Doom and Gloom

With the presidential elections now 1 month away the rhetoric has gotten insane. I assume it will only get worse over the next 4 weeks. Unfortunately, I think it will continue, even after the elections, regardless of who wins.

One of the things that concerns me is all the doom and gloom I hear from conservative Christians. Apparently, if Pres. Obama wins reelection then the seals of Revelation will be broken and in a matter of a few weeks the United States will be done. I think some balance has to be brought back to the discussion.

In response to some discussions taking place on my facebook wall, a pastor friend of mine, Tim Sizemore, wrote what I thought was an excellent post to the whole “doom and gloom” talk going on. With his permission, I am using what he wrote as a guest post. Tim pastors Church in the Meadows in Lakeland, FL.

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“Doomed? That’s too apocalyptic. The United States remains the most economically and militarily powerful nation on the planet. We are in no jeopardy of losing that status anytime soon. Even our debt problem is manageable compared to the rest of the world. Our most challenging debt problem is a symptom of our success. People are living longer than ever and more health care remedies are available today than ever before. These are good but expensive problems to have. Our short term deficits are mostly the result of slow economic growth due to the massive de-leveraging since the housing bubble burst and the banking crisis created a credit crunch. People under estimate how much the mid-2000’s economy was driven by the housing bubble made available by cheap and easy credit.

No the long term viability of the United States is very good. Our population continues to grow (mostly through Immigration) and our long term debt problems are manageable because we have the flexibility to adjust benefits slightly over time. Medicare’s problem is manageable also due to our ability to find more efficient ways of delivering care and thus cutting costs and the flexibility we have to raise revenue. Presently the ratio of taxes we pay as a percentage of GDP is the lowest since about 1960. We have far more ability to raise revenues in our economy than most of the other wealthy economies.

In short I would much rather have our set of problems than I would any other country in the world. Most of our present troubles are political in nature. But long term we will move pass the current impasse. I fully expect to see the rise of a moderate centrist party that will address both our long term debt issues and our need for political reform. Churchill was right “Americans always do the right thing… After they have tried everything else.” 

I would like to see more Christians be voices of thoughtful, moderation who look for sensible solutions to our civic challenges. Love for neighbor should move us to be people of civility and graciousness. Instead, I meet more and more Christians who seem to want to sound more like Rush Limbaugh than Jesus of Nazareth. I would like to see Christians who work with all people of good will regardless of political affiliation to make our civic life better. I fear that partisan political operatives have successfully manipulated many well meaning Evangelicals to sign on to an agenda that really doesn’t represent the values of Jesus. 

I think more Christians should tone down their apocalyptic rhetoric about the end of America and the end of the world and look for ways to positively and peacefully work for a more just, compassionate and humble world. I am often stunned at how easy it is to manipulate some Christians with political propaganda. I could create an email hoax right now out of thin air and send it to many of the Christians on my email list and as long as it contained something scurrilous about the President they would accept it without question and forward it to all their friends. People who claim to be seekers of truth shouldn’t be so gullible.”

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Great job Pastor Tim! I agree wholeheartedly.

What do you the rest of you think?

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