Nov 2, 2020
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Thanks for joining me today for "A Little Walk with God." I'm your host Richard Agee.
We are in the week of our election in the United States. Depending on when you're listening, we are choosing tomorrow, have chosen, or are awaiting news of who garnered the most electoral votes and will sit in the Oval Office on January 20th. Will it make a difference to the country? I'm not sure.
In the last few decades, we polarized ourselves to such a degree I'm not sure anyone can bring us together unless we, as a people, choose to stand up as a whole and demand change from within. Jesus described our political parties well from his description of the political parties of his day when he said in Matthew 23:
2 'The scribes and Pharisees,' he said, 'sit on the seat of Moses. 3 So you must do whatever they tell you, and keep it, but don't do the things they do. You see, they talk but they don't do. 4 They tie up heavy bundles which are difficult to carry, and they dump them on people's shoulders – but they themselves aren't prepared to lift a little finger to move them!
5 'Everything they do is for show, to be seen by people. Yes, they make their prayer-boxes large and their prayer-tassels long, 6 and they love the chief places at dinners, the main seats in the synagogues, 7 the greetings in the market-places, and having people call them "Rabbi." (Matthew 23: 2-7 NTE)
Take a look at what goes on within the political arena in Washington. We've had so little happen for the people in the last 20 years unless it brought attention to the bill's author. We hear about Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, but if you read the 10,000 pages of its legislation, it's not much different from the Trump Healthcare plan except for the act's regulation. They both provide the same care to those who can't afford it. They both ensure pre-existing conditions are covered. They both try to reduce unpredictable and uncontrollable costs.
The big difference is in the regulation. The Republican Party doesn't like big government, so gets rid of regulation whenever it can, which means getting rid of government oversight and government jobs. The Democratic Party favors big government and management and adds regulation and government jobs. The two have much more in common than in differences. But we don't read the 14,000 pages of legal jargon, so we don't know that. We only hear what each side tells us through their media, and we buy their stories.
I'm thrilled we finally turned out to vote this year and discovered the importance of letting our voices be heard in an election. Maybe we won't crawl into a hole until the next general election but will instead continue to provide a voice through letters, calls, attendance at local venues with our representatives in the local, state, and federal legislatures to let them know what we think. We have let them run amuck far too long. It's our fault the right and left have grown so far apart. We have failed as citizens to reign them in and make them sit down at the table and discuss meaningful compromises that will do what we want them to do. They are our representatives, not our kings, our princes, or bosses. They should be giving voice to what we want, not what they want.
How do we make that happen? When they fail to voice our concerns and a more moderate line, which is what I think most Americans would prefer, we should vote them out of office and replace them with someone who will listen to our voice. Recalls can still happen when our representatives fail to follow what we insist they do. Our laws allow us and demand us to take such action for the good of the citizens they represent. But we must stay involved and informed if we plan to do those things.
We can't blindly take the word of what we have found to be a significantly biased media. Both left and right spin their stories to inflame the other side. Now we see both sides of social media intentionally censor their clientele to ensure only one side gets told on their platform. As Christians, how are we to overcome this divide that plagues our nation?
First, recognize what is happening. As Jesus said, "A house divided cannot stand." If we continue to allow the media and our politicians to inflame the populace along far-right and far-left ideologies, America will dissolve as a democracy. We cannot continue to survive as a nation under these conditions. Nor can we survive as a far-left or far-right nation. Neither side will meet the needs of the majority. The radical fringe ideologies that both sides propose daily will destroy what we built over the last 244 years. Both extremes are wrong. Both sides lay burdens on the backs of the people they are not willing to carry themselves. Note the exemptions Congress gives itself regarding the laws it enacts for the rest of us concerning taxes, healthcare, banking laws, salary for life after serving just one term, and many other regulations that burden the people but not them.
Second, pray that God will intervene and soften the hearts of the men and women in our elected positions, that they will listen to his voice and act accordingly. Pray that he will hear our prayers and heal our land. Pray that he will bring safety to our country; that he will return a sense of humanity to the hearts of both sides of the aisles in our legislators at all levels of government. Pray that the radical actors burning our cities and committing violence against innocent citizens will stop, repent, and discover God.
Third, find out the facts about what our governments at local, state, and federal levels are doing. Don't listen to the news outlets, but instead, get involved and read the legislative bodies' official records. Go to the public documents that record the legislation and the votes of those who represent you. See how they acted, not what they said. It's often interesting the differences you find in the two. You don't get prosecuted for lying to the press, but you do when you perjure yourself in court or Congress. So read the official records.
Fourth, vote for the individuals who act according to what you think is right for the community at large. Don't vote based on what you hear in ad campaigns or what the media splashes across their platform. As we have seen in the campaigns this year, both sides do their best to take one statement, spin it a million different ways, and try to trash their opponent. This has nothing to do with how they will help you or your community. So, vote for the person who acts to do what is right for the community at large. That is what democracy is about—doing the majority's will while protecting the few's rights.
Next, get involved. Go to the meetings your representatives hold—Voice your opinions and concerns. Ensure your representatives carry out the will of the people, not their agenda. They represent the majority that put them in office, not some isolated group somewhere, or at least that is how our government is supposed to work. When they fail to meet your expectations, vote them out of office. Don't let politicians continue to hold offices that fail to carry out the will of the majority. Hold them accountable for their promises.
Finally, force your representatives to sit down at the table and listen to the other side. Find the commonalities between the two. Negotiate a reasonable plan that will satisfy both sides. We don't need to operate on the far left or far right. In fact, we should probably never find ourselves living in either space. Find a moderate compromise that takes both sides' best and legislates a sensible plan free of all the add-on amendments that too often cause good bills to fail. Get involved as one not driven by either extreme to let your voice, driven by the King of kings, be heard.
The voting is over. Right now, the country is in turmoil, and it's our fault as Americans, as silent Christians. We have not played our part as good citizens. It's time we do what we should and let our voices be heard so that the King of kings can rule this nation along with all the others. It's time to participate in politics and tell those the country elected to do the right thing and make sure they do. Remember, separation of church and state was always to keep the government out of the church, not keep the church out of government. We need to raise our voice and let God back into the running of our country. It's our fault as Christians we are where we are today. We can help fix it if we dare.
You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible-based teaching. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn't, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.
Scriptures marked NTE are taken from the NEW TESTAMENT FOR EVERYONE: Scripture is taken from The New Testament for Everyone are copyright © Nicholas Thomas Wright 2011.