Daily Archives: August 13, 2010

The Secret To Power Politics

During the 1968 Democratic National Convention, William Buckley and Gore Vidal appeared in a series of contentious debates. In their most notorious debate, the two disagreed over the actions of the city police and the protesters at the ongoing convention. After Buckley responded to Vidal’s argument by stating that Vidal’s position was “so naive” and saying of the protesters “some people were pro-Nazi”, Vidal called Buckley a “crypto-Nazi”, to which Buckley replied, “Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I will sock you in your *&%$ face, and you will stay plastered.”

Politics can get pretty testy—but what do you expect when the future of your country depends on the success of your position?

Or not.

Please join us in today’s daily Bible conversation.

TODAY’S READING

Nehemiah 5:14-7:73
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Psalm 33:1-11
Proverbs 21:8-10

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

Nehemiah 5:14-7:73. As governor of Judah, Nehemiah had the authority to collect additional taxes from the people in order to fund local projects and administrative expenses. But because of the dire economic situation in the country, he lessened the financial burden on the people by not collecting them. In other words, he sought to live within his means. Amazing!

1 Corinthians 8:1-13. By granting permission to eat meat sacrificed to idols, Paul disobeyed the instructions given to him by the church leaders in Jerusalem (Acts 15:29, 21:17). Far away in Corinth, he felt the freedom to express his beliefs. Yet, he also understood the importance of not allowing his freedom to cause other believers to stumble.

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THE WORD MADE FRESH

When George Bush was elected president, some of my relatives seriously considered moving to Canada because the country was “going to hell in a handbasket.” Obviously, the more liberal contingent was concerned that a conservative would ruin our country.

Then, when Barak Obama was elected, another set of relatives began discussing ways to buy a remote island where they wouldn’t be forced to follow the leadership of a liberal whom they believed wasn’t even a legal American citizen.

For hundreds of years, the democratic political system has often devolved into opposing sides lobbing slanderous grenades at one another.

With a worldwide economic crisis and countless nations teetering on financial collapse, the stakes on the political scene seem even higher. Amidst political struggles, contemptuous elections, wayward leaders, and economic crises, the psalmist offers us these words of hope:

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:10-11

Things may look out of control. Radio and television talk show hosts may lament whatever crisis is at hand, but God’s plans never, ever fail.

There’s nothing wrong with being involved in politics. One of the dangers in placing our trust in a sovereign God is the tendency to become fatalistic. God enacts his will through the noble efforts of sincere men and women.

However, God always gets his way. He’s God.

That means you don’t need to put your house on the market when your candidate doesn’t win the election. Nor does it mean that the country has been saved from the clutches of evil when your candidate wins.

It means God is in control. Like always.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. What spoke to you in today’s reading?
  2. How does it feel to hear that God is ultimately in control of national and international politics? Does this sound naive? Why or why not?
  3. When governments go haywire, where is God?

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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.

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