Sunday, August 03, 2008

Praying for the Election

Link of the Day
Saying for the Day:
Man has always sacrificed truth to his vanity, comfort and advantage. He lives... by make-believe. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938

Picture of the Day:

The Days Wrap UP :
Went to Church this morning. Pastor Steve suprised Pennie by giving her a part in the children's sermon. She got to be a squirrel. It was a cute sermon. The choir sang a very lively number with a Calypso drum. After church we went grocery shopping.In the afternoon I updated St. Mark's website. Put the pictures from this morning and the schedule for next week. Then I took a nap and read a bit. Now I need a breathing treatment.
Praying for the Election
I don’t know who I’ll vote for in November. One day I’m for Obama and the next McCain. I vacillate. I listen to both candidates. I read as much as I can and I keep changing my mind. To me these are two good men both wanting to serve us as President. The question for me is who will serve us best.
I am disturbed by the efforts of some of my friends on the left who try to hang Bush’s unpopularity around McCains neck. McCain stands as his own candidate with both strengths and weaknesses.
But I am more disturbed by some of my friends on the “ Christian” right. My friend Ralph forwarded such a letter to me. Let me quote from it-
“Now we find we have a charismatic candidate for president who does not respect our flag and refuses to wear one on his lapel except when it becomes politically expedient and whose own wife and pastor that he loves profess to have strong anti-white feelings, and we sit back and say 'it is a given, we can do nothing.' There has never been a time in 2000 years that we can do nothing, never a time that we must sit back and allow the evil in men's and women's hearts to take over our world. ...It is time for all Christian Americans to raise the battle cry and take our nation back. Maybe McCain on his own cannot defeat Obama, but our God can and He will …”
Obama is cast as so evil that God will see to it that he doesn’t become president. What evil has he done.
He loves his wife and former Pastor who have anti-white feelings.
.He doesn’t wear a flag pin.
I think if I was black and confronted with Christians like this I’d have anti-white feelings as well. But I have taken the time to read a selection of Obama’s former Pastor’s sermons and most of them are not anti-white. They are pro caring for the poor and the needy. They are pro listening to Jesus. Even the sermons that the quotes are lifted from aren’t that bad when you read the whole sermon in context.
Obama seems to be a good not an evil man. He even seems to be Christian.
But these people have decided that God is against him.

Now they can decide to be against him that’s fine.
They can decide to tell others why they are against him that’s fine.

But to judge him evil and drag God in on the judging shame, shame.

If a Christian is going to pray for the election they should pray like this:

“ Lord God, you know the hearts of people, help us to elect the person who will serve the nation and all its people best. Help us to vote for one who will care for the poor, the sick, and those in prison.”

Leave the judging to God.

News from Pigeon Falls
The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Today Pastor Joan wore those old tabs that preachers used to wear a long time ago. The one’s you see in pictures . And she put on a false beard. Then she started her sermon by pounding on the pulpit and hollering “ Repent you sinners or God will send you to hell. Repent or God will send bugs on your potato plants. Repent or God will destroy the town.
This is an actual excerpt from a sermon of one of the pastor’s in one of the churches that merged to form Last Lutheran. It was called hellfire and brimstone preaching. The idea was to scare people into the arms of God. But those Lutherans like us believed in salvation by grace and believed in a God of love. They just believed we needed to be pushed into God’s loving arms.
We still believe that people need to come to the God of grace we just no longer use a flame thrower to drive them there. Instead we look at how God cares for people like the one’s that got fed in today’s lesson. How God fed the good and the bad. How that God invites us to walk with Him. To share his joy. To let Him feed our hungry souls. When we respond to his call He fills us with joy and peace.
At the coffee after the sermon the general feeling was that the sermon would be talked about and remembered for a long time. One old timer said “ For a moment it was like being back in the old church.” But then another said “ Except that the preacher was now the bearded lady from the carnival.
Tommy UK was one of the acolytes for the Sunday and after the service he sat with Mrs. Trumble at a corner table for coffee. They talked softly and intently. One had the distinct impression they weren’t discussing the sermon.


Blogger Dragonstar said...

I try not to pick sides in your election - it is, after all, your country. Whatever the rights and wrongs of candidates, nothing is improved by bigotry. I like your prayer. It works for every country, and probably every religion too!

4:00 AM  
Blogger Janvangogh said...

If Obama thought that his pastor was such a great man and could do even greater things by being associated with him as President, why did he denounce him and leave his church?

McCain was given the choice to leave his imprisonment by the Viet Cong early, but he chose to stay until his fellow servicemen were given freedom also.

Both are examples of character under fire -- and I would suggest that the intensity of that fire is no where near the same. I don’t think it is that hard to choose

5:41 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

I know as a child SOME of the priests preached hellfire and brimstone but fortunately not too many! I was brought up on the LOVE of Jesus! Amen!

Amen to your thoughts on the election too. I wish the entire country would let God run this one!

6:27 AM  
Blogger Gattina said...

Since I am blogging it always has surprised me that Americans don't keep politic and religion apart. What has God to do with politics ? then Buddah, Allah etc should also be involved after all these are also religions. In all European countries, religion is kept apart from politics. And wearing a flag pin ? Most of the European people don't even have a flag, but they love their country.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous noble pig said...

It's a tough one and should not be a racial or religious decision. I like both candidates but Obama's inexperience puts me on edge a little.

It's hard to say what will happen over the next few months and may the best man for our country win.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Four years ago before the last election, I remember saying after listening to McCain, "I wish he was running for President."

My wish came true and now he is.

You are absolutely right, for only God knows the hearts of our leaders. We should pray for them.

9:15 AM  
Blogger juliana said...

oh well, i don't envy you the choices... i only hope that whoever gets chosen will bring some sanity to the white house...

9:55 AM  
Blogger The Crazy Object B. said...

sounds likeyou had agreat suday so far. Come read my blog.

its short today but oh well

12:50 PM  
Blogger Dragonstar said...

Dr John, Next time you're over at my blog, please pick up an award I have for you.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Lanny said...

Hey Dr.John,
Yea, I like your blog, thanks for coming to visit mine. Not unlike drop in guest at the farm, you managed to drop in on one of my more untidy days. Bad first impression eh? But that is pretty much me, frenetic, verbose and much like a loose calvary (I think cannons are not very pretty, cold and bulky, men on horses are much prettier even when they are loose) Hope you drop in again sometime.

I too am praying for the election and I hope that everyone can find the level peace about their vote that I have about mine this time around. Hopefully everyone is truly careful about their vote and not reactionary. That's all I'm saying.

2:15 PM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Well most of what we believe is make believe
some with a hint of truth
some with unshakeable evidence

No Santa coming down the chimney
Well no one believed that Santa could visit every home in one night - and there is the added problem that not all homes have chimneys

But hey that was before the age of internet - and wifi or blue tooth, the era of wireless internet. With the internet we can reach every home faster than Santa & the Rein deer. Ok we may not need every home to have a chimney, but we do need them to have internet connection for us to reach them almost at the speed of light - wherever they are on earth.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Dr. John, what a great post! I think people wave the word "evil" around too readily. Neither McCain nor Obama are evil. Hitler was evil, Sadam Hussein was evil. The two men running for President of your country are both good men. Being a Canadian, I am not personally invested in who is elected. However, it is true that the man who becomes President of the United States also becomes the alpha leader of the world. So the rest of the world is watching very closely to see what happens. In that way, we all have an interest - if only from the standpoint of current affairs.

I prefer one man over the other, but I would not say either of them is evil. It's very sad that people have to use that sort of rhetoric.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous quilly said...

I had the same reaction to the Obama letter. I wanted to write back to the person who sent it to me (the wife of a UM pastor, and ask who asked God how he felt about Obama?) but I couldn't find a way to write it that didn't sound condemning. You did a great job.

1:13 AM  
Blogger ProclaimingSoftly (PSanafter-thought) said...

I have a real problem with the way the "right", both in religion and politics, uses "logic" in their arguments. Doesn't use it is more correct. I've been all over the web looking for faith related blogs of various stripes and I find this type of name calling, over-generalization, mis-association very common in writings of the religious right. I'm not saying it doesn't exist on the left, just that it is hard to find a conservative that doesn't do this. On TV, too.

I find this type of thing to be demeaning to the readers and listeners. It is father-knows-best and I'll tell you what to believe without giving you really good arguments so you don't have to use your brain. It doesn't speak well for our system of education when people can't see through this type of "logic." And either the perpetrators don't really understand good, solid "rules" of logic, or they do and they also understand that so many Americans are so used to this that they won't get what is happening.

I've written about this twice on my blog over a year ago.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Alastair said...

As a teen I was told that to vote for the left in British Elections was to side with the devil! Since then I have been wary of anyone who puts God on one side or another - unless its me, of course, as I am always right :-)

Well spoken words, Dr John, thank you.

8:57 AM  

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