8.16.2008

Civility

"courteous conduct"

So, this is one of the only times I will talk about politics, because it's not my bag. I am definitely not loyal to or defined by any political party. My first allegiance is to a King and His kingdom. I am an American, and I love my country and freedom, and I would serve my country if I were called to do so. That's my balance on it all. I don't have it all figured out by any means, so I don't broadcast my opinions, because of my ignorance.

I really appreciated the forum that Saddleback Church and Rick Warren provided tonight. Unlike other Pastors and Christian leaders, Pastor Warren embraced both candidates with civility, and not attacking them. I personally think the attacks on Obama that I'm hearing from certain Christian leaders could possibly change if they met face to face. There is a Christian leader right now who has a video that is asking everyone to "pray for rain" on the Democratic National Convention during Obama's speech. In contrast, tonight, we were able to hear from the two candidates fairly, in a Christ-honoring environment. I've been in Saddleback Church a few times, and I plan on going back, because of the spirit of that church. The Holy Spirit is truly moving in that place, and you can tell by the spirit of the people that are being led by a truly Spirit-led pastor. Tonight, it was no surprise to witness that spirit of the people in their response to the two candidates. There was no mud-slinging or high-school name-calling. It was mature and civil, and I'm praising God that our country finally got to see that kind of spirit in the church. There are sooo many negative feelings toward the church right now, and it was great that the media finally had no option, but to show the true Christian spirit that should shine in churches.

I agreed with things from both sides, and disagreed with things from both sides. CNN and Fox News seem to agree on one thing: this was a great forum to hear from the candidates. May God use this for "the furtherance of the Gospel", as Paul said in Philippians, and may we, as Christians, be civil in our political views, instead of attacking. It's always amazing to me how much more I can get accomplished when I am calm and kind with my words. It's really just the basics of Christianity. The Proverbs say, "A soft word turns away wrath." I have tested this in obedience, and it never, ever has failed. It worked tonight, even in politics.


p.s. If you saw the singers and musicians performing at the beginning, a friend of mine, Emily Gomez was up there rockin' it.



What did you think of the event?

2 comments:

Matt W. said...

Ok, took me awhile to get back to this, but a few thoughts.

First, it was Focus On The Family Action that released the "Pray for Rain" video, and they say it was satirical, and they didn't think anyone would take it seriously, and while the first time I heard about it, I laughed, and I take them at their word, I do wonder how it is they thought that people wouldn't take it seriously, but like I said, I believe them.

Second, I think that if someone is out there saying bad things about Obama on a personal level, which I don't think there are a lot of people doing that, then meeting him in person might make them back off and feel silly, but for those of us who attack his stances on issues, are not going to be swayed by meeting him in person. I have no doubt that he can be very charming, but at the end of the day, I am against nearly everything he stands for.

I think that what Warren was trying to do here was a good thing, but in the end it probably doesn't mean much, because candidates tend to lie, on either side, so you don't really learn all that much from the candidates themselves. It takes digging and research to learn where they really stand and what they have really said in the past.

Civility is all well and good, but the problem is that too many people think that disagreement amounts to being uncivil, and that's not true at all. We need vigorous debate, and people are never going to agree on everything, if we pretend that we do, we do nothing but create problems. Clearly personal attacks serve no useful purpose, but vigorous debate on the issues is a very powerful and much needed thing.

Gary Durbin said...

Great points. I totally agree. What I liked about this was that it seemed to reveal defining disagreements in a civil way, instead of the mudslinging you see in the debates and conventions.