The Terrible Mercy of God

“O LORD, God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keeps covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments. . .” (Nehemiah 1:5 AKJV)

Atheists seem to want life’s end both ways.  In moments of clarity, they ask for justice.  No one wants to see a heartless murderer or terrorist be given a pass or a slap on the wrist for atrocities worthy of death.  Intuitively, justice calls for an “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise, a life for a life.” (Exodus 21:24-25)   But when faced with the idea of judgment, the atheist will shift feet, and side with Martin Luther King: “If we do an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation.”

So when you ask the atheist, particularly The Daylight Atheist (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/essays/the-great-divorce/), what should be done with the unrepentant person who wants only to kill, injure or live according to his selfish desires, suddenly the atheist discovers mercy!   He wants justice, but only on his own perceptions; mercy whenever he feels bad about injuring the guilty.

the-great-divorceC.S.Lewis asks the question in The Great Divorce, “Why don’t the inhabitants of Heaven attack and destroy Hell once and for all and rescue those who dwell there? It is certainly within their power.”  This is stated by his “Hard-Bitten Ghost,” (a reference to one who is grim or severe in judgment, stubborn).  The Daylight Atheist re-asks the question as if it is a legitimate alternative, but ignores some basic theology.  The Hard-Bitten Ghost, like the Daylight Atheist, thinks too shallowly, that his experience of life is all that matters, and that his perceptions are correct, against any evidence presented.  There is no argument to prove the sky is blue to someone who will not call “blue” what it is.

You see, God did not “create” hell.  Inherent in Lewis’ depiction in The Great Divorce is a recognition that hell is not a place in geography.  In fact, it is not really a “place” at all.  Everything God creates is good, by definition that He created it.  Hell, like death, is simply a separation from that Source of everything good; a separation from the Life that flows from God.  Just as darkness is an absence of light, or as cold is an absence of heat, death is an absence of life; hell is an absence of Heaven.  (See December 6, 2015)

Free will is the key here, with which The Daylight Atheist apparently has difficulty.  He expects that if God allowed it, the redeemed could “invade Hell and tear it down once and for all, as the Hard-Bitten Ghost suggested.”   He incorrectly asserts that any damned soul would be thankful if a transformation to live in Heaven was forced on it.  But within scrFree Will.jpgipture, God promises that any who desire Heaven will find it: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”  (Jeremiah 29:13)  This promise is retold by Jesus in Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”  The Christ-follower is not arrogant who simply reiterates what Jesus has promised.  Heaven cannot be forced on anyone, else it would not be Heaven.  It must be chosen freely.

Sometimes Christians have strayed from the heart of the Master, and concentrated more on winning arguments than on loving people as Father loves them.  But this does not change the heart of the matter: if someone wants to find God, he will find God is more willing to reveal Himself than we are to receive Him.  One just has to be prepared to accept that He is Who He Is and not who we may want Him to be.  He is the uncreated and perfectly holy and loving God.  Just as a loving parent is sometimes not who his/her children wish, God will not change only to please our whims of what justice and mercy should look like.

Simply put, some people will not choose Heaven, even when presented with it “forcibly” because it will not fulfill their particular picture of what they think Heaven should be.  The loving Christ-follower recognizes this and realizes we are powerless to force a person’s free will.  All we can do is offer the choices to it.

So God is just, but He is also merciful, and much more merciful than The Daylight Atheist who only allows for people who have worked good enough and long enough, to make up for their wrong actions, to enter Heaven. “Why does God hold us to a standard he knows we cannot meet? Can a thirty-second profession of faith really achieve what a virtuous lifetime cannot?” he asks.  The standard we cannot meet is perfection, and He has made it possible for anyone to be forgiven for not meeting it.  If The Daylight Atheist ever accepts forgiveness, he will understand, and become forgiving.

Then what about the question The Daylight Atheist raises with his assertion, “Any god who would create Hell would be a monster, and any human being who would enjoy Heaven untroubled by the suffering of the damned only slightly less so.”  Again, the atheist thinks too highly of his own understanding in light of eternity, and does not realize the greatness of God.  As we already noted, God did not “create” hell, but simply allows for free-willed beings to choose their destiny: either with Him, which includes all good things, far beyond our meager imaginations; or without Him, in darkness, alone, cold and dead.

heavenThe greatness of God is such that in Heaven, we are less concerned with ourselves than with Him who is the center of all Life.  If it is difficult to get our minds around the idea that we will not care about the damned, this is because our view here on earth is too limited.  This takes us into the realm of the “mystery of faith” that the atheist refuses to enter (1 Timothy 3:9).  When we as limited small creatures note the smile on a baby’s face, do we not forget about who won the election or the war in the Mideast?  If a baby’s face can do this, what amazing effect do you think seeing Him face to face will have on our existence?  (Revelation 22:1-5)

The mercy of God is amazing and wonderful to those who receive it, but terrible, at first, to receive.  And it will forever feel like a terrible injustice to those who refuse it.

Thanxgiving

Trite, but true (as opposed to “tried and true”): This is the time of year when Americans are uniquely called to consider how good a life we have.  We regale each other with tales of good things that have happened, gifts we have received, how everything in the American experience is sooooo good.  (Curiously, Mr. Obama’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamations only refer to God in the past tense as Someone our predecessors thanked.  There is no call to repentance nor thanks to a God who is present with us now.)

But if our good fortune is all we celebrate on this holiday, we are ignoring the holiday’s basic premise: Abraham Lincoln’s address called “Proclamation 106 – Thanksgiving Day, 1863”.  In this proclamation, provided below, I want to call your attention to one particular line: They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”  Mr. Lincoln recognized that his good life was not of his own doing.  And when we speak of his good life, keep in mind that this was in the middle of The Civil War; a war in which more Americans died than in WWI and WWII combined, a loss of life keenly felt by the President and our entire country.

Yes, we have it very good in America, but if we forget the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God” we run the risk of invoking His judgment on us again for our sins.

May Thanxgiving become an attitude of our hearts, in times of blessing and times of trouble.  May we recognize that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.” (James 1:17)  May we not forget Him at any time, good or bad:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in Yahweh, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”  (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

May The God Who Is There bless you and guide you to eternal life, found only in Jesus, the Christ.

Here follows Abraham Lincoln’s third Thanksgiving Proclamation:
AbrahamAbraham Lincoln
Proclamation 106—Thanksgiving Day, 1863
October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America:

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans. mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

You Elect

Not another blog about the recent presidential election, but about a much more important election.  I thought about calling this, You Choose, but with the election so large on everyone’s mind, this seemed a better fit.

God created a risky project when He created Adam and Eve, just as risky as His earlier project creating the angels of Heaven.  The God Who Is There did not and does not need angels or mankind to be fulfilled or complete.  Existing as He does in a triune interrelationship within Himself, the Father/Son/Holy Spirit godhead has companionship, conversation, interactivity unlike anything we mortals, or even the angels can imagine.  Perfect harmony, perfect wholeness, perfect completeness.

He is unique and unfathomable by anything He has created.  “God is a spirit,” Jesus said (John 4:24).  He alone is uncreated, eternal, holy, infinite, self-existent and self-sufficient, all-good, unchanging, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent (good words to look up at Dictionary.com if you do not have a ready definition  😉 ).

Yet He has revealed as much of His nature and character as we can understand, and probably more to the angels who see Him as He is, and do not have this mortal fog obscuring the view.  He is also free-willed, emotional, intelligent, self-controlled, loving, merciful, kind, just; all attributes that He imputes to His created beings, as much as we are willing to accommodate these.  He created us “in His image” as much as He could.  Obviously He could not make an “uncreated” or infinite being.  He ALONE is God.

“It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.  If you choose to say, ‘God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,’ you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words, ‘God can.’”  C.S.Lewis, The Problem of Pain

So what is this risky project?  Because of His nature and character, He created beings with free will.  At any given moment you have within you a divine capacity to choose!  This does not make us gods, but only reflects His creative character in us.  You are not constrained by instinct or genetics, nor programmed like a machine.  (We will not here address mental disorders based on biology; that is for another blog.)  By definition, freedom to choose one thing means freedom to choose its alternative.  We can eat another doughnut or not.  We can drive the speed limit or break the law.  We can take a gun and kill someone or let him live.

Without free will we would be automatons doing whatever God directed, but the relationship with Him would be lost.  Consider for yourself, if you could have a friend who chose to love you or a Westworld-type robot that was programmed to say, “I love you,” which would be more appreciated?  Both would act to please you; both would be considerate of you and look for your good.  But one would be empty because you would know it has no choice, where the other would be satisfying because you know the love is freely chosen.

So the riskiness of this human project is that we can reject our Creator.  We can choose to not believe Him, as Adam and Eve chose to do in the Garden of Eden.  We can ignore what He has revealed about Himself and pretend to be wise like Buddha, and become empty in our philosophy and imagine an unending cycle of life for which there is no evidence and no experience.  We can pray to gods of our imagination like the Hindus.  We can follow the teaching of another who claims special revelation from Him like Mohammad or Joseph Smith or Mary Baker-Eddy or L.Ron Hubbard and ignore His revelation of His character and mercy through Jesus, and His prophecies of what is yet to come in human history.  Or we can ignore religions altogether and live for today, living for our immediate gratification: Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”  (1 Corinthians 15:32)

However, in mankind, God has provided a level of spirituality that He did not give the angels, that is, His limited revelation of Himself.  And this requires faith.  We must choose Who or who we will believe.  Since Adam and Eve elected in the Garden to believe a lie rather than believe what their evening Guide had told them, we are born with a predisposition to elect to believe only what our eyes see, and disregard His guidance.  But His grace allows for us to change our choice, something for which the angels did not get an opportunity.

The angels who rebelled did so against the fullest revelation of who God is that they could receive.  To mankind, God limited His revelation of who He is.  The result is that we can change from the inclination of our genetics and choose to believe Him.

Then the question comes, what does God do with those who choose to ignore His revelation in Jesus?   This presents a problem, particularly for atheists, who claim to want justice.  In Daylight Atheism, an author argues: “Of course, there are good arguments against [God’s forgiveness] – how can justice be done when the guilty are not punished? Is a person deserving of punishment who always strives to do right? Why does God hold us to a standard he knows we cannot meet? Can a thirty-second profession of faith really achieve what a virtuous lifetime cannot?”   http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/essays/the-great-divorce/

Yet the Daylight Atheist argues against any concept of hell: “Any god who would create Hell would be a monster, and any human being who would enjoy Heaven untroubled by the suffering of the damned only slightly less so.”

But the end of the matter is summed up in Lewis’ Great Divorce:
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”

More on a response to The Daylight Atheist in next week’s blog: Is God “just?”  Did God “create” hell?  Do the Heaven-bound mourn over the hell-bound?

One more thought on the election

There are much greater concerns for you and me than the mere election of the most important head of state in the world.  If this seems a bit convoluted, we must understand that being citizens of another kingdom, one that is not of this world, calls us to a different set of priorities than this world holds.

Think of the many contrasts given us by the leader of our other “country” to this world’s views.  The world says:
“Look out for #1 . . .,” but He says, “Blessed are the persecuted . . .”
“Do not murder . . .,” but He says, “Do not be angry without cause . . .”
“Do not commit adultery . . .,” but He says, “Do not look with lustful intent . . .”
“An eye for an eye . . .,” but He says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you . . .”
“He who dies with the most toys wins . . .,” but He says, “Do not store up treasures on earth . . .

And the list could go on.  The contrast to this world’s governance could not be more pronounced than in the selection of the worlds’ leaders: “High officials have authority . . .,”  but He says, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”

So we live as citizens of two worlds:
one identity that is grounded in His promise, “I am the resurrection and the life. The ones who believe in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die;”
and another membership that calls on us to be good representatives while we live here: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”

c-s-lewix
C.S.Lewis

So I offer a word of caution to Christ-followers who think a chosen earthly leader will usher in spiritual renewal, especially such a clearly ungodly leader.  A stodgy but wise academic gave this warning (among others) in regard to why he preferred democracy over every other form of government:  “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own consciences.”  Whenever a government or earthly leader thinks he or she will lead us to some Nirvana based on his policies or her legislation, beware!

2016-electoral-college-map
Electoral College Map, November 13, 2016

As for this election, the difference in the popular vote amounted to less than one percent of the 60,000,000 (60 million) votes cast!  This means we have a seriously divided nation, slightly more than half of which voted for the losing candidate and slightly less than half of which voted for the winner.  Therefore we must rise above our U.S. or even earthly citizenship and behave as ambassadors of a better kingdom.  We must reach out in love to those who disagree with the popular vote or the electoral college vote.  We cannot give in to our baser natures and feel vindicated or abused by the election results.  Our truest citizenship is not here!

Let’s set our hearts as Jesus did, being “about our Father’s business,” and offer the world around us something better than a mere president or policy or court ruling.  Let’s promise them eternal life!

Next week, we will look at the nature of that life as contrasted with what our leader taught about not attaining that life.  And this is much more important than a mere election.

After the Election of a VERY Flawed President

faith-as-a-mustard-seed
A Mustard Seed

My faith is often like a mustard seed, very small and seemingly inconsequential.  I prayed for Hillary Clinton, that she would come to faith in Jesus, but that she would not be elected to the presidency, because I felt it would be bad for her to gain such power.  Going to bed without watching any of the pundits talking about the election, my thoughts were that Father has it all in control, and He appoints world leaders, as David said in Psalms 47:8-9:

God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham,
For the kings of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted.

In fact, last night as I went to sleep I hardly thought of the election as the Lord and I began our “prayer walk around the world,” and “visited” many of you readers, as well as servants of our Father who are in other countries.  But when it did cross my mind, my mustard-seed faith did not hold out much hope for what I was praying.  Some faith, huh?  So this morning when my wife awoke me to leave for her campus, I was a little surprised when she said, “Oh, by the way, Trump won and by a large margin.  Hillary already conceded.”

Mustard-seed faith?  I am not so vain to think my prayers alone affected the outcome of the election.  Many Christ-followers across out country were praying and fasting about the election during the last 100 days, since July 31, 2016.  So did God choose Donald Trump?  And if so, what does that mean to Christ-followers?

First, yes, God has chosen Donald Trump just as He chose Barack Obama.
President.pngYes, you read that correctly
; just as He has chosen Vladmir Putin, Francois Hollande, Queen Elizabeth, Theresa May, Beji Essebsi, Erdo’gan, Bhandari, Elbegdor, Ouattara, Pope Francis and Mahmoud Abbas.  None of this happens without His notice or His ultimate control, though in the immediate each of these leaders disobeys Him to varying degrees.

God’s choosing of a leader does not mean that leader will do what is good for Christ-followers or His Church in the immediate.  And this is what gives me pause about Christ-followers’ views toward the election.  Most of us wanted Hillary to lose, many of us out of concern for her as much as what she might do to the USA.  But in wanting Trump to win far too many are putting their hope in a very flawed man and system.

Donald Trump will not save the Church, nor feed the hungry, house the homeless, nor enact all the laws that many Christians would like to see enacted.  After all, he is only the president, not the legislature or the courts, and not even a big player in the economy, markets, employment decisions and law enforcement.  Furthermore, his election in the popular vote is by the slimmest of margins, if at all.  He will be the leader of one of the most evenly divided nations in the world, and it will be a major undertaking to unite people behind assorted initiatives that will take more than his popular base to enact.  Besides, the “ship of state” is unwieldy with huge bureaucracies, many of which are unaccountable to the executive branch.

He will probably appoint the next Supreme Court justice that will please many of us; he will probably work with Congress to unravel the slow train wreck that is Obamacare; he will probably promote pro-life policies over abortion . . . probably.  But as Christopher Hitchens wryly observed, “The only people truly bound by campaign promises are the voters who believe them.” 

If Christ’s followers in out nation feel we have somehow been vindicated by denying the White House to the ungodly, consider how ungodly is the man who has been elected!  And so we also pray for Trump, that he will somehow come to the Cross of Jesus and recognize an Authority over himself.

For followers of Jesus, it really made little difference if Hillary or Donald was elected, or if Obama decides in the coming months to extend his reign (which some have predicted he may do).  The important thing for Christ-followers is to keep following Jesus, and not be blown in the political winds.  If God has directed you to involvement in the political arena, fulfill your responsibilities with His voice guiding you.  For the rest of us, we should do the same: do what He has called you to do; listen for His guidance moment by moment; obey the Holy Spirit, and look forward to the coming of Jesus Christ as the angels promised (Acts 1:11).

prayer3If we take Trump’s election as a “sign” and leave our prayer closets and go back to watching Dancing With The Stars and ignoring our neighbors, we may be in for a rude awakening.  Father wants our attention.  He wants to spend time with you.  He wants you to share His love and grace with anyone willing to receive it. 

And you do not need a Democrat or Republican or Third Party president to do that!  You just need Jesus.

About the Election, for Whom I am Voting.

First, let me emphasize i have never registered with any party, preferring to keep my independence from affiliation.  I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans in almost every election and only rarely voted a straight ticket, usually in an “off-year” election.

This has been a very obnoxious campaign season, but then I remember my dear mother despairing when John Kennedy was campaigning.  She feared the Pope would rule the USA with a Roman Catholic in the White House, even though none of the ecclesiastical leaders of other denominations had exercised such sway over their constituents who became president.  And a Superintendent or a Pope might not be a bad choice for leadership!

There is a sense of “history repeating itself” with contentious elections, whether it was Andrew Jackson’s accusations of a “corrupt bargain” that awarded the presidency to John Quincy Adams, or Stephen Douglas’ challenge that Abraham Lincoln was violating the Supreme Court’s decision, or Barry Goldwater’s attack on Lyndon Johnson as being part of the “moral decay that has brought on the fall of other nations and people.”

Yet there is a danger in noting the microcosmic repetition of history and ignoring the macrocosmic sweep of the millennia.  We cannot assume that just because our Republic has survived multiple wars, including the Civil War, that we will always survive as a nation, certainly not as a world leader or power.  Other empires have come and gone over the generations, from the mighty military powers of Nebuchadnezzar, Genghis Khan, Greece and Rome, to minor players on the stage of world events, such as Moab, Egypt, or Persia.  Even empires that remain are significantly diminished from their former status.  Think of Spain, England or the USSR.  Who is to say that the US is supposed to stay on the stage, or that the world would be best served by it?

So it is with great remorse and some fear that I share my intention and choice to vote on Tuesday.  The remorse is that our choices are so limited by such flawed individuals that seem to represent the worst of our society, like political troglodytes.

candidates4.               On the one hand is a misogynistic megalomaniac who sees his ascension to the national stage as another episode of a reality television show, a man who only lies when his mouth is moving.  He has lived a thoroughly immoral life without apology and his only interest is what is good for The Trump Brand.  He has no experience in matters of governance nor the temperament to learn.
.              On the other hand is a scoundrel whose criminal activity is a matter of public record, and whose associations have raised questions over the deaths of many of her former “friends,” and who lies even when her mouth is not moving!  She views herself as above the law, sees the law as simply a tool to do whatever she wants, and that it’s now “her turn.”  She is without comparison the most corrupt and complassionless presidential candidate to ever run for office.

As for the fear, this is more for the children coming after me than for myself.  It is not likely we will face anarchy or government tyranny within the next few years, but the trend of our society is continually downward in the stream of history.  Henning W. Prentiss, Jr., president of the Armstrong Cork Company and former president of the National Association of Manufacturers, delivered a speech to the February 1943 convocation of the General Alumni Society of the University of Pennsylvania.  In his speech he delivered the following that has sometimes been called “An Obituary for a Democracy.”
“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.  During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: 
.     From bondage to spiritual faith;
.     From spiritual faith to great courage;
.     From great courage to liberty;
.     From liberty to abundance;
.     From abundance to complacency;
.     From complacency to apathy;
.     From apathy to dependence;>
.     From dependence back into bondage.”

In the meantime, for whom am I to vote?  A Clown or a Crook?  My decision is based more on the platforms of the parties than on the candidates.  Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be bad for the USA, and either could lead us to disaster.  However, I have more in common with the Republican platform than the Democratic.

party-platforms

The Democratic Platform promises more government intervention in business, views the federal government as a nanny to take care of every detail of our lives, promotes class warfare, abolishes the death penalty for any crime, focuses on a victim mentality for society, endorses limits on free speech, promotes abortion and homosexuality, endorses the pseudo-sciences of environmentalism (not to be confused with real environmental science and concerns), is ambiguous about support of Israel, and promises to uphold Obama’s failed legacy of federal government overreach.

The Republican Platform, though far from what a thinking Christ-follower can whole-heartedly endorse carte blanche, professes an originalist view of the Constitution, promotes individual responsibility, focuses on reducing national debt and spending, specifically addresses traditional views of marriage and religious liberty, affirms each article of the Bill of Rights, addresses environmental concerns sensibly from hard science, voices “unequivocal support for Israel,” and hopes to undo much of the damage done to our nation by Obama’s royal approach to the presidency.

So I will hold my nose as I cast my vote for Donald Trump.  And my prayer is that whichever candidate wins the election, he or she will see his/her place in history as one appointed by an Arbiter of much greater significance than a mere head of state.  Neither candidate will emerge with a mandate from a population that distrusts and is disgusted by both.

But either candidate can stand at the foot of the Cross and find forgiveness and guidance from a Source whose wisdom could lead us in difficult times ahead.

So on Tuesday, go to a poll and vote.  And pray for both candidates and for the leader we select.  1 Samuel 12:20-25