More of My Thoughts on Syria

india1Question: If, as I stated in my last post, my mission in life is to proclaim the kingdom of God; and if my allegiance to God’s kingdom supersedes my allegiance to any political ideology; does that mean I have the responsibility to think about how my country’s decisions affect believers of other countries that could be harmed because of the actions of my country?

I think the answer is yes, and that affects how I view the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine, and now Syria.

I have several friends who grew up as Christians in Baghdad. Their families had to flee because of religious persecution. Persecution that got worse once the United States got involved.

Everyone agrees, even my Iraqi friends, that Saddam was a bad guy. But under his regime there was a degree of religious freedom that evaporated when he was toppled. Here is my understanding from Christians who lived there during that time: Saddam used Islam to his favor. But he was such a bad guy that he controlled most of the fractions within Islam with an iron fist. In other words, if he told the Taliban to leave Christians alone, they were left alone. Saddam used Christians in his country, especially in Baghdad, because they were highly educated, good citizens, and excellent businessmen. Saddam even had Christians in his cabinet. Continue reading

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The Public Faith of a Public Figure

Pres. Obama’s faith is in the news once again. Here is a video link to the speech he gave on Wednesday, February 7th at the National Prayer Breakfast. Many comentators are saying his speach was upstaged by a speech delivered by Dr. Ben Carson. Here is a video link to Dr. Carson’s speech. One thing I have learned in recent months is that if you want to get a controversy started on facebook, mention gun-control or Pres. Obama’s faith.

Pres. Obama claims to be a Christian. While running for office in 2008, he talked about his faith with Pastor Rick Warren. I found his remarks compelling. Here is a video link to those remarks. Immediately, when conservaties hear Pres. Obama discuss his faith and give blatently Christian/Biblical answers and speeches, they say he has good speech writers or is playing to the audience or just an out and out liar. Ultimately, conservatives will say to look at his record and his stance on abortion and same sex marriage. According to them, these policies, which are opposite of their own, mean Pres. Obama cannot possibly be a Christian. They usually follow this thought with the words of Jesus, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:15-20). Of course, these same conservatives never mention Obama standing up for the poor and speaking out for the voiceless and the immigrant. Those policy issue do seem to line up with Scripture. Continue reading

Election Day Prayer

Well, tomorrow is the big day! Election day 2012! I will be glad when it is over and I do hope it is over tomorrow evening. I pray that whoever wins wins by a solid enough number so there will be no disputes, cries of voter fraud, recounts, lawsuits and countersuits; and even though I think the electoral college is ingenious, I pray that whoever wins the popular vote also wins the electoral college vote. I pray for a conflict free election, regardless who wins. I ask you to join me in that prayer.

In addition, here are some other things I will be praying tomorrow: Continue reading

I Have “Evolved”

Below are links to several of my blogs over the past year dealing with politics. They are listed from newest to oldest.

Why I’m Voting Third Party

Obama’s Election to Lose

To Vote or Not to Vote

I Need Your Help

The Politics of Fear

Can We Still Be Friends?

A Third Way

Hope

How Involved Should We Be?

Please, Tell Me Where I am Wrong

WOW! I didn’t realize I had written so much about politics…and that is not all of the posts! There are more, but that is enough.

Why I’m Voting Third Party

A lot has already happened and a lot more can happen between now and the 2012 presidential election in November. Momentum has swung back and forth between Obama and Romney. I thought Romney had a chance to capture the momentum and turn the election his way after the Chick-fil-a event, but he failed to catch that wave. Now, after some incredibly negative PAC ads, Obama has the momentum. More recently, Romney picked Paul Ryan for his running mate. No doubt, this will give the campaign some momentum, even though I don’t know why he announced his VP decision early on a Saturday morning. Soon the conventions will take place…and back and forth the momentum goes. I have thought all along that Obama would win re-election. Barring some unforeseen event, I have not changed my mind. Unfortunately, negative campaigning works. Unfortunately, the Romney camp doesn’t seem to have its act together.

As for me, conscience will not allow me to vote for Obama or Romney. I have no other option than to vote for a third party candidate. Below are some of my reasonings: Continue reading

To Vote or Not to Vote

For the first time in my adult life I am seriously considering not voting in this year’s presidential election. Go ahead, criticize me and throw stones, but I can’t find anywhere in Scripture where I am commanded to vote. In fact, quite the opposite would be true because there was no democracy in either the Old or New Testament. I am not saying I am not going to vote, I am just saying I am seriously considering not voting. Let me tell you why.

1. I cannot in good conscience vote for Pres. Obama. While I respect him and the office he holds, I just don’t see how he has done anything over the last 3 years to deserve another term. Yes, he did inherit a lousy economy thanks to over spending by Pres. Bush. Yes, he did inherit a war. Yes, the Republicans have stood in his way at every turn. But he just has not done anything to prove he can lead. Even when he had the majority, he still did not get anything done. The fact that he has never passed a budget is enough to convince me he cannot lead.  Continue reading

Are We Arguing the Wrong Point?

President Obama drew a line in the sand the other day by siding with same-sex marriages.

Over the weekend, Mitt Romney declared during a graduation speech that marriage between one man and one woman is an enduring institution that should be defended.

Last week North Carolina became the 30th state to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.

Several ministers I know believe the issue of same-sex marriage will be the defining issue among evangelical churches.

Between now and November the debate and the rhetoric will intensify.

However, it is my opinion that most evangelicals are arguing the wrong point. Continue reading