I’ve been reminded again lately why I could never align myself with the political left or the political right. Neither has a godly worldview. Both work off of dishonesty and deliberate misrepresentation of the facts. Both seek their own good, not that of others.
Some will support one or the other as “the lesser of two evils.” Seems to me that you’re still choosing evil either way.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Feel free to call me naive, escapist, or whatever you want. Just don’t make me sign up as a Democrat or a Republican.
In fifth grade, we had a unit on conservation. I was assigned to participate in a debate. I had to argue that conservation was a bad thing.
That experience taught me an important lesson: you can say things just to win a debate, even if you don’t think they are true.
I see that all the time with politicians. Yesterday on Facebook, I called out a common practice where those that don’t believe in climate change use one day’s weather as evidence to support their disbelief. “It’s cold outside; there’s no global warming.”
That’s silly, and politicians are smart enough to know that. Climate weather patterns and daily local conditions are not the same thing. They know that, but they know that some don’t know that and will rally around their champion’s rebuttal of those know-it-all scientists.
I know that global temperatures are up. I suspect it’s a long-term trend. I also suspect that human activity is involved. But I’m not enough of a scientist to affirm that 100%.
What I do know 100% is when people are making bad arguments. And I’ll point them out when I see them, no matter what the political stripe.
I’ll interrupt my series because something must be said about President Trump’s statements yesterday regarding immigrants from developing nations. Since the election of Donald Trump, I’ve committed myself to being guided by 1 Peter 2:17 and similar passages. I avoid criticizing the president himself because of this passage. I’m also aware that such statements tend to be seen as partisan, as if I were supporting another party or candidate.
But with all the uproar from yesterday’s vulgar remarks, I want to state a few things clearly, directing my remarks to Christians who live in the U.S.:
- If the only thing about the president’s remarks that bothers you is the fact that he used a vulgarity, then something is very wrong.
- If you’re willing to explain away the president’s remarks because you agree with his politics, something is very wrong.
- The United States is not a church and should not be expected to act like one. But we Christians are the church, 24/7, and must never forget that.
- If greatness for one country comes at the expense of other peoples, then we Christians cannot promote such greatness. We are Kingdom people first and members of some nation of this world second.
Much more could be said. Probably should be said. But it’s hard for me to say much more without violating the principles I wrote about in the first paragraph.
Pray for Africa. Pray for Haiti. Pray for all the nations of this world. May God make this world great again.
As I’ve watched friends on Facebook debate the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, I’ve been reminded of a study done by Lifeway Research a few years ago.
Here’s a quote from the report of the findings:
Pastors identifying as Democrats are the most likely to strongly agree (76 percent) in the validity of man-made global warming, followed by Independents (20 percent). Just 7 percent of Republican pastors strongly agree. Conversely, Republican pastors are the most likely to strongly disagree (49 percent), followed by Independents (35 percent) and Democrats (5 percent).
Our views on climate change probably reflect our political views in general. If we tend to support Republicans, we’re probably skeptical about climate change. If we tend to support Democrats, we probably think that humans have contributed to global warming.
Personally, I don’t think that’s healthy a bit.
One friend was asking for info on the subject. I started to say, “Find a Democrat that doesn’t believe in global warming and a Republican that does believe in it. They’ll be able to give you reasoned arguments for their beliefs.” But I was afraid I’d be sending them on an impossible quest.
I recently read what was presented as an African proverb:
When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.
(I’ve also seen it as “it is the grass that suffers”; the idea is the same)
Like most proverbs, this can be applied a number of different ways. Where I’ve tried to take it to heart is to remember that so often when I go to battle, somebody (or something) suffers. There is collateral damage.
So I’m trying to do better at choosing my battles. Is this Facebook argument worth the cost? Am I willing to damage friendships, reduce ministry effectiveness, expend valuable time over that political argument or that doctrinal discussion? Is that change at church important enough to cause others to leave our congregation?
Sometimes, of course, the answer is yes. Many times, however, I have to admit that even if I “win” the argument, I won’t accomplish much of anything that is positive. And the grass gets trampled.
I may have to print that one out and keep it above my computer.