Sunday, February 21, 2016

Border Line

I avoid politics (except to declare that I avoid them and then write about them). That's like saying, "There are absolutely no absolutes". Except the person saying it would leave out "absolutely" because that makes the absurdity of the statement too obvious. So back to politics (that I don't actually avoid). What I actually avoid is being too judgmental about politics. I don't suffer from the delusion that if the whole world viewed things my way, everything would work out. That's my disclaimer to everything else I'm about to say here.

A friend recently asked me how I would handle the recent and ongoing topic of refugees, immigrants, stray pets, etc (yes, I'm blaming a friend for this post). More specifically, how do I think Christ would have us handle it. The old WWJD. Knowing very well that there's a tremendous gulf between ideas about how things should be done and actually doing them, here's how things should be done. Based on God being the one who establishes the times and places of nations for the purpose of leading their occupants to himself, we have the obligation to protect whatever Godly attributes underpin any particular nation. Our own underpinnings are transparently put forward in our Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

There's a lot of signatures on those statements, Christian and otherwise. What they established for our nation was a practical, nonreligious reverence for a singular, virtuous, creator God. The short list of virtues originating from him that needed official recognition and protection were life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those who signed it were ready to die for those and proved it. I am fully convinced that every detail of those statements is entirely credible to this day, and even more so in our scientific age. If you embrace the same thing for yourself and others, you're welcome here. It's the foundation of the superpower nation that followed and I do love being one of its citizens.

That's the end of answers that fit this format. However far away from those roots we are is how far we are from being able to govern ourselves with the success of our past. For Christians, the obedient times of Old Testament Israel are an example of good foreign policy. Aliens and foreigners who shared the national values provided by Israel's Creator God were welcomed and treated as equals, not stray pets. The everlasting kingdom we're looking forward to makes the same offer but it's immune to the selfishness that degrades all purely human governments. Till then, as long as it will have me, I pledge allegiance to one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Because I Said So

I'm going to shoot for generically relatable this time. I'm also going to assure you that everything's fine and I still love Jesus. Now that that's done...
If you've lived through much at all, there's times when you give up on things making sense. By necessity, we have to go on even if we can't line up the loose ends in our minds (that's a lot of loose ends for some of us). It started when we were young and learned to recognize "because I said so" as a final warning that things were about to deteriorate rapidly if we didn't relax and comply. Perhaps we had questioned things too much by that point. Perhaps the first question was too much.

So I've gotten older and nothing has changed except the person that says, "because I said so." The phrase is rendered a little different most of the time now; "That's just the way it is", "If you don't like it, there's the door", "One more time and I'll kill you", etc. But it's essentially the same: you don't have to like it, you just have to deal with it.

Sometimes, It's God himself who says it, and I respectfully respect that. I've said before that, in the present, I know God as an accomplished ventriloquist and that's still true, but here's my scriptural translation. "Before Abraham was, I am" reads "because I said so". "I only say and do the will of the Father" reads "That's just the way it is".  "Will you leave too" reads "There's the door". I'll leave it up to you to sort out "One more time and I'll kill you".

Work, home and the world at large have that tone lately. And I think I'm just going to let the loose ends spark and crackle like high voltage power lines for a while. It's a good show but it's not mine.