“THE PROUD AND POWER-HUNGRY POLITICIAN CANNOT ALLOW
A SENSE OF DEPENDENCE UPON OR GRATITUDE TO GOD,
FOR THAT ONLY CONJURES UP PALE, MEAGER AND
WEAK IMAGES OF HIMSELF.”
No, that’s not my house. My childhood house was a bit smaller. But a house does not make a home. I had a wonderful father named William (Bill). Dad and Mom (Helene) made our house a home.
Dad was a most loving husband and father as well a most giving man. He was a specialty-school trained watch repairman. But above all he loved Jesus with all of his heart and witnessed to his customers regularly about their need of Christ as their Savior. They told me so at the funeral home when my dad’s body lay in repose. I was so proud in the midst of my tears. A better man and dad a son could never wish for.
Like all sons who are loved by and love their dad, I must say that he was the best father in the whole world. There was nothing he couldn’t do, solve a problem, catch a trophy large-mouth bass, grow incredible gladiolas, and repair watches with the precision of a surgeon. He helped me with my homework, he was a whiz in math, and could solve any problem.
With all of that said, I knew then and I know now with all my heart that Dad was not qualified for the presidency of the United States. He agreed! I know that in terms of his personal make up and constitution, the United States presidency was just not his thing.
Oh yes, and by the way, Dad was also a Republican. And I know he agreed with Will Rogers’ somewhat comical remark when he said:
“I AM NOT A MEMBER OF ANY ORGANIZED POLITICAL
PARTY, I AM A DEMOCRAT.”
Today that comment made in the 1930s could in many ways be applicable to both major political parties I suppose at times.
What’s my point? To make it clear at the outset that being a Christian in and of itself does not qualify anyone to be the President of the United States. Of course, while it does not alone qualify someone for the office of the presidency, in my strongest conviction, being a Christian is mandatory for the highest office in this land which was historically a Christian nation down to its very roots.
Tragically America is now suffering from a potentially terminal case of secular humanistic and atheistic root-rot. So much so that what worries me greatly now is that one day being a Christian will disqualify someone from the presidency of the United States.
A Christian nation from its inception!? Of course! We must listen to the words of the father of this nation, President George Washington, who on May 12, 1779, speaking to the Delaware Indian Chiefs assured them by saying:
“WHAT STUDENTS WOULD LEARN IN AMERICAN
SCHOOLS ABOVE ALL IS THE RELIGION OF
Are you kidding me George? Above all mind you, that the students who attended America’s schools would be thoroughly instructed in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the fundamentals of the Christian faith. The most important class in the public schools according to the President of the United States should be, “The Fundamentals of the Christian Faith?”
President Washington would not have made such a bold statement if the spiritual climate in the new nation was not fully conducive to it. Can it happen again? Lord, fill the White House with that bold and uncompromising Christian spirit again to take back the ground that the enemy has stolen.Above all! I love that couplet. There is only One who is above all. God! “Above All” fits no one and nothing else. Period! President Washington would agree that the most important reality in education and the pursuit of knowledge is Jesus Christ. May God give us a born again President and Vice President who will ABOVE ALL once more make the Christian religion the very fabric of American government and society by precept and example.
Now then, let us look at some Presidential disqualifiers that must guide us in our decision- making this November 4, 2008 in this historically Christian Nation. The list is by no means exhaustive but certainly mandatory in our prayerful consideration as to who we shall ask God to lift up to be the President and Vice President of the United States. After all, it is God who puts up rulers and takes them down in the final analysis. We read in Daniel 2:21,
“And it is He who changes the times and the epochs; He
removes kings and establishes kings.”
Man’s spirit by nature is one of independence. He wants to be self-reliant, and like Frank Sinatra sang, “I did it may way.” Not somebody else’s way! Not God’s way either! I did it and I did it my way. I can handle this on my own, thank you very much. It is all part of the middle letter of sin – I!
Allow me to quote from my book Is God With America, where we read on page 248, “In Washington D.C. there is a World War II Memorial, containing the renowned words of President Franklin Roosevelt, spoken after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. His words that have been placed on the memorial are as follows:
“YESTERDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1941, A DATE WHICH WILL
LIVE IN INFAMY – THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WAS SUDDENLY AND DELIBERATELY ATTACKED.”
“WITH CONFIDENCE IN OUR ARMED FORCES, WITH THE
UNBOUNDING DETERMINATION OF OUR PEOPLE, WE WILL GAIN THE INEVITABLE TRIUMPH.”
However, the memorial tribute is faulty, for it misquotes the President of the United States. It leaves out his final words:
“SO HELP US GOD.”
The memorializers were more fearful of anti-God forces in America, than they were of God Himself. It is not only a dishonest memorial, it depletes America of the one thing she needs most, a deep reverence for and a desperate reliance upon the Holy, Almighty God.”
America had better get on her knees in prayerful dependency upon God now! Michael Pillsbury, an expert on China and at one time associated with the National Defense University at the Pentagon, appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He stated that in reading and translating the military publications of China, their prediction is that the U.S. has only two to three decades of supremacy in remaining number one in the world.The Chinese state that the U.S. is definitely flawed in its military. China knows our weaknesses. They evaluate how they can defeat us with new technology – the inferior defeating the superior. This observation was made in the 1990s! Time is about up!
INDEPENDENCE – I CAN
What we have more and more in America are candidates for the U.S. Presidency, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives promising the electorate the moon, without ever referencing the God Who made it. Of course, there is no way on God’s green earth or on God’s gray moon that any of them can keep all of their “I Will Do’s.” Oh the arrogance of our day!The popular thing today is to declare, “I will do this and I will do that.” The implication being that, “I can do all things – anytime, anywhere, anyway I choose. It’s totally up to me. In my own strength, my own intellect, my own ability.” It sounds more like they are running for the office of God and not the presidency or congressional seats.
In case you haven’t noticed, and I can’t imagine that you haven’t, everything today appeals to your ego. You walk into a bookstore, and everything shouts at you, “There is a giant within you, the sky is the limit. You own your own life, go for it. There is nothing that you cannot do.” And that is supposed to encourage and make your life full.
Sad to say, this is also what is being taught in our schools, colleges and universities across the land – I got what it takes. I CAN! It is the heartbeat of secular humanism which permeates our educational process. And the Bible indicates that if you think often and long enough about something, you will in time become that something. In other words, not only will you become preoccupied with it, it will occupy you and become you. For God says in Proverbs 23:7 in the KJV,
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he….”
So we have heard chanted over and over again in Barack Obama’s primary and campaign speeches, “Yes We Can!” Hype! Politicians use it. Advertising uses it. Athletics uses it. Show business uses it. Always! Hype! Hyperbole! Exaggeration! It can even happen in church. Making the humanly impossible sound possible. Hype! As Webster’s Dictionary describes it, “Presenting a mile high ice cream cone.” Hype! Senator Obama says, “When I become president, I will do this and I will do that.” McCain says the same “I stuff.” There is no end to it. And then the worshiping supporters of Obama cry, “Yes We Can.” They haven’t chanted to Obama, “Yes You Can!” But it is implied. The Obama supporters believe that with Barack at the helm, there is nothing that they can’t do.
Yes we can! Oh no they can’t! It seems like only yesterday that Bill Cosby’s only son, Ennis William Cosby was gunned down. Murdered! Did you know that Bill Cosby took off three years from comedy and TV to get his Ph.D.? Did you know that he wanted to get as much education as he could so he could help his own people? Did you know that he gave more than $20 million to education?It is the conviction of so many that if we just get educated enough we can solve all our problems. Education is a big plank this year in the Democrat’s platform. Yes we can, if we just secure top notched educators for all. But all of Bill Cosby’s education and money couldn’t help his son! I do not say that unsympathetically or insensitively. Most students who are murdered today are shot to death on school and college property.
As we think about Bill Cosby’s murdered son, which can be multiplied thousands of times over, we wonder, “How much further can it go? When will it stop?” Sorry to say it is going to keep going down and down. It will keep on proceeding downward in spiritual and moral decline until this nation calls a halt to unbelief and godlessness.Only when America welcomes God back into this society, and falls on its knees and asks Jesus Christ to come into the heart of this nation and intervene will it be “Change You Can Believe In?” Yes we can! No we can’t! Not without Him! Philosophy will not change things for the better! Psychology will not change things for the better! Sociology will not change things for the better! Fact:
“ONLY BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST WILL GIVE US CHANGE WE
CAN BELIEVE IN.”
Yes I can! Yes we can! Yes you can! Godless Independence! It has overtaken the land. Independence is a dirty word in life and in government. Why? Because Jesus, God in the flesh, said in John 15:5,
“for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Apart from Christ, we can do zero, zip, zilch that will better this nation. Thank God for “The Declaration of Independence” upon which this nation’s freedom is founded. But when it comes to America’s relationship with God, she needs “The Declaration of Dependence” upon the Lord. Why? Because:
“SHE WILL NEVER KEEP HER NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE WITHOUT
TOTAL DEPENDENCE UPON GOD.”
By the way, getting back to campaigning presidential candidates, in my estimation they do not really intend on accomplishing all of their “I Will Do’s,” not even most of them. Deep down they know that they can’t and won’t, but they say it anyway. Why? Because their litany of “I Will Do’s” gets votes from the gullible public who never learn. What many times is happening is that they are knowingly lying to us. Someone said that:
“IF A MAN LIES TO YOU, HE WILL DO ANYTHING. NEVER LIE!”
What is even more disillusioning is that when promising to take us to the wonderful “Land of Oz,” they are the fake wizards standing behind the curtains jerking our chains. In the vast majority of those instances they do not even come close to adding words like “With God’s Help,” or, “So Help Me God.” After all, who is voting for God anyway?Of course we all know that when you get to their “Land of Oz,” it is never near to being what they cracked it up to be. All political campaigns have their large share of mythology. And while the would-be President and Vice President promise us utopia, what people continue to forget is that “Having It All” is only possible in Heaven. That’s where it is all at, not here!
DEPENDENCE – I CAN’T BUT GOD CAN
There is no candidate for President or Vice President adequate to lead this nation without the super-adequacy of Almighty God. Not even close! However, the Apostle Paul expresses the hopeful heart of the one truly dependent on God when he says in Philippians 4:13,
“I can do all things through Him Who
That does not mean that we have a license permissively to do all things. Not at all! It means that I can do all things through Christ, under His direction, for His purposes, consistent with His goals and what He wants me to do. All things! His things!
When President George Washington took office in 1789, he established a tradition by adding to the proposed inaugural oath:
“SO HELP ME, GOD.”
The climax to the presidential oath instituted by George Washington was not for him just dutiful or religious, but a matter of life or death. Down through the years, that same presidential oath has been at times uttered more dutifully and routinely than desperately.
George Washington’s cry for God’s help is the very spirit of the Bible. It is the essence of faith! It was once the very core of this nation! One can hear in Washington’s personalized oath of dependency upon God the heart of the Psalmist in Psalm 109:26,
“Help me, O Lord my God….”
Or again in Psalm 71:12,
“O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten
to my help.”
If a presidential candidate does not have and does not clearly manifest that humble spirit of total dependence upon God, he or she is disqualified to be the President of the United States. Period! He or she is unfit to lead, for they will not rely upon the wisdom and power of God, but upon their own strength and smarts. This of course is relying upon weakness and stupidity.
All of this must very quickly be translated into these very humbling truths:
“DEPENDENCE UPON GOD’S WISDOM IS MAN’S ONLY SURE
KNOWLEDGE, AND DEPENDENCE UPON GOD’S POWER
IS MAN’S ONLY SURE STRENGTH.”
“FOR A PRESIDENT NOT TO TOTALLY RELY UPON GOD MAKES
HIM TOTALLY UNRELIABLE.”
This means that:
“AFTER PRAYERFULLY DRAWING UP HIS PLANS, AND PUTTING
IN PLACE ALL HIS PREPARATIONS, HE MUST TOTALLY
RELY UPON GOD AS IF HE HAS MADE NO
PREPARATIONS OR PLANS
Now you are talking about a dependent-upon-God presidency! What candidate gives evidence of this? Vote for him!
And what does this all mean for our lives? The following:
“THERE IS NOTHING THAT IS ACCOMPLISHED FOR GOOD, THAT IS
NOT BECAUSE OF THE SUPER-ADEQUACY OF ALMIGHTY GOD
COMBINED WITH THE TOTAL INADEQUACY OF YOU AND ME.”
We must always remember:
“WHILE GOD PUTS PRAYER BASED ACTIONS INTO MAN’S HANDS, THE
SUCCESS OF THEM IS IN HIS HANDS.”
Second, it figures doesn’t it! The president who is independent from God will not be thankful to God either. Someone once said that a nation grows odious in prosperity. Not only odious but thankless too! We must read these words of President Abraham Lincoln from his heart of gratitude to God, and his lamentation over what he sensed to be the nation’s ungrateful and self-crediting spirit:
“WE HAVE FORGOTTEN THE GRACIOUS HAND WHICH PRESERVED
US IN PEACE AND MULTIPLIED AND STRENGTHENED US,…AND
VAINLY IMAGINED THAT ALL THESE BLESSINGS WERE
PRODUCED BY SOME SUPERIOR VIRTUE AND WISDOM
OF OUR OWN.”
ALL THANKS BE TO GOD
I am going somewhere with what follows, and it is not an aside. It has more than intrigued me how Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska became a national icon overnight. Everybody else is talking about her, so I thought I would join in. I have my own theory as to why the major networks with their far-out left-wing journalists and pundits went ballistic over this Alaskan phenom.As I write this blog entry, she is still the headliner of their talk shows with their liberal political analysts unable to stop this Palin parade, and they are feverishly attempting character assassination and charges of personal ineptness from every direction. They are hoping that she bombs in her debate with Joe Biden. Why?
Because Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska is a professing Christian, and a big congratulations to Senator John McCain for choosing her as his running mate. And in addition, Governor Palin is totally pro-life and believes in killing animals like caribou and not killing human babies even when they have been determined to be “Down Syndrome” in the womb. She is all for drilling the face of “mother earth” for the rich Alaskan oil supplies put there by “Father God.”
Liberals worship the wolf and polar bear creatures while Sarah Palin worships the Creator.When she came on the American stage with baby Trig as the “Up Syndrome” headliner, she shone as a bright conservative light into the liberal deep darkness, and the liberal bugs didn’t know which way to run. They still don’t. They are beside themselves, and don’t even understand why! Dear God forbid, she even upstaged their liberal left wing, feminist cult-queen Hillary!
Sadly I must hasten to add that when I listened to Govern Palin’s acceptance speech to be the vice presidential candidate of the Republican Party, she unrolled a litany of self-accomplishments from state surpluses, to breaking the grip of the good ole oil boys in an energy rich state, to stopping the bridge to nowhere. I did this and I did that! She was untypically attractive but all too typically self-crediting.Read her speech for yourself on the internet, and you will see that not once was there a “To God Be The Glory, or “All Thanks Be To God.” Perhaps that will come, but the opportunity before 37 million people was tragically missed and lost forever. She should have and could have done much better. The thankless fact is, even in Christian’s lives:
“WE ARE ALL INCLINED TO TAKE THE CREDIT FOR
WHAT GOD DOES.”
Of course, she is very pretty and that didn’t hurt her one bit. I might ask, “Do you remember when weather television shows first came in? Do you remember how popular weather suddenly became?” They discovered that instead of using a man, they would use a good-looking young woman with a good figure. Suddenly everyone became interested in the future weather – the storm that might develop off the coast of Florida for instance, even though they lived in Maine. What time would the sun rise? What the temperature would be the next day and the next day after that. Suddenly guys became more interested in the weather in Europe than in baseball in Boston. Enough said!
In all fairness, each of the presidential and vice presidential
candidates did close their speeches with the usual “God Bless America” exit strategy. That said, ultra-liberal Barack Obama never referenced God once in the entire body of his acceptance speech. Joe Biden quoted his mother’s words to him after the heartrending death of Joe’s wife and daughter, “Joey, God Sends No Cross That You Cannot Bear.” Outside of that, no God connection at all! What people don’t say is often much louder than what they do say. Such was the case here.
However, John McCain’s acceptance speech was at times more like a sermon. He talked about all people being “Endowed By Our Creator With Inalienable Rights.” Speaking about his prisoner of war experience he said, “For Reasons Only Known To God, I’ve Had A Few Tough Ones (Fights) In My Life.” Then, “We Are All God’s Children.” And again, “Everyone Deserves The Opportunity To Reach Their God-Given Potential.” Then speaking about serving his country, “I’ve Never Lived A Day In Good Times Or Bad, That I Didn’t Thank God For The Privilege. Finally, “I Will Fight For Her (America) For As Long As I Draw Breath, So Help Me God.” His faith in God is obvious! His gratitude to God is gripping! His dependence upon God unmistakable!
UNGRATEFUL LEADERSHIP – NATIONAL APOSTASY
An unregenerate and ungrateful president in all of his learning, in all of his curiosities, and in all of his probing is absolutely unaware of how God has blessed this nation more than any other nation on earth. He is dead to how God has worked from the beginning until now to bless America big. Scary! Why? Because as is more than obvious in all the aforesaid:
“A GRATEFUL-TO-GOD PRESIDENT WILL ALWAYS REFERENCE GOD
AND HIS BLESSINGS, WHILE AN UNGRATEFUL-TO-GOD
PRESIDENT WILL ONLY REFERENCE HIMSELF AND
If you will:
“A GRATEFUL-TO-GOD PRESIDENT WILL DRAW THE NATION TO
GOD, WHILE THE UNGRATEFUL TO-GOD PRESIDENT WILL
DRAW THE NATION AWAY FROM GOD AND TO HIMSELF.”
You know don’t you what happens to people when they cease worshiping and being thankful to God? They become pagan! We read about that in Romans 1:21,
“…they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks….”
Then the spiritual and moral bottom drops out, and all Hell breaks lose in such a nation. The nation that looks up is always blessed, but the nation that looks down is always cursed. Read the rest of Romans 1. These God-dishonoring and thankless heathen will exchange the truth of God for a lie. They will worship the creature rather than Creator – they will work like mad to save whales and wolves, and murder infants and ancients. They will exchange natural sexual desires for unnatural desires, with women burning with lust for women and men burning with lust for men.In short, they will become filled with every kind of unrighteousness and fiendishness, and become a culture of God-haters with eventually Bill Maher as president. That is what is at stake at the polls on Nov. 4, 2008 with every vote!
GRATITUDE AND HUMILITY
A truly ungrateful leader will always be a proud man, and a truly grateful leader will always be a humble man. Wherever you see ingratitude to God, you will inevitably see pride. Like snakes they are indivisibly twisted around each other. And wherever you see gratitude to God, you will infallibly see humility. They always embrace each other as the best of friends. Fact:
“UNGRATEFUL PRIDE WILL FILL A LEADER WITH A STRONG
OPINION OF HIS OWN TRANSCENDENT WORTH”
In stark contrast:
“GRATEFUL HUMILITY WILL FILL A LEADER WITH A STRONG
SENSE OF GOD’S TRANSCENDENT GOODNESS”
Then we read in I Peter 5:5 from the KJV something terribly frightening and yet extremely encouraging at the same time:
“…for God resisteth the proud, and
giveth grace to the humble.”
Wow! No one in his right mind would want Almighty God resisting him, i.e. against him. “Resisting” is a very weak translation. It should be known that when Peter uses the verb resisteth or resists, the Greek verb when translated into English letters is satan. It literally means to oppose, to accuse, or to hate.No nation wants God resisting, opposing, accusing or even disliking them let alone hating them. When God opposes a cocky, ungrateful people, this means then that He becomes their opponent, their opposition, their adversary. Not good! Very bad! You don’t want finite weakness up against infinite power. The haughty, ungrateful nation will not survive! We had better take this very seriously, because this Greek verb satan here means that God hates pride like He hates the devil!
So this we can be sure of:
“GRATEFUL HUMILITY BEFORE GOD WILL BRING DOWN GOD’S
FAVOR (GRACE), WHILE UNGRATEFUL PRIDE WILL BRING
DOWN GOD’S DISFAVOR.”
We have been witnessing a proud and ungrateful nation in the last decades rise up in opposition to God Who is now rising up in opposition to her. America has put herself in an adversarial position with God, who is now showing Himself to be America’s opponent. America has become anti-God and pro-sin. America has become anti-morality and pro-immorality.
God is ticked off. We are witnessing the proud and ungrateful heart of a nation that has for some time been more concerned about how the markets are doing than they are thankful for what God has done and wants us to do. Now Wall Street is on the edge of collapse, the real estate market is collapsing, and banks are closing. You don’t want to become independent, proud and thankless before God! It is like committing national suicide. He will withdraw His friendship and oppose you as His enemy, and He is doing it by cutting America’s jugular which is her entire financial system. Listen folks:
“IF GOD IS FOR US, NOTHING OR NO ONE CAN BE AGAINST US. BUT
IF GOD IS OPPOSING US, IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHO IS
TRYING TO HELP US, INCLUDING GEORGE BUSH, BEN
BERNANKE, AND HENRY PAULSON.”
No one can really pinpoint the economy. It is faceless! At times it can be heartless. Yet, everyone and everything seems to be centered in it, dependent upon it, and totally vulnerable to this faceless and fickle phantom. But I for one have put all my trust in God, for God is not faceless or heartless or fickle! He has a kind face, a loving heart and a faithful nature. More than that, He has a gracious, smiling face expressing His loving and beneficent heart. God doesn’t have a scowling face, though He can be made to seriously frown. But that is not His hearty and normal expression.
America, stop opposing God! Turn away from your sins and pride back to God in humble repentance and gratitude. Then according to II Chronicles 7:14 God will forgive our sins and heal our land, including our economy. Then we shall receive again the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6:24-26 that has been our favored history from the very beginning:
“The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face
shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up
His countenance on you, and give you peace.”
ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S CALL TO GRATITUDE
I remember when Senator Ted Kennedy spoke these words with trembling voice at the memorial service of his brother Robert Kennedy, “My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life – to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.” Those words could have been spoken at the memorial service of Abraham Lincoln as well, and strangely enough they both met their deaths at the hands of assassins.
President Abraham Lincoln was a humble and thankful man. In his Thanksgiving Proclamation of October 3, 1863 he stated:
“IT SEEMED TO ME FIT AND PROPER THAT GOD 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 AS A DAY OF THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE TO OUR BENEFICENT FATHER WHO DWELLETH IN THE HEAVENS.”
God mightily used and blessed this humble and thankful man called Honest Abe as he sought to preserve the Union, not by compromise, but by appealing to man’s sense of right and wrong. He saw wrong and tried to right it. He saw suffering and tried to heal it. Yes, and for that moral wrong known as slavery he went to war, but all along prayed to God to be able to end it.God eventually crowned his good and grateful heart with the brotherhood that we enjoy today. May God send to the Presidential White House and the Vice Presidential House and the Houses of Congress humble and thankful leaders so that we can again confidently and prayerfully sing:
“AMERICA, AMERICA, GOD SHED HIS GRACE
Third, the campaign Radio and TV ads are going full blast. Each presidential and congressional election season this goes with the territory. Some of it fair, and sorry to say, much of it unfair! I always watch and listen to the stump speeches and the ads, keying on one thing in particular – how do the candidates talk about and treat each other?When push comes to shove, and the pressure is on in the talk shows and debates, the real person comes out first. What is on the tip of the tongue is in the core of the character. Remember the powerful truth spoken by our Lord in Luke 6:45 about man,
“…for his mouth speaks from that which
fills his heart.”
The mouth always reveals the heart’s condition. People with bad mouths don’t first of all need a mouth-washing, but rather, they need a heart-cleansing. Never forget this principle:
“YOU CAN TELL A LOT ABOUT A CANDIDATE’S CHARACTER BY
HOW HE TALKS ABOUT HIS OPPONENT. IT ALWAYS
REVEALS MORE ABOUT HIM THAN
What we are talking about here are invective candidates who abuse, insult and belittle their competitor’s person and character. Most political debate so easily and generally drifts away from the issues, and gets into what we must call 3-D Politics:
“DISPARAGING, DEGRADING AND DEMEANING”
A journalist rightly observed that he had found an infallible test for sounding out a man’s character. Called to interview a politician, a parson, or a painter, he first of all asks them what they think of a fellow politician, another parson, and a rival painter. He relates that very few people pass this test. Most flunk it the moment they open their mouths. Even if they do begin with compliments, they usually manage to get in some snide remarks that suggest that the other fellow is not at all what others crack him up to be. When they are finally done talking, all of those that they talked about have been reduced to half of their original size.
Shameful but common! What is even more frightening is that we do it so much ourselves, so that when others do the 3-D Dumping on each other, it no longer offends us. Dangerous! You know the old saying, “All is fair in love and war.” Not according to the Lord!The Holy Spirit says to us Ephesians 4:29,
“Let no unwholesome (rotten) word proceed from your
mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification….”
To EDIFY means to BUILD UP. That is the opposite of knocking or tearing down. We should enlarge the other person, not decrease him. By the time some politicians get done talking about their opponent in the race, you would swear that the other candidate is a neurotic, an idiot, a crook, a cheat, a liar and maybe even a secret drinker or drug user.What they don’t realize is that when they try to shrink the other person, what they are revealing is their own tiny, shriveled hearts. Only large hearts of love can do what we are all told to do in Philippians 2:3,
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with
humility of mind let each of you regard one another
as more important than himself.”
INVECTIVENESS ON DISPLAY
The world’s values and the Christian’s values are as antithetical as night is to day. When Michael Dukakis was the presidential candidate for the Democratic Party in 1988, his running mate was the late Senator Lloyd Bentsen. The vice presidential debate is remembered to this day for essentially just one exchange between Senator Bentsen and Senator Dan Quayle who was the vice presidential running mate of George Herbert Walker Bush who was the presidential candidate of the Republican Party.At one point in the debate, Dan Quayle defended his inexperience as being similar to President John F. Kennedy. At which point Lloyd Bentsen looked at Quayle and said, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.”
Of course, the Democrats present in the auditorium exploded into hoots and cheers and applause. They loved it. When Bentsen arrived at a post-debate celebration, they played the theme song from the film Rocky. Quayle had been rocked by Rocky Bentsen, and the Dukakis-Bentsen supporters loved it.
One commentator said, “It was the best put-down I’ve ever seen.” But according to God, there are no good or better or best put-downs, only very bad put-downs. For that one demeaning statement, Lloyd Bentsen became one of the famous vice presidential debaters of all time. But in the light of the Word of God, he was simply infamous.
Lloyd Bentsen was AD HOMINEM which means AGAINST THE MAN. AD HOMINEM is designed to insult a person, as Dan Quayle indeed had been. Dukakis and Bentsen eventually were soundly defeated by Bush and Quayle.
In this regard, we as Christians must be very prayerful and alert in our assessment of candidates, and be aware of these principles in the remaining days of the presidential and vice-presidential speeches and debates. First:
“AD HOMINEM IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PUTTING THE OTHER
PERSON IN A FAULTY LIGHT AND ONESELF IN
A FLATTERING SPOTLIGHT.”
If you will:
“AD HOMINEM IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEGRADING A
DEBATER RATHER THAN FOR THE PURPOSE OF
WINNING AN ARGUMENT.”
Therefore AD HOMINEM is a sin and totally unchristian. Such a person does not have the Spirit of God directing his life. Why? Because Jesus commands us in Matthew 22:39,
“…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
People who AD HOMINEM their fellow man do not love their neighbors from a heart of love. AD HOMINEM people only use and abuse other people for their own selfish ends. Tragically but realistically speaking:
“AD HOMINEM PEOPLE CANNOT LOVE THEIR NEIGHBORS AS
THEMSELVES, FOR THEY HAVE NO NEIGHBORS
In short, AD HOMINEM vindictive candidates completely disqualify themselves from the presidency and vice presidency of the United States or any other public office.
Senator Hillary Clinton’s debates with Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries of 2008 for presidential nominee status were most revealing and at times viciously AD HOMINEM, i.e. CHARACTER ASSASSINATING. Hillary in her primary campaign speeches had been denigrating Barack as no more than a speech maker who delivers nothing more than mere words.
AD HOMINEM CHARGE #1 – BARACK IS AN EMPTY HOLLOW WORD-BROKER. She didn’t call him those exact words, but she might just as well have. Senator Barack Obama, picking up on this, responded in a debate to Hillary in this way, “Don’t tell me words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream.’ Just words? ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ Just words? ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words? – Just speeches?”
Here comes Hillary! Next debate she makes CHARGE #2 – BARACK IS A POLITICAL PLAGIARIST. She accused him of taking those “Just Words” lines from a speech that had been given by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick at a campaign rally in 2006. In other words, not only is Barack a plagiarist, but that he is incapable of using his own original thoughts and words. This of course was an implied part of the plagiarism charge.
Barack responded to her by saying, “Now hold on a second, I mean, look here, I’ve written two books. Wrote most of my speeches! So I think putting aside the question you just raised in terms of whether my words are my own, I think that would be carrying it too far. Deval and I do trade ideas all the time, and, you know, he occasionally used lines of mine. I was at a dinner in Wisconsin and used some words of his. And you know, I would add that I know Senator Clinton on occasion has used words of mine as well. I’m happy to give Deval credit, as I give to a lot of people for spurring all kinds of ideas.”
Here comes Hillary! She then accused Barack of doing work for Antoin “Tony” Rezko who she went on to characterize as a “Slumlord.” Not only that, but Rezko was one of Barack’s contributors. CHARGE #3 – BARACK HAS CONNECTIONS WITH AND IS SUPPORTED BY SLEEZEBALLS. In summary, Barack was being portrayed by Hillary as an all-blow and no- show plagiarist who has shady and criminal friends.
The Bible talks about being able to withstand the fiery darts or flaming missiles of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16) Sometimes he shoots them out of people’s mouths at other people. Sometimes they come in barrages like the scud missiles which Saddam Hussein shot at Israel for some fiendish fun. Most of the time Satan shoots his missiles in the dark! Hillary shot them at Barack in open daylight.When Satan launches his missile barrage, virtue is no defense and innocence is no security. By distraction and slander, he exposes his target to his enemies and strips him of his friends. Satan who by nature is an accuser (Revelation 12:10) is a master of this for he knows:
“THE MOST DIRECT AND EFFICIENT WAY TO RUIN ANY MAN IS TO
We read in Proverbs 10:8,
“…a babbling fool will be thrown down.”
Hillary lost the “Primary Wars” and the nomination for president.
What we are dealing with in these examples of invectiveness, is not the Kingdom of God in action. It is the Kingdom of darkness and meanness. Those in the Kingdom of God live by the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:12,
“Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat
them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Without a doubt, included in our Lord’s commandment here is a forbidding of invectiveness. The positive way of stating it would be:
“THEREFORE, HOWEVER YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SPEAK
ABOUT YOU, SO SPEAK ABOUT THEM, FOR THIS IS THE
LAW AND THE PROPHETS.”
We have come to call it The Golden Rule, for it will not tarnish people or relationships. It values both like gold.
Jesus is climaxing His Sermon on the Mount. None of it is lightweight! In so doing, He commands us to treat other people like we want to be treated. Never mind one-upmanship! Never mind retaliation! Never mind self-applause! Rather, turn the other cheek, and speak well about others just like you would be spoken well of.
You are right! No natural man can possibly obey this command, which is but another way of stating that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. The fact is:
“ALL OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS BEYOND WHAT WE ARE ABLE.”
If you will:
“THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS OUR INABILITY BEING REPLACED BY
Therefore it not a matter of ability but of willingness! If anyone doesn’t want to get involved in this, then he or she should not become a Christian. Because the Golden Rule is the standard of behavior toward others set forth for those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ.
Any invective person should never occupy public office, for:
“HIS MEAN SPIRITEDNESS FOR HIS OPPONENT IS THE MEASURE OF
HIS MEAN SPIRITEDNESS FOR ALL THOSE WHO
SUPPORT HIS OPPONENT.”
Such a person could never be the president of all the people, and therefore should be the president of none of the people.
Does any Christian keep the Golden Rule? No, at least not perfectly! But before Christ came into his life, he couldn’t keep it for 24 hours. But the revolutionary part of the golden rule is that other people’s reputation and well being becomes our sacred charge from our Lord. Not to condemn, not to judge and not to demean, but to love, to build up and bless with kindness, courtesy and compliment.In short, to make others look better than ourselves! So that when we are done speaking to or about another person, there is nothing unattractive about them and everything attractive about them. Welcome to the Kingdom of God.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S ENEMY-FRIENDS
Someone has said that:
“POLITICS IS THE ART OF CONFESSING OTHER PEOPLE’S SINS.”
Someone else has observed that:
“CHRISTIANITY IS THE ART OF FORGIVING OTHER
Which then begs the question, “Is there such a thing as a Christian Politician?” Can such a rare breed even exist in the political arena? And if so, what in the world does such a person look like? Are there any examples that can be pointed to so that we know what to look for in these heated and hostile days of political rancor and rot?
It is better felt than telt! But to be in the presence of a true Christian politician is unmistakable. Only because it is so rare! Such was the man by the name of Abraham Lincoln. Men like him don’t come along often. Of course, we all know that he entered into the presidency at perhaps what should be called the worst time in its history that this nation has ever seen.
They say that divorce is worse than death. Seeing my own daughter go through this agony, I tend to agree. Likewise there is nothing worse than war, except civil war. Divorce separates husband from wife and children from parents and family. War kills your friends and your enemies. But Civil War separates not only but sets family against family, brother against brother. It dries up the wells of kindred affection, and turns it into killing hate and the vilest of passions.Never are people hated like those once loved! Strange but true, a bosom friend is dearly loved, but when he becomes an enemy he is fiercely hated. Civil War.
Not so with Abraham Lincoln. He said when addressing his northern compatriots:
“I HAVE NO PREJUDICE AGAINST THE SOUTHERN PEOPLE. THEY ARE JUST WHAT WE WOULD BE IN THEIR SITUATION…BOTH PARTIES READ THE SAME BIBLE AND PRAY TO THE SAME GOD, AND EACH INVOKES HIS AID AGAINST THE OTHER.“THE PRAYERS OF BOTH COULD NOT BE ANSWERED …THE ALMIGHTY HAS HIS OWN PURPOSES…FONDLY DO WE HOPE, FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY THAT THIS SCOURGE OF WAR MAY SPEEDILY PASS AWAY.”
Abraham Lincoln was a reconciler! He loved his enemies who he never stopped calling his friends. Greatly blessed would be a man with no enemies, which blessing Jesus never promised us. But I believe even more supremely blessed is the man who has enemies, but can love and forgive them nonetheless.Abraham Lincoln was such a supremely blessed man. Speaking once to men who had become infected with anger and hate:
“WE ARE NOT ENEMIES, BUT FRIENDS. WE MUST NOT BE ENEMIES.THOUGH PASSION MAY HAVE TRAINED, IT MUST NOT BREAK OUR BONDS OF AFFECTION.“THE MYSTIC CHORDS OF MEMORY, STRETCHING FROM EVERY BATTLEFIELD AND PATRIOT GRAVE TO EVERY LIVING HEART AND HEARTHSTONE ALL OVER THIS BROAD LAND, “WILL YET SWELL WITH THE CHORUS OF THE UNION WHEN AGAIN TOUCHED, AS SURELY THEY WILL BE, BY THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE.”
Was Abraham Lincoln then a compromiser? Anything but! Oh God no! He fought as strongly against wrong as he loved the right. He fought as strongly to free the enslaved as he sought to reconcile brother to brother. He was as feared a terror against the evil of slavery as he was tenderhearted to those who did the enslaving.
May God give us not only such leaders as Abraham Lincoln again, but may his spirit in all of us grow throughout this nation! May God guide us in our voting not only, but in love for those who we vote for as well as for those who we vote against! May God cleanse us of all invectiveness that has sickened the heart of this nation and its government, and which is the contradiction to the very nature, teachings, life and death of our Lord!
(Continued In “Five Presidential Disqualifiers” Pt. 2)