Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fundamental Transformation

I am about to write a sentence that I didn't think that I would ever write. Barack Obama is right about one thing. We do need to fundamentally transform this country. Unfortunately he is dead wrong about the type of transformation we need.  I am not usually one that finds "messages from God" in everything that I see and hear around me. However, there have been two books and an event, the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo at the Bowie Baysox game, that I attended recently that have left me with the thoughts that I am about to share with you here.  I will deal with each individually and briefly.

The first book was On the Precipice by Chris Hambleton.  The book takes a look at the message to Israel and Judah from the Biblical Book of Hosea and how it could possibly relate to the United States of America today.  It addresses the consequences of how Israel turned its back on God and in turn, God removed His hand of blessing upon them.  As Israel continued to turn to idolatry and foreign aliances, God left them to their own devices leading to the fall of the nations of Israel and Judah and the eventual Diaspora of the Jewish peoples.

Hambleton then compares the message to Israel and taylors it towards the United States.  He argues that the United States was a unique country in history.  Unlike Israel who was chosen by God, the United States was founded upon Judeo Christian principals and relied on God in their early days.  As we have grown stronger and richer as a nation, much like Israel, we have turned away from God and rely on our own strength and wisdom. 

One cannot read our Declaration of Independence and the writings of the Founding Fathers without coming away with the notion that at the very least, they believed in a Creator and Divine Providence.  Our Constitution does not guarantee that people will be free from religion with no reference to God in the public arena, but that everyone was free to worship or not worship however they see fit.  Its purpose was to prevent the government from forcing everyone into the same creed such as the Church of England.  Sadly, we have twisted it such a way to push God further from the public square.

Which brings me to the second book that I recently read that has lead to this post.  That book was called Why Christians Can't Be Democrats by Michael DeLance Thomas.  I have to confess that I did not fully read the description when I downloaded the book.  Originally, I thought it was going to be a humorous look.  Instead, it was a serious look at the policies that the Democrats stand for and how those policies stand in conflict with Christianity.

The premise of Thomas' book is that Christianity is based on being under God's government.  God's government allows man to be free.  He argues that man's government is here to protect our rights under God's government.  However, the more we allow man's government to take control of things in our lives, the more we push God's government away from us, thus reducing our freedoms.  The goal of the Christian should be to vote for politicians that will promote God's government over man's government.

Thomas argues that the Democrats are more devoted to pursuing man's government over God's government.  Under God's government, we rely on each other to voluntarily pursue acts of charity.  Rather than to allow individuals to act freely to help others in need, man's government forces others to pay in the form of taxes to redistribute income to those in need.  The Democrats and their policies rely on man's government to a much greater degree.  To be fair, Thomas does not argue favorable towards Republicans, but does say that they tend to rely somewhat less on man's government.

You may now be wondering how the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo relates to these two books.  Fair question.  During the last segment of the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo, the man who works with the monkeys and dogs for the performance gave a little speech.  He said that we as a country had lost our way.  We had failed to adhere to our founding principals and that we had pushed God further away from our lives.

So, when I say that I believe we do need to fundamentally transform this country, it is in the form of a Spiritual transformation.  I am not saying that we need to become a theocracy.  Nor am I saying that everyone in the country needs to become a born again Christian.  What I am saying is that we need to return to the principals that this country was founded upon and that made the United States what it was.  With God's help, we can.
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