Post-Election SackCloth and Ashes

I like what a local Baptist church sign marquee displayed the day after election: “Join us: Instead of 40 days of purpose, 40 days of repentance.”

Some say with clenched absoluteness,

“God is judging America!”

Which could be true. But in the midst of red-faced talking heads and predilections of coming doom we sometimes forget that judgment begins in the house of God first (1 Peter 4:17).

So I offer some post-election repentance on behalf of my fellow brethren and sist(ren), and mainly….on behalf of me. If you don’t consider yourself to be a apart of said “house” feel free to exclude yourself from the following tearing of garments!:

On behalf of my Republican brethren, I repent for pridefully acting as if my political stance is always the moral/spiritual/ high ground, from marriage to abortion to Fox News. We can appear to be right philosophically/religiously and still be very wrong in nature (Matt 23:27).

On behalf of my Democratic brethren, I repent for pridefully acting as if my political stance is always the moral/spiritual high ground, from welfare to women’s rights to MSNBC. The Red Letters of Jesus aren’t inherently more important than the rest of His inspired revelation (John 5:39).

On behalf of my Libertarian brethren, I repent for pridefully acting as if my political stance is always the moral/spiritual high ground, from the debt crisis to states rights to Ayn Rand. The Bible is the only totally inspired work of God, not the US Constitution (2 Tim 3:16).

On behalf of my non voting brethren, I repent for pridefully acting as if my political stance is always the moral/spiritual high ground, from end times prophecy to food storage to illuminati conspiracy theories. Jesus doesn’t want our vote for President anymore than He wanted to be the one up “Apostle” in the ancient Apollos/Paul argument (1 Cor 1:12).

So I personally turn, not mainly away from any of these convictions, but to something so much greater. This:

Christ is our treasure, only hope, and His love reigns supreme. We need not rescind into some monkish lifestyle. But our priorities should be blazingly clear in these days. The King lived, the King died, the King is coming again. Every president and king, living or dead, will one day bow to this One (Phill 2:10).

He is the only spiritual high ground, all other people and their ideologies must appear facedown before His righteousness.

Bryan Daniels

George Washington Prophetically Speaks On Party Politics

Ol’ George predicted this current American mess a long time ago with harrowing prophetic insight. He saw the creeping danger of partisan parties (before they were even a factor in American politics) in the early constitutional republic he helped found. On his way out of office (1796) Washington warns us today:

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

…Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”

Farewell Address, George Washington

 

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.”

Post Election: The Donkey Wept

A few musings about Election Night 2010:

1. Big props to Steve and Steve. Or Steve squared. Or….whatever. Steve Moss won his local school board seat. Steve Southerland won the Congress seat over an entrenched incumbent, Allen Boyd. Both are stand up Christian family men who will be an asset to their community as public servants.

2. “The events suck for the Democrats tonight,” was Chris Matthews exact somber words last night. That tingly feeling he used have run up his leg seemed to be replaced by a swift kick to the man region. The MSNBC crew displayed snide remarks, sarcastic observations and sore loser syndrome throughout their election broadcast. Brewing bitterness was their food all night long.

3.  Conversely, Fox News was the epicenter of giddy school girls at a Justin Bieber concert. When I turned the channel to “America’s Newsroom”, confetti and silly string literally exploded out of my TV, hit me in the face, and fell into my bowl of cereal. The “Mastermind” Karl Rove and the “Martyr” Juan Williams waxed poetically about the massive conservative shifts in Washington.

That either Fox News or MSNBC would claim objective journalistic integrity is disingenuous at best. Both tend to serve as political lap dogs, one for the left one for the right.

4. God is sovereign (Daniel 4:35-36). We must pray (1 Timothy 2:1-2). We must pray for all our leaders, not just the ones we have a political affinity for. The Obama administration, leftist loons, redneck right, red state and blue state. It doesn’t matter. God is the only wise, loving, powerful KING in the universe. His Son is the only living hope for this nation; not reform, new bills, less taxes, or more populist uprisings. Let’s approach Him boldly, and He will grant the only change that will last in the end (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Bryan Daniels