Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Lament for America

By popular demand, public and private, here it is. I wrote it early this morning. Today, a lament. Tomorrow or Monday, I hope to provide further theological reflection, and the start of stategerizing. Delicate (or guilty) souls may want to stay out of the blast zone. Perhaps you shouldn't. And so.....

I had a bad feeling when my Bible reading the morning of the 5th turned out to include 2 Kings 17. I gulped.

If the title gives you the impression that this won't be a happy-face, good-loser post, you are correct. Be warned. I'm in earnest. If you keep reading — which I seriously do not necessarily advise — you'll have that same experience that, to my bafflement, keeps surprising people. That is, you'll find that (oh, no!) I really meant everything I said.

I've mulled and tossed what to write. Some of you are here to gloat and lecture, some just to observe, and some wanting comfort and encouragement. What do I have for you here? You'll find some gallows humor, a wry comment or two. But the theme of this post could not be summarized as, "Ain't life grand right now?"

Wish I had that to give, at the moment. In due time, perhaps. I remember after the horrid election in which Bill Clinton first lied his way to the White House, Rush Limbaugh was very heartening. He observed that conservatism had actually won, because Clinton deceptively positioned himself to the right of Bush, Sr.

You could say that here, to a degree. Obama actually campaigned for cutting taxes and spending. It was a lie, of course, but McCain did not counter it effectively enough. Obama defeated McCain, and the perceived Bush legacy, and the recent GOP. Not conservatism, well and clearly and passionately articulated.

But anyone with two live neurons to rub together could have seen through The One's charade. Obama's mentors and allies are hardcore Marxists, socialists, racists. He marinated in anti-American, racist hatemongering for twenty years. His backers included the worst within America, and enemies outside America. It was all a paint-thin facade.

But, as David Wells has argued convincingly, people like paint. It's all about image.

So what do I write for you today? I think of Jeremiah, looking at the ruin of his beloved nation. Did the prophet write a happy-face booklet about how glorious God's sovereign providence always is? I don't think so. There's a reason that the 25th book in the Canon isn't titled "Happy Giggles," or "Jeremiah's Jolly Jokes."

There is, as Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, "a time to mourn." If you love what America was, what it should be, and what men with a Biblical worldview crafted it to be, this begins such a time.

I'll say one happy horizontal thing: I think it is a good thing that a black man won the presidency. It shows that America has long-since ceased being the country that Obama's bitter, angry, self-absorbed wife imagined.

But most of us already knew that. It is a bad thing that that black man won. I actually think it may well cause long-term harm to other blacks' presidential aspirations, which is a pity. Obama does not have the unsought blessing Bill Clinton had: he will not have robust opposition in Congress. So he may actually do many of the harmful, disastrous things he proposed. And future voters may, if unfairly, look even at totally-different black candidates and think, "Didn't we try that already?"

So who's in the Hall of Shame for this debacle? Too many to name. But here are a few.

Bush. I blame President Bush. Not for what the wingnuts blame him for; he was right about those things. History will view Bush as a visionary, amply-accomplished president.

But where W did miserably fail was as a politician. He did not learn from Bill Clinton, who got right the fact that he needed never to stop campaigning. Bush was like the anti-Clinton in that regard. W focused completely on governing, and did nothing about keeping the American people with him. Bush evidently thought results would speak for themselves, and people would figure things out. He was wrong.

Clinton always had instant-response squads, who overwhelmed all the media with unified, sharp, aggressive responses geared to make sure Clinton's view always prevailed. Bush couldn't be bothered. You can call it arrogance; I actually think it was misplaced modesty. But the net sum was that W left a disastrous political situation for his would-be successor.

Dick Cheney was an excellent VP (— you can tell that simply by the deranged sorts who hate him). But Cheney was never going to succeed Bush. So Bush should have replaced Cheney in his second term, and groomed a presidential replacement.

Bush was right in not being a slave to opinion polls; he was wrong in not trying to bring people along with him. As a consequence, McCain had two bad options. He could try to make up for eight years of Bush's failure to defend himself in his campaign, which he wasn't equipped to do. Or he could distance himself utterly from Bush, which McCain tried but found impossible to do.

And that's largely Bush's fault. It took down McCain, as well as GOP candidates for both houses. W's refusal to defend himself cost others badly.

MSM. Light a candle of mourning for the mainstream media. Obama lied and deceived and hid, true; but he never could have gotten away with it if we'd had a vigilant, ethical, non-partisan press. However, the MSM acted not as the press, but as Obama's press secretary.

The MSM kept the ugly and inconvenient truth out of the spotlight, diverted the public's attention, ran interference, carried water for his lies, and served as Obama's opposition research. Only a fool will trust them ever again. For that matter, only fools trusted them this time 'round.

An aside: I wonder how many Obama revelations will start seeing the light now? Or will they wait until after his first or second inauguration?

Voters. But of course that doesn't give the electorate a pass. Thirty years ago? When there were only CBSABCNBC and The Timeses? Maybe. But now, alternative news and analysis sources are readily available. For now. Look for the new triumvirate to target a free press and all soapboxes, cyber and otherwise. Perhaps even pulpits. Think Canada.

Government reeducation camps. The government school system didn't help, creating uneducated, uninformed, fact-starved glandlings, who mistake emoting for rational thought. These folks have been raised from toddlerhood on the state's teat. The State is a kindly face embodied in Miss Parkins in pre-school; when you're eighteen, you've long-since learned to see The State as your friend and guardian. As designed. And so you vote.

Quislings. But the most disgraceful of all are professedly Christian enablers.

[Last warning: this is going to be brutal.]

These are the hand-wringing, conflicted souls who just can't figure out whether or not it's a good thing to sweep aside thirty-five years of hard-fought, hard-won advances in the pro-life cause. Who just can't agonize themselves into seeing that they have a clear-cut moral obligation to stand athwart the most remorselessly, unrepentantly vicious pro-death advocate ever seriously to seek the White House.

How wretched are such souls?

It's like this. A man comes to attack your wife, or your child. You professed Christians who voted for Obama, you had every reason to know what that man was going to do. And your response was to toss him a knife, and tell him "Have at it, sport; I prayed about this, and I feel good about it. I'll just stand over here being deep and conflicted and nuanced, mocking anyone who tries to stop you, and congratulating myself on my new friends who cheer you on."

Your candidate was charismatic and confident. The people you wanted to accept you and think well of you swarmed after him. He was different, and novel, and exciting.

And when he said that his very first act in office would be to remove all legal restrictions against gassing Jews, and would compel taxpayers to pay for the gassing of Jews in foreign countries? Oh, well. It wasn't as if you would be pulling the lever yourself, right? Besides (you tried to convince yourself), removing all restrictions on Jew-gassing would actually result in fewer Jews being gassed!

This is what you've done. Obama was evasive and inconsistent about a great many things. Not about this. About this, he was emphatic, and crystal-clear: "first act as President."

And you knew it.

You Christians who did not vote or went third-party, you can tell yourselves you did otherwise. You didn't allow the attacker to assault that helpless victim. No, not you. You drew a picture of a devastating raygun, and waved it at him vigorously, yelling "Zap! Zap!", hoping he'd fall over.

Alas, he did not.

To both of you, I offer this: "Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

You want to keep insisting that you did the right thing? Can't help you. Won't try. After January 20, you go to the dumpsters behind abortion clinics and explain to the sad, tragic, forsaken contents just how deep and nuanced you are.

But repentant believers in Christ always find mercy and forgiveness. And that's all the happy I have for you.

And you pastors who could not find it in yourselves even to say, from the pulpit, that life is an important consideration when voting... I don't know what to say to you. I know some very fine men are absolutely convinced that all politics should be kept out of the pulpit. But is life politics? Is the stewardship of one's vote politics? Are we really called to give no guidance whatever for the pressing moral issues of citizenship? Look at Roman Catholics, who deny and pervert the Gospel, who don't cherish the truths you cherish, and yet who managed to speak up for the unborn. Are you sure you did the right thing?

I'm really not.

We have grim days ahead, very grim days. We'll need to look to God more than ever, and that's a good thing. We'll need to cling to the Cross more than ever, and that's a good thing. We'll need to study and practice the Word more than ever, and that's a good thing.

But what President-elect Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid mean to do to our children's America?

That isn't a good thing.

What to do now? We'll talk about that in the future, Lord willing. "Pray for Obama," we're told. Indeed. Pray that Barack Obama be soundly converted to faith in Christ as his Lord and the only Savior. Pray that, evidently for the first time in his life, he'll take on Christ's yoke and learn from him. Pray that he will repent of his false beliefs and values, and embrace God's point of view, learning to think His thoughts after Him. Pray that President-elect Obama will repent of the evil he means to do, before he does it.

Pray for the church, where judgment will begin. Pray for pastors. Pray for America.

Then we'll have to figure out what the Nehemiah pattern of praying plus doing will mean for us.

UPDATE:
the theologizing and strategerizing starts HERE.

111 comments:

threegirldad said...

Amen, and thank you for posting it. May it be linked far and wide...

GrammaMack said...

I'm a Canadian (with American family and loved ones), and I'm mourning with you.

Ricky Rickard said...

The last 3 days have driven something home that I have known (but not admitted or wanted to admit) for the last 7 years. It has felt like several cannons lined up, each taking a shot at close range. This article was the final blow. So again, I say thank you Dan. Sadly, it is too late to do anything about my vote, or the votes I influenced. I will turn to the One who offers mercy and grace, and pray I find it. Not just for my vote, but for my life to this point.

Jay said...

I've gotten blasted by friends (of all backgrounds) for voting McCain. I said the abortion issue was a deal-breaker for me, and I was blasted for being simplistic.

And these are the same friends who voted for him because he was black, or because he supposedly supports gays (even though he'll sit down for tea with thugs like Achmedinejad who'd have them executed), or because he simply had a D next to his name...

My mother, bless her, is pretty liberal on most issues, but she's always been staunchly pro-life. She was old when she had me, and the delivery could have killed her. The doctor suggested she terminate the pregnancy. She said no, she put her faith in God that she would get through OK (and she did), and thus I live.

So yeah, the pro-life issue is s deal-breaker for me, and I'm not ashamed of it, seeing as that attitude of seeing the life of a child as sacred is why I'm here today.

DJP said...

How old, Jay? My late mother was 39.

Barbara said...

You know something, crazy as it sounds, there is another possibility...

In light of 2 Kings 17 and 1 Samuel 8 and all similar situations:

I've been wondering if perhaps a proverbial Jonah might be in the process of being retrieved from a proverbial fish and whether a proverbial Nineveh might be brought to a similar miraculous repentance.

Now that would be an historical event of, er...Biblical proportions. National repentance - definitely worth praying for. Meantime, I also pray for the strengthening of His saints and the turning of hearts toward Himself; and for His love in us to grow stronger, not colder, in the midst of great iniquities. Now, more than ever, it is vitally important that we not lose our "first love" and to reach out to the ones who will be hurting and hurt by the things that transpire. I look more and more at the example of the Jews in exile in a hostile land (as we the Church is in this world) and under a hostile government (as we most certainly seem to be approaching).

If anything, such situations do seem to be ripe for conforming us to Christ's image. So I pray that we count our struggles and our difficulties and our disappointments as gain and go about living out the faith, hope, and love in a Christlike manner through the grit and the dirt of it all.

DJP said...

Ricky, you will find it, and to spare, in Christ. That is all my hope: mercy for sinners. Because on my very best day, that's all I am.

It's who Jesus came for, says Paul in one of my very favorite verses: sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). He came to save them.

Spurgeon is always such a balm to me. "Do you think that you must be lost because you are a sinner? This is the reason why you can be saved. Because you own yourself to be a sinner I would encourage you to believe that grace is ordained for such as you are." That's from an absolutely wonderful book, All of Grace.

God bless you for your candor and humility.

Robert said...

I believe you understate the problem. But thank you for posting this.

~Mark said...

Amen brother, this is right in line with something I'm preparing on the topic and I'm glad to see it.

NothingNewUnderTheSun said...

Abraham Lincoln said it best:

"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”



This is just one of many reasons why my wife and I home school our kids here in California.

CR said...

Ricky,

One who must go before the throne each day (every hour if I didn't have to work) and ask for mercy, I can tell you will find it.

I was very encouraged by your admission, Ricky. Thank you.

DJP said...

NNUTS, enjoy it while you can. As will we.

Jay said...

She was 45 at the time, almost 46. It wasn't just her age but also her record of complications with my older siblings, who she had when she was much younger. I also had a 25% chance of being Down syndrome. So yes, I admire her not only for keeping me, but also for never even considering an abortion.

And she's 65 today and doing just fine, and I am (more or less) a healthy kid with a near-4.0 GPA, so hey, things turned out alright. :)

Tim Brown said...

Hi Dan!

So much to agree with. Thanks for a good post.

I will, however, have to plead "guilty" for voting for Baldwin. Not that it matters; living in Illinois, it wouldn't have made a spit's bit of difference. Obama clobbered McCain here by at least 30 points and we knew it would happen. So...I did what I figured was the best thing and voted in an effort to help get the percentage high enough to establish the "constitution party" for the next go around. The way I see it, it's more like the old Republican party.

And yeah, I did once post here about having a "McWhatshisname/Palin" sign in the back window of my Honda Civic, using the graphic I lifted from your blog, remember? But I digress.

And I certainly agree with you about the garbage going on. I believe you live in California. I can't imagine how I'd deal with so many things that go on there. I can't even relate because the last time I was in California was when I was in the Valley at MacArthur's church...25 years ago when I attended Logos. Of course, California (as wild as it was then) was much "safer" then, I'm sure.

Thankfully, Prop 8 passed. I praise God that his restraining hand is still present in this case, at least. I understand that it would be an uphill battle to have that reversed now.

I give thanks, though, for the position the Lord has helped me arrive at. And for what I'm about to say, I'm not implying any of this about you, I'm just giving a bit of testimony for myself. Please understand that!

For the past few years I've been very concerned about where I fall in the "fight to save America" arena. Again, I'm not implying that is where you are but I'm just speaking for and about myself.

Thankfully, the Lord has used this issue to help me clarify a focus on the importance of evangelism. To be brief, I've had to come to a point of really simply trusting God with this whole mess and accepting the fact that I cannot change it. Hey, I'm a control freak! I believe God, lately, has been asking "...and just *what* did I put you here for?".

It started a few years ago when I was getting all the calls from the ACLJ (American Center for Law an Justice) asking for money so they could "protect my right to pray". I got so tired of it and finally told the woman that "I don't have the right to pray anyway!" She didn't get it until I told her I have a *mandate* to pray regardless of the legality of prayer, so they had nothing to protect, as far as I'm concerned. I could hear her verbally scratch her head then basically agree with me!

And too was "Faith2Action" with Janet Folger. I couln't listen to VCY America without having to almost sedate myself afterwards. Too many pleas to constantly call my congressman to stop this or that.

That was the start of it. And of course I'm still dealing with so much of this kind of stress. Yes, I would yell "shut up" at the TV when *certain presidential candidates whose last names rhyme with mama* appeared on TV and spewed various things. And I think that is when I decided I had to deal with it. Bitterness issue. I struggle with that.

Yeah, I still get nervous but I'd appreciate your prayers Dan because I'm basically an insecure sort of person anyway. Even worse, I have an overactive and analytical mind with a vivid imagination. My mind is a mine field and tends to make me stumble around way too much. It's far to easy for me to visualize tanks coming down my street with "The One" painted on the side.

For me it has to with setting aside the cultural alarms going off in my head and focusing on my walk with the Lord and simply getting out there and doing evangelism. I fight with that a lot. For some it is easy, for me it is not.

It's not that I don't have training. I do. I've studied "Way of the Master" and have been doing it for four years with varying degrees of frequency. Lots of seeds planted but so far I am not aware of any fruit. Only heaven will tell. Of course, we don't all harvest.

I do feel sad for this country. Part of it has to do with my late father, whom I lost two years ago on the 11th. He was on the beaches of Normandy six days after D-Day. He was a conscientious objector so he was a medic. I've always had an admiration for those who have served so it makes me angry to see our country trashed as it is being trashed. It's like we're spitting on my own dad's grave.

*But then*

I have to step back and remind myself how much more does it sicken God that the Gospel has been perverted and the professing church has been thus filled with false converts! Of course, that effects professing Christianity in so many ways. As a result, the world has been given a warped representation of what it means to be a Christian. They then reject that representation of Christianity thinking they have seen the real thing. And they are innoculated.

I've given up, I think, on the political solutions. I'm not saying that it's wrong to vote, of course. I can't. I voted and was disappointed as you are. And I'd have to agree that political involvement for the Christian is an individual calling. I think that Christians can and should be present everywhere, being salt and light. I think that, for me, it starts and ends with voting. I get off on rabbit chases way too easy.

But as I've said, I think the Lord is telling me to just "give it up" and trust in Him and focus on evangelism. After all, it's the fallen, unredeemed heart that is the real problem. And I know that you agree with this.

I think the Lord is letting this country go, and I think He is preparing to allow us to be tested and sifted. I'm not particularly in love with the idea but I'm trying to get focused as I believe the Lord wants me to be. Keep the eyes on the Lord, and not on the waves

I'd appreciate your prayers. It's a time of growth for me.

Thanks Dan, know you and your blog are appreciated. And please forgive my rambling, I'm frazzled (but resolute).

Tim

Tim Brown said...

Ricky:

My prayers for you as well. Keep seeking!

Dan:
Just noticed your post about Spurgeon being a balm. I recall my early days after my conversion. So many struggles with doubt (which I still deal with often). So often have I found comfort in Spurgeon and others such as Chambers or Andrew Murray!

VcdeChagn said...

Well, I voted for Baldwin, read and reread your thoughts about us (third party voters) and still feel that I made the right choice.

After your entry on Nov 3rd, I did some praying and soul searching and I came to the conclusion that you were exactly right about abortion. How on earth could I vote for someone who supported in any fashion such a heinous crime.

I then researched McCain's voting record on abortion, and found it solid. I looked at some quotes from him and found most of them solid until I ran into one where he believes in exceptions for rape and incest. I saw several variations on this, mostly from a few years back.

A smattered bit of commentary about him flip flopping on the issue.

I finally decided that his real feelings were expressed in '99 when he talked about the exception for rape and incest and the health of the mother. To borrow a phrase, anything else was probably a coat of paint.

ALL children are a blessing, and I don't want to answer to my Lord and Savior for voting for someone who believes it's legal to kill some of them.

I already have enough to answer for.

I'll spare you the rest of the detail of the struggle and discussion with fellow believers over the issue, but I feel no need to repent, even after the fact.

As far as the practical implications of my decision, I am fully aware of it, but to vote for a candidate that wants to kill fewer babies smacks of pragmatism.

I won't respond to any comments, as I'm not trying to start something. I will read them though..and pray of course.

candy said...

Thanks Dan.

Tim Brown said...

Jay:

I'm with you on the abortion issue. While I admit that I wasted too much of the time the Lord entrusted me at places such as "WorldNetDaily", I did post things that made sense, such as "and if Obama makes your financial lot better, how many dead aborted children is it worth to you".

I originally didn't support McCain, for two reasons. One was how weak he looked anyway before Palin came on board and the second had to do with his kind of weak stand against embryonic stem cell research. But I spoke with a rep from Illinois Right To Life and he gave me a push to actually vote this year.

Again, I agree with you on the abortion issue. For me, it comes down to "what matters in eternity". My temporal freedom doesn't, as much as I do prefer it. Being financially better off is of no real eternal value (past being able to help others more of course).

Anyway, just wanted to say you aren't alone.

Becky, a slave of Christ said...

Dan, (I couldn't stop reading once I started) your analysis is compelling and true; your lament makes me weep. Both you and Frank have moved my heart this day and helped me sort through my own thoughts as this nation takes its severe left turn.

At the risk of being accused of being redundant, choosing to vote for life isn't the act of simpleton.

Rachael Starke said...

Dan,

I would add Brian Maclaren and his wolfish brethren.

Contrary to one of Mr. McCain's sentiments he mistook for policy,I believe that the fight for the rights of the unborn will now once again become the civil rights issue of our time (rather than education).

Contrary to Maclaren's warped view of the world, loving the famous "least of these" begins in the womb, for all who want to demonstrate their faith by their works. And contrary to President-Elect Obama's warped view of the world, it's not above my pay grade to fight for their rights.

So unless Phil totally shoots me down on my strategy, I'm enlisting. (And if he does, I'll just come up with another one.)

I blame you and Russell Moore.

Alan said...

It is obvious that a majority of Americas voters voted for Obama.
This will include a lot of Christians.

Many of these Christians will not be as you describe. And I can't appreciate the way you portray them.

I can appreciate your views though.
A few things to note:
- The president is not Jesus, and will never be Jesus. As no sin is greater than another, both McCain and Obama would be as bad as one another, as both are sinners.
- If you believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, which I could advocate as much from the Bible as you could voting for McCain, God either placed Obama in power, or will exercise his will in Obama, despite Americas sin.
So continue to pray, and pray for Obama. Pray for God to reveal His will, and please don't assume you know His will..

I trust you won't sensor this comment, it seems there haven't been any posts of this nature in your comment section.

DJP said...

VcdeChagn — thanks for your candor, but that thinking absolutely baffles me.

Rather than support a man with a GOOD chance of opposing something like NINETY-EIGHT PER CENT of all abortions, you supported a man with ZERO chance of doing ANYTHING positive about abortion... thus contributing to the election of a man who embraces ALL abortions.

Absolutely baffling.

Staci at Writing and Living said...

Well said. My husband and I regularly warn our children that the day may come when they could be put in jail - or worse - for preaching the gospel. Our pastor says the same thing. That makes us crazy, paranoid fundamentalists to most people, and we pray that it doesn't come to pass, but it certainly looks like we're headed that way.

JackW said...

I didn't get to read this until this morning ... right after hearing the news that McCain's people were blaming Gov. Palin for the defeat. LOSERS!

Thanks, I feel better. Sort of. May the Palin's of the world take back their party.

Libbie said...

I'm finding I want to shout at the Christians who voted third party or didn't vote with the deliberate thought that if Obama did get in anyway, well, maybe it's time for God to judge America.

I genuinely, obviously, don't have a dog in the fight, being English, but seriously, of all the people in the bible, why on earth would you want to emulate Jonah wishing destruction on Ninevah? Surely we should be praying and acting for His mercy?

Andrew said...

DJP,
Amen. Very insightful about the government reeducation camps.

Tim,
I agree that our nation is under the judgment of God. But whence the reasoning that one must withdraw from politics altogether? Should we no longer speak freely and LOUDLY about the evil in our land that our chosen lawmakers perpetuate?
How is that not squandering the stewardship he has given us?

We can earnestly seek to protect the innocent AND proclaim the gospel at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive activities.

If I misunderstood you please feel free to correct/clarify.

Daryl said...

Dan,

I fear that Canada may not be the example you're looking for. Although the U.S. is probably close to 10 years "behind" us, liberally speaking, there is a passion in American politics that just doesn't exist in Canada.

While we have been inching our way along towards the abyss, most Canadians are ambivalent, that includes the enforcers as well as the general populace, so any anti-Christian type laws are rarely enforced or noticed.

In the U.S., however, passion runs high (witness your election turn-out) and I fear that, given this opportunity, the American government may leap-frog us, your northern neighbours, and enter an era of severe and enforced liberalism (read anti-Christianism).

The sad thing is, so many Christians supported Obama and Clinton, they may not even notice when things get hot.

I pray that I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

Aaron said...

All I can say is thanks for the post I needed that. I to my shame voted for Obama. After thinking it over I cant help but think not only did I sell out. But I cant shake the feeling that we as a nation have become like Esau selling our brithright for a mess of proidge. Dark days are ahead of us.

DJP said...

Oh, I think you're exactly right, Daryl.

It's an odd phenomenon; I wonder whether it's uniquely American. I see it with the church towards American society, and American society towards others (chiefly European). And the lag-time does seem to be about ten years.

I'd characterize it as: "Say, that's really horrible! I must have it!"

Society goes nutso-feminist, and wanna-be Christianoids say, "I want it!" So ten years later, they catch up; only, by then, the world has already moved on.

You can see the same in Israel, can't you? When they walk with Yahweh, they know His blessings. But they look at the pagans around them, and remark, "Say, that's really horrible! I must have it!"

You'd almost think something was screwed up in the way we think.

Almost.

DJP said...

Aaron, I quite agree. Thanks for sharing.

jeffrey said...

Amen, to that. I just cannot fathom how a true Christian could have voted for the man. I'm irritated, but agree that this will drive us more to God in these next days. I usually hate politics, but this has lit a fire under me to voice my thoughts to my congregation and anyone else who will hear. I think this is the time to roll up our sleeves and get dirty in the trenches to do battle spiritually and practically against the glazed over, deer in the headlights, poplace who think the they have just elected the candy man. Well it will be candy, but more like kool-aid who wants you to just drink and shut up. Well, I for one can't and won't. I appreciate your blog and stand for biblical christianity.
Jeff

Lieutenant Pratt said...

You remark about Jeremiah weeping at the ruins around him. I weep at the ruins of America but recognize that it was the GOP that destroyed it over the past 8 years.

I will pray your prayer, but I pray it for you and your followers. It is you that needs to see the truth, it is you that needs to cease spreading false rumors and gossip, it is you that needs to flee to the cross and pray for the fruit of the Spirit as indicated in Galatians. Your attitude towards your brothers in Christ has been nothing short of shameful and dishonoring to Christ.

DJP said...

If you hadn't long-since completely destroyed your credibility here, it might make a needle tick.

But snipes from trolls really don't do it. There are lots of other sites that have no meta oversight. Might peddle your Bush Derangement Syndrome wares there.

grandmattyp said...

Well, as you have implicated that I am not a true believer, and you are wrong about that, I feel the need to reply, though I would not normally reply to the pooling of ignorance.
The only voice of real truth I find in this is the comment by Alan.
I'm not even really sure why I read the whole thing, as soon as it became obvious that your understanding of our only ability to affect real and lasting change comes down to a vote every four years, and that you feel that we must depend on the government to be an arm of the church.
I appreciate the passion of abortion activists, and I support most of what they do, but one thing I have never heard from the right on the issue of abortion is what kind of hope to offer a young, teenage, poor mom who is considering her options.
Maybe, instead of railing against, well, me for how I did or didn't vote and equating my love for Christ as such, we should do a little research on how the political system actually works in America and then go out and be an agent of change where it really matters, maybe as a counselor or adoption advocate in our local churches or crisis pregnancy centers. Maybe we could go meet a few teenage moms and help teach them how to mother, on their own. Maybe we could even help them get a GED or go to college. Maybe we could affect real and lasting change instead of depending on the government to do it for us. I'm pretty sure that's what really classifies us as "Conservative."

Benjamin Nitu said...

I love your passion Dan!

Under president Bush the abortion rate has gone down 9 percent. I wonder how much this will grow under president Obama.

People can wash their hands off, but the fact remains that a vote for Obama was a license to kill innocent life

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

We might not understand it all, but one thing is sure: God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Andrew said...

Oh man, I have seldom seen so much common sense packed into one blog post. Amen, amen, and amen--especially to the part about Obama's Christian enablers.

Benjamin Nitu said...

grandmattyp, maybe you don't hear it because you don't listen.

Here's one example: http://www.caris.org/

JOYce said...

Tuesday evening before our polls closed there were two young men on the corner of a nearby busy intersection and in raised hands were signs of Obama's picture with the printed word, HOPE. On a return drive through the intersection a few others had since gathered and were posed for a Kodak moment. We could hear the honking and shouts of support once home...hours later. Pseudo hope. Cried me a river. When we first moved here, a few blocks down the road was seen a old gentleman that paced near a less busy intersection(the unmarked and now vacant building may have housed a reproductive rights office) with a sign for those passersby that valued life of the unborn created by God to honk in support. I saw no one jump from their car then to WOOT WOOT nor did anyone lay on horns like on Tuesday. Signs of the times.

It wasn't long after we moved here that I was informed in talking with two neighbors that we had chosen to live in the wrong neighborhood. Computers of those that come to Biblical Christianity may be miles apart geographically ~ yet God speaks to my grateful heart mightily through this place. Thanks for writing ~

Mesa Mike said...

> one thing I have never heard from
> the right on the issue of abortion
> is what kind of hope to offer a
> young, teenage, poor mom who is
> considering her options.


You've really never heard of crisis pregnancy centers?

They're all over the place. And it ain't the liberal hand-wringers that are running them.

Tim Brown said...

Andrew:

Thanks for your response.

Quite simply, I didn't say that there is no place for a Christian in politics. In fact, I said it this way:

"And I'd have to agree that political involvement for the Christian is an individual calling. I think that Christians can and should be present everywhere, being salt and light. I think that, for me, it starts and ends with voting. I get off on rabbit chases way too easy."

In other words, if you believe the Lord wants you to get more involved, then that's between you and the Lord. As for me, I'm the kind of person who gets so wrapped up in all of it that I shouldn't go there. I know from experience that I ended up trying to do it the way *I* want to do it and my walk with the Lord suffers.

Yes, I periodically call my congressmen. But when I see myself constantly in a worry about "losing my rights" and letting anxiety run my life (while the Scriptures tell us not to do this) then I know something has to go.

I Called. I voted. I rendered to Cesar. And the major issues for me had to do with abortion, marriage and the like. And I mentioned in a later post in this thread that I spent (too much) time posting at WorldNetDaily and other threads (such as fox news)about Obama and abortion.

But I've learned that I have the sort of temperament where I need to spend more time with the Lord and seeking Him and doing evangelism (which is just obedience to the Great Commission).

He wants *me* to quit looking at the waves and learn to trust Him better.

It's a point of personal conviction about my walk with our Lord. He wants me to spend more time trusting Him alone and doing evangelism. What we see is ultimately a problem in the unredeemed hearts of those who are lost. And if they die having their minds changed about abortion but don't have Christ, where do they go when they die? And if they are Born Again, abortion is reduced by a change of heart.

Again, thanks for your reply. Since this is such a highly charged subject, I feel I must add the statement that nothing I've said is meant personally. But it's a hard, dark line I've had to draw for myself and I will not move it.

Alan said...

Grandmattyp thanks for your encouragement, and I agree with you also. :-)

Benjamin Nitu, I doubt that Grandmattyp is ignorant of what support is out there. And don't doubt he also knows of the pain and suffering people and their babies go through with things like abortion.

What I understand from his comment is that we need to take our values beyond our vote and into what we do in our lives. We may post links to or show where others that sympathise with our views are making a difference, but at the end of the day someone cannot stand up and say they supported pro-life without getting out there and participating, encouraging people in their struggles. Voting in a politician is not enough, and voting against a politician is not enough.

The other thing I think we need to see here, is that we are called to love our neighbour. In a very simple application, this doesn't mean shoot down the pro-choice or Obama supporters. It means love the pro-choice. Yes, there are times and places for lovingly revealing to someone that their view is contrary to the bible, but to box people up and to cause offence, especially to suggest someones faith is fundamentally flawed because they hold not your view, is not showing love for one another. I'm with Lieut. Pratt on this one, it's shameful. If we don't show love for one another, how, by our example, can we expect people to likewise show love to unborn babies.

Lets act like we are a body, lets get out there and work to show love to those suffering, and lets put aside prejudice and work together for the sake of the Gospel. This is what it truly means to follow Christ.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Lt. Pratt: "I will pray your prayer, but I pray it for you and your followers. It is you that needs to see the truth, it is you that needs to cease spreading false rumors and gossip, it is you that needs to flee to the cross and pray for the fruit of the Spirit as indicated in Galatians. Your attitude towards your brothers in Christ has been nothing short of shameful and dishonoring to Christ."

Lt. Pratt, DJP's comment of "But the most disgraceful of all are professedly Christian enablers" applies in your situation (whether or not you voted for Obama) because you are attempting to shame DJP for shaming the quisling Christian enablers.

And nominal Christians need to be shamed into genuine repentance ... for their sake as professed followers of Christ.

Lastly, I notice that DJP did not list McCain as being worthy of blame. This is understandable because it's all too easy to Monday Morning quarterback on why McCain and his campaign strategists lost.

P.S. This post wasn't bad at all. I thought it was right on. But then again, I always did like the actions of Elisha, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Paul, and Jesus who didn't always make nice with the prevailing culture of the day, nor win friends with the invertebrate religious enablers of their day either.

Andrew said...

Tim,
Well said. I understand your distiniction b/w handling temptation you struggle with vs. what others believers should do. Thanks for clarifying.

Andrew said...

grandmattyp,
You said that “the right” (I guess that is those who agree with Dan) does not “offer hope to young, teenage, poor mom who is considering her options”. You have never heard of this.

So I say (as you did), “I feel the need to reply”:
I volunteer at the Blue Ridge Crisis Pregnancy Center out here in Appilachian Virginia. Google it

Completely unrelated to that fact, I married a single (never previously married) mom earlier this year, and am adopting her 7-yr old daughter as my own. My wife was young, single, uneducated, and poor when she became pregnant. She visited Planned Parenthood and later visited the same crisis pregnancy center mentioned above. By God’s grace (she was not a Christian then) she was persuaded to make the right decision. That’s because there were people (“the right” as you call them) who spoke the TRUTH that she needed to here.

We can do both. We can obey Christ in our voting just as well as we can obey Christ in everything else we say and do. You gave no reason for forcing the “either/or” false dichotomy.

So anyway, now that your canard has been put to rest, I missed the part of your comment where you interacted seriously with the post?

Everyday Mommy said...

Dan:

Exceptional post, brother! And, "the hand-wringing, conflicted souls" came a'calling at my blog last night, in a post called Welcome to Socialism. They filled the com-box with the exact rhetoric you've described.

"This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth,and says, “I have done no wrong.” Proverbs 30:20

Benjamin Nitu said...

Alan, here is what grandmattyp wrote: I understand that we can
I appreciate the passion of abortion activists, and I support most of what they do, but one thing I have never heard from the right on the issue of abortion is what kind of hope to offer a young, teenage, poor mom who is considering her options.


As you and many other have already mentioned, we all have heard about conservative organizations that support young and poor mothers.

Yes, we should do more. More than just voting. But, do not be naive. If someone doesn't even care enough to vote, why do you think they will get involve and help? Voting does make a difference: 9% reduction of abortions under president Bush

DJP said...

Everyday Mommy — ooh, Proverbs 30:20. What an apposite citation. Thanks!

Tim Brown said...

Andrew:

You're welcome.

It was a long process for me to come to this point. And I get vociferous when I try to discuss things, some times.

To sum it all up as calmly as I can, I would argue that we are here, first and foremost, to glorify God by proclaiming the Gospel. The message of Sin, judgment, repentance and faith in Christ alone.

I do think far too many professing Christians spend their time trying to reform society rather than seeking its transformation through the Gospel. We have a church here that I used to attend where they stood outside the church and held signs saying "Abortion Kills Children", etc. and that's ok, but do they ever go out and spread the gospel? NO! They wanted us to drag in "unchurched" people so we could "wow" them.

They are seeking social change and forgetting that spiritual transformation is the real issue. Trust me.

Now, if someone starts with abortion as the opener then swings to the spiritual (using, say, the sixth commandment as the gateway) I would do that too and I think at that point, the issue is part of a powerful witnessing tool. But witnessing comes first.

It took me a long time to work through this. Here's a couple links that discuss it over at my blog...and by the way if you go to the first page of posts, you'll notice I had quite a bit to say about obama and abortion.

Here's
the first


Here's
another one.


And here's a link to
my front page. Hey, I do have to promote my blog, you know.

Jennifer said...

You know, I told myself I was going to stop reading here and that I certainly would never post again. I couldn't understand the absolute tidal wave of grief that your past several posts has engendered in me. And, MAN, was I sarcastic at my own blog--and I rarely ever go there.

But I so thank God for His wisdom, because reading here and a few other places has enabled me to put into words the devastation I feel for the women and children God is speaking to through me.

I hope that it's all right to post this comment I just left over at Pyromaniacs:

"Mr. Johnson--

Thank you for posting this! I haven't the time right now to read through all the links, but I will as as soon as possible.

I volunteer at the only crisis pregnancy center in my area, and it's faith-based, but ecumenical. Many of the people there are Roman Catholic, and while we agree on the sanctity of human life, we disagree not only on fundamental doctrinal issues but on the best approach to ending abortion and the best way to interact with women who come to us for help and counseling.

Their way includes a deal of shame and guilt, I'm sad to say. It either pushes people away, or makes their struggle exponentially more difficult. Read: It puts the unborn child in even MORE danger. I prefer to extend grace, mercy, and gentleness and pray that God will change hearts. To be honest, I can't see Christ behaving in any other way.

My special focus is victims of rape, and I'm heartbroken to say that we've a high occurrence of rape where I live. Rape victims will speak with me over and over, and I repeatedly receive thanks because I do not shame them. I always tell them that this is because I serve a God who, while I was still a sinner, loved and saved me out of my sin--and models that love so tangibly in Christ, who does not SHAME, but SAVES!

God has blessed me, also, because I have been in their shoes. I survived a very violent rape myself, during which I was almost killed, and am open about its effects and the struggle I had when I thought a child had been conceived. (There was no child in my case.)

Extreme care must be taken with these women. They are, to borrow a phrase, "delicate souls." Statistically, they make up a very small percentage of women who seek abortive services, but they ARE out there. And people mustn't forget that these women have only recently been traumatized.

In my observation, this current election cycle has brought out some things that have made my ministry MUCH more difficult. We've had a HUGE increase in people who, desiring to become more "politically involved in ending abortion," have grouped outside our building, wearing partisan buttons/clothes and behaving in ways that turn my stomach.

They spew caustic political rhetoric while identifying themselves with Christ! These hurting women don't see broken hearts and genuine love--they see angry, zealous, self-righteous people who use hyper-charged words like "Nazi" and "murderer" and thrust gruesome photos of mutilated babies into their faces!

And it's not just happening outside crisis pregnancy centers like ours. Take a look at some of the Christian blogs, and you see the kind of thing the women I counsel read when THEY Google "abortion"+"Jesus." One of these women told me that she'd stumbled upon a Christian blog and contemplated SUICIDE after reading!

How many women do tactics like these turn away, both from help AND from Christ? I'm devastated at the thought.

It's Gospel alone that makes a difference in these battered and broken lives. It was the Gospel alone that made a difference in mine. I urge everyone reading this to understand that not every woman considering abortion is a cold-hearted "Nazi," and not every Christian who voted (or wanted to vote) for a candidate who opposes ALL abortion is a "Nazi" either.

My apologies for posting such a long, impassioned comment, but I'm compelled to speak out about this.

Christ is our only hope! Oh, but what a hope!"

Wow, God has given me emotional and intellectual clarity on where I stand on this issue after YEARS of prayer and tears, and, far from feeling "ashamed" or "very, very guilty," I am even MORE in awe of His absolute unmerited favor than I ever have been! And SO full of hope in Him! I am NOTHING--thank you, Christ Jesus!

jazzact13 said...

I mostly agree with you, with a few exceptions.

I don't think that simply because President Bush didn't play the game the way Clinton did, that that is such a bad thing. Perhaps he should have done more to defend himself, I would agree there. But McCain's defeat rests solely on his own shoulders and those of the party. They tried to make themselves more like Democrats, and conservatives didn't want that.

Also, do get over your rage towards conservative third-party voters. Channel it towards the real culprits--the media that sold their souls to the left, people who knew what Obama was and voted for him anyway, the 'Christians' real and fake who think that Obama is somehow both pro-abortion and pro-life, and a Republican party trying to curry favor with all of those by giving up their conservative standards.

Gilbert said...

Dan,

A friend I talked with last night put it this way, "I don't get into politics". He tends to vote Democrat, and is pro-abortion for the most aprt, but was horrified when I told them that doctor-assisted suicide was now legal in Washington. I quickly added: So where do we go from here? With the devaluing of life, and with England's top doctor now advocating death-on-demand to anyone who thinks their baby isn't up to snuff...

Deuteronomy 30:19...

"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live..."

We made "the choice", alright. Ignorant, blind. We think the media is bad, but don't look on the Internet with wisdom and discernment for the facts.

Dan, President Bush's lack of defense may be correct, but if you have to do THAT to stay elected, then the electorate is doomed already. It was just a matter of time. America is now a frog in water that will get hotter and hotter; and like the frog, may not know until it is too late that he is in boiling water.

But for us who believe, I offer this solace in tears.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhMeJ_85H3Y

Tim Brown said...

Jennifer:

Thanks. First of all for helping me understand that I'm not the only Christian who found himself a bit edgy over this election.

Secondly, for affirming my own heart on this.

One of the side effects of all the "Christian Politcal Activism" is that the "other side" sees Christianity as a political block, not what it is supposed to be viewed as. So, they turn off the "political block" which should be giving them the Gospel. Thus, they are hardened against what they perceive as "Christianity".

Yes, the Gospel!

Gilbert said...

P.S. I forgot to add Deuteronomy 15 first:

"See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction."

This weekend, for the first time in my life, I was asked to preach to our smaller sister congregation of about 30 people. What God put in my heart to preach was immediate: the Gospel. THE Gospel.
Lord willing, on Sunday, it will be so.

Lee Shelton IV said...

"You Christians who did not vote or went third-party, you can tell yourselves you did otherwise."

Dan, you denounced Ron Paul during the primaries. You said then that he had no chance of winning the presidency. Well, given the benefit of hindsight, neither did McCain. Couldn't it be argued that your vote for McCain was wasted?

DJP said...

Easiest question first: Lee, no way. Polls were close up to the last. McCain was ahead. So, in brief, no.

Plus, I had two choices. As a Christian, Obama was out of the question. Leaving McCain. (Which I really have explained at great length, so won't repeat.)

DJP said...

Once again, there's a sad mixture of great good sense, good writing, and bewildering muddle in what you write, Jennifer.

First, let me say with no "buts" that I am terribly sorry to hear of your rape. I can't tell you how sorry. I hope and pray you have found and continue to find healing from what that act of appalling violence did to your heart and soul.

Second, perhaps the rest of your comment clues in to why you've been so off-target in your remarks here. You'll search in vain for anyone in any of the posts or comments shaming women who have been raped for having been raped. What's more, did you see this post? The woman featured in it and I have since had a nice correspondence. She didn't make any of the false accusations you've made.

Third, as others have already pointed out, some of your notions about Jesus simply don't jibe with the Gospels. He used shame and scorn frequently and freely, in some contexts. Just read Matthew 23, and you'll have cause enough to revise your view. Add the poets and prophets, and your case crumbles.

Fourth, if you could read the posts in this blog objectively, you will see that the primary targets are the would-be leaders who paint bulls-eyes on the unborn. Those who enable them come next, and you will never persuade me that they are not culpable for doing so.

But women who elect to have abortions must deal, not with "shame," but with real and palpable guilt for their sin. No other approach addresses what must be addressed. I wrote at some length about that here.

Fifth, have you stopped trying to use Ricky as your cause-celebre? Did you notice that he immediately told you that he took none of the offence you imagined on his behalf? And now he has since said that he decided he had made a mistake? And his announcement was met with nothing but grace?

Finally, really, if this blog upsets you that much, and you don't think you have anything to learn from it, I certainly won't force you to come back.

DJP said...

jazzact13 - I think you're palpably wrong about Bush, for the reasons explained, and I really think it's beyond deniability; I think you're quite right about McCain and the leftward drift of the GOP (as I said, it was a partial list); and as to sparing people who waste their time, money, and efforts on self-referential gestures when they need to grow up and join in: not going to happen.

Benjamin Nitu said...

Jennifer, thank you for sharing your story with us.

I would only say that Jesus never minimizes the sin. We shouldn't either. That being said, we should show as much grace as Jesus did.

Delirious said it best:
"40 million babies lost to Gods great orphanage,
It's a modern day genocide and a modern day disgrace
If this is a human right then why aren't we free?
The only freedom we have is in a man nailed to a tree."

Michelle said...

Dan, I must admit that when I first read your words today, I was angry at you. I preferred the "let's just pray for Obama and move on" approach - it was much more comfortable. After some more thought, I couldn't decide if I should admire you or rebuke you. It has been about two hours now and I finally understand that there is a time for righteous anger, a time for analysis, and a time for lamenting. You have challenged my thinking and I'm grateful for that. Thanks for having the courage to share so deeply.

DJP said...

Michelle, let me sincerely thank you for taking the time to think it over and process your responses. You honor me as a writer. I don't take it for granted, and I do appreciate it.

Lieutenant Pratt said...

Ricky- You should not feel remorse for your vote. Contrary to DJP's pontification it did not affect the outcome in your state. Obama won it by 204,000 and all the 3rd party votes together were around 80,000 with Nader getting almost half of them. Even if all 3rd party votes went to McCain nationwide the results would be the same. The only state where it *might* have made any difference is North Carolina and even that is far from certain. One would have to assume that all votes for Barr would have gone to McCain and that is a stretch.

Trevor Peck said...

Well said brother! "Even so, come Lord Jesus"! Now more than ever.

Love in the Truth.

chrish said...

Lt Pratt,
With respect sir, that is a very "ends justifies means" response. A bad decision, no matter the consequence, is still a bad decision.

DJP said...

Pratt, you could learn from Ricky. You're certainly in no position to "counsel" him.

You barge in, insult and pontificate, ask questions to which you ignore the answers, repeat yourself, and refuse to learn anything.

Ricky reads, listens, thinks, learns, changes his mind when it makes sense to him.

But then, he's not the troll you've turned out to be.

Rita Martinez said...

"when my Bible reading the morning of the 5th turned out to include 2 Kings 17. I gulped."
LOL!! are you kidding??? thats what encouraged me to trust in God's sovereignty more than ever regarding this election!! in fact it was reading 2 kings all this time...reading about all those badddddd liberal presidents..*cough**cough* I mean Kings...

but anyway I'm glad someone wrote a lament cause when I heard the news I was sooo disappointed, not only that, my classmates at the hospital are 9/13 americans and all but me are liberals so they were celebrating...on top of that I just can't believe sooo many dominicans drank the Obama Koolaid...even in the newspapers all about Mr. Obama's glorious triumph...
like this one lady on the newspaper: "His triumph is a global triumph, I think that we will fair better with this president, who wants peace and the progress of all of us who inhabit this earth. It's time to celebrate this victory, which by the way, breaks all racial problems"
comeeee onnnnnn
*sigh*

But after reading 2 kings, I can't help but wonder who'll be the "Asirian King" to blaspheme God and thus causing God to deliver us from bad liberal presidents.

And I say us because whatever affects the US affects my country as well, even a presidential election.

Mr. Phillips be encouraged!!
Our God is an amazing God and He is in control of all things! But you already know that, just wanted to say that :)

Libbie said...

Wow, Dan, you even got some 'like ministry' comments.

For those suggesting that Dan is wrong to speak most plainly on this matter, and that he should focus on the gospel of grace, do a search on here or Teampyro. Dan is one of the most gospel-centric people I know, full stop. Anyone chucking accusations otherwise is just plain wrong.

Lee Shelton IV said...

Let's say both candidates believe in gassing Jews. Candidate A believes there should be no restrictions on gassing, and Candidate B believes Jews should only be gassed under certain circumstances. How is a pro-life Christian to vote? How bad do the choices have to be before a Christian can legitimately claim, "I can't vote for either one"?

By the way, I love it that you aren't afraid to speak your mind. Keep it up! (Not that you really need encouragement in that area.)

eastendjim said...

My mom was 46 when I was born. My dad and her had just adopted my brother Mike when they found out that she was pregnant.

I am sure that the medical council she received in 1960 would have been the opposite of what she would have been told today.

CR said...

One of the things I have found troubling reading other blogs is the quickness to ask the church to give thanks and honor Obama and give him respect. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I do give thanks to God for the one silver lining and that is the efforts made to get out the black vote for Obama in CA appears to have been pivotal to get prop 8 to pass.

But why the quickness by others to honor and respect and give thanks...where is the time to mourn and lament. Thanks, Dan, for pointing out this time right now is a time to mourn and lament.

Alan said...

Libbie, it stands that there is barely any expression of the gospel in this post, except to discuss pro life, which I doubt any Christian here would reject in any case.
Dan is not being gracious. In such a public sphere, I am not encouraged by the blog and comments that come along with it.

Dan, your treatment of Lt. Pratt is appalling. I haven't read any other blog posts to know the history, but the impression here in this blog post is not good.

It's very disappointing that you praise those that agree with you, and blatantly shut out those who don't agree with you. Or ignore, (which I guess is fair enough).

But I can't see how your accusation of Lt. Pratt is any different to your own behaviour.

"You barge in, insult and pontificate, ask questions to which you ignore the answers, repeat yourself, and refuse to learn anything."
Aside from Barging in, as it is your own blog, and asking questions, cause you seem to already feel you know so much, I find that you also repeat yourself, insult and pontificate, and refuse to learn anything.
Will you reject my comment? Or could I suggest the same personal reflection you are demanding from those who didn't vote the same way as you.

DJP said...

Rita, you're always a breath of fresh air. Thanks!

CR said...

Dan,

I've been wanting to ask you, on your part of the post where you say that pastors should be speaking about life being a consideration voting, does that included pastors telling people who they should vote for?

Technically speaking, a church can lose its nonprofit status for doing such a thing, although, liberal churches do it all the time and in this election some conservative pastors have stood out and told people who they should vote for.

But I've been in churches where there are at least voter guides and that does not violate any non-profit status.

DJP said...

Alan #1Dan, your treatment of Lt. Pratt is appalling.

Alan #2 (very next words)I haven't read any other blog posts to know the history

'Nuff said.

Gilbert said...

Alan,

Permit me to ask you a few questions:

1. Dan does not "shut out" anybody, save for those who write inflammatory comments. If you look at his history, you will have seen that.

2. What does Dan need to learn, Alan? Tolerance and grace? Against those who openly and blatantly lie and cause many to stumble in great sin, pushing to legalize the murder of unborn children and devaluing life as a stance? We must stand in opposition to this, period, in prayer, word and deed as the Bible commands us to. If you take this as a lack of love, I'm sorry, but you're wrong, and I pray you will see this.

3. Calling someone out as a troll is NOT an insult if it is true. And Dan is not calling out Lt. Pratt--or anyone else---as a troll for disagreeing with him. He MUST warn, sternly, forcefully but in love (I do not see how he has done otherwise; if you can cite an example, please do), of the lack of love shown by those who would vote for someone openly hostile to the sanctity of life. If you take that as acting mean or hostile, sorry...it's just that you aren't used to someone with some spiritual backbone and isn't afraid to use/say it.

jazzact13 said...

--I think you're palpably wrong about Bush, for the reasons explained, and I really think it's beyond deniability;--

And heaven help us if we make Clinton the standard of how to do things.

--I think you're quite right about McCain and the leftward drift of the GOP (as I said, it was a partial list);--

Good we can say we agree on something (many things, actually).

--and as to sparing people who waste their time, money, and efforts on self-referential gestures when they need to grow up and join in: not going to happen.--

Join in what??? As we just agreed on, the GOP is going center or even left-of-center. Shall we join in that?

I hope they do wake up and get their own house in order. That would be great. But if they don't, if they go further left and start jettisoning all the things that make them worth considering, then we need to jettison them.

CR said...

By the way, on the MSM bias, Chris Matthews said on Joe Scarborough (sp?) said that he wanted to make sure that this presidency succeeds and Joe, was like, is that really our job? And Matthews replied, yes, that it was his job to make sure that this presidency succeed.

DJP said...

Jazz, here's where I leave threads like this. In comment #75 after a long post, you isolate a couple of things I said from this and a half-dozen other posts and ask (sorry, but) silly questions.

So I'll just say, "No, not what you said, what I said in the first place." And if that's not good enough, we move on.

Stan McCullars said...

Excellent analysis.

Stefan said...

Dan:

Michelle and I must think alike. It's got to be the Vancouver climate.

I am pro-life (though was on the other side of the fence before I came to Christ) and would have voted for McCain/Palin if I could, but being a Canadian citizen living in Canada, that was not an option.

My comments yesterday were not an attempt to be milquetoast or pollyannish, but to see some sliver of God's providence in the midst of all of this.

Remember that we are, ultimately, wherever we are, a small remnant of believers, aliens in a strange land, pilgrims on the way to the New Jerusalem.

That all said, in reading your posts and the comment threads yesterday and today, I've gone from bewilderment at your reaction, through to a more reflective attitude, and in the depths of your reproaching errant brothers and sisters in Christ, have grasped all the more the gravity of what our two countries are doing to unborn children. It's a terrible, shameful thing.

When I wrote yesterday that we should pray for the president elect, I meant it, and still mean it. Paul's exhortation to pray for leaders in 1 Timothy 2 doesn't have any conditional clauses attached to it. But implicit in that is, of course, that we should pray, first of all, for the Lord God to give Obama eyes to see and ears to hear, to remind him of Jesus Christ, in Whom alone we find real hope and change, and to instill in him the heart of a godly leader.

Solameanie said...

Dan,

Excellent, thoughtful post. I commend you for your restraint, because I probably would have been much more acerbic.

As to people like the good lieutenant, I have to wonder why people like him frequent blogs such as this. How many times do they have to get their noses rubbed in it before they learn not to dump on the carpet?

Gilbert said...

BTW, Dan, I willalso compliment you on what I discern as a very thoughtful and good post, and a call to arms for this country, and myself, personally. Spirtually and peacefully, but with the prayers and help from our Father through our Lord Jesus.

ThirstyDavid said...

Well, done, Dan. If I'd known you were going to write this today, I could have foregone my own babbling this morning and just linked to you.

Jennifer said...

Dan, please forgive me for allowing my personal hurt feelings at some of the language here to cause me to be sarcastic and insensitive. Also, I re-read my last post, and it was NOT my intention to imply that anyone was shaming rape victims for being raped. I've not seen ANY comments to that effect. I sincerely apologize to anyone who was hurt by my poor choice of words and lack of care in proofreading before I posted.

When I spoke about shame, I was referring to being shamed for considering a third-party vote. Ricky's admission to voting third-party earned reactions that I viewed as ungracious. I felt compassion for him. I wasn't taking up for Ricky alone, or for myself alone, but for a Biblical principle. I did read that Ricky had had a change of heart, and, yes, he certainly WAS spoken to graciously afterward. I'm still not convinced that he sinned, but if he feels he did, then repentance would be the hoped-for response.

I understood that your primary target was Obama et al. But reading the past few posts, it's as if you're spraying buckshot. We disagree on the guilt of third-party voters; that's obvious. I think we may disagree, too, on where the church's emphasis needs to be placed in order to actually DO something about abortion.

You say I'm not reading you “objectively,” and I can only assume that you think my very strong emotion has me reading with blinders on. I respectfully suggest that I may not be the only one for whom this is the case.

Is abortion murder? YES. Is murder sin? Of course! Do we need to call it what it is and to work toward ending it? Definitely. But in everything we do or say, grace first. Those women outside my window aren't helping. They COULD, but they're not. They're scaring women and chasing them away. I notice that no one's said anything about these types of protesters. You should see the letters they write to the local newspapers. I would NEVER question their salvation or their love for the unborn, but I find their tactics appalling and harmful to the cause of Christ.

I was fifteen years old when I was raped. I contemplated abortion, as friends of mine at the time had done. God saw fit to prevent that decision from having to be made, but I've NEVER forgotten what it's like to be an unsaved, scared, tortured, and abused young woman.

I was told I was “no better than Joseph Mengele” for even considering abortion. And then she tried to hand me a tract about Christ and a postcard for her church. Oh, if I could go back in time, I would gaze directly into her eyes and ask her if SHE was better than Mengele. Without Christ, we're ALL “Mengele.” And we speak as though we aren't murderers, adulterers, and thieves.

If someone can prove to me that those were God-inspired words, I'd love to hear your argument. I really don't think they were. To this day, they echo in my mind when the enemy taunts me with the fact that I considered murdering a child.

Do you want a young woman to stop and listen to you as you try to explain to her that what she's thinking about doing is MURDER? Don't tell her she's a female Dr. Mengele. It may come as a shock, but she won't listen to you!

The issue of sin MUST be addressed. But we mustn't forget that those women who are on the fence about abortion are watching us.
Pro-abortionists are watching us. You don't think they drop in here? I know one of my clients did!

So when they see that our rhetoric matches the pro-abortionists in hyper-emotionalism, they rejoice. When they call us “pro-life Nazis” and we call them “pro-abortion Nazis,” they rejoice. “Hypocrites!” they say. So much for this “fruit of the Spirit” stuff. Isn't the Gospel alone enough of an offense and stumbling block?

You say there's ample evidence of people using strong--even harsh--language in the Bible. And I NEVER claimed otherwise. Christ used harsh language. But unlike Jesus, I can't see into the hearts of the people I speak to. When He called the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs” (ouch!), he could see the state of their souls. He knew them, their end from their beginning.

When this woman compared me to Mengele—without mentioning the fact that she was equally as complicit in the rebellion against God—she was doing a gross disservice to the Gospel of grace. She certainly didn't represent herself as someone saved by grace through faith, who KNOWS that “there but for the grace of God go I,” or she never, ever would have approached a stranger outside of a crisis pregnancy center like that. If she knew me, if God had inspired her to use those words, that would be different. But as a general approach? No way!

I must model my words and actions after Christ's, not David's, so I don't, for example, pray violence and destruction on other people, because God's Word says my battle's NOT with flesh and blood. Instead, I pray grace and peace—and the only way those things can be achieved is through genuine salvation.

I pray for the group outside my window. When they will listen (which, admittedly, isn't often), I PLEAD with them to put Christ first in all their rhetoric. People know us by our words and deeds when we encounter them. It's nonsensical to say, well, you don't know how much I preach the Gospel elsewhere, so it's character assassination to call me out on my ungracious language in front of this pregnancy center (or in this one blog post). I know you didn't say that, Dan; it was implied in a comment, though.

My opinion? I think that's a shoddy excuse for indulging our own emotions at the expense of all the Scripture on how we're to use our tongues.

I've written a book; there was a lot I thought needed saying, I guess.

“I hope and pray you have found and continue to find healing from what that act of appalling violence did to your heart and soul.”

Thank you very much for that! I consider it to have been a blessing, in a way, as I've said. What Satan meant for evil, God meant for good. If my experience helps just ONE other person, it was worth it.

Praying for you, Dan. Keep up the good works.

GrammaMack said...

Jennifer, why are abortion protesters outside a crisis pregnancy center? I thought they only picket places where abortion is provided. Why are they harassing women who are considering keeping their babies in front of a place that helps them do that? That seems so counterproductive...
I too pray that God gives you complete healing and freedom from your pain.

Everyday Mommy said...

Dan:

Do you think that 1 Tim 2:1-4 applies in this situation? Would appreciate your take.

Thanks much!
jules

Jennifer said...

GrammaMack, that's a good question. I should have explained that our center rented space two doors down from the local Planned Parenthood. That was a deliberate choice, and it riles PP to no end. We share a common entrance and parking lot. The great thing about that is that many of the women who walk into the PP office come to talk to us, too. But the bad thing about that is that the protesters scare women away from US as well as from the PP office. They don't seem to understand that, sadly.

PP likes to call the police on them a lot (for things that are NOT illegal--which tells you something about how they operate), and this, I think, makes the protesters that much more determined to be a thorn in PP's side.

My thanks to all who've offered prayer and encouragement. It's appreciated more than I can say.

Susan said...

1. Alan said: "What I understand from his comment is that we need to take our values beyond our vote and into what we do in our lives."

Isn't one's vote something he does in his life? It says volumes about his belief and value system, to say nothing of how he views the world around him and chooses to live in it.

2. Alan also said, "The other thing I think we need to see here, is that we are called to love our neighbour."

Pardon me, but as Christians, we know that life begins at conception. Loving our neighbors also includes loving those who are not yet born. To vote for a man who is not only pro-abortion but also pro-infanticide is NOT loving our neighbors. In front of a righteous and holy God, that kind of defense cannot and will not fly.

Alan said...

Susan, I totally agree with you on both points. And thankyou.

Yes how we vote is part of it, but it's not all of it. God's commands are NOT that we vote others to do what he calls us to do, and leave it at that.
So we need to do more than vote. I am sure many people do. It was simply an observation.

On the loving our neighbour thing, here was the crux of my argument you might have missed:
"If we don't show love for one another, how, by our example, can we expect people to likewise show love to unborn babies."
How I feel is the same as you, we MUST love all babies, including those who have only just being conceived. But we cannot choose to love babies, and not to love others. We must struggle to do both. There is no lesser evil here.

Dan, once again I can't appreciate your trivialising of my comment. I feel that is still stands, and invite you to address it, not from a progressive perspective, but from an immediate one with regards to this post, and with a bit more respect to what I had to say.

Gilbert, the post just above yours is the kind of thing I am talking about. Sorry. This is what I mean, and if I wasn't clear by using 'shutting out' then I apologise. My intentions were not inflammatory either, so I can't understand this behaviour.

Secondly (and this seemed the only real question you asked), tolerance is not something I personally advocate, and I have no problem with people who as you say stand against what is wrong.
But grace is what I was meaning, and it is in fact not in regards to showing Obama grace, as he SHOULD repent of his sinfulness (as should we all) and it shouldn't be let pass. I was in fact referring to showing Brothers and Sisters, fellow members of the church, grace. Each can and will vote according to their conscience, the bible doesn't dictate which candidate to vote for. The Bible does tell us which moral standards to uphold, and according to ones conscience they will make up their mind with the evidence available. I don't believe that the Bible leaves room for people to have that claim of the perfect vote. Please don't forget we live in a fallen world, and each candidate has his pitfalls. If one candidate were Jesus, then it would be clear who to vote for. Neither are, so we must do the best we can.

Thirdly, I made no mention of Trolls or Trolling. But, I do think it is important that we behave in a manner which brings honour and Glory to God. It should be clear where this is and isn't occurring, and it isn't in the areas you suggest.
Just to note, please do not assume I am not used to one with a 'spiritual backbone'. I wouldn't recommend that assumption. Just to clarify, I may only be 20, but I am not a stranger to strong views nor people who are committed to advocating the truth in a seemingly harsh manner. This is how I am able to make the comments I do. Because I have seen that legalistic behaviour, and honourable behaviour are very different.

If Christ were preaching to us today, I think he would find us all Hypocritical and as Pharisaical as the Pharisees of the time. Myself definitely included, I might even be worse. But I guess worse doesn't matter does it, we're all sinful.. Including Obama and McCain.
Lord God please save us from ourselves!

jazzact13 said...

djp,

Everything I responded to came from this, which you addressed specifically to me.

--jazzact13 - I think you're palpably wrong about Bush, for the reasons explained, and I really think it's beyond deniability; I think you're quite right about McCain and the leftward drift of the GOP (as I said, it was a partial list); and as to sparing people who waste their time, money, and efforts on self-referential gestures when they need to grow up and join in: not going to happen.--

I did not "isolate a couple of things I said from this and a half-dozen other posts", and my questions are aimed to either make a point or in hope that you will clarify.

Get on my case if you wish, but don't say I'm doing things I'm not doing.

DJP said...

Yes, Jazz, you did exactly what I said.

So please deal with it, or let's move on.

Betsy Markman said...

I believe we are seeing part of the promised "strong delusion" from 2 Thessalonians. How else can you explain this adulation that has become worship in many cases, and the entrusting of the affairs of the world into the hands of a man with absolutely no track record?

Things are only going to get worse and worse until the Lord returns. This is a time for biblical grief and biblical hope. Let's don't mock reality by omitting the former, or mock God by omitting the latter.

DJP said...

Betsy, your post so closely parallels (and complements) one I've already written and scheduled for publication at 9am, that it's eerie.

Wait till you see.

Matt Gumm said...

I'll just say upfront, sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here.

Alan, you said: As no sin is greater than another, both McCain and Obama would be as bad as one another, as both are sinners.

Even if you don't think that there are different eternal consequences for different sins (I think a case can be made that there are), or that God looks at some sins differently than others (and I think He does), there's still the matter of the results of sin here on earth. It's bad if I lie, but I trust you wouldn't put me in the same category as [fill in the blank] dictator who has killed millions of his own people. It's bad if I hate, but there are worse consequences if I act on that hate and kill someone.

The argument that "we're all sinners, therefore there is no difference" just doesn't hold water in this context. It is foolish and naive.

Sandra said...

I'm definitely going to link to this and post it as well on my blog - and praise God that you wrote it. JB

jen elslager said...

It's extremely difficult to be in the battleground state of PA and be quite sure that your vote will not count.

My family voted McCain (3 votes), but it did no good.

DJP said...

No, Jen. You did the right thing. Thank you.

Yours was an important state, and you had no idea how it was going to go. Thanks for doing what you could.

jen elslager said...

I've witnessed something interesting in the last couple of days. My husband and I went into Pittsburgh for pickup and delivery for our small business (thank you Mr Obama for targeting us to help you spread the wealth), and all of our customers that day were McCain supporters.

I went into our small town to run errands yesterday and found not one single Obama supporter. I did find many people all too willing to fuss about Tuesday though.

I live in a weird state.

DJP said...

Only God knows the degree to which fraud played into the result. There was a lot, though. But for good or ill, the GOP's not one for crying that up. They're good losers.

Alan said...

Matt you miss my point.
It was simply to state that if you wanted to declare McCain as more holy than Obama, you couldn't.
To do so, I believe, would be the thing that is foolish and naive, but I don't believe you are doing this yourself. Others may be.
We are all in need of Christ's atonement of our sins, regardless of how bad the sin is, and all can be reconciled to God through Christ, no matter how bad the sin is.
The statement in itself was merely something to note.

I hope that clarifies.

CR said...

Jen: My family voted McCain (3 votes), but it did no good.

Your family's vote, Jen, was very, very important because let's not forget, the Lord ordains not only the ends, but the means. Even though it was not God's will to show mercy to our nation, you certainly participated in His preceptive will. Your family thought through the issues and voted on what was right for the country, in particular, the unborn.

You also will not have the guilt of Christians who voted for Obama, third party or did not vote. Your conscience will be clear. I know there are some out there who are not feeling guilty when they should, but they will sooner or later.

Also remember there are very important other races in the country. So, every race is important. And you are having another important race in 2010 - will see what your Senator, Spector, does if he retires. If he does, the Senate may lose another Republican and that's not good.

So, I for one, thank you and your family for your vote.

jen elslager said...

Thanks for what you've said, but Specter is not a straight up Republican -- very much pro-choice and pro-gay rights. I'm hoping that a better alternative from the Republican party will come along.

CR said...

Yeah, Jen, I know how liberal Specter is, which I'm sure makes it even more nauseating for you to have voted for him. He was partly responsible for the demise of Robert Bork - Roe v. Wade might be overturned had he been confirmed by the Senate. He redeemed himself a little (microscopically) by helping get Roberts and Alito confirmed.

But if he retires in two years or loses, the Senate gets closer in reaching that magic 60 number which makes it easier for the democrats to ram things through.

jen elslager said...

Yes, please pray for us in PA, everyone. I understand that Chris Matthews may oppose Specter in 2010. Apparently it's been his boyhood dream to be a senator. I assume that if he should win, it will send a thrill up his leg.

Aaron said...

After furthur reflection I have to retract my previous and subsequent statemnts. They no longer represent how I feel in fact I feel the views discussed in this post show a deep misunderstanding of God's Soverginty in The World and in the Church in short the fact that we vote for a pro-choice candete does not reflect on our views it is not the kngdom of God we are ecideing when we vote it is the kingdom of the world so in short there is a right to liberty of conscince so with all that I retract my past statemnts as they no longer represnet my views post this or not this is how I feel

Andrew said...

Aaron,
Your disagreement is not with Dan the pastor and blogger. You have a bone to pick with THE DAN. Dan the Man. Daniel the Prophet who wrote an Old Testament book. Read through it again, and examine your new perspective through the lense of Scripture. Would Daniel (or any of the prophets for that matter) give hearty approval to your approach to voting in a democratic nation?

Daniel loved his nation and cared about it (see Dan 4:19)
Jeremiah earnestly sought the welfare of his nation (Jer 29:7)

Abortion is evil, and it is a plague upon this world. It is the greatest existing evil that the U.S. government has been given authority to punish (in His providence) How is voting pro-abortion (for any reason) a Biblical way to battle evil?

Based upon what you said about "right to liberty of conscience", I suspect you may be confused about what a vote is and what it isn't.

Either that or you don't really think abortion is evil. I'm inclined to give the benefit of doubt and go with the former.

So you may retract your affirmation of what Dan (the pastor and blogger) has posted here, but seemingly without a reason.

DJP said...

Aaron — so, sort of like Algore? You're "un-conceding"?

Well, you were right when you regretted enabling the most viciously pro-abort extremist ever to hold the office. You were wrong in casting your lot with him.

So, I guess you were right for awhile, now you're wrong again.

Your prerogative, of course. Doesn't change the facts.

jen elslager said...

And so it begins...

Rockhopper said...

What about all the people sitting on their couches doing nothing to educate others on Obama? My children, homeschooled children, and I went out numerous times with literature, knocking on doors, in parking lots, rallies, pro-life rallies. In our town there wasn't anyone else going door to door besides the Republican running for Congress. He got our support in a big way. We got a lot of people to his meet and greet in our town and he actually won our county while taking only 30% of the vote in the district. It just goes to show you what people working to help get these candidates elected does. They can't do it on their own. When I volunteered to be a precinct captain and each time to do whatever I could, NO ONE called back, not once. This happened four times. When we wanted precinct sheets for our town to get out the vote since no one else was going door to door, we couldn't get them. We tried to get them from our local office, from the Santa Fe office, and from Albuquerque. Nothing. We finally went door to door with the NRL fliers explaining what a partial birth abortion is and how the candidates stood on the issues. We may have gotten Democrats out to vote, too. At least they got the information and if they still voted for Obama, then so be it. They are responsible for their vote.I did my part. As John Quincy Adams said, "Duty is ours. The rest is up to God." How many people did their duty?

You also mentioned the government re-education camps, boy are they. Our oldest, 16 and adopted 3 years ago, thinks the darndest things are okay. We showed him the video of the teacher, on glennbeck.com, who was hassling the kids who said they supported McCain and he didn't see anything wrong with it. We showed our seven year old the you tube video from Howard Stern's radio show where they were interviewing people and attributing McCain stances to Obama and they were agreeing with the interviewer. Imagine someone thinking Obama is pro-life. They did. My 7 year old thought they were crazy that they didn't know. I told her that was why she was never going to school. She understands a lot more than most adults do, especially on abortion. I had no intention of teaching her so young, but had to since I couldn't keep my mouth shut and let NM go to Obama without doing my duty.
The reality is Obama's people wanted it and fought for it. The media's coverage tragic and the deck was stacked against us. But we didn't do enough to get the job done. McCain came to Albuquerque on October 25th and at best there were only 3,000 people there. The same day in the same city, there were anywhere from 25,000 to 45,000 people at his rally. It was a pain to go, but we went to support him. Couldn't people have just worked more? We phone banked in Santa Fe and there were three people who came from different parts of Texas and a woman who came from Mexico just to work on the pro-life cause. She was constantly on the phone talking to Hispanic radio stations and the Spanish speaking churches to educate them on pro-life issues. With so many people making these sacrifices, couldn't we have just worked a bit harder? Every neighborhood we went into, there were Obama people knocking on doors and not the same ones. I hope nobody will take it for granted next time around. With more work, we could have done it. I see it as a miracle that we did as well as we did. We were outmatched in every way, except values. Yes, many people were going to do what they wanted anyway, but others just didn't know. I passed out articles to people on Obama and born alive infants and made some headway, especially earlier on when people were more receptive. At least if they voted for him, they knew what he stood for and the babies' blood was on their hands, too. Okay, I've ranted. I'm a bit gentler on my own blog: www.gentoo.net Perhaps, I need to let loose there too.

tmrfiles said...

Thank you so much for introducing me to you and your awesome blog.

I appreciated reading your thoughts immensely "A Lament for America" as you have captivated and expressed what I feel in many ways.

I think about how our Lord must have felt when he lamented over Jerusalem as He knew her destruction was to come about. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

....."O America, America, Behold, your house is left unto you desolate".
Matt. 23:37-39

How like the desolate Jerusalem America is now!

Keep up the good work. I'm going to share your article via linking to it on my blog if you don't mind, as I think many others will benefit from reading it.

Toni

DJP said...

Welcome, Toni; and feel free.

Yes, it's a sad moment. The more you have perspective on America's past and promise, the more you know about similar paths in Europe, the sadder.

Andy Dollahite said...

Dan,

Do you believe those who voted for a third party candidate in a state where McCain had no chance of winning did something immoral, or have I misunderstood your call for such voters to repent? How would a vote for McCain in a state such as CA, IL, or NY have accomplished anything tangible that a vote for Baldwin, Paul, or Barr would not have?