Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Pondering Inauguration Day 2017

Posted: Friday, January 20, 2017 in Politics

It was January 20, 1977 – 40 years ago today. I was in the 8th grade at Covington (TN) Elementary School, a small county seat town in west Tennessee. We were in a brand new school – literally, it was one of our very first days in the new school. We were scheduled to start in the new building upon our return from Christmas break. And we did, though the return was delayed a number of days due to snow and ice (two whole weeks as I recall). So on this day, you could still smell fresh paint and new carpet (yes, there is a new carpet smell!). And there was the open theater that was the visual centerpiece when you entered the building – fully equipped with a state of the art overhead projector and large projection screen. And it was inauguration day for the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter.

I remember the excitement as the 8th grade class gathered together to watch the inauguration live on the big screen. Honestly, the excitement could have come from getting to watch something on a screen larger than I had ever seen – at least that was not in a theater or at the drive-in. Or the excitement could have come from the fact that we were missing Mrs. Craig’s Social Studies class. Of course, that goes to show just how good a student I was. We were not missing her class – this was her class!

Now that might sound simple. But as I ponder that day (as I just have with you) I can’t help but think of a day when the office of the president of the United States was held in high esteem, respected and honored like no other vocation on earth. A day when the inauguration was a national event – an event orchestrated to celebrate the passing of the torch from one administration to another – what I have heard time and again over the past few days, the peaceful transition of power in the most powerful nation in the world. It is a message to the rest of the world of one of our founding principles of government, a government by the people and for the people.

That day was then, and today should be, the single greatest civic event for you and your children, me and my children, to view and to ponder. The transition of power from the 44th president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, to the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. The end of one era, the beginning of another. And we need to pray that this president will uphold his position honorably and will fulfill his duty as a citizen of the United States faithfully. And what is that duty?

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

This the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Sorry Mrs. Craig – I really did memorize it in your class but needed a little help from Google today!  It is not a perfect document, but has served us well as a nation, as a republic, when followed according to its intent. If you are a citizen of this great yet imperfect land then I encourage you to read and remember – maybe even memorize again – these words. And then pray for your new president and his administration (if you need help in doing that, see here). and ask yourself, “How can I be a part of helping this nation be what our forefathers foresaw?”

Just pondering today – and I will be watching at 10am CST. I was inspired to do so, and to write this, by a young man who wrote on Facebook that he didn’t want to go to work today because he would not be able to watch. He had seen the previous four inaugurations. Oh that this would once again become a day to be cherished. Because it is on this day that Donald J. Trump will put is hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States. And if you are a Christian today, pray that he will also seek to uphold the words of the book that his hand will be on.

And it just hit me – 40 years ago! I am getting old…

What Is a Lie?

Posted: Friday, November 8, 2013 in Culture, Philosophy/Ethics, Politics

Or perhaps the question should be, “What is truth?” Unless you have been on a remote island with no remote lately, you know that there are those in the media and in government that either can not or will not address and/or admit truth or lie. While the problem is related to postmodernism’s denial of absolute truth, reflecting the foolishness of such, it is an age old problem rooted in sin. It is more subtle than Pilate’s question of Christ, “What is truth?” It is more than just a sly use of language to twist or spin. And it is nothing new – as the preacher in Ecclesiastes proclaimed, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Truth is truth; falsehood is falsehood.

Some years ago Ernie Reisinger published a book titled, Whatever Happened to the Ten Commandments? In it he gives both the biblical duties required in each commandment and the sin forbidden in each. I think it profitable to consider these things in light of the current difficulty for some to call a lie a lie and rightly discern truth. Those on both sides of the argument/aisle would do well to consider what the bible calls truth and lie – and may we be reminded of these things as well.

The 9th commandment – “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” [Exodus 20:16]

(1) Duites required in the 9th commandment:

  1. The duty of preserving and promoting truth and the good name of our neighbor. (Zech 8:16; 3 Jn 12; Prov 31:8-9; Psa 15:2)
  2. The duty to speak the truth and only the truth in matters of judgment and justice. (Prov 14:5, 25)
  3. The duty to speak the truth at all times. (Eph 4:25)
  4. The duty of rejoicing in the gifts and graces of others. (Rom 1:8; 2 Tim 1:4-5; 2 Jn 4; 3 Jn 3-4)
  5. The duty to receive a good report of others. (1 Cor 13:6-7)
  6. The duty to discourage all talebearers, flatterers and slanderers. (Prov 25:23; 26:24-25; Ps 101:5)
  7. The duty to keep lawful promises. (Ps 15:4)
  8. The duty to study and practice everything true, noble, lovely and of good report. (Phil 4:8)

(2) Sins forbidden in the 9th commandment

  1. The sin of partiality in judging, especially in courts of law. (Lev 19:15)
  2. The sin of giving false evidence. (Prov 19:5; 6:16, 19)
  3. The sin of passing an unjust sentence, calling evil good and good evil. (Prov 17:5)
  4. The sin of lying. (Isa 59:13; Psa 119:69; Lev 19:11; Col 3:9)
  5. The sin of concealing the truth. (Lev 5:1; Deut 13:8; Acts 5:2-3)
  6. The sin of speaking the truth unseasonably. (Prov 29:11)
  7. The sin of perverting the truth to a wrong meaning. (Psa 56:5; Mt 26:60-61)
  8. The sin of slandering and backbiting. (Ps 50:20; Psa 15:3)
  9. The sin of talebearing. (Lev 19:6)
  10. The sin of misconstruing intentions, words and actions. (Neh 6:6-8; Rom 3:8; 1 Sam 1:13, 15; 2 Sam 10:3)
  11. The sin of flattery. (Psa 12:2-3; Jude 16)
  12. The sin of thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves and others. (Lk 18:9-11; Rom 12:16; Ex 4:10-14)
  13. The sin of exaggerating minor faults. (Mt 7:3-5)
  14. The sin of hiding or excusing sins, when called to a free confession. (Prov 28:13; Gen 3:12-13; 4:9)
  15. The sin of raising false rumors. (Ex 23:1)
  16. The sin of groundless suspicion. (1 Cor 13:5)
  17. The sin of envying anyone’s deserved credit. (Num 11:29; Mt 21:15-16)
  18. The sin of scornful contempt and mocking. (Psa 35:15, 21; Mt 27:28-29)