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Our Civic Duty

May 22, 2008

I wrote about this question awhile ago. In but not of

There was some baby steps in discussion but I wanted to put this back out to see if there is, indeed,any interest.

Our political landscape isn’t volatile, it’s not exciting, it’s not even promising. It’s scary, it’s glum and it’s full of 2nd rate politicians stumping for 1st rate positions.

Obama has been courting our fair city with lofty and grandiose promises and saying all the sweet-nothings that the liberals want to hear. Bill’s been here and little Chelsea even showed up to give press for the Clinton name and for Dear Old Mom this last weekend at a local sporting event.

Oregon is a big deal. Apparently. Who knew, eh?

In my opinion, Barak “Hussein is my cousin” Obama is the “token minority” in a field of politically correct pretenders. He is the epitomization of affirmative action. No merit, no quality, no passion. Just put in place to fill the quota. He’s freaky because he’s so waffle-y. A mouth with pre-determined talking points. A puppet. Well, that and his nebulous religious affiliation, his NAME (Hussein)!?!, and his insane little MIchelle “The Mouth” Obama.

In a world full of politicians THIS was the best they could come up with?

I have a friend of a friend, Rick Dancer. He’s a believer who has taken the responsibility of civic duty very personally. He’s running for Secretary of State here in Oregon. While I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him, I’ve seen his passion for honesty, equality and fairness in his writing, his lifestyle and the reference from my friend.

Do we sit back and huddle in our churches? Do we stock up food and decide to pull a Ruby Ridge of our own? Do we march on Washington? Are we afraid? Angry? Indifferent? Judgmental?

It’s our country too. We can’t sit around apathetically saying and doing nothing and then blame the direction of our leaders on everyone else.

But that’s just what I think….

To quote Mr. Bill…

“What say you?”

  • At the Presidential level it’s a tough one Heidi. The winner will be whoever the Democrats or Republicans run. No one believes anyone else can win and therefore the “lesser of two evils” is always picked. Personally, it is time for an end to this political system – it is corrupt. And as you say, what choices are we being given…?

    So, I would encourage that instead of picking the “lesser of two evils” or even worse not voting at all – find a better choice. Even if we could somehow organize a massive write-in campaign.

    Obama is correct about one thing; the ways of Washington must change.

  • pstrmike

    For some, it isn’t an either/or proposition. There is a balance between political activism and beans and guns. If some one feels that God is leading them into politics, that is between them and God and I leave them to their conviction.

    The early church did not concern themselves with the politics of the day. They were concerned about furthering the Kingdom of God. My calling is to concern myself with the Kingdom of God. That’s not indifference, but a concentrated focus.

  • Well, pstrmike, I think I may be going out on a limb here but you put a bee in my bonnet that will not rest!

    You say you are “called to focus on the Kingdom of G-d”. Well, I would say we are all called to concern ourselves with the kingdom of G-d. That should be the ultimate goal of our marriages, our parenting and our work ethic. Notwithstanding the purpose of our congregating and our spiritual fellowship. Honor G-d, keep His Word, encourage His people and share His Gospel.

    How that provides any distinction between pursuing a righteous lifestyle and caring about the well-being and state of our nation is confusing to me. And it’s entirely possible I have misunderstood your point.

    As I mentioned in my “In but not of” post, the state of our union rests on the shoulders of it’s citizens and where we have allowed it to be carried by those with louder voices than our own.

    The early church had neither opportunity nor responsibility for the state of their nations. They lived under dictatorships bent on their destruction.

    We are sure as hell headed that way, but until we are no longer given the opportunity to speak (free speech) and practice our faith (freedom of religion) we would be fools to squander the time by hiding in our little churches and pretending that San Francisco won’t affect us, Iraq is just some dust bowl across Big Water and that little mail in ballot we got doesn’t have issues we care about.

    I mean, why should we? Jesus is going to snatch us all up before life gets complicated and we’ll just waltz from one church service to the next, right?

    Except, if it does get hard. And it will. We’ll be better equipped as believers to study some obscure passage in Ecclesiastes than to know how to protect or feed our families. And when the world comes to us asking for answers we better dang sure have a better answer than “Go your way and be warm and fed.” We won’t be offering life, we’ll be handing out snakes and stones.

    Tell me how many hungry people will listen to our words over the roar of their stomachs? How loud our voice will be when religious speech, speaking G-d’s truth, becomes labeled “Hate Speech”? How successful our ministries and programs will be when we can’t meet in groups larger than 12?

    Political activism? Political responsibility? Civic duty? Follower of Christ?

    It’s not an either/or. We live in unprecedented times in an unprecedented country. Yes, it’s hard to be heard. No, we will most likely never have a presidential candidate who accurately reflects a G-dly world view and perspective.

    Does that mean we ignore where we are as a nation? Do we ignore the state of the nations?

    Seems to me that somebody once said to be mindful of the times…

  • pstrmike

    Not sure you really got my point. Our callings are personal, many times, they are concise. As a pastor, I encourage people to pursue their callings, whatever arena that takes them. The political arena is not mine.

    Just a few thoughts. Hopefully, this will give you a better ideal of where I am coming from.

    Just finished teaching Ecclesiastes. It’s much less obscure than the first glance.

    The church in China has flourished under an oppressive dictatorship.

    My military experience taught me among other things, that this is not a godly nation and we are not the democracy that we think we are. I’ll leave it at that.

    Long ago, I accepted the possibility that the rapture may not occur in my lifetime. I am here for the long haul and have a responsibility to pass something on to the next generation.

    That, my friend, is being mindful of the times.

    ooh, and be careful with bees, once they sting they lose their stinger and die.

    shalom

  • Thank you for clarifying.

    I do believe we are at cross-purposes. I don’t have misguided beliefs about the moral and spiritual state of our nation, but as of now, we still have an opportunity to speak. Also, I am completely aware that we live in what more closely impersonates a representative republic than a democracy.

    Democracy was a lovely thought that lasted until somebody wised up to consolidation of power in a big building somewhere on the East Coast and folks got greedy while everyone else just made sure they had their 40 acres and a mule.

    What I am saying is that it is always a matter of personal conviction to stand for righteousness, especially in an environment where that is acceptable and allowed. Back to my original point… Why are so many Christians silent within their communities and sphere of influence?

    Yes, the church in China has flourished. Since my parents have spent the last 9 years there, I think I have a good grasp on it. But it didn’t grow because of a corporate calling. It is growing because individuals are stepping out in faith, sharing and LIVING the little they know and still functioning well within the parameters of their socio-political environment. There are very few full-time Christians in China. Many of the individuals my parents know function as city legislature, university staff, interpreters, government officials. And they do their work well and are respected. They live honorably and righteously and do what they can to encourage G-dly direction within their sphere’s of influence.

    They have so little and stand so strong. We have so much and wander around like little lost sheep when a louder mouth with an opposing view and greater financial backing pushes us into a corner.

    Couple of side points:

    I didn’t know you had served our country, thank you. Blessings to you for your service.

    Secondly… My point about the “escapism” rapture philosophy was not directed at you personally, but rather an attitude I have seen in the church so often. “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow Jesus is going to take us away from all things bad.”

    Please forgive my sarcasm. At times it translates poorly into the blog world. I truly do appreciate conversing with you on these points. Since we don’t know each other personally, I am not making personal attacks against you or your personal beliefs. That would be assumptive, unreasonable and unfounded. When I do make bold statements, it is more a charge against our corporate body and the issues I have seen in my own experience.

    And bees? I let them go. I like honey better than dead bees.

  • pstrmike

    no offense taken. I’ll probably have more to weigh in later.

    As for honey……. gotta be local. one of the best aids for those who suffer from high desert allergies.

    and…………. you’re welcome

    shalom