YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE? NO…WAIT…WAIT…SOMETHING WAY WORSE
I cannot cast my vote according to my ideas of government, or what other people tell me to believe. Thirty seven years ago I gave my life to Jesus so now I seek guidance from the bible. When I was a young Christian our pastor asked us to support Pat Robertson for President. I became a precinct delegate and went off to the capitol for the convention. We learned that Republicans are not all Christians. I’m not sure Pat would have been up to the job, but a lot of Christians got their feelings hurt.
So I look at scriptures to see what Jesus might have been telling us. When Israel crossed the Jordan and entered the promised land they were told to worship at a mountain. Later Israel was called to worship at the temple in Jerusalem, but one group refused to leave off worshipping at the old mountain. For this the rest of the Jews came to hate the people of Samaria. The Samaritans are still worshipping in the same way, and are indeed deviated from Jewish traditions. They are in rebellions against the way of the Jews. But Jesus decided to point out how one of the bad people was doing good while the good people were doing bad things. This is a well known story:
But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. Luke 10:29-37
So Jesus was willing to point out good works can come from the Samaritans who the “good” Jews hated. To Christians the Jews rejected their messiah, and they too are rebelling against God. And history suggests that Jews may not be universally loved now. Wouldn’t it be ironic if it took an old Jewish man to help the oppressed minorities in a “Christian” nation? “Bad” people may still be better than “us”.
For years Republicans have courted the Christian vote, targeting abortion and gay rights. I am uncomfortable about abortion after seeing images of aborted fetuses. (Christians should at least be comforted to know that these are innocents and heaven bound) But I am also uncomfortable about families destroyed by alcoholism, which is also legalized. We tried prohibition and that failed as banning abortions also failed. God gave man free will to do bad things, and it gets worse when it is done in secret crimes. I expect relaxed marijuana laws will ease some problems and cause others as well. The bible predicts that even more bad things will be accepted, so we may have to pick our battles carefully. We Christians may not have the votes to change everything in these times. But we might be able to remember our good behavior to influence others to try harder. We might even attract a few people to consider different points of view with an open mind. Who knows, we might even be nice enough to perform our Christian mission to win friends to Jesus.
Hey gay people probably don’t want to push into your church business. They have their own circles, and they aren’t all bad. Has anyone ever been entertained by Ross Mathews on the Jay Leno shows?
I was camping with friends when a man slid his motorcycle to a stop in the rain near our tent. He admitted taking some gasoline from my camp and I didn’t freak out about it. We learned that he was depressed about losing his girl friend. Being soaking wet could dampen his spirits too I suppose. We welcomed and comforted him and shared our faith with him. He joined the kingdom of God that night. Hey, I have bikers in my natural family and I hope they join our Kingdom family too one day. Will my fellow Christians be there to help, or just nag?
Perhaps if we were friends to those who see other great needs around us we could be of help. We could listen to each side of issues and consider where others have valid points. Sadly those who oppose us often have valid points. I am embarrassed by the money connections that empower both political parties. Historically corporations have pushed workers into bad situations that need union intervention. Perhaps the world needs to swing left or right a bit to adjust to the conditions of the times.
Now finding ways to keep people working and prosperous shouldn’t offend Christians. It is not always a case of lazy attitudes that take people down. And the church is not freely giving enough to meet the needs of all. If other nations can cover social programs we can and already do offer a few of our own. Even the Old Testament warned Israel to care for their own.
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Deuteronomy 15:7-8
But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 1 John 3:17
But beyond helping it is important to God that we not allow one to abuse the poor. If we allow corporations to influence the government, we lose money in contracts, taxes, and pollution that causes injuries and death. Our prisons are havens for rape, drugs, and violence. This is a serious shortcoming in both parties now. Christians should be activists to correct these wrongs.
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Proverbs 22:22-23
Perhaps we can consider how we run for help when we are threatened. We see the “other” party as a threat so we seek a bully to protect us. If we seek wealthy patrons we give them influence over the government. Corporations may not have any interest beyond their own profits.
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? James 2: 1-7
When I was in high school my mother bought me a winter coat. It was made in Czechoslovakia. A year later I was fighting in Vietnam. We found ammunition from our enemies…and it was also made in Czechoslovakia. Mom bought the bullets that were being shot at me! But our corporations are doing the exact same thing when they build up the armies of China. Suck it up folks, pay more to have things made in America. Besides, one reason that Social Security is melting away is because we have fewer people working now. Bring the jobs back and kick the billionaires out!
There are bipartisan efforts being made to get the big money out of government. These are independent of the presidential elections.
We are MAYDAY.US
Our democracy has been hijacked by a handful super wealthy corporations and families. The framers of our constitution envisioned a democracy that was representative of all of us.
It now costs millions of dollars to get and stay elected. That means our representatives are indebted to large donors to fund their elections.
Luckily, we have a solution. Simple legislation that maximizes small donor contributions by matching them 6:1. This has been proven to nullify the corruption of big money on our political system.
In order to make this happen, we need to elect a critical mass of state and local champions. By growing support for fundamental reform from the ground up, we’ll force Congress to act – or get out of the way!
Help us in our fight to elect reformers at all levels of democracy – so that we might take our democracy back! We’re organizing a national grassroots campaign with local chapters in 18 states already. We’ll give you the tools to make an impact – sign up below!
We have a plan to win
STEP 1 A REAL SOLUTION TO CORRUPTION
The American Anti-Corruption Act sets a standard for local, state and federal laws to:
Stop the bribery
The Act prevents lobbyists from donating to politicians and/or offering them any deals that could influence policymaking.
End secret money
The Act mandates full transparency: disclosure of all political money and “bundlers” who gather contributions for politicians.
The Act imposes strict limits on PACs, and gives voters an annual $100 tax rebate to be spent supporting the candidate or party of their choice.
So does this sound like the stuff of hippies and radicals yet? Well the young supporters of Bernie Sanders do seem to fit that bill. Who else would support an old socialist like Sanders? But then why shouldn’t they be motivated? They are in debt before they graduate, and jobs may not be there for them. Hard working students may still wind up with bad debt and lousy jobs. Don’t underestimate the appeal of Sanders to youth.
But then you might remember that the parents of these youth are suffering with them. They hope to see their kids graduate into a good future but they know that is not happening now. There may be room for new solutions if they sense no realistic solution in the traditional political offerings.
At the same time their grandparents have heard a lot of broken promises over the years. When AARP betrayed them by signing off on benefit reductions they may be a little sour on the old parties. Do they trust the proposed “solutions” to the problems with Social Security and Medicaid? Remember; these old folks were once the hippy generation that leaned off to the left against the Vietnam War. Sure, some of us just leaned into the party life, especially after returning from that Vietnam war! but the boomers are a large voting block and some may be less conservative than their parents were. Especially if you threaten Social Security with more corporate corruption!
I learned a few things from my father before he passed away. I don’t think he was thrilled to have a son in Vietnam. He got addicted to watching reruns of M.A.S.H. and really considered the anti-war message they presented. He began to resent the regular rush to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He pretty much moved to support the Democrats at that point. And what did we achieve in the wars after Korea? We got victory in Grenada and Panama; nothing more, and we are still mired in the middle east. We may never see an end to the deaths without a different attitude. Dad might have welcomed Sander’s reluctance to rush into another meat grinder.
So I suggest that the appeal of Bernie Sanders might loosen up a few voters this year. And the bipartisan efforts will continue into coming elections. We used to worry about godless communism, but godless capitalism may be just as bad or worse. If this scares you I suggest that you read the rest of your bible. For those who cannot discern the need for Jesus to save us there is a hard road ahead. If Bernie Sanders Scares you, then wait until you meet the anti-Christ. We cannot change what God has ordained, but like Hezekiah we may be able to soften the years we have left.