Friday, September 23, 2016

#NeverTrump, More Than Ever

Today was a dark and somber day in our political discourse. A man who I thought held the same principles I chose to fight for for the better part of a year caved to the cult that is Trump. I will no longer place so much confidence and hope in an earthly human, lest I be burned again. 

With Senator Ted Cruz's capitulation today, Donald Trump won. He destroyed Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz will no longer be able to speak out against the evils of Washington, DC with any sort of authority. He will now be tied, like it or not, to the most evil man to run for president in our life time. I knew Hillary was a disaster and when I moved to Iowa. I also found Donald Trump to be just as deplorable(Trumpcult likes that word).

I chose to immerse myself in the task of fighting progressive politicians in both parties last fall. I had never been more energized for an undertaking. Today, that energy ended. The next president will be a progressive statist and one of the clearest voices of opposition to the progressive agenda snuffed his light out today.

I saw whole churches corrupted by a con man. I saw people scream at small kids(my friends) because they were volunteering for someone other than their Cheeto faced messiah. I witnessed people who had pined for a movement conservative change overnight and support a quasi fascist thug. I will not join.

Many in my movement are now gone. They have decided, out of fear of one evil, to support another evil. It is just that simple. Neither of the candidates currently running are worthy of any American's vote. The fact that upwards of 90% of Americans who do vote will vote for one of these two awful people boggles my mind. When will Americans stand up and say we've had enough? If this election doesn't cause a huge upheaval in this country, nothing will. 

I'm here to advocate for peaceful civil disobedience of the next administration. It is long past time people advocating for smaller government were heard. We must reign in Washington for this nation to regain some semblance of freedom. Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins, my efforts will be centered on removing them from office. I will work across the aisle to see this happen. Both VP candidates would make decent place holders until we can truly vet and chose a decent candidate for 2020. 

I'm also going on record, right now, that I will not support anyone who ran in this primary cycle, should they choose to run again, including Ted Cruz. Would I vote for Ted if he was the nominee in the future, most likely, but I would support a primary candidacy of someone who didn't cave and bow to the cult of Trump if they met a minimum level of Constitutional values. I won't suggest who might run, but I will ferret out any support, either overt or covert in nature, of one Donald J. Trump. That will be my start for a litmus test for who I will support in future elections. 

Today was a bit cathartic. I left nearly every Facebook group I had joined in the last year. I blocked hundreds of Trumpcult members on Facebook and Twitter, many still spewing vile and awful things to a man who had just bowed to their perceived messiah. I saw many of the most active county chairs in the Cruz campaign sign off today. These were people who volunteered thousands of hours and gave thousands of dollars to a campaign because they thought the candidate spoke for them. Today, Ted Cruz stopped speaking for them.  It is comforting to know that the ones I'm closest to will stick to the principles we all hold dear. 

Do not get me wrong, I do thank Ted Cruz for acting like a principled candidate last year. The people I met during his run are the best people I know. Some are now the best friends I've ever had. We united around shared values. I was a backslidden believer until a man I met, because of a campaign meeting, asked me to come to church last year. When a friend of mine sends about 15 email sized texts to the group text I'm on with her family about how disappointed she was regarding what happened today, I take stock in knowing that we share principles and not a faith in human beings. God, through His word, has shown us what to do. I didn't follow what the Good Book said for many years, but now I've seen that if you place your faith in God and the grace provided through His Son, Jesus, no man will truly ever beat you, for even in death, there will be liberty if we know Jesus.

People who have decided to support Donald Trump are doing so out of fear. That is the only reason. There can be no other. They fear Hillary Clinton so much, they don't see the wolf in Republican clothing waiting to devour them. I, for one, choose to eschew fear for faith in a just and mighty God. I'm choosing to find my way by faith. I was lost for so long, I cannot afford to damage my conscience any longer. I need to clean it, not sully it with a vote for Donald Trump.


2 Timothy 1:7King James Version (KJV)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

An Eye Opening Week

I spent last week with my friends at a family camp that they, along with another family, host. I had fun being with my friends and meeting many new people. If you know me, you know I like meeting new people. This camp was mainly focused on homeschool families who teach their kids biblical principles, along with their reading, writing and arithmetic. Most of the kids were bright and easy to talk to. After my morning session teaching a little history and current day politics, I was encouraged by the conversations about American government I had with many of the younger men in attendance.

Here's where I break with many of the families in attendance. Many of the families were in home churches or family centered church settings. Some others were in Mennonite Churches. The main thing I heard from many of the people I talked to was a lack of enthusiasm for their church lives back at home. Some had fallen into the trap that the church must only revolve around the family and reaching out to others would somehow taint their ability to raise their kids in the way they wanted to. Some just found church to be a place to learn about the Bible. Learning is good, but I have found I need a soul convicting message from time to time to stay focused on what it is that I, as a Christian, am supposed to do. I was raised in a dying church and from my conversations with many of these families, they are in dying or dried up churches too. It breaks my heart.

A church should be focused on the Great Commission, set forth by Jesus Christ when he reappeared to the disciples after His Resurrection.

Matthew 28:18-20King James Version (KJV)

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. If your church isn't centered around this, you need to find out why. If your church isn't centered around reaching the lost amongst us, why does it exist? If your church is just a place for people to go to feel better about themselves, why go?

There are many Sundays or Wednesdays when I can be found weeping at the altar in my church because I am on my knees before a Holy God asking his forgiveness for my sins and my shortcomings. I was never asked to do this in any other church setting I'd ever attended until I was invited to Marion Avenue Baptist Church. I know I'm nothing with out Christ. I know that I must be broken before I can be of any use to God.

So many times, people get wrapped up in what makes them feel good. I know I did. I took the path of least resistance for so long. I was wallowing in my own iniquity and sin. Until I came to the realization that spiritual growth can't occur until spiritual baggage is let go of, I was unable to grow.

My burden is for this to be made clear, to all who are lost and even all who've been saved but then after their decision to trust Jesus were not discipled and led to grow in their faith, that there is more than just the 4 walls of your house/church. We need to be taking the light of the Gospel to all corners. We can't be afraid to hand out a Bible tract to those we meet. We can't be afraid to tell others. In living for others, we can see God bless our own lives more than we could ever see if we turn inward.

Many of the people I talked to didn't even have actual pastors who were tasked with preaching the Gospel in their churches. Some were in glorified Bible study classes. Learning and memorizing the Bible is great and to be commended. Doing that without applying the principles inside is rather useless. Having a called pastor is a must. That pastor must preach the Gospel and lead people in how to apply God's principles to their daily living. Anything less is dead religion.

People, especially children, need to know the reasons for why they are told to behave in a certain way. If you offer nothing more than, "because I said so" or "Do as I say, not as I do", you'll have children that fall away from God and eschew the Church. I know this happened to me. I was lost and backslidden(that's a Baptist term) for years. I didn't even see it. It has taken me nearly a year to figure out that I need to forgive many people and repent of my own sins to be able to move forward with a joy filled life.

I urge everyone who reads this to find a Bible preaching church where the pastor will challenge you. You should be uncomfortable from time to time. When church becomes comfortable, it starts dying. When you do find a church like I've described, get involved. Help take the saving knowledge of the Gospel to a lost and dying world.

Romans 10:8-17King James Version (KJV)

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Shut the door, so that new ones may be opened.

This campaign season. My past idiocy. What do these two things have in common? Well, they are two things I need to shut the door on and move forward from.

The last message I heard my pastor preach was about shutting the door on past hurt and past sin and giving it to God. He preached on having faith to trust God in what was to come, but in order to do that, we couldn't let our past sin remain in the forefront. We needed to learn from it and move on, lest it become a weight around our neck, pulling us down.

I needed that message. Between the bleak outlook for our national discourse and the dumb things I have done in the past, I could easily choose to dwell in my own sorrow. I can't. I need to move on. Give it to God, lay my issues at the feet of Jesus and choose to move forward. To be honest, it was a pretty tame sermon (in Joseph Brown terms) that caused such a revelation.

If I chose to let my dumb and ungodly living in the past rule me, I'd be a slave to it. I need to move forward. I need to work on my anger and I need to work on living for others. When I am living to serve others, I truly find happiness and I think God designed us to be servants to our neighbors.

This week, I'll be spending my time at a camp with hundreds of Christians, mainly families, hosted by my friends, the Bontragers and the Wissman family from Nebraska. I feel blessed to have been invited to this by my friends. For the last month, all I heard was "You're coming to camp, right?" Well, I really didn't need my arm twisted. There are good people from all over the US and even from Canada at this camp.

On a side note, the political season can't come to an end quick enough. Between Hillary's health issues and her lack of any respectable ideas and Donald Trump's complete and total inability to grasp the issues at hand, I don't see a pleasant end to the election in early November. I must wash my hands of this presidential race. I will focus my efforts on a US House race in Northeast Iowa. Rod Blum needs to be sent back to Washington, DC. Outside of that, I'm left with a bunch of squishy Republicans to cast ballots for in my local races. If I focused on this, I'd go nuts. I'm giving it to God. I truly believe he'll use the next president to exact a measure of judgement on our nation.

2020 starts the moment our next president is elected. It is up to brave patriots to oppose the next president of the United States.

I know this post is kind of a mishmash of two thought tracks but I just needed to write a bit this morning. I'm ready for a week of meeting new people and being with my friends.