Can a Christian vote for Barack Obama?

I voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 election instead of voting for the ticket of McCain and Palin. 

At the time, I did not understand the division and caustic nature of the upcoming 2012 election. My guess is that neither did you. The economic disaster that was 2007-2008 had not yet been thoroughly investigated and the nation had not seen the gridlock of partisan politics to the degree that the early 2010 deficit talks and subsequent supercommittee debacle produced. I was also particularly unprepared for the rather pointed, sometimes hateful, rhetoric that would flow from the more conservative ranks about the President of the United States. Let’s, though, move closer to home.

I have had relatives, Christian co-workers, and social conservatives question my faith, question whether I believe the Bible to be relevant, and question my intellect for the past few years.

Rescued from Hell on Disneylands Doorstep

"Once we started looking for it - and almost stopped ignoring it - we started finding it everywhere."  - Sergeant Craig Friesen, head of Anaheim's vice unit. 

The CNN Freedom Project site headlined an incredible story of justice and bravery today. The setting of the story told is geographically in my backyard. Literally steps from the “the happiest place on Earth” (Disneyland, Anaheim), a 17-year old girl was trapped hell on Earth; child prostitution.  Friesen, working as an undercover, arranged to meet the child at the Disneyland Hotel for what she thought was a typical day in her life servicing “Johns” with sex. God had a different plan in store for her today! Friesen and his team from Anaheim PD showed up, arrested the pimp and treated the girl, and another girl they were able to locate, as victims of human trafficking and not as criminal prostitutes.  

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Ideas and Elections

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.”

The preceding sentence was said by the late President John F. Kennedy and in many respects it’s the theme of this blog. My desire is to explore the power of ideas as well as the expression of those ideas. Why? Well, because I believe I am a work in progress (and maybe I am not alone) and that I live in a world that is trying to make progress. Undergirding all of this progressive optimism are ideas.

Many Christians call the systematic formulation of these ideas a ‘worldview’ and that’s not a bad phrase. But, some ideas, if we’re honest, aren’t always that clear in our head and so it’s difficult to organize them neatly and label them effectively.

Surviving the Election Without Losing Family, Friends or Faith

I read an article this morning stating the Presidential election is almost 17 months away and I was instantly filled with anxiety. Thankfully it was not caused by fear of military take-overs or self-absorbed dictators fixing elections. Instead it was caused by a dread of division.

The economy is imploding and natural disasters are exploding around us. Our country is in need for us to pull together like never before – we need each other. Even more – the world needs a unified church and the stability that only Christ can give in the midst of chaos.

There are many agents that divide – money, faith, betrayal, jealousy – but politics is possibly on top. Family gatherings have been ruined, churches have split, towns divided over political differences.

Unity in His followers was important to Christ. The night before His crucifixion He prayed that His disciples would be one, united like He and his Father. As Christians and citizens we should work to model this to our country and the world.

Here are a few suggestions that may help us with political talks around the dinner table and water coolers as we enter the primary season… 

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Why I'll Vote on Tuesday

I have to admit it. I’ve been totally grossed out by the political chaos that has flooded the United States this fall. I stopped watching the Daily Show, gave up on reading New York Times editorials, and ignored big speeches by our President.

But last week, my wife and I watched the Ken Burns documentary on the American Congress. If you have not seen it, the film takes you on a two hour trip from the very beginning of the American Government until the mid ‘80s. Frankly, it’s a frightening journey. The Revolution, the Civil War,Civil Rights, the Bosses from the industrial revolution. Such a peril filled fight from the very beginning.

But somehow, hearing Woodrow Wilson say “the government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests.

Did I Use God's Name in Vain?

This past week as I turned into our neighborhood, I was reminded that voting season is upon us. Staked into the ground were colorful signs with the names of the candidates and the office they hoped to win. It’s a fun and exciting time but it’s also a time filled with division, strong opinions and of course false claims against their opponents and exaggerated promises.

Our pastor, Mark Traylor, did a great sermon yesterday called Christianity Without Political Partisanship. He jokingly told us that two of God’s Commandments are broken during political campaigns, 1) Do not bear false witness and 2) Do not take the Lord’s name in vain.

Initially he threw me for a bit.

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