Tuesday

 

BUT LIFE GOES ON







THE MAJOR POLITICAL CONVENTIONS
ARE OVER; THE CAMPAIGN HAS
BEGUN, BUT LIFE GOES ON


The red, white and blue balloons have all been
popped . . the spectacular platform settings and
the styrofoam Roman columns have gone back
to the studios . . . the lights and sound systems
have been turned off. We have candidates for
president and vice-president for both political
parties. In Denver, the speakers played to one
minority group after another, promising illusory
benefits all to be paid for by the nation's taxpayers
In St Paul the message focused on Americans
working together, facing the problems of our time,
and restoring America as it used to be.


Now for the next 54 days we will read, hear and
view the election campaign. We will be promised,
threatened, challenged, cajoled and lied to -- by
candidates seeking office. Almost daily we will be
confronted by polls -- not one of which means any
thing at all in the long run. The only poll that counts
is the vote of the American people on November 4.


While Obama's election would be a history making
achievement by putting the first black man in the
White House, Palin gives voters a chance to make
history by electing the first woman as vice president.


Note these two brief summaries of the two
conventions; first, from John Ray, writing in "The
Western Heart" in Australia: "The Democrats
have a world view based on the triumph of
hope over experience. The Republicans╩╝ is
rooted firmly in reality." And the second from
former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich:
"Obama's long voyage of self discovery and
posturing may be about to collide with a team
that can't be intimidated and is not afraid to
tell the truth."

Here in this weekly publication we will not be
commenting on the progress of the campaign. But
we will continue to present the issues which are of
major importance to American Christians. Because
-- as indicated at the start of this issue -- "Life Goes
On."

And that makes an appropriate place to recall the
title of a significant work by Francis Schaeffer
written from his L'Abri Fellowship center in
Switzerland, "How Should We Then Live?"

The presidential campaign will proceed with or
without any direct involvement or financial support
on our part. It is reminiscent of the message of the
old slogan at missionary conventions: "Some can
go; others can give; all can pray." So it can be
said of Christians with respect to governmental
programs or political campaigns, "Some can
participate; others can give; all can pray."

And when the issues of the times appear too
intimidating for us to deal with personally -- the
election of someone to the most powerful position
on earth . . . Russia's re-emerging threat to world
peace . . . the anti-Christian enemies in leadership
positions in so many nations . . . the devastation of
their way of life from natural disaster for millions
throughout the world . . . the continuing threat of
terrorism and violence from elements of the Muslim
world, the so-called "islamofacists". . . the danger
imposed by a nuclear armed Iran, and their intent to
destroy Israel . . . in the face of all these dangers
and concerns, that remains as the one ongoing
responsibility that we, as Christian believers, share:
we should be active as never before in praying.

Recall for a moment the instructions of Paul in his
first letter to Timothy: "I exhort, therefore, that,
first of all, supplications, prayers, intersession,
and giving of thanks, be made for all men ...
for all that are in authority; that we may lead
a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and
honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the
sight of God our Savior." (I Tim. 2: 1-3)

This is not a commentary on that portion of
Scripture, but it is meaningful and significant that
Paul assigns top priority to prayer ("first of all");
that he not only mentions "all men" in a general
sense, but also speaks specifically of "all that are
in authority." Thus in stressing the importance of
prayer in the life of a Christian, Paul did not rule
out prayer for politicians. And because he spoke
of "all men," he did not limit our prayers to one
political party, nor did he exclude prayer for those
who are in opposition to us -- for example, Putin,
Chavez, Kim Jong Il, Ahmadinejad, and Osama
bin Laden.

And please permit this additional word on the
present presidential election campaign: just as the
Scripture declares that "Faith without works is
dead" (James 2:20), so the prayer which Jesus
gave us speaks of God's will being done "on
earth as it is in heaven." Thus our prayers are
to be voiced in the will of God, and acting within
that will is our responsibility.

And as a Founding Father said: "He therefore
is the truest friend to the liberty of this country
who tries most to promote its virtue, and who,
so far as his power and influence extend, will
not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of
power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous
man....The sum of all is, if we would most truly
enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a
virtuous people." -- Samuel Adams, 1748

Some Random Afterthoughts . . .

We already know better than to trust most of
the media in their biased coverage of the election,
but here is one step toward a reduction of the
grossly unfair and biased reporting of political
action: MSNBC has jettisoned Keith Olbermann
and Chris Matthews from their anchor chairs
during the Election. This would appear to be due
to the increased negative criticism over their very
opinionated pro-Obama/anti McCain bias. This
seems to prove that the voice of TV viewers is
occasionally heard and acted upon. The lesson to
be learned: Speak Up -- it's your right.

Meanwhile, in California, an amendment to the
state constitution, called Proposition 8, will be on
the ballot in November. It provides that only the
union of a man and a woman can constitute a
marriage in California. This was the state law,
approved by a vote of 61% in 2002 -- but set
aside by a 4-3 vote of the state Supreme Court.
Based on petitions from hundreds of thousands
of Californians, that same court approved putting
Proposition 8 on the ballot, and despite a very
negative wording of the ballot measure by the
Democrat Attorney General, Jerry Brown, the
battle is on -- the Christians in the state vs the
supporters of the homosexual life style.A particularly
bad aspect is that residents of other state can have
same-sex marriages in California -- and then seek
recognition back in their home state. Prayer for
enactment of Proposition 8 is definitely in order.

Nancy Pelosi's ongoing battle with the Roman
Catholic church continues - now San Francisco
Archbishop George H. Niederauer is arranging a
meeting with the House Speaker to decide whether
she can continue to receive communion. At the
same time, 19 of her Catholic fellow members of
Congress have written her a letter stating: "We
are compelled to refute your error ... Your
erroneous claim about the history of the church's
opposition to abortion is false and denigrates our
common faith." It will be interesting to see who
wins -- Nancy Pelosi or the Roman Catholic church.
Who but Teddy Roosevelt would say: "There
is not in all America a more dangerous trait
than the deification of mere smartness
unaccompanied by any moral responsibility."
-- Theodore Roosevelt, 1903


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