Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Honest Struggle

NOTE: Here at Manturity we aim to be spiritually mature and give all the glory to the Father. This post does not necessarily reflect any opinions of Manturity. I asked a friend and brother in Christ of mine to share his thoughts on issues pertaining to the upcoming election. It should be noted that he does not hold the Bible to be infallible or inerrant yet believes that all scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit and that every passage should be viewed through the lens of hermeneutics and exegesis.


With the election upon us, I was asked to take the opportunity to share my ideas and concerns about the election. I am also very interested in hearing your thoughts and ideas on the matters and issues. Being as I am a Christian man, I want to keep God at the forefront of my thoughts and opinions. With as much humility as possible, I have been blessed with a photographic memory and an IQ in the 95th percentile worldwide. Of course, with great gifts comes along weaknesses; I have no artistic or musical talent, and I find myself socially awkward because I interrupt people thinking I know what they are going to say next. On the other hand, I am able to understand viewpoints and opinions very well. I spend half of my time between watching FOX and CNN. I understand 94% of Americans hold diametrically opposite views on politics and the future - the fact is that we are all selfish. Take Mitt Romney's comment about the 47%: he was lambasted for telling the truth. Those people will never even listen to him because they are scared something will be taken away from them. But the opposite is true also: 47% of people will never give Obama a chance because he wants to take something from them in the form of increased energy prices and taxes and regulations.
Personally, I'm still undecided who to vote for. I'd prefer libertarian federalists, conservative statists, and liberal localists. I don't have an option to have my way. What do I do? What matters most? I won't give you any talking points... You've heard the lies from both sides a trillion times. Politics bring out the worst in men and women and I long for a day of being ruled by a divine personality who isn't subject to lies, distortion and greedy power needs (Jesus will come again soon we think… but even he doesn’t know the timing so how can we?) It's obvious that this election will set the stage for the next 20 years minimum - the time my kids will be growing up into adulthood. Speaking of my children, I will start off the main topics with long verses short term planning.
My strategy is to ask questions. Why? Jesus used questions and parables because they force people to think. Universal truths are timeless and not dependent on current social paradigms. If you start thinking about a topic and you honestly seek an answer from God, he is faithful to provide it in a way that is personally valuable to you. I'm not going to manipulate or coerce you into doing/voting either way. I don't intend to shock and awe but to get you thinking - like Jesus did.
NOTE: Main topics are highlighted for ease of use; feel free to read all or pick your points accordingly.

Clearly Jesus is the visible image of the invisible Father. The Father is not male or female. God creates personalities, he's the father of making and enjoying individuals - individuals concerned with righteous justice ministry (R type Christians) and social mercy ministry (D type Christians). Rest assured that God loves both Republicans and Democrats. Jesus performed both types of ministry! That's why he wants people to partner with him in prayer - he relates to us personally on the level of the mind he’s given us. For his joy in his creation. It's always about personal relationships and there is no doubt that better relationships must exist between democrats and republicans for the benefit of the country.
Do we plan 5 generations from now? 10? 20? Or do we only plan for 1 so that our direct kids have easier lives? Throughout history people have had wars and rumors of wars and it doesn't appear that a whole lot of long range planning has taken place. America did it through our beautiful and intelligent Constitution. The problem is that our Constitution isn't followed much at all today. But things change and Amendments have happened and Departments of this and that have been "Mandated" by either Congress or Judges. Could a new way be a better way for the good of the world and not just the good of America? Do we have a responsibility for world affairs or the affairs inside our borders only? Again, there are big differences in platforms in this argument between D and R.
In my opinion, Democrats are much better for further future planning and for the World. Republicans are much better for the here and now and for America. But what world do I want my kids to live in? I can't decide.
Republicans irritate me because they complain about some higher costs while sitting in oversized houses with financed expensive vehicles and many other 'things' they're afraid to lose for self worth reasons. Democrats irritate me because they complain that Republicans aren't willing to give up more of their money to give out more free things that were never allowed for in the Constitution for them to give away.
My mind works like this on some big, controversial issues:
Is there man-made climate change or are the fluctuations from the sun's 11 year natural sunspot and activity cycle? It's inconclusive. No doubt a zillion exhaust pipes aren't good for my lungs or nature though. Democrats will make life currently more difficult with higher gas prices (by design) and a big push for cleaner air which is a win for an outdoor enthusiast like me. Bottom line is that it is better for my kid’s future, the world's future and God's creation and that wins it for me on this issue.

Do humans have a natural right to procreate? What about adoptions and foster kids? Does God create people infertile just so they can help care for orphans? One of my daughters has Down syndrome and can't procreate. Women spend hundreds of thousands on in vitro fertilization instead of adopting an orphan. That doesn't make sense. Is abortion ok in certain circumstances? Never? Always? Why is China doing so well with their one child policy that they basically own our Country? Does it make sense (we need major social change in the poor community) to have poor women in America having 6 kids with 6 different dads? Why does America have exponentially higher birth defects and special needs each year? Is it because we don't abort as many children as other countries and bad genetic lines are degrading the gene pool? Genetics are real (how to reconcile it with God creating each person in the womb I don't know) - I've studied it closely to learn why my child has too many chromosomes. How do you talk about great and terrible genetics without offending people? Should the future involve eugenics? Clearly whatever America is doing right now is causing our children have higher and higher percentages of birth defects and autism. The whole topic puts Christians on edge but does God make deformities on purpose? Is a pro-life policy solely based on Psalm 139? Why would we ever want to "force" a woman to carry a stillborn or a person that will die upon arrival? It's such a hard subject to contemplate when real lives are involved. Clearly the physical process of abortion is disgusting and atrocious!!!! Clearly a "fetus" has their own DNA, fingertips but I guess the question that Democrats would have to explain is when is the Soul created to not classify it as murder? But if that is not the case and access to air is the reason (hence late term abortions suck brains out in the womb so the baby can't breathe) then can we freely kill CPR patients? Can anyone know...? What is mercy? Who is the mercy focused towards? Democrats focus on mercy ministry for the woman. Republicans focus on mercy ministry for the unborn baby. Who's right? Before modern medicine was invented with fancy NICU's, my daughter would have had almost zero chance to live. Is that God's abortion to ensure appropriate genetic survival? I think about this all the time… is the extreme rise in all of the diseases and special needs children because we're saving babies against God's plan? If so, is it a sin to do what he was already going to do through nature? Why would he create a child just to die? I'm 50/50 on the fence on this issue. I can see both sides and understand them personally.

Is war ever good? Have you read the Old Testament? It's gruesome and awful. Was God protecting a better strain of people; or a more faithful people? Clearly chosen because of Abraham, but it's inconclusive. Can people have genetic superior spirituality and can faithfulness be passed down? Why would he kill off whole civilizations otherwise? Maybe it’s because the Sons of God (Angels) came into the Daughters of Men and diverted the natural order? Well that's the best Christian argument I've heard for Noah's Flood. I'd still be mad at God even if I believed that story. How do black people, Asians, Scandinavians, etc come from 8 people? It's the age old "we believe in micro evolution but not macro evolution debate". I'm a local flood guy, by the way. But should we kill off those in our way? Are we justifying what happened to the Native American Indians? God wants the most faithful to slaughter everyone? That's evil. What about wars in order to protect the weak from tyrants? How do you know who you can trust? In Syria right now both sides are committing unspeakable acts. This is the exact reason why we've been stuck with tyrants in power even after we put them there (Saddam, Karzai, House of Saud). Republicans want preemptive strikes and say Democrats are weak for negotiating peacefully. WWJD? Clearly the Muslim world and Western world will never be culturally compatible, so why not live and let live. If they want to live a certain way (as evidenced by the elections of Islamist governments during the Arab Spring) then it's not the job of our Government to be fighting them. That's the job of the Church. I'm 50/50 on the fence on this issue to. We have to protect our borders from attack (R win), have a strong deterrence (Both), but negotiate if AT ALL possible (D except Obama because of secret kill list).
The Economy is clearly in the bag for Republicans. Democrats are funny thinking higher taxes with a middleman (the Government) and then subsidizing certain businesses is a way for economic growth. Obama has no clue about the economy. Romney has been successful at everything he's done. I do think the Government should invest in new ideas to spur new markets so I disagree with Romney about that -unless they offer tax advantages for successful ideas but that would be hard to quantify. Businesses will not want to come here for higher taxes and unions and stricter environmental regulations. They will not want to buy our stuff if we punish them through tariffs. Democrats don't get it at all on this. Republicans win this category by the biggest margin of all my categories.

Is healthcare a right? Why did Jesus wait four days for Lazarus? To specifically show divine power as a testament to faith in his message. Complete trust in the Father's love and certainty of Salvation. Does it make sense to spend hundreds of thousands on a terminal patient so they can have a few more months of misery? Shouldn't we point them to divine power and give them so hope or peace? That's the main fault of the Church: even Christian people aren't satisfied with salvation enough to not want to endure hell before heaven. We shouldn't be afraid of heaven enough to waste our children's inheritance on roughing out a chance of another couple months? Does it make sense to drive up our debt to keep someone brain dead alive on a respirator? God is merciful and just in his dealings with each person. On the other hand, I'm glad that people have access to care now. Yes prices will rise and appointment times will be longer but when I think of middle aged people who lose a job and can't get some condition covered again if COBRA runs out, that breaks my heart. I'm also mad at the Republicans for not doing ANYTHING during their time in power while my personal insurance prices rose way beyond my pay raises. However, it is very irritating that not one Republican voted for this Obama care Bill and it was done in a very shady way. Bottom line: I say leave it in place and modify it as necessary through amendments or the Courts so Edge Democrats.
I prefer to have the government continue maintaining Medicare and Medicaid. Both actually really help my daughter. Her whole life is better and ours is easier. I prefer the democrat plan slightly but don't see a reason why vouchers wouldn't work if done right.

Do unions make sense? Explain how that's different than organized extortion. There are so many laws to keep things fair: OSHA, Child labor laws, FMLA, etc. How can we keep making sense of the NEA's protection of bad teachers? I don't want to hear a teachers' union complain and lobby all the time for keeping the status quo. The American Education system is terrible. For all the money involved, the only reason why we are falling behind the whole world in education is because of our system. Having 5 deans and multiple principals all making twice as much as teachers is ludicrous. The local school boards need more power and the feds shouldn't say we all need to adhere to some dumb standard test. Teaching for tests never involves changing a child's life. Think of the best lessons you've ever learned. Teaching for test stores information in short term memory. No wonder teachers hate teaching. My mom and sister are teachers and they can't modify their own lesson plans. For me, Republicans have a big edge in this issue.

What is the role of our Government as it relates to LGBT issues? Are they citizens or not? Should Christians oppose it based off two scriptures and Sodom and Gomorrah in the bible? Or are we just freaked out by it because we just can't think like that. Have you ever wondered why some gay men are so feminine and some gay women are so masculine? My theory is that the rise in homosexuality is both a testosterone related issue/genetic related issue with improper hormone production and a social issue of too many single parents trying to raise the opposite sex child by themselves. A woman can't model proper manhood to a boy but perhaps if there was a mentor in his life he could see a decent example and vice versa. Should we force them into hormone therapy and counseling? How should Christians love them like Jesus would/does? He didn't turn away people from his ministry… his only requirement was that they be sincere in seeking him. What is the only requirement in the bible about salvation? Is it to "believe on Jesus and renounce your homosexuality"? I know it's a hard issue and I actually have a gay sister that I love very much. She said she's always felt that way… who am I to say you can repent of your genetics? I don't think the Government should make laws against the whole issue (with some pseudo similar Civil Union mandate to protect "Marriage") and I think that Government shouldn't be in the marriage business period. A marriage is a promise of two people together before God, not the government's certificate. I think the solution to the whole problem is to revise the tax code to treat everyone as an individual and let whoever wants marriage marry and let God decide whose promise he accepts. Also, with divorce rates so high even amongst Christians… there's no moral authority. Slight advantage Democrats but I don't want it shoved in my face so often by them.

Clearly America should completely alter our higher education system. Many kids go, take out huge loans and go get drunk everyday and study a major that doesn't benefit society whatsoever. I appreciate what Democrats have done with respect to Pell Grants and lower student loan interest percentages since my wife is currently in school studying Nursing. That is a smart idea to do. That solves a lot of problems at once. It helps allow poor folks to get out of the societal rut which propagates itself generation after general of illegitimate children, drug use, and prison sentences. The Government has to step in a give social welfare, housing, food stamps, cell phones, and childcare for them generation after unsuccessful generation. Education can give them a way out. Community Colleges should be subsidized more by state governments. If a person is smart enough to get in, then they are a useful member to society. We need to build the usefulness of Society to help our Country gain economically against other countries. Universities should be treated similarly but useless majors shouldn't be allowed. Alcohol and drug testing could be required of anyone receiving student aid. Advantage Democrats.

Those are the major issues that I see and that matter to me, my wife and our kids. It is a tough choice and I'm undecided still. I encourage you to pray honestly, to try not to vote selfishly, and to do as your soul dictates.

NOTE: We ask that you be mature and respectful in your review and replies. We look forward to some great discussion over these topics and know that everyone has their own opinions. As a precaution, all replies will be reviewed first before being posted. Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.
This has been a guest post by a great friend and brother in Christ, Ryan Evans.


  1. President Obama: may the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you peace. Please govern us according to your honest intentions for ALL of our welfare, not just those who voted for you. Unify us. Lead us. Make us proud of you.
    From the Author of 'An Honest Struggle' - R. Evans

  2. Maybe genetically modified people are a result of us genetically modifying our food. I personally think this is a natural result of all the hormone games we play - the Pill, all the hormone-damaging substances we have in our world (that we're creating or that are by products of us doing things we shouldn't), our very unnatural food supply, drugs, and the like. God loved & had a plan for every person, even if they have genetic abnormalities. Human life is always valuable, and we tread dangerous territory when we as humans try to "rate" or determine the value of a person's life based on our very limited perspective. We are not who gives human life value. We are all created in God's image & inherently very valuable. May God bless your daughter.

    I have many other thoughts & beliefs about questions you posed here, but I'm not sure it's necessary to share them. Thank you for asking so many valuable questions - you're a huge head start above many who may not think or care to ask.

    I personally believe that the best place to start in "fixing" society's ills is with the value of the members of society - people. That's why I choose to vote for e people who value & preserve human life among other policies they have. If they care to defend a child in the womb, then they'll care about children with Downs Syndrome and the elderly and the poor people they enable through our system that keeps them bound to a selfish, unfulfilling life that keeps repeating through the next generation.

    America and each one of us needs God. When we start working on solutions through His priorities instead of legislating sin & then decrying the results, we will see the change we so deeply need. But if our country continues to reject truth in favor of convenient lives, our problems will only blossom. God loves us & wants us to prosper in all areas, but if we think we know better and go our own way like rebellious teenagers, we will then learn WHY God says not to kill, not to covet, not to steal, why those who won't work shouldn't eat. Sometimes consequence is the best teacher. Then after rebelling, we follow the prescription the bible lays out: We go on to blame God for the mess we find ourselves in or even say He doesn't exist bc He allows so much evil. No, He warned us repeatedly but we refused correction.

    BUT...He gives us more grace. This doesn't mean we're doomed! If a strong America isn't what will turn back to Gods ways, then perhaps a weak America will. We'll realize just what (Who) has made our country great to begin with, then maybe we'll be open to Him once more! I have great hope that tough times will bring us to our knees & stir our passion for our Father once again because He can meet us there. He can't meet our needs when we don't think He provides the solution to them.

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