As I pondered what to do after the election, I attended a program at First Presbyterian Church by Dr. Doug DeCelle, tracing the decline of Christianity in the U.S. since Eisenhower.
The next night, I attended a seminar, “In Search of A Nation’s Treasure,” tracing Judeo-Christian history over the past 2,000 years with special attention to the Mayflower Compact, pilgrims and our Constitution by Dr. Marshall Foster. A key part of his presentation came from the movie “Monumental.”
A friend sent me an 80 minute, yes 80 minute, sermon by Johnny Enlow. I particularly liked his quote, “Jesus doesn’t chose sides, He is the side.”
As I wrote and rewrote this article over 12 days, I prayed, went to the Bible, read and listened to pundits on the left and right. Additionally I re-read some of my underlining from books I’ve read such as: “The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success by Dr Rodney Stark”; “How Now Shall We Live by Chuck Colson; and Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem by Jay Richards. Richards says, “capitalism is, in fact, the best system to respond to the Biblical mandates of alleviating poverty, and protecting the environment.”
My take away from the foregoing is I believe many conservative Christians are consumed with pro life while ignoring the born, trying to band same-sex marriage at the federal level versus giving citizens a vote in each state, deporting those living here illegally without concern to what that does to millions of families, opposing Obamacare without caring that many working couples cannot afford adequate coverage due to an out of control system, etc. Meanwhile, liberal Christians see no sin in pro choice or same-sex marriages, ignore the rule of law as it relates to those here illegally, have an over reliance on the federal government to address health care, etc.
So what’s the answer? One thing I pray for is a nationwide revival.
If that were to happen, I believe the church and its members would do more to: help those who genuinely need help versus the government; personal responsibility would increase which would mean crime and health care costs would decrease (as an aside upwards of 70 percent of health care costs are attributed to poor life style choices such as drinking too much, drugs, smoking, indiscriminate sex and obesity); parents would get more involved in their children’s education which always ranks among the top factors in educational achievement; reach out in love to gays; and counsel pregnant women about spiritual, physical and mental health issues and options to abortion such as Peachtree Presbyterian Church, which will arrange for an adoption.
Isaiah 58 says we’re to care for prisoners, help those oppressed, feed the hungry, work to correct conditions that create oppressive conditions and stop spreading vicious rumors. The Gospel of Matthew and Paul’s Letter to the Colossians make it clear that divorce is wrong with very few exceptions.
Creation, evolution and Intelligent Design divide us. Is global warming a cycle? Is it man made or caused by nature? Science has a key place in supplying answers but doesn’t have all of them. Speaking of science, Christianity has generally been a huge supporter of science and most early scientists were Christians and many still are. Christianity is truth so there should be no conflict with faith and scientific fact.
We are close to a fiscal cliff and paying more taxes is the revenue part of the solution. The Gospel of Matthew commands us to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” because government is instituted by God. However, government is to be the servant of God, so our elected officials have a God ordained responsibility to act accordingly. We’re all to do the right thing!
Another solution to the fiscal cliff is reducing the size of government. Think with me for a moment about the reduced role of government if we did as I’ve outlined above.
As things once again heat up between Israel and Palestine, it is abundantly clear in the Bible we are to defend Israel.
We’re not only charged with the great commission to evangelize but, we’re charged with the cultural commission to take care of this planet and all of God’s people; this is the Kingdom of God! God invites us to take his side not the Republican or Democrat side. Upon his resurrection, Jesus told his disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit to guide them. We now have the Holy Spirit so what are we waiting for?
Jeff Brown is a former state representative and is a conributing columnist.