Some Random Thoughts for Thursday

1. We live in a world where the same people who think it is wrong for adult children to be financially dependent on their parents think welfare is a good thing.

2. How many times does this have to happen before supposedly brilliant people stop calling Palin ‘dumb’? You see, I think this issue (everyone calling her dumb) is bigger than Sarah Palin. It betrays the hypocrisy and misogyny of a liberalism that purports to be about the rights and dignity of women but only if those women are in lock step.

3. Did you hear? Cam Newton is now the main subject in a terror probe.

4. The most significant moment of my life happened about 2000 years before I was born.

5.  I saw two of my former students yesterday and I would have had to have been their Dad to be more proud of them.

6. There is nothing so common as leaves. But they are full of wonder.

7. Wait. I was wrong.

8. My friend Anita has a good blog that keeps getting better.

9. Mission?

10. I don’t miss facebook or Twitter. At all.

If the Suburbs Are A Bad Materialistic Place

The argument goes like this:

The suburbs are full of materialistic people who are living as if they believe God is there to bless them financially while they ignore the plight of the poor and the downtrodden.

If it is true should we not then…

1.) Send missionaries to those enclaves of false religion?

2.) Ask young people to pray about having a heart for the suburbs?

3.) Ask families to pick up and move into the shadow of that blight on the suburban landscape: the strip mall?

4.) Start having conferences about the need for risking our reputations in the suburbs?

Random Thoughts

1. Some memories are like money found in the pocket of a coat unworn for many warm months.

2. No comment from Mary Jo Kopechne on this.

3. When I was younger I wanted to look into theology at the expense of everything but as I’ve gotten older I find myself wanting to look through theology so I can actually see everything.

4. I’m holding out for CSI: Toldeo and Law & Order: Funeral Procession Officers.

5. The computer that decides the BCS rankings must be a PC.

6. I have trouble remembering what I wear from day to day. And this is bad when you teach teenagers. So I used to be worried that I would wear the same thing two days in a row. But then I remembered I teach at a private school. A classical school even. Where they wear uniforms. I now no longer worry about this.

7. We live in a world in which young people want to change the world but do not want to change diapers.

8. Pork product.

9. Not many songs better than this.

10. Losing 20 lbs. has rendered all of my shirts ‘puffy‘.

What If All The Politicians Are Dishonest?

This will be my last post on politics for awhile…unless the clamor for more from my five readers is deafening.

It is an accepted maxim these days that all politicians are dishonest, regardless of party affiliation. This may or may not be true. But let’s assume it is. Let’s assume that all politicians have trouble with the truth and therefore cannot be trusted. Let’s assume you know this but you still feel it is your constitutional right, privilege and responsibility to vote for one of these dishonest dealers.

How do you decide?
One commenter of mine said she had trouble voting for Republicans because they were liars, they were hypocritical but unlike the Democrats they use a lot of God talk. For this reason she says they bother her more. I am left to assume the things that bothers her the most is the God talk which is inconsistent with their lying and hypocrisy. 
There are a lot of things wrong with this kind of thinking but my first thought is, “Really, you identify the most with liars and hypocrites who do NOT talk about God? You don’t identify with the sinners who talk about God?” If there are two groups in front of me and both are full of liars and hypocrites but one of them uses ‘God talk’ and the other supposedly does not, I am going to look into the eyes of those who talk about God the most, jump up and down and say, “Oooo, pick me!” I know my own heart and with a shameless ease I can identify with liars and hypocrites who use “God talk.”
Peggy Noonan makes an excellent point also when talking about negative ads:

Now voters take for granted that politicians are no good, and such ads are just more polluted water going over the waterfall. The biggest long-term loser: liberalism. If all pols are sleazoid crooks, then why would people want to give them more governmental power to order our lives? The implicit message of two generations of negative ads: Vote conservative, limit the reach of the thieves.

I’m OK with confessing Christians voting differently than myself. But let’s do it for good reasons that flow from convictions which reject naive pride, understanding we are all made in the image of God and all have the same sin problem.

Random Thoughts

1. I almost bought a cup of coffee at Starbucks the other day. Almost.

2. When a book is made into a movie (Aren’t they all now?), do the people who make the movie ever actually say, “This story is stupid. And all the people who like it are stupid. I’ll change it.” Or do they just think it?

3. We act like it isn’t the case – like it’s always been a part of the lingo, but aren’t we, evangelicals using the word ‘mission’ a whole heck of a lot nowadays? Is it the new shibboleth? Do I need to say it more?

4. I’m running regularly now. I’ve lost almost 20 pounds. I look awesome. You should see me.

5. “Mission.”

6. Do people who want to pay higher taxes ask to pay more than their total bill at the grocery store?

7. My favorite comment that I have gotten as a blogger is, “Tell Satan hello for me. When you join him.” I know that doesn’t sound very nice but he at least left the address to his blog.

8. And just like that, I want a Happy Meal.

9. ‘Obamacare’ sounds like a hair care product.

10. Can you think of anything that could not be paired with bacon and taste better? I cannot.

The Ruling Class, Cracker Barrel and Justice

So over the past couple of days I’ve been reading this about “The Ruling Class.” It’s fascinating. For me this kind of writing is a little like bacon. I just don’t get tired of it and there is too little of it. Little bells are going off in my head telling me something is right here and “this makes sense of things.” Things which I have seen but I just was not smart enough to get my head around. Cue this article.

The question is, “Should you read it”?  Well, that depends. Everyone should read it and I would like to argue that evangelical pastors should as much as anyone. But I am not sure you would like it. I mean, if you like eating at Cracker Barrel, then you will find this piece helpful. If you think those who live in the city are by default more awesomer than those who do not, this piece of writing will expose you more than your local airport’s full-body scanner. If you like Fox News then this article will make complete sense to you. If you want to pay more taxes so others can continue on welfare, you might as well quit now and go over here so you don’t hyperventilate from all the cool being sucked out your space. I meant that nicely. Really.

The following quote about how the “ruling class” feels about ordinary Americans made me stand up and clap:

…left to themselves, Americans use land inefficiently in suburbs and exurbs, making it necessary to use energy to transport them to jobs and shopping. Americans drive big cars, eat lots of meat as well as other unhealthy things, and go to the doctor whenever they feel like it. Americans think it justice to spend the money they earn to satisfy their private desires even though the ruling class knows that justice lies in improving the community and the planet. The ruling class knows that Americans must learn to live more densely and close to work, that they must drive smaller cars and change their lives to use less energy, that their dietary habits must improve, that they must accept limits in how much medical care they get, that they must divert more of their money to support people, cultural enterprises, and plans for the planet that the ruling class deems worthier. So, ever-greater taxes and intrusive regulations are the main wrenches by which the American people can be improved (and, yes, by which the ruling class feeds and grows).

Now, it is patently self-evident that these are the opinions of those who stopped reading after I mentioned Cracker Barrel. What may not be quite as evident is how much of this teaching dovetails with so much of what is now being taught in evangelical circles. Teaching which supplants the gospel of grace and steals Christian liberty is now becoming standard among evangelical heavyweights. Much of it is in the name of ‘justice’ and makes people feel guilty for not living in a crime-ridden neighborhood and for driving cars which do not need to be chained to a bike rack when you go into Starbucks and spend almost $4 for coffee.


More on this later.

Some Thoughts After Election Day

1. If Cher calls you dumb, then you are most likely presidential material.

2. I have a theory. The same ‘thing’ (weltanschauung?) which causes people to want to be labeled ‘independent’ is the same as that which causes Christians to not want to identify with a particular church, denomination or theological position. They are above the fray.

3. Contrary to what some may think. It is not true there is a link between the increase of welfare and the reduction of abortions. California has the most on welfare and the most abortions. They have now elected a dead person to Congress. They also make most of the movies we watch. Crap.

4. I am in the middle of reading this thanks to Doug Wilson. It’s incredible. A long read but well worth it so far. Much of it sounds like a lot of what is happening in the evangelical church right now. I’ll explain more when I am done. Bated breath, I know.

5. This. Was. Awesome.

More Thoughts On Election Day

1. There may be some people who actually put all their hope in elections. But I have never met one of these people. I have a feeling they are few and far between. They show up about as often as the Yeti.

2. Caring about politics does not mean you have put all your hope in elections. It means you care about your country which is made up of people you are supposed to care about.

3. Navigating the difficulties of faith and politics has never been easy.

4. Some people do put too much stock in elections and politicians. But this makes far more sense and is far more reasonable then Christians being entertained by The Bachelor.

5. There is some talk that would leave you thinking almost any emotional response (happiness or hurt) shows your hope is not in Jesus. That is just plain irrational. I get happy about bacon. And I hurt when we are out of bacon. Surely an emotional response about the direction of something so small as THE DIRECTION OF A COUNTRY is appropriate.

6. It is always someone else who has the warped perspective on faith and politics. It is never the one giving advice.

7. Anyone who wants to raise taxes and then vote for themselves to get a raise is a bad person.

Some Thoughts On Election Day

Update: More Thoughts On Election Day

1. I have always enjoyed watching the returns on election night. And when I say “always” I mean since I was a kid, when we had an election in 4th grade and I voted for Reagan. My parents inexplicably voted for Carter that year.

2. Politics and governance are matters of social justice.

3. Can someone tell me again why I am not supposed to like Sarah Palin? Cause I do.

4. I would listen to liberal politicians more if they if wanted to lower my taxes instead of raising them.

5. I would listen to liberal pundits more if they would not be so predictable in calling every conservative politician they disagree with, “dumb.”

6. There is a lot of talk about how Christians (nearly always conservative) mix up their faith and their political convictions and the problem this presents. I’m not buying it. I have never met these people. I have met people whose faith informs how they vote and think.

7. Jonathan Edwards would be in the bulls-eye of those who criticize the mixing of faith and politics.

8. It is not necessarily a sign of faithlessness or lack of eternal perspective to be disappointed if the election does not go the way you would like. It could be the absence of faith that causes this disappointment but it could also be the presence of care for others and the pursuit of justice.

9. I think many young Christians will not identify themselves as conservative simply because they do not want to relinquish the social cache of being independently minded. In a world tyrannized by “cool,” being a conservative can make you an intellectual leper.

10. I know the last thing I am supposed  to say is something about how in the whole scheme of things this does not matter. But I don’t agree. Jobs and healthcare and taxes and abortion and marriage and laws do matter while people still live here. The “this world is not my home” argument is true but it is also true that you should care about those who still and will live here. Elections affect people and we are supposed to care about people. And yes, Jesus reigns still.