jesus’ teaching. We hide our light when we don’t care for the needs of others, and walk by on the other side : since we have missed an opportunity to let the light of Jesus’ compassion shine out in acts of kindness.  If we let the light of the Holy Spirit at work in us shine through, then we bring glory to God, and there can be no greater joy than being able to give glory to the Father as we go through our daily lives.

Sermon on the Mount

Now, as I pointed out in the first paragraph, God’s ways of doing things usually doesn’t jive with man’s way, that includes those in the Church.  It’s ironic that so many of those who claim a relationship with Christ, easily reject the “foolishness” of God and continue to think in a fashion no differently than the world who doesn’t even know Him.  Romans 12:1-2 informs us that things are to be different when we are “in Christ.”

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Here we see the caveat that warns Christians not to conform to the pattern of this world, but be changed in our way of thinking.  This text brings us full-circle to the place where in our hunger and desire to be like Christ, we start by having the “mind of Christ.”  To do so, involves renouncing the thinking of the world.  According to Phillipians 2:1-11, we see the contrast to worldly thinking.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:   Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What we see here is plain language that yokes the act of glorifying God with humbling oneself and having a servant’s heart.  This is consistent with the call to “humble oneself” before God. Without humility, God cannot exalt His Church in the eyes of the world.  When the Church is seen as arrogant, (as it often appears in the political marketplace)  not only does the world reject that contemptuousness and arrogance, but God does not support it as well.  The mechanics of worldy politics promote contention, factionalism, and a partisan spirit.  This is the polar-opposite of holiness, the opposite of God’s nature.  Christians need to remember the warning the apostle Paul gave regarding such attitudes.  In Galations 5:19-21 it says:

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

What most people see in this scripture is the sins of sexual immorality, idolatry, witchcraft, and drunkenness.  They seem like they’re in bold print.  Sadly, what is hardly noticed, and often ignored during the political seasons are those other sins, like – hatred, discord, factions, dissensions, and the like.  The scripture is pretty clear, “those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Did you hear that?  They who hate their political opponents, create dissensions and factions along political lines are not living a life reflecting the nature of Christ.  I can’t believe how often I’ve seen believers, including pastors, come out of church and within a short time, are saying some of the most outrageous and slanderous things about those on the opposite side of their political views.  Name calling, something we tell our children not to do, is often a sport among Christians.  I wonder if they would do the same if Jesus, who gave his life for those they were slandering, would be sitting in the room with them?  Most Christians would probably hold their tongues.  I sometimes wonder how many children growing up in Christian homes hear their parents slandering political and cultural rivals,have their faith undermined by parents who promote the Christian tenet of loving one’s enemy, yet see something totally different in practice.  It’s no wonder so many children of professed believers leave the faith.  It’s no mystery.  They don’t see anything that reflects the nature of Christ, only talk.  While ministering and teaching children in a Christian high school, this dichotomy was often raised as a problem that truly undermined the integrity of  “Christian education.”

Fortunately, God always gives us a way to return to Him.  He wants us to come back to Him.  Like the father waiting for his prodigal son, God is waiting for us to return, with the heart of a servant. Try reading II Chronicles 7:14 again.  The words, “IF” and “THEN” are matters of cause and effect.  God promises that if we do one thing, He will do another relative to it.  If we don’t, He won’t.  It doesn’t matter who is president, congressman, or judge.  God’s rule trumps man’s devices.  As the scripture says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.”  This is a blueprint that has to start in the House of God.  No nation will ever be righteous if the Church is corrupted by being conformed to the world.

So where do we begin?  How do we change our thinking and take on the nature of a servant?  Well once again, the Word of God is not silent.  In 1 Timothy 2:1-6 we read these words which reflect the formula for praoctively changing ourselves and the world.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior,  who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.  For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.  He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.

Consider what Matthew Henry said regarding this passage:

2:1-7 The disciples of Christ must be praying people; all, without distinction of nation, sect, rank, or party. Our duty as Christians, is summed up in two words; godliness, that is, the right worshipping of God; and honesty, that is, good conduct toward all men. These must go together: we are not truly honest, if we are not godly, and do not render to God his due; and we are not truly godly, if not honest. What is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, we should abound in. There is one Mediator, and that Mediator gave himself a ransom for all. And this appointment has been made for the benefit of the Jews and the Gentiles of every nation; that all who are willing may come in this way, to the mercy-seat of a pardoning God, to seek reconciliation with him. Sin had made a quarrel between us and God; Jesus Christ is the Mediator who makes peace. He is a ransom that was to be known in due time. In the Old Testament times, his sufferings, and the glory that should follow, were spoken of as things to be revealed in the last times. Those who are saved must come to the knowledge of the truth, for that is God’s appointed way to save sinners: if we do not know the truth, we cannot be ruled by it.

What is important to see in all of this is that God’s heart is toward reconciliation and the ministry he has given to his children is the same.  Being involved in political conflict puts one in peril of falling into the trap of being ungracious and imitating the “Accuser” instead of the “Advocate.”  If one follows the charge of I Timothy 2:1-6, they will find themselves conforming to the mark of a true Christian, loving one’s enemies.

On election day in America, many Christians see those who they voted against win the election.  For many, it is a moment of despair and anxiety.  Some ironically see it as a judgment on the nation.  Perhaps that’s true, but if it is, and the Bible gives us any direction, it is time for Christians to understand that in God’s economy, “judgment begins in the House of God.”  The fact is, the condition of the nation is a reflection of the condition of the church.  If we want to see a change in the world, we need to see a change in us.

Back in 1996, I decided to proactively act upon 1 Timothy 2:1-6.  I began to pray earnestly for Bill Clinton and other politicians I voted against.  In a short time, God began to flood my heart with love for these people, their families, and their staffs.  Even though it opened wonderful opportunities to minister directly to a few of these folks, what was amazing is what happened to me.  For one thing, I began to understand in a deeper way, how much God loves me.  I started to understand grace in a totally dynamic way.  As I continued to engage those who I could call, “enemies” with hospitality and grace, I began to see other areas where I could demonstrate God’s grace toward those Christ died for.  I started to see people in the light of the knowledge that Jesus had placed great value on them and had paid for them with His life.  How could I treat or consider anyone with less consideration that God has given them.

On November 5th, the people of the United States will have chosen a number of people to represent them in local posts, state offices, national positions, and the highest place of government, the presidency.  For many believers there will be joy and hope.  For others, there will be despair, concern, and even fear.  Nevertheless, no matter how we “feel” about whoever won or lost, we as ambassadors of Christ are to follow after the tenets of 1 Timothy 2:1-6.  God’s promise is “that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity for this is good and pleases God our Savior,  who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”  It may not make sense to obey this biblical mandate, but that should be a clue.  It’s God’s way, not man’s.

Related Articles:

Salt and Light – P.G.Mathew

Works of the Flesh

Christians and Politics – Greg Boyd

On Facebook, join the group, No Strings Attached

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On Mammon’s Altar, America is Sacrificed

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” – Matt. 6:24

America’s history is not over, but it’s future is once again imperiled. I believe the warning of Thomas Jefferson and the conclusion of Abraham Lincoln regarding the cause and effect of the American Civil War is resonating once again. Jefferson noted, and is etched in his memorial in Washington, DC,

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

He was reflecting on the institution of slavery and the ultimate conclusion to the future of a nation that demanded freedom for “all men,” yet denied it to a particular race or class of people. History proved his fears in the deaths of over 640,000 men killed and over a million other casualties. Four score and nine years after Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln, in his second inaugural address, deduced that the God of justice balanced the books on America’s greed. He asserted, and these words are also etched on his memorial in the nation’s capital,

If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

I believe that both Jefferson, Lincoln, and many others fully and rationally understood that God, who is just, will at His appointed time, call for “justice to roll down like waters in a mighty stream.” No matter how much good a person or nation does, greed and other evils are not dismissed, but weighed in the balance. This is especially true when those evils become the natural gravitations of a nation. Anyone who thinks that America will dodge God’s justice because of it’s fabled Christian heritage, has forgotten what He did to the Children of Israel. As the apostle Jude wrote,

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” Jude 1:5-7

Throughout scripture, there has been warnings after warnings to those who worship money. Greed always destroys relationships, communities, and nations. It has, and will be the undoing of America as well. Even though Jefferson and Lincoln were referring to the sin of slavery, the underlying evil was the love of money. As the oft-quoted scripture asserts, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” What is important to consider is that as long as America seeks pleasure and wealth, to the exclusion of discipline and morality,  judgement on evil will surely come.

Recently I’ve heard a couple interviews with Andrew Bacevich, a historian and retired colonel and author of the book, “The Limits of Power, The End of American Exceptionalism.” When asked by Amy Goodman on the Democracy Now program whether he believed he saw the end of American empire, he stated, “Yes, I do. And I think the key question is, will the American empire end catastrophically because of our blind insistence that we will not change? Or will we be able to disengage ourselves from and dismantle the American empire in a sensible, reasonable way that will do the least damage to the world and the least damage to ourselves?

Coupled with the prognostications of former US Comptroller General, David Walker that the US economy is facing “a demographic tsunami,” it would seem that the United States is about to meet a perfect storm. Read the following articles and give some serious consideration to them.

Democracy Now interview with Andrew Bacevich

A Fiscal Hurricane on the Horizon – USA Today

National Debt Clock, etc.

The I.O.U.S.A. Movie Trailer

Prayers for John and Elizabeth Edwards…

When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Psalm 32:3-5

While the media indulged in a feeding frenzy over the news of former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards’ admission Friday to an extramarital affair, my heart was most grieved to see and hear some Christians once again taking the low road by moralizing over Edwards’ infidelity without focusing on his restoration. Of course, there will always be those that are willing and able, in true Pharisaical form, to “cast the first stone.” This is the way of the world. However, this mindset is in stark contrast to the biblical moral prescribed in Galatians 6:1 which instructs,

“…if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”

The fact is, reconciliation is at the heart of Christ’s ministry and He demands that those who follow after him will seek the reconciliation of mankind to God. This includes John Edwards. Unfortunately, too many Christian in these cases, especially those who are politically biased, are more poised to be the adversaries than advocates. (see my post, “Are You Doing the Devil’s Business?“)

There are those who will argue that John Edwards is a scoundrel, a liar, and a wretched sinner and deserves the scorn and punishment he is getting from the press. When considering that his wife Elizabeth was battling breast cancer at the time of this infidelity, Edwards definitely appears to be a totally selfish and reprobate piece of flesh deserving to be ostracized and totally discredited in the public. His actions were absolutely despicable. But considering the confession of his sin and his appeal for forgiveness from his wife, family, and his Lord (see the ABC interviews – Part 1, Part 2), it becomes imperative for anyone wearing the label, “Christian” to pray for John Edwards and his family to be completely restored to each other and for Edwards to come to a deeper relationship with the God who he calls, “my Lord.” No Christian should forget that God sent his son to the earth for sinners. John Edwards is just one more among billions of us.

Just remember what Jesus said,

if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15

Considering this caveat, everyone calling themselves a “Christian” should be eager to forgive others of their sins, lest God see their unforgiving, judgmental spirit, and refuses to forgive the “Christian” of their sins. In addition, if we desire for others to pray for us in our times of weakness, we should seek mercy for others and pray for them in their times of shortcoming. Anythings less is indicative of one who knows nothing of being “poor in spirit.”

I am not John Edwards’ judge, but I know what being a sinner is. Knowing that fact, and by faith in the work of Jesus Christ, I know that God has forgiven me and bids me to “go and sin no more.” I think the same applies to everyone including John Edwards. My prayers are with him, his family, his supporters, and the woman he had the affair with. May they all come to the peace that “passes all understanding.”

Related Articles:

The Benefits of Getting Caught – Jeff Garrett

Forgive and You will be Forgiven – Lyle Welty

Practical Paul: Restoration – Brent Riggs

Elizabeth Edwards Statement on the Affair

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Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight

Back in the glory days of the New London Development Corporation (NLDC), and long before anyone outside the reach of The Day, New London’s daily newspaper, heard the name Fort Trumbull, NLDC president Claire Gaudiani systematically attempted to manipulate the press coverage of what was unfolding in the Fort Trumbull Municipal Development Plan (MDP). It was for the most part convincingly positive and fed the psyche of a struggling community that was dealing with failing schools, broken infrastructure, and a vacuum of political leadership. Typically during that time, Claire Gaudiani and her attendant staff were able to find open venues in the community to tell how the new MDP would dramatically change the city’s direction and complexion and stem it’s downward slide. She said we would have a “hip little city” where young professionals, scientists, and students would fill our streets, restaurants and shops. That hasn’t happened. None of it.

Back then, when we who were asking questions, hard questions, about the viability and legality of the plan, Gaudiani and her staff, dismissed us as a “small vocal group” and rejected our pleas out-of-hand. It was quite ironic to watch the charade of what Gaudiani referred to as an open, respectful, and democratic process. It was all talk and smoke-and-mirrors.

So after almost ten months of lobbying local citizens, state commissioners, the attorney general, and a host of others, we finally were able to convince the Institute for Justice, a Washington, D.C., based, public-advocacy law firm to help us out. They came with an impressive legal resume and also had an effective public relations arm that could get the word out quickly and dramatically. I’ll never forget my response when we got the call from Scott Bullock, IJ’s senior attorney, that they were taking the case. I said with elation, “this story has left 06320. They (NLDC) won’t be able to keep it quiet now.” By December 2000, IJ made it official with Scott Bullock and Chip Mellor making the announcement from Susette Kelo‘s front porch. It’s the same porch that remains today at the empty shell of what used to be her home. (See the picture above and read my post on the dedication of the new Kelo house.)

Now, some three years after the US Supreme Court decision (Kelo v. City of New London), John Brooks, NLDC project manger for Fort Trumbull continues to protest that the Institute for Justice manipulated public opinion about the case. Writing in the magazine, “Right of Way” Brooks asserts that the “public was persuaded, and in many cases duped, by media distortion of the particulars of this case.” In my opinion, Brooks’ distortion of the facts have left him duped. Like they say, “if you repeat a lie enough times, you’ll begin to believe that it is true. While I intend to present the Brooks article in its entirety, and a response by Scott Bullock on the article, I just want you to focus on the picture above to, show how the NLDC and its supporter continue to distort what is so blatantly obvious. They are either so stupid or blind that they continue to tell tales that can be easily be dismissed as fiction.

Look at the picture above. As I said, it is a picture of what is left of the front porch of Susette Kelo’s pink house on East Street in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood in New London. In the Brooks article he makes a point of saying why her house had to go. It was simply that it did not meet code requirements. He noted, “The first instance of a child getting hit by a car as a result of the lack of a curb, sidewalk, or safe sightline would easily have led to a flood of litigation against the City and State – especially since a new street design had been completed, reviewed, approved and taken all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.” Now if you take a look at the picture above, along with the picture of Ms. Kelo’s former house at the right, you may just notice that there are still no curbs, sidewalks, or extended sightlines to this day. Furthermore, the open basement is a hole in the ground that is unsecured. Any one could easily fall in a hurt themselves, bring a “flood of litigation.” If John Brooks was truly interested in protecting the City and the State’s interest against possible litigation, he should do something about the obvious dangers that are starring him in the face. I think John Brooks’ can’t see the forest for the trees and his apparent concern about possible “flood of litigation” is, well, damn hollow. Pardon the pun.

For now that’s all I have to say. I could go on, but frankly I’m tired of talking about it. So I’ll just present John Brooks’ piece and then Scott Bullock’s response. Here they are:

John Brooks’ Article:

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Scott Bullocks Response:

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Off With Their Heads! Deja Vu en L’Etats Unis?

As I have perused the newspapers and listened to the talking heads on the radio and the television, it is becoming clear that with increased fuel costs, the mortgage meltdown, government bailouts of major corporations, and the ongoing Persian Gulf conflicts, Americans don’t have much confidence in any government – local, state, or federal. With a widening gap between the rich and the poor, those considered under the poverty line are increasing in large numbers. As former president, Jimmy Carter noted in his infamous “Malaise Speech” given 29 years ago tomorrow,

The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.

With a continued slide into a pervasive distrust and cynicism toward our political and social institutions, anyone with a powerful vision and message of hope will find willing followers and disciples. I think that is why Barak Obama’s message of change and hope is playing quite well. Nevertheless, history is not silent under such circumstances and related political and social environments. There is an environment that nurtures less than civil behavior, and I’m not so sure we can totally assume the government can continue its policy of Bread and Circus forever. “Bread and Circus” is the policy of governments, institutions and businesses, and individual politicians to provide just enough food and fun to placate the masses. Personal freedom is typically the greatest cost to the individual. If the tipping point is reached where the government can’t manage fear, and I don’t know where exactly that is, civility will take a backseat not only to provocative speech, but barbaric behavior as well. Thousands of years of history serves notice.

Today is Bastille Day. Bastille Day has such a strong signification for the French because the holiday symbolizes the birth of the Republic. The French celebrate a new republic controlled by the people, not a monarchy or church. As in the United States, where the signing of the Declaration of Independence signaled the start of the American Revolution, in France the storming of the Bastille began the Great Revolution. In both countries, the national holiday thus symbolizes the beginning of a new form of government.

Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!

Those are the words that mark the ideals of the French revolution. To better tell the story I’m providing an entry from StudyWorld that I think sums it up nicely. Also, check out the related articles at the end of the piece.

What were the causes and the effects of the French Revolution? The major cause of the French Revolution was the disputes between the different types of social classes in French society. The French Revolution of 1789-1799 was one of the most important events in the history of the world. The Revolution led to many changes in France, which at the time of the Revolution, was the most powerful state in Europe. The Revolution led to the development of new political forces such as democracy and nationalism. It questioned the authority of kings, priests, and nobles. The Revolution also gave new meanings and new ideas to the political ideas of the people.

The French Revolution was spread over the ten year period between 1789 and 1799. The primary cause of the revolution was the disputes over the peoples’ differing ideas of reform. Before the beginning of the Revolution, only moderate reforms were wanted by the people. An example of why they wanted this was because of king Louis XIV‘s actions. At the end of the seventeenth century, King Louis XIV’s wars began decreasing the royal finances dramatically. This worsened during the eighteenth century. The use of the money by Louis XIV angered the people and they wanted a new system of government. The writings of the philosophes such as Voltaire and Diderot, were critical of the government. They said that not one official in power was corrupt, but that the whole system of government needed some change. Eventually, when the royal finances were expended in the 1780’s, there began a time of greater criticism. This sparked the peasants notion of wanting change.

Under the Old Regime in France, the king was the absolute monarch. Louis XIV had centralized power in the royal bureaucracy, the government departments which administered his policies. Together, Louis XIV and the bureaucracy worked to preserve royal authority and to maintain the social structure of the Old Regime.

At this time in French history, the social classes played an important role in the lives of the people. The social structure of France was divided among three groups: the First Estate, the Second Estate, and the Third Estate. Each social group had a varied type of people within their structure, which presented the different views of the people.

The First Estate was the Church. During the ancien regime, the church was equal in terms of its social, economic, and spiritual power. The First Estate owned nearly 10 per cent of all land in France. It paid no taxes but, to support church activities such as school running and caring for the poor, they collected a tithe, or a tax on income. About one-third of the entire clergy in France served as parish priests. Also included in this estate were the nobles. Some of the nobles lived in luxury in major cities in France, such as Versailles or Paris. Parish priests usually lived a hardworking life. This Estate was the minority of the people in France, having approximately 1 to 2 per cent of the population.

The Second Estate in French life was the nobility. They enjoyed extensive rights and privileges. They made up less than 2 percent of the population. They, like the First Estate, paid hardly any taxes. Economically, the nobility was characterized by great land wealth. Nobles were generally the richest members of the society. Typical sources of income were rents and dues for the use of their farms or estates. The First and Second Estates were grouped together because they had similar political beliefs. The

Third Estate consisted of the commoners. It includedthe bourgeoisie, peasants and city workers. The bourgeoisie, or the middle class, were by far, the wealthiest. In the bourgeoisie, there were the merchants and manufacturers, lawyers, doctors and others similar to those types of professions. Peasants made up the largest group within the Third Estate. They were forced to pay hefty taxes, tithes to the church, and rents to their landlords for the land that they lived on. The last group within the Third Estate were the city workers. They were servants, apprentices, and household maids.

The major cause of the Revolution were the differences these three groups had. However, there was another important factor during these times. France suffered from harsh economic problems. Poor farm harvests by farmers hurt the economy, and trade rules from the Middle Ages still survived, making trade difficult. However, the most serious problem was the problem facing the government during this time. The French government borrowed much money to pay for the wars of Louis XIV. Louis still borrowed money to fight wars and to keep French power alive in Europe. These costs greatly increased the national debt, which was, at the time, already too high.

When King Louis XVI came into power, he realized that these problems existed. At first he did not know what to do, until he found a man by the name of Robert Turgot. He eased the financial crisis of France, but he had difficulties when he tried to introduce a major reform, that of taxing the nobles. He had such difficulties because the king could not tax the nobles unless the Parliament approved of the new tax laws. The people in the courts that voted on these laws were the nobles, called nobles of the robe, and therefore rejected Turgot’s reform. After Turgot was rejected, the king fired him from his office. This led Louis XVI to summon the Estates General in 1789.

The Estates General was the place where representatives from each social class could be represented. Here, many issues would be discussed, and at this time in French history, it would be centered around the economic crisis.

When the Estates General met in 1789, the deputies, or representatives, from the Third Estate demanded that the three estates meet together, with each deputy having an equal vote. That way, the First and Second Estates could outvote the Third Estate. When the king heard of this, he demanded that the three estates meet separately. This caused anger within the Third Estate. The deputies from the Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly. Louis XVI quickly rejected these deputies from the meeting hall. After a while, Louis XVI decided that it would be best if the three estates met together. He ordered the other two estates to join the Third Estate in the National Assembly.

Although now the three estates met together, there were divisions among them. Some wanted to protect their rights, while others wanted to establish a limited, constitutional monarchy. This sparked some change in the French people.

Immediately after the National Assembly secretly began working on a constitution, the peasants and workers expected relief from taxes and other dues that they paid. Little happened, and they still faced their same problems of unemployment and inflation. Then there were reports that Louis XVI was bringing troops to Paris. This increased the peoples’ fears.

When Louis brought troops to Versailles, many citizens feared that he wanted to get rid of the National Assembly. As a result, they stormed the Bastille. Other disturbances also broke out. People were caught up in what was called the “Great Fear“. Rumors passed from village to village that robbers were destroying homes all over France. When no robbers showed up, the peasants turned to their landlords. They destroyed grain towers, and destroyed tax records, showing that they will never pay any taxes, fines or dues ever again.

These events forced Louis to summon the National Assembly on August 4th. They people discussed possible reforms. On this day, the National Assembly ended serfdom.Towards the end of August, the National Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man. It stated that democratic principles would be the basis for French government. The job of turning these ideas into a constitution still remained.

While the constitution was in the process of being made, an angry crowd in Paris rioted, forcing the National Assembly to recognize their demands. Some of these rioters were women. They were angry about food prices. They also thought that the king and queen were going against the National Assembly. They demanded that Louis return to Paris where they could watch him. To prevent any further uprisings, he agreed.

Throughout France, all ancient customs were thrown away by the revolution. The National Assembly called for freedom of worship and abolished all special activities and privileges of the Catholic Church. To raise money that was needed, the government began selling off church lands, which angered many Catholics.

In 1791, the National Assembly brought forward a new constitution. It made France a limited monarchy and established a system of separation of powers. Under the constitution, the old distinctions between the clergy, nobles, and commoners disappeared.

Few people were satisfied with the constitutional monarchy. Louis XVI was frightened at the actions of the National Assembly. He fled the country with his wife, but he was later arrested and brought back to accept the constitution. After this action by the king, moderate revolutionaries still wanted to preserve the constitutional monarchy, while the radicals distrusted the king and wanted a republic.

These were the causes of the French Revolution. Many peoples’ lives were changed during this time. Peoples’ ideas also changed.

After the war between France and Austria and Prussia, prices increased dramatically, and food shortages occurred. When Louis XVI and his wife fled to the Legislative Assembly, they were imprisoned. They called for a national convention to write a new constitution. The National Convention met in September. The National Convention tried and convicted Louis XVI of treason. He was sentenced to death.

News of his death spread all throughout Europe. Monarchs of European nations feared that the Revolution would spread. By 1793, the French armies occupied the Austrian Netherlands and were about to invade Prussia. But, in 1793, Great Britain, the Dutch Netherlands, and Spain went along with Prussia and Austria in a war against France. With these five powerful nations fighting against France, the French were outnumbered and outmatched. This one war was very hard for France. This war caused many deaths at home due to starvation. At this point in the Revolution, some people thought that the Revolution had gone too far and should be put to an end.

In the effort to restore temporary peace in the society, the National Convention made a constitution that created a Committee of Public Safety. It campaigned against people who were considered enemies of France. Maximilien Robespierre led the Committee of Public Safety. He wanted to create a “Republic of Virtue”. The Committee went all over France to help other groups find traitors to France. During the Reign of Terror, trials for the people were held often. Many people were brought to the guillotine and killed. Most of the victims were commoners. This time of terror had scared the people, and their revolts towards the government ended.

The Committee of Public Safety organized new and powerful armies to protect itself from foreign invasion. The Committee also set limits on prices and salaries.

By early in 1794, the French armies were winning battles again, but supporters were asking if these executions of the people were still needed in society. The National Convention then arrested Maximilien Robespierre, andexecuted him, which ended the Reign of Terror.

Between the years of 1789 and 1794, French life had changed dramatically. There were changes in the lifestyle of the people, as well as in clothes and art. The monarchies were gone, and the king no longer ruled. Le National Convention abolished all feudal customs and ended all slavery. Revolutionary leaders also established the metric system. They wanted to set up free public schools, but that never came about, due to the economic problems.

In 1795, after the total ending of the Reign of Terror, the National Convention established another constitution. It established a new system of government called the Directory. This Directory, however, faced many problems. The legislative deputies begged and “bought” political votes, and prices rose sharply, something which the poor classes of society didn’t like. Along with these problems, it still followed a foreign policy. It built the largest army in Europe during this time. This army were headed by a great military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte.

In 1793, Napoleon won many battles against the British, and at this time, he was a general. He next won battles over Italy, and in 1798, he invaded Egypt. He defeated Egypt’s army, but he had to pay for his victory. At sea, the Egyptian Navy, led by Horatio Nelson, destroyed the French fleet at the Nile river. This loss meant that the fleet could not take the soldiers back to France, so, Napoleon left them there and he went back to France. Unbeknownst to the people of France about the tragedy in Egypt, he was still welcomed as a hero. When talking to the people at home, he found that many people were not satisfied with the Directory. With the help of troops, he overthrew the government in 1799. Under this new government, Napoleon was called the First Consul. His military talents helped him to win popular support. With his support, he was named the dictator of France.

This time in French History was important to the people of France because of the different types of government they had. Socialism, liberalism and nationalism all were results of the French Revolution. It gave people the idea that if they tried, they could reorganize a society whenever it was needed. The greatest legacy of the French Revolution, however, was that people could change anything that they wanted with political ideas, words and laws.

Related Articles & Sources:

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity – Exploring the French Revolution

Causes of the French Revolution

The French Revolution – Columbia Encyclopedia

A History of the Guillotine

A True Look Back at the French Revolution by Mel Brooks…

The Content of Jesse Jackson’s Character

Tell us what you really think Jesse!

For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize. My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal.” These were the words the Reverend Jesse Jackson used to apologize for what CNN characterized as “vulgar” comments made by Jackson against the presumptive Democratic nominee Barak Obama for a speech Obama made in a black church on Father’s Day. (Read the speech here). Jackson said he was “very distressed” that his foul remarks became public because he supports the White House bid of Obama, a fellow Chicagoan. It happened, he said, when a fellow guest on a Fox News show last Sunday asked him about Obama’s speeches at black churches. Fox News captured Jackson criticizing presidential candidate Barack Obama for talking down to blacks on the issue of fatherhood. Not knowing the microphone was still live, Jackson said,

See, Barack’s been talking down to black people … I want to cut his nuts off.

Apparently, not catering to Jackson’s style of bringing racial equality to the country creates a risk of loosing one’s family jewels. I know that Jackson is passionate about racial justice and all that, but he really needs to take a sabbatical or something. He went way over the top in these comments. Not only were they less than “reverend-like”, but I get the sense that Jesse Jackson’s discomfort with Barak Obama has more to do with pride and position than anything else. Some suggest it’s that green-eyed monster – jealousy raising it’s ugly head. One commentator noted,

It’s called jealousy. Barack Obama is everything Jesse wanted to be to America, but somehow came up short. Now, he has to watch a younger, far more talented, man of color take the reins

Face it, Jackson is yesterday’s news and with Obama within reach of achieving what Jackson couldn’t acquire in 1984 and 1988 when he ran for president, Jackson can’t admit his confrontational race-baiting style of politics has failed to produce the equality he says he seeks.

But are we to believe that all this “hate speech” by Jackson was jealousy, or his way of venting over Obama’s disassociation with Jackson’s race-baiting policies, or could it be even something more calculated and dubious? What I mean is it possible that this was really all set up between Jackson and the Obama campaign as a way to endear fence-sitting moderates and some conservatives to see Obama as a balanced statesman verses the “radical” Jesse Jackson? That image would surely be a definite benefit for Obama, seeking to appear more mainstream. As Newsweek commentator, Howard Fineman noted, “What better way to prove your mainstream bona fides with white conservative voters than to be criticized by Jackson?” (Read his article here). Even Biko Baker, an African-American journalist and activist suggested such a nefarious scheme. (Read his blog here).

Whatever the true reason for Jackson’s vulgar outburst, one thing I can’t help but see in all this is another facet of Jackson being untethered from the faith he claims. That is, the Christian faith. Although I think his commitment to social and racial justice is commendable and of the highest tradition of Christian activism, I would suggest that his faith is clearly adrift in a sea of unChristlike conviction, behavior and conversation. His fruit is showing.

In context, Jackson’s reasoning for saying what he said was that, while he agrees with Obama’s arguments that blacks must do more to improve their lot, “the moral message must be a much broader message. What we need really is racial justice and urban policy and jobs and health care.” Let me get this right. So, because Obama, who has in fact, often promoted the broad moral message that Jackson insisted on making, didn’t quite say it the way Jackson would say it, that, somehow merits Obama deserving to be castrated? Anyone in their right mind, (not Jeremiah Wright) has got to notice that Jesse probably needs, at least, some anger management training. There is just no way he can legitimize or sanction his frustration at Obama’s apparent lack of a “broader moral message” by suggesting such a barbaric penalty. It was, pardon the pun, hitting below the belt. But not only was it that, but it was totally baseless. As Obama spokesman Bill Burton stated,

As someone who grew up without a father in the home, Senator Obama has spoken and written for many years about the issue of parental responsibility, including the importance of fathers participating in their children’s lives. He also discusses our responsibility as a society to provide jobs, justice, and opportunity for all. He will continue to speak out about our responsibilities to ourselves and each other, and he of course accepts Reverend Jackson’s apology.

What I find so disturbing about this whole deal is that it brings into focus how politics undermines the true gospel of Christ. The gospel is redemptive because it provides a savior who forgives, yet demands that we “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and love our neighbors as ourselves.” Love of God demands that we are obedient to Him, showing our love for God by showing it to others, friends and enemies alike. If Barak Obama and Jesse Jackson really want to be witnesses of God’s grace, there’s no better time than the present to start practicing it.

My religion obligates me to be political, to seek to do God’s will and allow the spiritual word to become concrete justice and dwell among us. Religion should use you politically to do public service. Politics should not misuse religion. When the Word becomes flesh and dwells among us, that’s called good religion. – Rev. Jesse Jackson

Related Articles:

Jesse Jackson takes One for the Team – Mike Gallagher

Has Jesse Jackson Become Irrelevant? – Jack Cafferty (CNN)

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Rebuts Dad – Lynn Sweet

Jesse Jackson’s Liberal Jesus – LaShawn Barber

Before Threatening Obama’s ‘Nuts,’ Jesse Jackson Dissed Faith-Based Projects

Why Jesse Jackson attacked Barack Obama – Daniel Finkelstein of The Times

Jesse Jackson, Figure of the Past – Michael Reagan

Obama, McCain and the Ninth Commandment

The perennial dilemma I run into every political season is the conflict that comes with one’s duty to participate in America’s future by voting, while at the same time having to hold my nose over the choices. It’s a blessing to live in a democracy, yet a curse to have to choose between “the lesser of two evils.” Such is the case for me in this year’s presidential contest as well. As time passes through the summer months, and the last day of the Bush/Cheney debacle nears, (Check out the Bush Countdown Clock here) I’m not feeling very comfortable with what I’m discovering about both candidates and their campaigns. In the cases of both Barak Obama and John McCain, one can very simply find too many examples of misrepresentations, outright lies, and bearing false witness against each other. That last one, bearing false witness is #9 on God’s Top Ten list. You know… the Ten Commandments. Unlike lies and misrepresentations of one’s own actions, ideas and policies, bearing false witness is an act of free will that is meant to destroy the character, status, and future of another. McCain does it. Obama does it.

Although I won’t address any of the specific charges against these two men in this post, I prefer to focus on the Ninth Commandment and it’s application in daily life, and most specifically, in the realm of politics. To start let’s look at the commandment in its context. We find the specific commandment in Exodus 20:16 where it states,

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Many people assume the scripture is merely talking about lying. While there are many caveats against telling lies, this one has to do specifically with lies against another person. Contextually it fits well with the general thrust of all the other commandments and is congruous to the command that Christ gave when he summed up the ten commandments into two basic motivations. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mk. 12:30-31) Although it is obvious that the ninth commandment applies specifically to our love of neighbor, it is thoroughly accordant to the love of god as well. As the Apostle John noted, “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20) Simply stated, our love of our neighbor is the tangible measuring stick to mark our love of God. It would seem by this standard that it would be hard to certify that Barak and John, both professing Christians, are passing the test of the kind of change (aka repentance) that is the required evidence of true salvation. It seems that political expediency has won the day over honest profession of faith. It’s pretty upsetting. If anything, Obama and McCain are bearing a true witness to their lack of credible faithfulness to the Word of God. One writer concerned with this contridiction noted it this way:

    …most of us are disenchanted with governing officials. Why? Because so many of them promise one thing on the campaign trail and then, once they’re in office, fail to fulfill their word. Not only do they make promises that, in all likelihood, they have no intention of carrying out, they spend a lot of their time and money bashing their opponent. Or if you will, breaking the ninth commandment of God. Just think, if the ninth commandment were in force what sort of changes we would see in the smear campaigns that pass for politics!

    If God’s law against bearing false witness were in full effect there would be no more ‘cover ups’. No group mentality where one segment of the populace, be it cultural, political, medical or even religious, felt it necessary to cover the facts in order to ‘protect their own’. Everyone would be honest and straight forward.

Good point. Nevertheless, it seems inherent in American politics that ad hominem attacks, smears, and personal bashings are the rule and not necessarily the exception. I’ve even heard professing Christians laud the use of such tactics, claiming the ends justify the means. If that were true, why do we need the commandments anyway. It’s all relative, isn’t it? Sadly, and I can’t pass this up, many Christians are actually doing the Devil’s bidding by engaging in and encouraging such behavior. In a word what they’re doing is EVIL. That’s right, evil. I use the word because I know what it means. (More about this in my next blog).

In a previous post titled, “Are You Doing the Devil’s Business” I submitted that a true test of whether God’s presence was having affect (CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN) in one’s own life was determined simply by which side of the blame game you fell on. As I’ve said before.

The work of Jesus was to be our advocate. The work of Satan is to be our accuser. Which one do you model?

In John 8:43-44 Christ says Satan is a murderer and liar. Jesus says of Himself that He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). As a liar and murderer, Satan is the exact opposite of “the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Christ is the truth, Satan is a liar. Christ is the life, Satan is a murderer-one who takes away life. The thing about bearing false witness is that it is contrary to the truth and of the nature of Satan.

If our two major party candidates continue to claim a moral high road and specifically a relationship with Christ, then a good place to begin to show it is with how they characterize each other. They should continue to argue the facts of policy and account for their own political decisions. The same should holds true for their campaign surrogates and staff as well. That would really take some leadership. It’s the kind of straight talk and change I could believe in.

At this moment in history, or for that matter, any political contest, Americans should demand that their candidates exhibit respect for each other and a credible witness of civility. Moreover, Christian Americans, should not only demand it from their candidates, but of themselves as well. For many of them, that means that they will have to shut their favorite radio talk show hosts off and any other pundit or “prophet” who doesn’t show a commitment to the biblical axiom found in Philippians 4:8,

“whatever things are true, whatever things have honor, whatever things are upright, whatever things are holy, whatever things are beautiful, whatever things are of value, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, give thought to these things.”

When you have a steady diet of Limbaugh, Hannity, and O’Reilly on the right, or Combs, Goodman, and Maher on the left, there’s no way you can be following the principles listed in the above verse. Listening to these folks on a regular basis will paralyze your faith. Like the children’s song says, “be careful little ears what you hear.” It’s simple and wise.

If there’s anything a Christian can do during this political season it’s this:

If you’ve been bearing false witness or propagating false rumors and gossip about any candidate, repent of it.

Pray for each candidate and their families. One of them will be the leader of the nation on January 20, 2009. Get in the habit now!

Write the candidates and their campaigns, urging them to abide by the highest ideals of civility, respect, and Christian brotherhood. Remind them of their role model responsibilities and their witness as professing Christians.

Send letters and cards which reflect your blessings on them. Tell them you are praying for them and asking God to protect them and bless them with His wisdom. And,

Encourage others to do the same (especially if your pastor or Christian leader isn ‘t doing it).

As I pointed out before, come January 20th of next year, either Obama or McCain will be sworn in as the next president of the United States. If you are a Christian, it is mandated that you pray for your leaders, whether you like them or not.

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

If you actually believe the Bible is the Word of God then you may deduce from the scripture above that the reason we live less than peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and holiness may just be because there isn’t much fervent and effectual prayer being offered up for our leaders (and others, as well). Instead, the contemporary church in America has chosen the path of least resistance to curse instead of bless. No wonder we’re in this mess.

For over 25 years now, many Christians have cited 2 Chronicles 7:14 as the remedy for the nation’s ills. Even though I see the value of this scripture as being axiomatic to healing the nation, I also believe that too many Christians have failed to see that the health of the nation is dependent on the holiness of God’s people, “those called by His name,” not those outside the faith. It’s pretty clear.

IF my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Well, there it is in a nutshell. Our nation’s well-being, safety, and security are totally dependent, not on political figures or radio talk-show hosts, but upon the faithful being faithful. We should encourage each other to follow the model laid out in the scripture’s above. As on of my favorite verses directs,

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

Let’s follow these principle’s and encourage our politicians to do the same. If we can’t stomach their policies, at least we can choose to love our enemies.

Related Articles:

Obama Lies shamelessly about McCain – Hot Air

Distorting Obama – Newsweek

Factcheck.org

Obama – McCain Comparisons

John McCain Official Website

Barak Obama Official Website