Archive | January, 2014

No Change For The Republican Party

23 Jan

Little has changed since a plan was announced a year ago for change in the Republican party. True, the party has made some efforts in reaching out to racial minorities and to gay and women voters, all of which backed the Democratic party nationwide in 2012.  But as a whole, according to a recent poll, 32 percent of those surveyed look favorably upon the Republicans compared to a 43 percent favorable rating immediately after the re-election of President Obama.  In the same poll, Democrats have a favorable rating of 42 percent , also a lower percentage than a year ago.

In the last year, Republican party heads have set out with new efforts to win over racial and ethnic minorities, hired close to 170 staff on the state level (with more planned hires in the future) and made investments in technology that will better track possible voters The technological efforts stem from a idea that was pioneered by the Republican party and perfected in the last eight years by the Democratic party.  New efforts have also been made to reach the Hispanic population on a national level.

However, experts say these changes in structure can only get the Republican party back in the Oval Office if they reach the larger goal of the report: modernize the party, change the course and re-learn the art of appealing to a wider spectrum of people.  So far, experts say that goal has not been effectively reached.

The question that the party must really ask themselves right now is this: “Is that a worthwhile goal? Does changing our course really need to be our focus?”

The Republican party is not completely made up of Christians. This much is true.  However, one easily argue that the party more closely represents beliefs based on scripture then the principles advocated by the Democrats.

Scripture speaks out against abortion. The Republican party platform is pro-life. Scripture speaks out against the lifestyle of homosexuality. Republicans oppose gay marriage. Scripture tells us that if one does not work, then one does not eat. Republicans advocate the same principle in their cries for welfare reform.

There is nothing wrong with any of those principles.  These ideas are not only grounded in the Christian faith (which by the way is the same faith on which our country was founded), they make sense.

Yes, it is true that many who run under the Republican party banner do not live out these principles in their lifestyle. Some have been caught in homosexual encounters. Some have paid for abortions . Many have been involved in extra-marital affairs.

This article is not about the individuals but the party as a whole. Many in the Republican party may need to change but that does not mean the party needs to restructure. Does the party need more minority voters, more women voters? Certainly. Should these voters be gained as the result of a compromise in principles? Certainly not.

Consequences from a society that becomes increasingly permissive can be quite severe. Eventually, the United States of American will have to follow the biblical example of the Children of Israel. When consequences for disobedience became harsh, biblical Israel repented, turned their face back to God and pledged obedience to his principles. This happened more than once.

It is time for it to happen again in America. Hopefully, that time is soon. When it comes, then hopefully there is still a party in place clinging to biblical principles.  A party that voters will return to by the droves. The Republican party does not really need to change. Change will find it.

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RESET

9 Jan

I am really in the mood to write. But my thoughts are so scattered right now that I am only hoping that it doesn’t end up coming across as some type of scattered type that is disjointed and rambling. Much of what I am about to write, I have either said or written before but my experiences today make me think they bear repetition.

I have always been a patriot. I love my country. I consider it a privilege to be born in the United States. Whenever the National Anthem is played, my back goes ramrod straight as my hand goes over my heart. I get angry when people talk while the music is played.

We are a nation full of opportunity.  Anyone can become anything if they pursue their dreams and set their mind to it. You can be a community organizer or own a baseball team and rise to the level of President of the United States. Because of that type of opportunity that is extended to all of its residents, I love my country.

We are a nation founded by people who understood about the importance of a strong work ethic.  They understood the importance of faith and family. They built a nation around those values and that has stood the test of time.  We have such a rich heritage and for that reason, I love my country.

But in the midst of all the love I feel for this great land of ours, I also weep for it.

We don’t hold to the same values on which we were originally founded. In those days, we recognized some things as wrong and some things as right and there was no gray area. Now we call ourselves “enlightened” and we know better. The truth is that those principles of the past were what one would call “bedrock” principles. They were a necessary foundation for survival. When we remove those foundations, we start to crater.

And it makes me cry. It hurts me to the core that we cannot even have a civil discussion on those principles. Hate and vitriole spill out from both sides. We can’t get it together.

And we are falling apart.

And I weep for my country.

But don’t misunderstand. I also hope for my country.

There are people out there committed to the awesome power of prayer. They understand the scripture where Jesus promises to be present “where two or more are gathered.” They lift up our President regardless of party. They pray for our families, our homes, our schools. They gather in a breakroom shortly before break. They meet around their school flagpole in September. They gather in church auditoriums every Wednesday night. And most importantly, they sit by themselves in a quiet place, Bible open, making petitions to God.

And it is these people that give me hope. These praying Christians. These ones who do not profess to be perfect. These ones who are of broken, contrite spirits. These individuals who want nothing more than God’s will in their own lives and in the lives of all those with whom they come in contact.

They are the reason I hope for my country.

Yesterday, I thought I was doing the right thing. I issued a video. I put out on Facebook that I was searching. It was a true search. It was not something that I made up. It was asking how to reach a changing culture and not compromise or water down the word of God in the process. I was wanting a plan of action. An idea of what others in the ministry and even in the pew will do when society and all of its depravity invades our auditorium more than it is now.

But I missed something yesterday. I was overcomplicating matters. I was looking for a hard answer to an easy question. The answer is simple and I wasted an entire day before I arrived at the conclusion.

The answer is prayer.

Debate won’t do any good. We have seen that. Preaching fire and brimstone only serves to draw the lines even further apart. A simple desire to follow Jesus with all we have and to hit our knees in prayer for the Holy Spirit to guide our nation is the only answer.

Agendas do not need to be formed. Plans of action do not have to be put in place.

The only plan is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Lesson learned.

Actually, lesson re-learned.