Friday, August 22, 2008

friday morning musings

I was invited to go to the political forum at Saddleback church last week, and spent a good deal of time thinking about and praying about whether I should attend or not. I am concerned with the state of our nation and am using the presidential election to gauge the spiritual temperature. It truly seems to me that the kind of leadership we elect is a pretty good barometer of the spiritual life of our country, in that the majority of people voting will give us insight into what is going on in their heads as they elect a president. I realize that president's, for many are simply figureheads, as the cabinets and various advisors really are the ones governing the nation; yet, I also realize that the kind of man or woman elected is simply the revelation of the heart of the nation. After all, our form of government is really supposed to represent the will of the people, which is why when someone says, "I love Americans but I don't like your government"  we the people are being slighted, because we the people, are the government! Still, I am not one who trusts the promises of politicians. Not that they cannot be honest, indeed I pray that the majority are. It is simply because I realize that many will pretty much say what is necessary for them to get elected. So, when my friend Jim Orate called and asked if I was going to the forum, I at first said that I did not want to, but ended up going. The tickets to get in were given to us for free, and some tickets were selling for several thousands of dollars, so I thought I should take the opportunity and hear the candidates for myself. I could go into quite a few things that we saw as we went to the forum: protestors, interesting signs, people yelling across the street at one another, people tearing signs out of other people's hands, etc. but suffice it to say it was pretty much typical of how emotionally charged these kinds of things can be. We went to a hall (not the main sanctuary), found a place to sit, and listened for two hours. My impression simply put: both candidates claim faith in Christ, both claim to attend church regularly, and both think that they are spiritual men. I do not know either one personally, cannot say that I believe either one of them is a believer (though I pray they are), but I for the life of me cannot understand Obama's reasoning. I have been around lawyers, and know that they have been trained to see both sides of an issue but to be honest, I find it difficult to believe someone who says two things at the same time. His answer reminds me of the Chesire cat in Alice in Wonderland. That cat said two things simultaneously, and so does Obama. I came away believing that he wants America to be more like Europe, is pro-abortion, and (though he is financially rich) has no problem with raising taxes on the "rich", but can't define what rich is. McCain didn't seem much better at defining wealth either, but between the two, I could at least understand McCain! I especially had a problem with the question about abortion. Obama is pro-choice, and has surrogates who have said that abortion is defensible, from a Christian theological perspective. I heard one of Obama's defenders say that Jesus would be in favor of it, and I was truly grieved at such a comment. All in all, I did not learn anything about either man that I had not learned before, but was left with a better sense of who I could trust in some things that are essential to me, things that have moral underpinnings. I pray that we see ourselves as the salt and light that Jesus called us to be, and that we actually vote our consciences this November. God help us all, we are in a true crisis and people just don't seem to see it. There is one King, Jesus, and I long for His rule, but until then, may we remember that Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34)...we need a revival, and we need it now!

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