Thursday, April 16, 2009

Me?...A Right Wing Radical?...Who Knew?

It's been awhile since I've written about politics, but I just couldn't hold it in any more after watching the coverage of the Tax Day Tea Parties that were held around the country on Wednesday. I never realized that I was a dangerous, radical, right wing, conservative nut job, but apparently I am. At least if you believe the news media, specifically CNN and MSNBC. You see, according to their coverage of these rallies, if you believe in small government, low taxes, personal responsibility, and are pro life, you are dangerous. They don't just disagree with you, but they actually believe you are dangerous. One CNN reporter, who was supposed to be there simply reporting on the event, which was held to protest the large spending bill recently passed and proposed tax increases, even went so far as to start arguing with one of the participants about his opinions. I'm sorry, but I thought reporters were supposed to report the news, not debate those they are interviewing.

The fact that the media and many pundits lean left is certainly not news to anyone, but the hatred that they seem to have for anyone or anything even approaching the right is just bizarre. I love a good debate with someone who I disagree with, but is it really necessary to hate the other side in order to debate them. I've found that usually means they don't have much of an argument. I consider myself fairly conservative as I strongly believe in a small government, low taxes, personal responsibility, and am fiercely pro life, but I also lean to the left on some issues, i.e. the environment, social justice, gun control, and I certainly would like to see us out of Iraq. So I think I'm fairly balanced in my views, but according to the media, the latter doesn't matter because the former makes me a dangerous radical that should be silenced or at least shouted down. But aren't these the same ideas that our country was founded upon? Wasn't the original Boston Tea Party a protest against high taxes and a large intrusive government forcing its will on the colonists? Is it really that crazy of an idea that the government should leave people alone and let them keep the money they've earned?

And why is it when anyone on the left is out in the street protesting, they are applauded by the media for utilizing their right of free speech, but if you have a dissenting opinion you should be berated and accused of having dangerous ideas? What is it that they are afraid of? I also found it interesting that the president claims he was unaware that these rallies were taking place. He's either even more out of touch with the American people than I thought he was or he is afraid to admit that some people actually don't agree with him. Well Mr. President I have news for you, there are a lot of us that don't appreciate the rather large amount of debt that you just placed on us and our children and we are not going to be silent, even if your cohorts in the media try to paint us as radicals. I suppose to the British the founding fathers ideas were radical as well. If following in their footsteps and holding on to what made this country great makes me a radical, then so be it.

God Bless.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thoughts on Easter and Good Friday, that Beautiful Scandalous Night

As I've written before, Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday of the year as I love getting together with family and reflecting on all that God has blessed me with. I also love Christmas and the joy that seems to be in the air as we celebrate Christ's coming as a child and God dwelling among us. But there is something incredibly special about Easter. It is a much more solemn, but no less joyful, holiday for me and a time of year that causes me to meditate on the incredible sacrifice Christ made for me. I like to take time each day on the Monday through Friday before Easter to read the Easter account in each of the gospels. I find it helps me to prepare my heart for a time of reflection at our Good Friday service and then the beautiful celebration of the resurrection on Easter morning.

Adam and Eve rejected God in the Garden and we all bear the burden of that decision. Of course we do a pretty good job of rejecting God ourselves, at least I know that I do and as I look at the world around me, I'm fairly certain that I'm not alone. Without Christ's death and resurrection, we would all be lost and still wandering around in our sins with no hope of salvation because there is nothing we can do to earn it.

But my hope lies in this, that Christ came into the world because He loved me and willingly gave Himself to be brutally beaten and die a gruesome death so that I could spend eternity with Him. He took the punishment that I deserved even knowing that I would continue to sin and fight Him at every turn. Yet He chose me anyway. Certainly not because I deserved it, but simply out of His incredible mercy and truly amazing grace. I'm still blown away that the God and creator of the universe would come and go through all that for me. And not only did He die to pay my debt, but He defeated death by rising from the grave to give me the hope of eternal life in His heaven. So not only did He provide a path for me to Him, but He pursued me even in the depths of my sin, forgave me, and then welcomed me into His house. But not as a guest, as a son.

My prayer for everyone this Easter is that you would realize that God loves you that much as well. We cannot be good enough or do enough right things to get into heaven. But that is the beauty of Easter and the cross. We don't have to earn it. God's grace comes to each of us and pursues us if we are willing to turn to Him and recieve it.

May God truly bless you this Easter.


Beautiful Scandalous Night by Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong

"Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flowed
For you and for me and for all

At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that poured
From our blessed Savior's side

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified"

Follow this link to watch a video for this song: