Friday, November 9, 2012

After the Election (2012)

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Yup.  I had to throw that in.  That verse is the basis of just about all my thinking.  When I’m focused on God, everything else comes into proper perspective.  If I’m not focused on God, well….  Which brings me to some final thoughts about this year’s elections, after the break.

First of all, congratulations to Barack Obama for winning the election.  We’ll be praying that you have more opportunity to keep your promises to the American people in your second term.

For those upset about the election results, there are two tweets that apply.  The first is by @LovLikeJesus, "God is either God of all or not God at all. Semi-sovereignty is not an option.”.  More recentlly, @XploreMyFaith tweeted, “Your life is not an accident. Accident equals not planned but God plans exceptionally well.”.  If we truly believe that God is in control, then we have to also believe that God already knows what happened and may deliver us out of the circumstances, but will definitely deliver us in those circumstances.  It’s time to stop moaning and walk with God wherever this takes us.  Meshach and company weren’t prevented from going into the fire, they were delivered when they were inside the furnace.

Here in Maryland, there was a question or referendum about same sex marriage.  Much about the advertising for it was based on “fairness” and the “right” that ought to be given to commit to someone you love.  The ads even included some by several African American pastors.  Those pastors, as I’ve mentioned before, were so committed to the idea that they not only expressed the same idea, they did it in the exact same words.  I’ll let you come to your own conclusions on that one.  Especially whether a real pastor ought to be suggesting that fairness takes precedence over defining something as sin.

For couples who’ve been together for a long time, there have been some legal issues dealing with last wishes, putting a partner in hospice care, and similar issues.  And there are those who don’t consider what they’re doing any less correct than heterosexual marriage.  In both cases, they were looking for a way to legally legitimize that relationship.  But that could be said for heterosexual couples who live together.  What did redefining marriage do for them?  Is fairness only open to homosexuals?  Are the legal issues fixed for unmarried heterosexuals?  Or don't they count?  It just doesn't seem really "fair".  As I’ve written in the past, the legal issues in these situations could have been dealt with in other ways that didn’t redefine marriage.  But a post-election TV interview with one lesbian couple brought up some more questions.  Ones that ought to be explored.  Perhaps because, on top of everything else, their comments and attitude left me with the feeling that we'd been lied to.

The couple were, of course, overjoyed that the referendum passed.  But it was what they said about it that really made me wonder.  They mentioned three or four states where they had gotten “married” as a gay couple.  Did they do that because they were committed or as an “in your face, heterosexuals” move in each of those states?  The multiple ceremonies made me think about the fact that it takes one heterosexual marriage to be recognized in all states.  Are each of the states that now recognize same sex marriage not recognizing ceremonies from other states with similar laws?  Is it really about commitment and fairness or is it about feeding more income to the wedding industry?  And is it fairness to make them go through separate ceremonies, for each state?  I’ll ask again. Does the ceremony create commitment or is the commitment the reason for the ceremony?  Are they more committed to each other after the fourth or fifth ceremony than they were after the first or second?  The answers to those questions speak volumes about what this lesbian couple is doing.

I know what the Bible says about all this.  And I’m in full agreement.  But not everyone understands the Bible beyond what they’re told by their pastor and there are those who don’t have any teaching or refuse to have any.  I keep getting the sense that those are the ones who’ve been sold a bill of goods that they’ll regret long before they stand before the Judgement Seat.  They need to be shown all the consequences of that decision.

We had another question on the ballot, which was to increase gambling sites in Maryland and add table games to some casinos.  Again, I know what the Bible says about money handling and about the love of money.  But I'd like to highlight some things that weren't discussed much.  The passing of the bill is supposed to add jobs and revenue for education.  And it's supposed to be an economic boost.  Yet Nevada has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, while having more gambling than elsewhere in the country.  If you look at the neighborhoods around gambling locations, they're the poorest, most rundown areas in the vicinity.  And the crime rate has increased in those areas.  Again, I believe the voting public was sold a bill of goods.

After all this has been said, though, I’m still excited.  God uses everything for my benefit – for yours, too, if you’re Christian.  It says so in Romans 8.  It’s likely to be a bumpy ride, but it’ll be fun watching what God does.  Are you prepared for that?

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