Leap of Faith: Daily Lessons About Jesus Christ
Chapter: Ideology versus Value (Pages 391-392)
Problem one: people are more and more isolated, busy, and disconnected. Our foreign policy has become an aggressive assertion of military superiority in a defensive and reactive mode, seeking to protect us against growing and invisible threats as opposed to addressing the root causes of those threats.
Prophetic politics should not debate whether our strategies should be cultural, political, or economic but would rather show how they must be all three, led by a moral compass. Let’s get centered with God.
We need competent and spiritually aware community organizers, social entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, faith- based communities, and parents to help show the way forward now.
We need to be focused upon pushing parties toward moral consistency and their best-stated values and away from negative campaigning that both sides too often engage in.
If we consider the movement of the Baptist minister Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., we see how he incorporated a strong moral foundation and social infrastructure that resulted in a civil rights movement that made an impression on the nation in its expressed ideals and changed us forever.
Problem two: how does the religious foundation of sacredness of human life challenge all the candidates on issues such as abortion, capital punishment, military spending, missile defense, and gun control? These are all issues that a person’s religion has a major influence upon, and we need to be mindful of the morality behind the issues.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lamp stand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:13-16 (nasb) (emphasis added)
If one’s religious and ethical commitments do not shape a candidate’s public life, then what kind of commitments are they? James 2:26 (nasb) says, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”
One point to be addressed is how many presidents have been voted into office by the majority of dead votes? This needs to change. From a candidate’s standpoint, the moral compass that directs an individual’s public life and their convictions shape their political objectives.
Organizations such as Bread for the World and Habitat for Humanity have demonstrated a strong advocacy for faith-based justice in the public square and have established a clear place for moderate and progressive Christian perspectives.
Moving away from a political world of liberals and conservatives would be a huge step in the right direction for positive change and would open up a new politics of solutions. We need to remember that there are multiple angles for perceiving and resolving the problem.
Leap Of Faith: Daily Lessons About Jesus Christ
Chapter: War Criteria (Pages 397-400)
From a Christian standpoint, war is not intended to be imminent unless it meets certain criteria and conditions. These are extreme circumstances that are fundamental of Christianity. We must be sure not to attempt to use war as a form of persecution, which is very popular within the radical elements of Islam. Christian war begins with the God-head, Jesus Christ, and networks down from his mind into the entire body of Christ. This is how we know how to handle the evil in the world and use assertive actions to remove the problematic issues.
War is evaluated on the basis of Christian theology. Patriotism means loving your country and its best ideals but also addressing issues that strike you as utterly wrong. Remember the fact that Christian faith supersedes patriotism.
For example, as a worldwide solution, and incorporating the United Nations, we could have used the international community more effectively to isolate, contain, disarm, and finally undermine and remove Saddam Hussein from his radical regime in Iraq. Being mindful of the agenda behind the war is necessary for understanding the reasons that we remained there for an extended period of time. From a Christian standpoint, we are not to use our own humanistic agenda to justify a war. This is a point to be made.
A possible solution in this case could have been founded on the basis of international law, political wisdom, and collective action centered on morality, and this should have guided our actions.
For the United States to voluntarily instigate the situation was a very risky precedent. In short, this basically undermined the system of international security that we had established since World War II.
We need to be mindful of the ultimate cause of the United States taking action and being the aggressor in this unusual situation. I personally feel that Saddam Hussein did deserve to be taken out of power, but the question is: was it our job to do so? Was Saddam Hussein the source for the events that took place on 9/11? Did Saddam Hussein have ties with terrorists in the Middle East? I believe that we can categorize Saddam Hussein as a terrorist in his own country without a doubt. He was a murderer and promoted further a regime that was grievously violent and radical. His regime was one of chaos and evil, and much about control and corruption…
But was Saddam Hussein really capable of pressing a trigger that would result in mass murder? I see that the manipulation of the intelligence in this case in order to support an agenda of war became one of the worst distortions of information in modern history. Regardless, he was a really deceitful individual, but much of our relationship with Saudi Arabia and our source of oil derived from our relations behind the scenes with him…Consider the power that he had and why we took the action that we did…
When we consider the Bush administration we ought to be careful not to be entrenched into a Pax Americana, which means “going at it alone,” as the world’s only superpower. The bottom line is that our decision to go to war was based on a premise, which included the rule of law or the habit of war, collective action or unilateral decisions, effective containment, or unpredictable escalation. These decisions were simply hypocritical to the Christian morality that is to be used to contain or resolve such a situation.The question to be asked is: was the Bush administration using the correct morality in deciding on whether or not to go to war? I can see where the impulse decision to seek out revenge on our enemies could have a major influence on the rational sense of a decision with such magnitude. Biblical precepts and morality teach self-control. We are to make decisions after much evaluation and consideration. Remember, God never gets into a hurry. We must maintain consistency.
“And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.”
Isaiah 2:4 (emphasis added) (nasb)
I believe that abiding by such biblical truth gives us peace of mind in resolving matters of war.
Our duty, along with United Nations, is to maintain that governments in foreign countries do not threaten the peace that is to be maintained at all costs and to eliminate any and all efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. At all times we are to align with the United Nations in pursuing such efforts of establishing safety. We must be mindful of moral principles, political wisdom, and international law. Christianity teaches peace, and we are to abide by the fundamental principles and precepts that are so clearly written throughout the Bible.
As a country we are responsible for setting the example of not using immorality as a basis for our decisions, especially in going to war. The United States is to be founded upon the ideas of morality and is to seek out a desire that allows us to relate to all peoples around the world. It is our absolute duty to focus upon establishing these principles. We need to keep in mind the international law, which states that we are to invoke the authority to go to war only if it is in self-defense following an attack.
I do see a side of things where we ought to help out peoples that are suffering and to protect the lives of those in other countries being controlled by radical dictators with evil intentions or non-Biblical Precepts. I see a just cause in seeking to protect them, but it must first begin with peace talks. Start with a peaceful resolution, and then use a board of directors to make the best decision from a morality standpoint on how to contain a radical regime. This is a decision that demands deep study into biblical truth that will guide us into knowing the correct move to make.
Political extremism is another dangerous issue to address but one in which terrible decisions can be made based upon an underlying agenda. By initiating a war in a region that is already in great turmoil there is a strong possibility that we might destabilize a government and increase the problem of political extremism. We must be mindful not to add fuel to the fire. The last thing that we want to do is make the situation any worse than it already is. This is why it is essential that sincere dedication to making the correct moral evaluation is a dire necessity.
Religious hope is at the heart of the United States of America. Remember that our ultimate source of wisdom is the Word of God, the Holy Bible. There are no sources that outdate the truth, which comes from the Word. The Word of God supersedes the Constitution in its Power.
The Bible is not to be abused or taken for granted. Use it in all decisions. It will not lead you astray. Having a Christian conscience is what it takes to lead a country. Many people may not agree, but this is how you get there. It is each person’s job to connect the dots and discover the truth.
I believe that before anyone should criticize they should do the work and discover the truth from intense research and analysis. If you have an opinion, be sure that you can back it up with the facts.
“If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
James 1:26-27 (nasb)
Leap Of Faith: Daily Lessons About Jesus Christ
Chapter: Cooperation Achieves Results (Pages 401-402)
Now, let us come to the realization that in order to achieve success we must be able to find common ground and strive for cooperation in all that we do. Without individuals seeking to discover areas where we can embrace each other with ideas and solutions, we are at a loss—a loss unlike anything we have ever seen in the history of our country. We need solutions and people with the heart for our country, with the desire to empower and teach the Truth of God (7 Spirits of God).
I want to see our leaders instill hope and glory into the world. I want to see men and women who once had hope for our country succeed. I pray for the leaders of the world and hope that they will see the light and the discover the answers to all of the problematic issues. Where are the answers? The answers that we need do not come from our own ideas; they come from God.
I have passion for our country. I have hope. I see a country that has the opportunity to rise as the Son in all His Righteousness into a state that will forever flourish and allow for all citizens to live fulfilling and successful lives. I want to see those who have lost hope and desire move forward and rediscover that hope that they once possessed. I want the people of the United States to know that they have the ability to pursue their dreams and follow their heart wherever they should choose to go. I want America to be a country that leads the world and brightens the future for all generations to come.
I will not stand by and watch America be torn down, but I will demand to see it transform from its old ways….the “old self” into the “new self”... I want to see America come together and once again be the light of the world. We do this together as one Nation Under God.
We do not approach anything alone. We are a team, and we are a unit as a body of believers… We work with one other to resolve these issues. We need cooperation in order to get it done.
The heart of the country is alive, and we are here to make sure that you know we are ready to do whatever it takes to get the job done. We will not allow anyone to disrupt this situation. We are together on this, and we will not give up. Remember this: we stand side by side as brothers and sisters in Christ to be the example for the entire world to see.
I know that we can do this if we set our heart upon the idea: what we do, we do together!
Embrace the truth, and hear the voice of reason.
“Pilate therefore said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness of the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
John 18:37 (nasb)