Tag Archives: trump

Reaching Across the Great Divide

31 May

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Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about our heated political AND Church environment. While those of us who are followers of Christ should allow our faith to inform the full spectrum of our lives, we must accept that our individual walks don’t always lead us to the same places or conclusions. It’s part of the reason there are so many denominations, isn’t it?

For example, I don’t agree with baby baptism because I believe in believer’s baptism, which means that after a person chooses to acknowledge and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior erasing our sinful record because of His perfect sacrifice (and Resurrection), a person becomes publicly baptized to celebrate this holy moment. I wholeheartedly support child dedication.

There are people who will disagree with me on baptism, the beliefs of the Christian faith, and many other important issues. But I’m ok with that. I am working out my faith and living it out as I see best, though I often do so imperfectly.

As with all things, there are many who disagree with my political leanings. I used to be a good evangelical Republican and proudly pro-life. The only question I’d ask of candidates was this—is he/she against abortion?

Yes, I was a single issue voter.

I am still proudly pro-life, but I’ve expanded that view to include the lives of the unborn (not just in the womb, but beyond that), the lives of their mothers, the immigrant children who would die or be trafficked or forced to live in inhuman conditions we can only imagine in our nightmares. I care about the lives of the poor and hungry, the sick and disabled, those facing injustice and hatred due to sexuality and skin color and all those social divides. Life, in all its shape, color, width and breadth matters to me.

Let’s not forget the life of our dear planet, entrusted to us by the very God who created it. Yes, I care about the trees and the honeybees, and the dogs who don’t have homes. I care about our oceans and ozone layer and the huge amount of waste with bury in the deep wounds we dig into that earth.

To me, that’s what pro-life really means—a fight for life for all.  Not just life, but a better life for all with full bellies, adequate healthcare, shelter—a life that is filled with the basic tenets to actually live. I believe in life and that it should reflect and bring glory to God.

Just because my fight for life may be different than yours, it doesn’t make me wrong. I’ve been accused of deserting my faith in God for my criticism of Trump. I haven’t gone as far as to personally indict his ardent supporters of deserting their faith—selling out to elect a morally corrupt man heralded as the “Christian” choice for America. There is always the option to vote for a third party candidate. Yes, you all had a decision and we are all living it. Despite that, most of you are trying to live our your faith as best you can, too.

All these words to communicate this simple message: I am done with my faith being questioned because I don’t agree with you and your politics. Maybe I quietly contemplate your heart and pray it will be changed, too. I will continue to stand up to Trump and his policies, Twitter bullying, and the other things he does to make our nation look foolish and hurt its people. When you read the Bible, you can see what foolish leaders with control did to devastate the nation of Israel. The faithful praying remnant can do great things—don’t assume the person praying on the liberal or conservative side is an enemy, just a friend who doesn’t get it yet.

And be love. That’s what the world really needs to heal its gaping, infected wounds—the light and love of God to saturate all of us so we can find healing.

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Silenced Press Equals Fractured Freedom

25 Feb

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“I’m not teaching you what to think; I’m teaching you how to think,” emphatically stated my professor in class after class. We got it—not what to think, how to think. His assignments—papers mostly—asked us to draw deep from the well of knowledge we gained and discover our own conclusions.

In retrospect, it was one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned—teach people how to think, not what to think.

It carried over into my years of ministry. By teaching the Bible, I asked open-ended questions, presented historical data, and put some “what if’s” into the mix. God offered humanity free will—to choose or not to choose a relationship with Him. He gave us all the information, though we may not understand it, but didn’t force us to believe it.

As I survey the political landscape, I see our right to freely think being slowly taken away. See, it’s not that we can’t think what we want; it’s just that we’re are being told WHAT to think, not HOW to think.

Whenever someone disagrees with our new volatile President Trump, they are called out by the biggest bully in the world. For example, CNN has been repeatedly called “fake news” and The New York Times as “failing” on the Twitter account of the President of the United States. As a former middle school youth leader, I can honestly say I’ve seen more mature language on Instagram between feuding middle school girls.

Most recently, on February 24, “Fake News” and “Failing” along with other media outlets including Politico and BuzzFeed were excluded from Sean Spicer’s press gaggle, while other right wing news outlets were allowed to attend. When I was a college journalism student, CNN and The New York Times were THE STANDARD for televised and print media, yet now they are demonized for printing so-called lies and “making up sources.”

Trump’s repeated criticism of the media sets up a dangerous platform for him to become a dictator-in-chief. One of the first tactics used by dictators is to discredit and silence the opposition. The most troubling part is that many believe Trump as he tells people what to think, not how to think. If someone disagrees with Trump, they are removed or “reassigned” from his staff for “not supporting his agenda.”

But what if CNN, the NY Times, Politico, Fox News, and all the rest of the media are telling the truth? What if we do have a compromised relationship with Russia? What if things are chaotic in the White House? What is there’s a bigger problem in America that Trump just doesn’t what us to see? Smoke and mirrors work just as well for politicians are they do for magicians.

As you read my thoughts, I’m not telling you what to think, I’m asking you to just think. Look at the facts from all the different news organizations, the headlines and stories vary, but the news isn’t all that different. Trump’s Tweets are out there. Read them and think about them. I hear his supporters say that he just tells it like it is. I appreciate honesty, but I also value words and language. They can pull us up or drag us down.

Let me ask you—are Trump’s words elevating our nation or dragging us into civil chaos? Moreover, is Trump telling us what to think by silencing and discrediting the media or is he allowing us to look all all the sources and decide for ourselves?

A nation that cannot think for itself, where free press and free thought are stomped upon, is a nation that is not truly free. It’s a nation of fractured liberty where liberty and justice for all is a slogan of the past, not a right for the future.

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