It’s one of those soggy days in southern Ohio that presages autumn. It’s also one of those days where my mind reels from a whirlwind of small thoughts, many inspired by the political season now upon us. So consider today a showcase. Maybe one of these will grow up and become a bigger post someday.
- I’ve been thinking a lot about silence. (I guess if you perceive silence as a friend, you HAVE the ability to think.) If “Be still and know that I am God” is one of the hallmark verses of the Old Testament, what does it say about our ability to know God that we fill our days with noise and a blur of activity? I find it strange that I know adults, not children, who confess that they can’t sit in silence for a half hour without squirming and whining about it.
- One other verse that strikes me as unknown in America 2008 is “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” If we treat fellow Christians who disagree with us like the spawn of hell, how is it possible that any of us could muster even a mustard seed of love for our genuine enemies? And why is it that we are so quick to disagree angrily yet so slow to pray for opponents? Notice, too, that I use the word opponents. It’s a long road from opponents to enemies. Someone please invite me to the next prayer meeting wherein Christians spend an hour praying for their enemies. I sadly suspect I’ll need a very expensive plane ticket to get there.
- If Jesus is the Prince of Peace, why is it that American Evangelicals seem to have no concept of what it means to practice peace or work as ambassadors on behalf of it? Time and again, it seems to me that Evangelicals who discuss political issues are quick to include that they are “for the war effort,” yet NEVER, EVER say they are “for the peace effort.” Does a peace effort even exist in American churches outside of dead, liberal mainline denominations and a handful of Quakers?
- Every year, the comment that “America is a Christian nation” loses more of its cachet. Consider that four people out of five in this country self-label as Christians and then ask a critical question: What would our nation look and act like if those four out of five were replaced by Christians from Palestine circa 70 AD? Am I the only one believes the difference in practice and influence would be a startling one?
- What is the goal of an education? For much of the history of our country it was to create adults with a high, lasting understanding of civic responsibility. In that, education was never viewed as self-serving, but as a necessary means to strengthen society and the body politic. Now it’s viewed as only a pathway to greater amounts of personal income. Is it any wonder then that our nation is in trouble economically, socially, morally, and spiritually? When George Barna polls Evangelicals and finds that a greater percentage are worried about getting their kids into a prestigious college than ensuring they know Christ, then the wheels have not only fallen off the last vestiges of Christian education in this country, but the entire vehicle has burst into hellish flames.
- It’s bizarre to me that people seem to be baffled by the denominational affiliation of Sarah Palin. Since when were the Assemblies of God considered to be a fringe group? This is what happens when all your political pundits are lapsed Episcopalians or Presbyterians-in-name-only.
- An independent is running in the 2nd Congressional District in Ohio, my district. This has long been considered one of the most Republican districts in the entire country. Republican candidates have in the past won this district with nearly 80 percent of the vote. This has not been the case recently as the GOP has consistently let conservative voters down. In fact, when a real alternative was offered to the GOP incumbent now in office, game-playing by party reptiles snuffed out his candidacy. This is just part of the reason why I will be voting for . I think many other people will be voting for him also. That an independent has received the endorsement of the Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police is astonishing to me in these days of party politics. The irony is that the GOP alternative candidate who was torpedoed by the GOP bigwigs in town had consistently garnered the Cincy FOP’s endorsement in the past in the local offices he held.
- More than anything else politically, I long to see genuine orators and statesmen return to lead our country in the days ahead. I believe they will not be these men and women of privilege, these millionaires we keep electing, but average Joes and Janes of principle and conviction. Those people are out there. We just need to stop voting for the ones who keep them down. I think that every Christian in America needs to stop supporting parties and start support worthy candidates. If that means abandoning long-held party affiliations, then we must. Character counts, and too many people in office today are sorely lacking it.
With the local forecast for the next five days filled with clouds and rain, I suspect that I’ll be doing more thinking in the days to come.
What are you thinking?