Friday, August 22, 2008

Is God on Our Side?

So you think you have voting according to the will of God all figured out. If you do, you're probably one of those who've been duped into voting exactly the way a political party or Rush Limbaugh tells you to. You probably won't be interested in this post and should just click on out to ESPN or MTV or Ebay.

The video below is a conversation between two evangelical leaders coming from different political points of view. Brian McLaren from the progressive (or liberal side) and Richard Land from the conservative side. Both made Time Magazine's list of 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.

The post I put up about the Warren Forum got tons of hits and comments. It's obvious that Christians are struggling with voting "correctly". If this is true for you, you need to give a honest, open-minded listen to the exhortation of these two men.


Mike West said...

bla bla bla - I don't need help from either of these guys. I hate it when talking heads are set up as the "spokesmen" for everyone in their little army. McCain for me has the most experience on the issues that matter most to me; terrorism & the economy, plus you can throw in abortion. What are your top 3 issues Bryon? This election really is a no brainer. I'm serious it really is. Here's a good read for you -

Bryonm said...


For me it's not a no brainer. "bla-bla-bla" doesn't lead to a decision for me.

You've challenged me, though: I honestly can't think of my top three. I read Brant's post and the last thing I want to be is "hip".

My main priority:

I want the president to tell the truth.

I need to think about this some more...

Bryonm said...

Okay, Mike:

I gave it some thought. Unfortunately, my priorities are a negative reaction to present governing.

I want our President to protect the Constitution.

We should not be able to use torture.

Our government should not be able to scare us into giving up our rights (i.e. the patriot act)

Economics without accountability has devastated our economy and caused rapid inflation in real estate and then a devastating plunge.

Energy dependence on foreign oil has to stop.

We treat illegal immigrants dismally. We can't call our policies toward immigration Christian.

Mike West said...

None of them tell us the truth all the time; they're politicians. It's a game. Always has been - always will be. Unfortunately, every election comes down to choosing the lesser of 2 flawed individuals. Aren't we all? So, hold your nose and choose. Figure out who aligns best with your top 3 issues. I sit down on all major decisions and write out my pros and cons. And for me, this one is easy. I honestly believe we're in the fight of our lives with radical Islamic extremists. When they strap bombs on retarded women and send them into crowds of innocent people, we need to come to grips with the fact we are fighting true evil. I want a guy who has stared down evil and understands it better than almost anyone. For me, that really is the top issue; not a scare tactic.

Mike West said...

I think we posted our last comments at almost the same time. I hadn't seen your second post when I posted.
Here's three questions that may help. Do you believe we're in a war against terrorism? Do you believe in abortion? Do you believe drilling ASAP in our country is a good idea? Those are my top 3 issues. You mention you feel negative toward our present governing. Can you name a time when you felt positive about our governing? C'mon know neither candidate can solve all our problems. But when you have to pick between the two, this is an easy election. Did you like John Kerry?

Mike West said...

Oh yeah...McCain agrees with you on the torture issue. I disagree with both of you.

Mike West said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It's amazing the moral and ethical dilemmas we put ourselves in when we align ourselves with a party or ideology. Do we ignore values of justice and mercy and vote Republican, or do we ignore values of accountability and reproach and vote Democratic? It's an over-simplification, and maybe even not totally accurate, to be sure. However, the point is we don't vote Christian by voting along party lines. One way or another.

Mike West said...

Not sure what you're trying to say Rick. So who are you voting for and why?

Bryonm said...

I don't agree with the war on terror. That is too broad of a concept. It's a scare tactic. It's a way for our government to get public approval through fear.

Al Gore uses the same tactic on a his global warming issue.

Both parties use the same tactics, and then they compromise somewhere in the middle. I'd like to see that change and have somebody tell the truth. I don't like politics being handled like a used car negotiation where talks start, by design, so far apart that neither side believes what they are saying. Why can't we elect guys that are real?

I appreciate your pragmatic, approach, though, my friend. I'm very aware that my idealism is getting the better of me.

I have to say that when I was in boot camp and taught that we treat our prisoners of war better than our enemies do, that made me proud. When I learned about the Geneva Convention and the laws we combatants were compelled to abide by, it made me proud to wear the uniform. I fell in love with the ideas and ideals we our country stands for. But I'm incredibly disappointed when our leaders fall short.

For now, I'm holding my breath to see who the candidates pick as running mates. Word has it the Obama will pick Biden and McCain may pick Romney or maybe even a pro-choice republican.

In the end, I will probably be literally holding my nose while I punch my ballot. But I want to be as proud of those who lead this country as I am of those who serve in th military, relief organizations, and the mission field. But obviously, that's too much to ask.

Chris Goeppner said...

reasons why obama sux
#1 - Economics

#2 - Military

#3 - Dancing

J Dub said...

OK...Dad is right. We are absolutely in a fight for our existence against thousands, probably millions, of crazed, radical, extreme "idealists" who will do anything to end our way of being. They've already shown their ability and their resolve to do us devastating harm, seven years ago. The only reason we haven't seen a similar attack in the meantime is because we have people in charge who are passionate about keeping us safe and who will sacrifice to do so (no, I'm not just talking about the President--he has made some dumb decisions).

Those distorting the views of Islam to fit their plans of ending America must be stopped. Both Americans and terrorists agree that ground zero of the battleground between good and evil is Iraq. Agree or disagree about America going there in the first place, the fact is that this is where this war of ideals is being fought.

One candidate says the best strategy for us in Iraq is to leave as soon as possible. Let's get out of there and quit this "senseless" loss of American life. "Bring our boys home!"

The other candidate says that we'll be there another 100 years if we have to, in order to win. (By the way, he was just talking about having an American presence there for that long...we are still in Germany, Japan, and Korea, and those wars are over, by the way). He understands the gravity of the situation and is willing to do what it takes to win.

The only outcomes of this war are to either win or lose. Cut and run = lose. Fighting for a better and more free Iraq = winning (to a certain degree). I agree that there is no clear cut definition of victory in Iraq. But I've spent two summers in Qatar, in 120 degree heat, flying dangerous missions to Iraq and Afghanistan every day. I'm leaving my wife at home for another two months at the beginning of next year to do it all over again. I'm willing to do so in order to do my part to beat these bastards. She's behind me all the way and will support me the whole time.

It's not about voting the party line. It's about keeping America safe. If you don't have that issue, you don't have any issues. I disagree with McCain on many, many issues. I was upset when he won the Republican primary. But, I do trust him to be willing to do whatever it takes to win this war (and it may take 100 years to do it).

So yeah, it is a no-brainer.

Mike West said...

That's my boy! (I mean young man)

Anonymous said...

top 3 concerns:
1. Life--are we safe, both locally and internationally?
2. Liberty--preserve our freedoms
3. Pursuit of happiness--allow us the responsibility of pursuing our life goals and meeting those responsibilities; govt doesn't need to subsidize my income nor overregulate how I pursue my life.

--I want a politician that will make decisions on what's right, what's best for America and the world's well being. Not what's expedient nor popular; he can even disagree with me; just have the courage to make a decision and stick with it. Just be honest with us.

Mike West said...

So Dave,
Who are you voting for? Your comments sound very nice but are they realistic? It sounds to me like you described Bush. He, the Republicans in Congress, the Democrats in Congress and others made a tough decision; go to war against an out of control tyrant. Bush has had the courage to stick with it despite the polls.

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

The answers are never black and white. Most of the time it's somewhere in the gray. However, there are questions one can ask: 1. Are we safer than we were on 9/10/01? 2. When does life begin? 3. What does higher taxes do for the economy? 4. Is our economy stronger today than it was this time in 2000? 5. What are the benefits of drilling for domestic oil now? 6. What are the benefits of NOT drilling for domestic oil now? 7. If the climate has warmed so much over the last 150 years, how did they measure the temperatures in 1858? 8. What is a carbon credit?

I think if you can answer those questions to your satisfaction, then you know who to vote for. Those that get all hung up on the "nuances" of the issues end up having decisions made for them.

P.S. I'm Mike's older (not necessarily wiser) brother

Bryonm said...

the comments to this post really got off topic (not that I didn't contribute to the result...). I wonder if anyone watched the video I posted and what were the thoughts anyone had about it. other than that, we're not having our own discussion, we're having somebody else's...

Mike West said...

Basically what we're saying is the subject matter of the post you made is irrelevant. Who's side is God on? Good luck with that one. Honestly, I tried to watch the 45 minutes of videos, but it was just too painful. Like I said, I don't need these guys to help me make up my mind. I'm still looking for an Obama voter who can tell me why they're voting for him. Please tell me why you're voting for him.

Bryonm said...

I haven't decided who I'm voting for. On some issues I like McCain and some I like Obama. Put me down as "undecided".

I was hoping your son would get the last word in this thread...

Mike West said...

"I was hoping your son would get the last word in this thread..."
Fine - done.
Glad you're undecided.

Anonymous said...

"with God at the center of all we do."
This is your own word Bryon. So why are you even consider Obama as our president.
Do you believe the bible is God's word because the way God told us about about the leader he did even fits.
If God if is the center of all you do. Did you go by what he told you or what seem good for you?
I was very disappointed when you comment Chuck Smith. You use to be a pastor at Calvary Chapel once how could you make that comment. You are far gone away from God Bryon because I have been reading your blog for a while beside Allie's and your wife's story your blog is suck.

Anonymous said...

^^wow. Those are pretty rude comments for someone who lacks the courage to leave his or her name. (Not to mention the fact that the writing is nearly indecipherable.)

Anonymous said...

The war on terror is like the war on drugs--we're not fighting an enemy but a concept. It will not be won (by human means) because the conditions that lead to it (poverty, hopelessness, & sin basically) can't be eliminated by human means. Doesn't mean we don't fight it, we must; but we need a better defined enemy. A goal.

I'll vote for the first candidate who gives me a flat rate income tax, a clear definition of what victory (and victorious withdrawl) in Iraq/Afghanistan looks like. Neither candidate is offering the first one. I'm not wild about Obama, and McCain doesn't thrill me much more. I voted for Huckaby, but now....
But this garbage about judging another man's faith over who he is voting for has to go. if we believe the Rom 13 argument that nobody becomes president in this country without His approval, then who we support has no bearing on our eternal destiny.