Happy Reformation Day!

I laughed….and let me introduce you to the most interesting theologian in the world:

Blessings,

Bryan Daniels

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The Danger of The Web…

“The danger of the web is this: where everyone has a right to speak, everyone ends up thinking they have a right to be heard; and when everyone in general thinks they have a right to be heard, then you end up with a situation where nobody in particular is listened to.” -Carl Trueman, Minority Report

Blood That Speaks: One Reason I’m Voting For Mitt Romney

I promise you, I am rarely politically driven in my blog writing. I would much rather write about theology, or my sons, or Steven Seagal’s peculiar running style.

But with my post, “Can’t Pray For A Secularist and Can’t Vote For a Mormon?” came some penetrating comments and questions, all of them valid. Let me say I can’t answer all of them, but yesterday I found a solid post that answers many of them, especially the “lesser of two evils” objection:

Kevin DeYoung says what I would say, particularly why we should vote even when the choices between the leading two candidates aren’t optimal. He does it in a much more winsome and concise manner than I could muster up. No matter where you end up on the political spectrum, I suggest taking five minutes and reading it.

I would say my view in this election, is inherently functional. I’m not in love with a system that consistently rewards only two parties. America is the most diverse country in the world and a limited two party system can never do justice to that. There is a lot to like about the Libertarian/Constitutional Party platform. If I lived in Tennessee or Texas I might cast my ballot in favor of a third party candidate. In some states, unfortunately, the electoral outcome is virtually set in stone no matter who you vote for (IE California).

But I live in one of those dreaded “battle ground” states (Florida) that could swing for either party at a whim’s notice these next two weeks.  Even with the realistic choices being two flawed men, I say the stakes are high for this election year.

At the risk of sounding parochial and shallow let me give one example that is nearest/dearest to my heart.

Abortion.

If you would like to know my personal my rationale for being doggedly pro-life read this: “1.2 million Caycee Anthony’s Die In America Each Year”

In one candidate we have a staunch defender of pro-abortion policies, even funding abortions overseas with our taxpayer money. In another candidate, we have a pro-life policy maker who promises to defund Planned Parenthood and rescind Obama’s Mexico City campaign.

Now, the issue with abortion (specifically the Roe V. Wade ruling) is not so much what the President can or can’t do, but what the Supreme Court can or can’t do. A president, over the course of his term(s) will likely get a chance to appoint at least one Supreme Court Justice. And unlike our Executive and Legislative branches, these are LIFETIME appointments.

Right now, the court is split 4-4 between conservative and liberal ideologies with Justice Anthony Kennedy being the wildcard swing vote. A total of four Justices are 74 years or older, the oldest being Ginsburg at 79. Depending on retirement and health issues, it would be feasible that the next president will appoint two new Supreme Court Justices in the next four year term.

Now.

My personal documented mancrush, John Piper, is not running for president. And, realistically speaking, Gary Johnson or Ron Paul or whatever write in choice will not be the one appointing the next Supreme Court candidate either. The two men who will be charged with swinging the court’s ruling on Roe V. Wade for or against the unborn will be Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Some may say Romney is being disingenuous about his recent pro-life claims given his past political history. If true, then God will judge Mitt Romney for that accordingly. I can only make the best voting decision based on the available information I have right now.

Two men who will either stem the tide or let the floodgates of infanticide continue in this nation.

There have been over 50 million infant lives lost since the 1973 Roe V. Wade ruling.

That’s almost 1.3 Million of our precious American children aborted per year year.

The legal death of over 3,500 “fearfully and wonderfully” divinely made souls per day (Psalms 139).

150 per hour.

10 babies gone in the time it takes to read this post.

This is not to guilt trip or constrain any other person to my view. This is giving context as to where I’m coming from. The most relevant question for me maybe this:

Which candidate, between the two flawed choices we have, will functionally serve to protect innocent human life in the womb when the legal opportunity presents itself?

I do care about the economy, foreign policy, healthcare, education reform (I’m a teacher!), etc. etc. etc.

But we can’t keep sweeping the blood of 50 million under the rug of our collective psyche. If God could hear the innocent blood of one Abel crying out from the ground, the blood found on modern American ground must be mind numbingly piercing to Him (Genesis 4:10).

Maybe my vote this year will be a tiny lever that helps tip the scale of public policy in favor of our lost little ones.

Maybe it won’t.

Either way, I’ll long and pray for the one true King to come quickly, who will certainly judge, lead, and love righteously like no man can. In the end, He will make a Barack Obama or Mitt Romney presidency serve His ultimate purposes, whether they consent to it or not.

As always, may the blood of Jesus speak better things on our behalf. (Hebrews 12:24)

Bryan Daniels

PS If you vehemently disagree with me, I hope we can still be friends!

A Dead Brit On Modern American Politics (Chesterton)

GK Chesterton (1874-1936) is (probably) my favorite dead political/religious commentator. Compare him with some of the modern hacks who make appearances on the FoxNews/MSNBC celeb circuit.

The “Apostle of Common Sense” would be shocked to witness the un-commonness of such a virtue in the political/public arena of our day. Most all of these quotes are found in publications leading up to, or immediately after, World War I. Many are in reference to Great Britain, yet they also apply neatly to the current state of American politics.

On government:

“All government is an ugly necessity.”

“Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”

“Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.” – The New Name, Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays, 1917

On the Declaration of Independence:

“The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.”

On patriotism:

“My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.”

On war:

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

“War is not the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you.”

On political progressivism:

“Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back.”

“My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.” – New York Times Magazine, 2/11/23

“He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.”

On the economy:

“There cannot be a nation of millionaires, and there never has been a nation of Utopian comrades; but there have been any number of nations of tolerably contented peasants.”

On liberty:

“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.”

On his journalism career:

“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”

Camping With Captain America

We kissed his little brother good night,

ate our chicken sticks and juice,

and practiced writing our name…along with drawing jets, rocket-ships, and volnados (mix between a volcano and tornado)

Last night I camped out with a cowboy, a Power Ranger, and Captain America, all perfectly wrapped up in one little four year old boy’s body.

We pitched the tiny red tent in the darkened living room, my head resting on a Thomas the Train pillow as the lower half of my body was exposed to the harsh winds of a ceiling fan. An assortment of monster trucks and race cars protected the perimeter. We shot a snake and a werewolf with a bubble blowing handgun.

Evenings like this go too fast. This freckle faced, mama’s brown eyes, bundle of wonder will be a pimple faced hairy teen tomorrow. The next day he’ll be a dashing young man, moving out and moving on to his own harrowing journey of limitless possibilities.

A journey into a real world that needs a real hero to rise up and conquer real werewolves and snakes, especially those that lie latent within.

Maybe one day a nurse will hand him his own beautiful crying child, wet and wrapped in hospital blankets; and at that moment he’ll be altogether convinced of his own limits as a man and father, and altogether grateful for a heavenly Father that cares for this child infinitely more than he ever could.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to thank a great Father who inexplicably continues to give the gift of fatherhood to fallen men like me.

Bryan Daniels

Can’t Pray for A Secularist and Can’t Vote for A Mormon?

Election season seems to bring out the best (sic) in those who profess Christ.

I’ve heard variations of the two following statements:

“I can hardly bring myself to even pray for Obama because of his secular…..”

or

“I can hardly bring myself to vote for Romney because of his Mormon….”

To hold either view, one would have to ignore the thrust of Paul’s argument in Romans 13:1-7. Namely, that God is sovereign over even overtly pagan rulers and He has brought about their rule for our own protection and provision. Whether we like it or not, the one who is in “authority is a servant for your good.”

Ancient Roman reign brought about a terror and totalitarianism that modern American politics has little or no context for. For 250 years Americans haven’t known what is like to be occupied by a foreign nation, much less a nation that ruled according by the whims and fancies of psycho Caesars like Nero or Diocletian. The Roman Christians Paul wrote to were a generation away from being burnt at the stakes and ripped apart by lions for national sport.

And Paul says subject yourselves to…them?!

The overriding issue of the ancient Jews was that an alien Roman bully had conquered and enslaved God’s chosen nation of Israel. And yet the ministry of Jesus virtually ignores that great elephant altogether to focus on loving the scum of society and confronting the hypocrisy of religiolites.

Now.

We are fortunate to live in a First Amendment driven democratic government where free speech is largely valued. If re-elected, I can disagree (vehemently) with the president’s policies on abortion without fear of a Communist shakedown on my family and I. If elected, I can disagree (vehemently) with Romney’s religious leanings without fear of a Mormon Illuminati attack on my personal liberties.

Whomever is elected this year, I can continue to speak out against the infanticide of abortion and the cult of Mormonism in reference to our respective president at the time. Roman Christians of old and Chinese Christians of new could not even imagine such a sacred privilege being thrust upon them. The individual privilege of voting and speaking for or against chief governmental leaders keeps this American experiment ticking.  But with that privilege comes great responsibility. Not to necessarily cast our lots with right or left leaning ideologues, but to vote in a way that both laments and rejoices at such a right.

Yes, I say to both lament and rejoice as a way to honor our right to vote.

We should lament because our only choices on this side of eternity are between two flaw-filled sinful men. Men who will always over promise and under deliver. Men who will say every word and make every action according to a careful diabolical political theory. Men who may have the very best of intentions, yet will undoubtedly fail at bringing the soaring hope of peace and prosperity their rhetoric guarantees.

We should expect as much from, well, men.

Do vote. But vote with a hint of lament and longing gripping your soul.

And we may rightly rejoice as we vote too.

Rejoice that we have an eternal hope in the gospel of Christ Jesus. His is an eternal righteous reign with no end, not a term of four/eight lackluster years (Isaiah 9:7). We haven’t chosen Christ in an election of false promises, He has chosen us with the permanently sealed promise of his own Spirit and blood (Ephesians 1:13-14).

Many men have assumed the office of president. As a subject of another kingdom you must pray for the man who ends up holding that office, even moreso if he doesn’t pray to the one true God revealed in Scripture. And as a responsible and conscientious citizen of a free nation you should vote for the best flawed man available, whether or not he holds your biblical view of God.

But Jesus is the only King.

He is working out his rule and reign within the hearts of His true subjects here on earth (Luke 17:21). This paradoxical rule will not be denied no matter the election results. His Kingdom is here already. So Rejoice! His Kingdom is not here yet. So Lament! Voting may be a small way to honor His Kingdom. But the best way to advance it is by an unwavering commitment to the King’s final commission to us:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Bryan Daniels