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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Christians: Get Down, Get up, Get out…and Vote!

This post was very difficult for me to title because I had so many possible titles in mind. One contender was: "One Christian's Plea to Christians in America." Another possibility was: "Election 2008: Image versus Substance." I'm still not sure I have the best title, but in any case, I have a lot on my heart as this Presidential election draws near. But first:

Official Disclaimer: Read on at own risk. I'm going to discuss a ton of very serious issues related to this election, including Abortion and Same Sex Marriage. And I am very definitely going to advocate for my readers (of voting age) to vote a certain way in this election. If you are young and your parents don't want you reading this, don't.

That said, I begin my admonition.

In the famous words of Geddy Lee, “If you choose not to decide, you’ll still have made a choice.” If you are a Christian, you need to get out and vote. Specifically, research the issues and where the candidates stand on them, get on your knees and in the Word, then get out and vote. You absolutely must not “sit this one out.” If you do, you remove your Jesus-influenced voice from the public arena. You surrender. You punt. You give up. But you have made a choice: the wrong one. Whenever Christians give up their right to any part of society, the cause of Christ suffers…and to a great degree, society suffers.

Looks at the arts and entertainment sectors of America. Christians have by and large allowed worldly tastes to rule, and are suffering through years of trying to play catch up. Consider the kinds of shows that are commonplace on TV today. Consider the perverse messages of some of today’s music. Not even cartoons are safe these days. If Christians drop out, the vacuum will be filled by that which is antiChristian. Where else have Christians thrown in the towel? Public education, legislation, government, the sciences…well, that’s a pretty long list, and perhaps a subject for another time.

Think of it this way: if Christians aren’t out there voting, who will be? In the last several elections I’ve heard some encouraging news reports about the % of professing Christians getting out there to vote. And I think even in the most recent election, even the press has picked up on how powerful the Christian vote can be, but still…STILL, there are so many Christians by % not voting. In this election more than ever, we need to change that and get out there in scary huge numbers.

I've heard some very respectable brothers and sisters say things like, "I'm not voting because I can't really support either of the candidates." Or perhaps something like, "I'm voting for Obscure 3rd Party Candidate A because he stands for more of what I believe in." Again, with all due respect, I disagree with both of these stances. In this election, Christians have a chance to make a difference. And as I will show, there is very real good that can come out of our choices at the polls. But sitting it out doesn't do any good. That's akin to not going to church because you can't find a pastor who agrees with everything you do. I bet the enemy loves that kind of logic. And for those who want to vote for an obscure candidate of some 3rd party, the only thing you'll do is guarantee a victory for likely the most liberal party. I just don't buy that a 3rd party is ever going to make it in the US. If we don't like the candidates, then we need to work harder to get better candidates to win the primaries...not wait for the presidential election and waste our votes.

And of course, some voters will be scared off by the local and national media who seem to be declaring that the election’s a done deal…that one candidate has it all locked up. Polls this, polls that. Blah, blah. And maybe they’re right, if Christians sit this one out. I’ve been a Christian for 18 years and I’ve never once been asked to participate in one of these polls. Have you? Hmmm…So ignore the hype and vote.

Then, the question becomes whom do Christians need to vote for? Here’s where the research comes in. There are many things to consider in this election and, again, if you listen to the mainstream media, you’ll get force-fed the all kinds of spins. We’ve got to dig just a little deeper, and not very far, mind you, to get to the heart of this.

There are dozens of websites available so that you can see where candidates stand on things that matter to God. I intend to discuss a few of those issues here in this post. But here are a couple of links where you can go point by point through all the issues. And notice I said see where the candidates stand on things that matter to God, not things that matter to you. They aren’t always the same, are they? Right now, we’re all feeling a pinch in the wallet, but should our vote be cast due to economics when there are issues of life at stake?

Before I get into who to vote for, may I suggest how you should not decide your vote? Don’t be a part of the pendulum effect. A pendulum does nothing but mindlessly swing back and forth. Some people vote that way. They get a Democratic President for 8 years, and then say, “Well, we’ve had them in the House long enough, let’s just go head and see if the other guys can get it done.” And now this year, we’ve had Republicans finishing up an 8 year term, so what will many do? Back and forth, back and forth. It is not a very intelligent way to vote.

So do just a little bit of homework. Do a lot of praying. And then vote.

Now, who to vote for: for me as someone who wants to follow God’s heart and His word, I don’t think I can vote for anyone but McCain/Palin. With all due respect to my Christian brothers and sisters who have decided to go another way, I absolutely disagree.

First, allow me to remind younger voters of what we had the last time we had a Democratic President. During Bill Clinton’s terms, we had a near impeachment because of a President who lied under oath. We had the leader of our country model adultery for all to see. We had a leader whose cabinet and advisers could not convince him to capture Osama Bin Laden when we had the chance. We had an administration who gave military technology and secrets to China. We had a president who advocated for abortion, even the hideous partial birth abortion. And we had a president who lobbied for homosexual marriage. What will we get with Obama? More of the same. I know, I know. Obama is not Bill Clinton. No, he’s not. But Obama seems to think that John McCain is George Bush, so indulge me a little comparing please.

If you look at Obama’s voting record, you will find that he is even more liberal than Clinton was. And on matters of life, especially abortion, he is crystal clear. Saddleback church did a forum with both Obama and McCain. Rick Warren asked Obama about abortion, about when an unborn child should have human rights. Obama’s response, “that’s above my pay grade.” Well, folks, if abortion is an issue above Obama’s pay grade, I suggest that running a country is WAY above his pay grade. Interestingly enough, McCain’s answer to the same question was, “I believe unborn children have human rights at conception.” Want to hear it for yourself, you can check it on YouTube. And craziness of craziness, Obama still hasn't released his birth records to confirm that he is a natural born citizen.

Obama on Abortion

On issues of homosexual marriage, again, you’ll find Obama doing a lot of tap dancing. He defines marriage as one man and one woman, but seems to have no conviction about the morality of the issue. God clearly says homosexuality is a sin. I didn’t say it. I didn’t interpret it strangely to make the text of the Bible sound that way. It is what it is. But the bottom line is that homosexuality is a sexual sin. It is one of many: adultery, sex outside of marriage, incest, etc. All of those things are sexual sin. If Obama tried to change the definition of marriage to include clauses for parents marrying children or to state that married couples could include mistresses in their marriage covenant, then I’d have a problem with that too.

Now McCain does have some issues in his voting record which make me wonder how steadfast he’ll be on these issues. But the fact that he chose a very conservative running mate in Sarah Palin is very hopeful. He could have chosen a liberal like Joe Liebermann. But he did not. And check the actual Republican platform for this election—the philosophy and point by point plans for the Republican party for this new term. You’ll see that the platform is possibly the strongest conservative platforms in the past 30 years, including Reagan’s platform. Check this out:

2008 Republican Platform

Compare it to the Democratic Platform:

2008 Democratic Platform

And remember, we are not just electing a President. We are electing the Supreme Court. What I mean is, the next sitting president will likely appoint 2-3 supreme court justices, maybe more. If Obama is in office, you know what kind of judges he’ll likely appoint.

McCain/Palin is the way to go. I see it as a battle between style and substance. McCain is about as stylish and eloquent as a pitt bull. But Obama…wow, the man can speak. He is very charming. He is very persuasive. He is the trendy pick. Hollywood loves him. That in and of itself scares me. Seriously, if Tom Cruise and Susan Sarandon are voting Obama, that’s all I need to know. YIKE.

Go back and analyze any of Obama’s speeches. Get out a little pad of paper. Count the number of opinions versus the number of facts. You’ll be absolutely astonished. You will find that Obama’s message of hope and change is based on thin air. His stated opinions outnumber the facts he presents by a ridiculous margin. And if you happen to watch a speech that was fact-checked afterward, you’ll see just how few of Obama’s facts actually are facts. Take his 30 minute ad last night for example. Yahoo did a very comprehensive fact check on it. WOW. Obama is singing pie-in-the-sky. Don’t you believe it for a minute. Do the same kind of check on McCain. Much more substance. Many more facts.

Obama's 30 Minutes of Fame

What do you want really, style or substance…charisma or character? For a Christian, it has to be substance and character. John the Baptist may have eaten locusts and looked kinda weird, but he knew sin when he saw it. And John the Baptist knew Jesus the Messiah when he saw Him.

Funny that the Pharisees didn’t.

You, Christian man or woman reading this. Yes, you. Pray hard. Think hard. Get out and vote.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Motiv8 Blog Tour, Author Bryan Davis

Author Bryan Davis
A Man Serious about Jesus
and Serious about Fantasy

I first met Bryan Davis at the ICRS conference in Atlanta, 2004. Then, I was a wannabe author and he had just had his 2nd Dragons in Our Midst book published. I remember I told him I thought it was cool that he wrote fantasy in the Christian market and he was quick to point out, "I write contemporary fantasy." At that time, I had no idea what that meant. lol. But I caught a glimpse of how serious Bryan is about the fantasy he writes as a ministry for the Glory of God. It was only a glimpse. But don't let my dramatic intro and the picture above fool you. Bryan is no Grinch. He's quite the opposite. His heart is already three sizes too big.

Since 2004, I've gotten to know Bryan quite a bit better. We've toured together twice and done a number of joint signings, speaking engagements, etc. Some of that time, we've roomed together, navigated some scary terrain together, and drawn swords together. And I must admit I've been SO challenged to be a stronger, more pure Christian just by watching Bryan in action. You see, Bryan's one of the most UN-selfish men I've ever known. Need someone to drive and extra 300-400 miles, Bryan leaps in without a second thought. Need a hand carrying something, Bryan is there. Need someone to talk to, Bryan will listen. He's the kind of guy who will dive in front of a bus to be the one who gives you the shirt off his back.

But he is serious. He is so serious about serving God and doing his level best to maintain holiness that he inspires others around him to do the same. Through his books and through his thriving forum, he encourages young people to be real life heroes. There are untold thousands of youths doing the right thing and serving God because Bryan Davis stood in a gap and told them, with God's power, they could indeed do the right thing.

Bryan Davis is also an extremely funny guy. You should hear him do a Stallone impersonation. He gave me a copy of his book, Spit and Polish for Husbands. It's all about being a better husband, but Bryan wrote it in such a way that you're laughing all the way through. Thing is, when the laughs fade, you're sitting there thinking about all the wisdom you've gained and convicted that you can indeed be a better husband.

Bryan Davis is the Author of three book series: