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Posted by on November 6, 2018 in Culture, Politics

 

The intersection of politics, faith, and culture

reclamining-hopeBook Review: Reclaiming Hope: Lessons learned in the Obama White House about the future of faith in America, by Michael Wear

During President Obama’s first term in office, Michael Wear served in the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He later directed faith outreach for the president’s 2012 re‑election campaign. Wear has now written a book about his experiences in the halls of power.

The book is part memoir about the behind the scenes struggles surrounding some of the administration’s signature achievements, including the adoption tax credit and making human trafficking a presidential priority. The author also reflects on some of the more controversial stories of the previous eight years, including the issues of abortion, contraception, and the president’s change of position on gay marriage.

On the subject of religious freedom, the author makes an insightful comment.

I do not believe that anyone I worked with in the Obama administration, certainly not the president, was motivated by a desire to undermine religious freedom. That was not their aim. Religious freedom is not under attack.

But it is under pressure. Religious freedom is increasingly butting up against other values in stark, personal ways, and religious freedom is often the loser in those collisions. We have a problem of pluralism, of different views and perspective. What must be declared out-of-bounds is not our diverse perspectives, but the zero-sum politics that disregards collateral damage in pursuit of a win. And the administration failed in this respect.

The author concludes by giving practical ways for Christians to be involved in our political system. While you may not agree with the author’s assessment of the Obama administration in relation to faith, you will gain insight from his account.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2017 in Books, Politics, Quotes

 

How should a Christ follower respond to Tuesday’s election?

After scanning the headlines, reading Facebook posts and rants, seeing profanity on Twitter, hearing various responses to the outcome of the vote, I’ve been musing about whether or not to weigh in and offer my two cents. After pondering what to say, here are my random thoughts, in no particular order, other than how they came to mind.

If the candidate you voted for won, rejoice, but don’t gloat. Don’t act like a five-year-old winning a board game and not letting his opponent forget it.

If the candidate you voted for lost, mourn, but don’t pout. Don’t act like a two-year-old and throw a temper tantrum because you didn’t get your way.

If someone criticizes whom you voted for, don’t respond in kind. Instead, respond with grace and seek to encourage the other person (Psalm 34:14; Romans 14:19; Ephesians 4:29). Don’t follow the practice in social media of tearing people down. Remember that you can grieve the Holy Spirit by what you say (Ephesians 4:30).

Pray for President Obama. Pray for President-elect Trump. While they may not be our kings, these men are in positions of “high authority” and deserve our respect and prayer (1 Timothy 2:2).

Don’t threaten to leave the country because “Trump is not my president.” Don’t sink your roots down deep because “America is now safe because the Republicans are in charge.” Remember that ultimately, this world is not our home. Heaven is our true home. We may be citizens of the USA (or whatever country we live in), but ultimately, we carry the passport of heaven where our true nationality resides (Philippians 3:20).

Be as passionate about Jesus as you were about politics. Become as bold about the gospel as you were convincing others to vote for Trump or Clinton. Remember that our primary responsibility is to be a witness for Christ (Acts 1:8) and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). As citizens of the heavenly kingdom, we have been placed here as God’s ambassadors to persuade people to become reconciled to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). Pray for boldness to tell others about Jesus (Acts 4:13, 29, 31).

Remind yourself that no one is in a position of authority unless God places them there (Romans 13:1-2). God can raise up kings and queens, and remove kings and queens. He can place anyone in power at just the right moment to accomplish his plan and purpose. The books of Nehemiah and Esther give testimony to that fact.

While we may face an uncertain future (and this would be true regardless of who won the election), God can still be trusted. Even if the worst thing imaginable takes place, we can rejoice in God (Habakkuk 3:17-18). God’s mercy and grace is new every day (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Keep your eyes on Jesus and find your hope in God.

Colossians 3:1–4 – 1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Personal growth, Politics, Prayer, Scripture

 

What does God have in store for America – 2016 edition

This post was originally written the day after the election in 2008. Since the pendulum has now swung in the opposite direction, I had to rewrite it slightly. Despite the swing, the truth is still applicable today.

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Now that the blue red wave of Democrat Republican fever has swept the country, what does God have in store for America?

Those who thought God was a Republican Democrat are acting as if he died. They are stocking up on sackcloth and ashes because life as they knew it has ceased to exist, or so they believe.

Those who thought God was a Democrat Republican are having a Holy Ghost revival. They are popping the champagne corks because they have reached the Promised Land, or so they believe.

What people seem to forget is that God is neither Republican nor Democrat. Long ago, Joshua asked a similar question as he stood before the city of Jericho and faced the angel of the Lord. “Are you for us or for our enemies?” (Joshua 5:13). The angel replied, “Neither . . . but as the commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” (verse 14).

The question is not, “Whose side is God on?” God is God. The real issue is, “Who is on God’s side?”

After an election like yesterday, we need to be reminded that as the sovereign ruler of the universe, God can raise up kings and queens, and remove kings and queens. He can place anyone in power at just the right moment to accomplish his plan and purpose. The books of Nehemiah and Esther give testimony to that fact.

God’s plan is not dependent on who resides in the White House or the State House. God can use a godly king like David, a man after his own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). He can also use a pagan ruler like Ahasuerus (Esther 8-9) or Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1-13) to accomplish his plan and purpose. God can even speak through a donkey (Numbers 22). (No political pun intended or Narnian animal alluded to. This was a living, breathing, talking beast of burden who rebuked a prophet of God.)

If God is truly sovereign, the results of this election did not take him by surprise. He moved to put the right people in power to accomplish his plan and purpose.

Which brings us back to the original question, What does God have in store for America?

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Culture, Politics

 
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Vote prayerfully

prayerfully-vote

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2016 in Politics

 

Moral Dilemmas

How can/should a Christ follower vote in the upcoming presidential election? Here are three recent news articles that make it difficult to support either candidate.

Speak Truth to Trump: Evangelicals, of all people, should not be silent about Donald Trump’s blatant immorality, by Andy Crouch in Christianity Today. While the title of the article aims at Donald Trump, the author also points out Hillary Clinton’s pursuit of “unaccountable power through secrecy.”

Dear Beth Moore: Thank You For Calling Out Male Church Leaders On Donald Trump and Sexual Assault, by Jenny Rapson in foreverymom.com

A friend posted the above article with this note, “Still… we speak. It pains me that our two presidential candidates actively engaged in the destruction of women by sexual assault. Trump by perpetrating it and Clinton by standing by while she knew it was happening and then covering it up. The sentiments in this article should apply to all people who disregard the conduct of the presidential candidates.”

WikiLeaks Dump: Top Clinton Aides Mock Catholicism, Evangelical Christianity

As Christ followers, we have a very difficult choice. Much to pray about.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in Culture, News stories, Politics, Prayer

 

Voting dilemmas

Peanuts - election dilemma

Timely and appropriate, especially in this year’s election.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2016 in Fun, Politics