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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Political Party?

For as long as I can remember, the United States has been locked in a struggle between the Democrats and the Republicans. Though they are not the only political parties we have, they are the main ones.

So we watch as the House and Senate meander in and out of Republican or Democratic control, serving a Republican or Democratic President. We often talk about what happens when one party or the other is "in power."

It seems that most people expect that whichever party is prevailing at the time (i.e., "in power") would make a difference. I'm not sure that's wise. It seems that the evidence is mounting that it doesn't. Neither political party seems to be able to make a difference. It would appear that both of our leading political parties is equally inept.

So the thing is that I find Biblical wisdom which points to our current dilemma in government. In the Old Testament, there were various forms of government and leadership for Israel. From prophets and judges to kings, it seemed that nothing really made Israel all that it could be (or thought it should be). I think the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel tells us why.

Samuel was the last of Israel judges. No prophets had been active for a long time. He tried to appoint his sons as judges, but they were too corrupt and evil themselves. So the people prevailed upon him to appoint a king before he died. Samuel didn't agree with this, so he sought God in prayer about it.

God pointed out that it was His own leadership that the people were rejecting. He told Samuel to go ahead an appoint a king. But He asked Samuel to explain to the people why a monarchy would not meet their expectations either.

What did God know about the people of Israel? What did God see about governance that the people didn't see? I think it was simply this: the people of Israel thought that a new system of government (a monarchy) would bring about a change in the nation.

But because their basic problem was disobedience to God, their other problems would only continue under the new administration. What they really needed as a unified faith --- and not a uniform rule.

It strikes me that this is the same problem the Americans have today. We tend to think in political terms about what can make a difference. And lets face it, each time we elect a new President, for example, we always expect that our favorite candidate can make a difference. But rarely does that ever happen. At some point, you have to ask yourself why that is.

The basic problem in America is that we are disobedient people. The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness has come at the expense of obedience and submission to God and His ways of living. Quite frankly, what we need is a unified faith - and not a uniform rule.

We need political leadership that will re-unite us under one God. And until that happens, I suspect America will continue to drift about aimlessly, with its' people increasingly longing for a leader or a political party that can "make a difference."

There is no one and no thing that can change us until we become different people ourselves.

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