America’s Connection to Modern-Day Damascus

Mideast SyriaAsk any Republican if a Democrat-controlled government is able to make the right choices for the country and almost unanimously you will receive a resounding “NO”.  Of course, the same is true if the scenario were the other way around.

In today’s society how do we truly know what is really right and what is really wrong—and what is simply “politics as usual”?

So many different ideas and opinions run rampant in our country today; we have no true baseline of reality.  No real starting point for our national belief system remains any longer.

Certainly as private citizens, many of us choose to use the Bible and its teachings as a foundation for decisions we make and opinions we hold.  Others in our community choose to use their “intellect” to make their choices.

I recently read an article by Jordan Monge discussing why “Intelligent people are less likely to be religious”.  The interesting perspective on the article was the writer, who is a former atheist, converted to Christianity, at Harvard of all places.  Monge sites various research that has been done on education and religion, drawing the conclusion that this correlation between intelligence and being repulsed by religion, is a self-fulfilling prophecy that education has created.  The “prophecy” is described as Americans who are making the assumption that those of intelligence will grow up and reject their faith.  As teenagers matriculate to secular colleges, they will stop attending church and thus become skeptical of religion and faith.  Monge concludes this is where the prophecy is fulfilled.

Academia doesn’t always have a place for faith and the mindset that goes with belief in something, especially when individuals believe the evidence is not “tangible”, in their skeptical minds.

Our government is the result of this academic thinking, which says that the more intelligent individuals will not seek advisement from a book (The Bible), which is so old and was written by individuals who professed to have direct contact with God.  Seeking this advisement grows less likely, especially if the politician has begun to believe he (or she) is the god of his own world.

So if these elitist groups of thinkers, who sit in the hallowed halls of our government, aren’t using a religious baseline to develop and support their decisions, yet ridicule and demean those who do, what is their starting point for making decisions?  And what if the decisions the government makes are wrong—and not just wrong simply because both sides of the aisle can’t agree, but morally wrong.

So many people think those of us who are against abortion are also against women taking care of themselves and having a choice.  We aren’t.  A conservative’s belief is based on life beginning at conception, not at birth.

Those of us who are against gay marriage are accused of not wanting equality for lifestyles that the Bible says are wrong.   It’s not about wanting or not wanting equality; it’s about not having to lose the rights of conservatives and marginalizing our beliefs in order to “accommodate” the rights of liberals.

Many of us who believe people should enter our country legally are accused of not wanting others to have an opportunity at “a better life”.  We’re accused of not wanting illegals to own homes, go to college, or anything else.  It has never been an issue of not wanting others to have these opportunities and be successful; conservative beliefs have always been to support individuals having all immeasurable opportunities. But we believe these opportunities are acquired by taking responsibility for resolving financial or immigration issues in people’s lives, before the services are allowed.

Citizens, who adhere to moral commitments such as these, are almost always Conservatives.  Truthfully, conservatives don’t want anyone to be left behind.  Unlike many liberals, we don’t hate any group/class/race of people.  We believe people should work and earn the benefits offered in America.  However, no one should have to work double, to pay for themselves and someone who believes they are entitled, without any contribution or effort.

For conservatives who try to understand and live by the teachings of the Bible, it is now sometimes very difficult to live in our society.  Our society, which offers us the freedom of religion, based on the First Amendment, is now suppressing conservative beliefs for the sake of liberal views.

If, for a moment, people weren’t so afraid of God and His principles and looked at what is written, how might things go in America today?

What if making laws and writing executive orders on a multiplicity of items, were truly measured against Biblical principles, which have proven their worth over many years?  What if decisions were once again based on what we need as a country, and not based on special interest groups?

As we read and hear each day, America is no longer as large of a power in the world.  One television commentator described Russian President Vladimir Putin as trying to position Russia as an alternative power for the world to turn to in crisis.

Think about it.  Russia is siding with countries that have no respect for human life, at all.  They are supporting countries where killing citizens is not a problem.  This transition of power is happening rapidly, right in front of our eyes, and we just stand there watching.

America is in a place today where our President will not take responsibility for his words and actions.  His advisors are entrenched with socialistic ideals, none of which are based in the Godly beliefs on which our country was founded.

For American citizens, who are so set on making choices based on socialist ideas and non-biblical principles, we are seeing the changes in our country and the respect we no longer have on the world stage.

In some respect, every President prior to Obama had some type of public, religious standing.  I always thought it was positive to see the President and First Lady walking out of church, shaking the minister’s hand.  The First Families didn’t necessarily make religious statements but you knew, by example, some portion of their life was being influenced by God.  As a country, we still had problems during these presidencies, publicly laced with “religion”, but for those who believed in God and in His power to help shine wisdom and enlightenment on leaders, there was a feeling of comfort.  When presidents would end their addresses with “God Bless the United States of America”, you would feel the sincerity and belief in the words spoken.

Now these same words sound hollow, unreal, and to some degree, not natural for President Obama to speak.  However, he must feel a sense of obligation to say them, since his predecessors had always said them so valiantly.

What would happen if we got rid of the feelings of both sides of the aisle; feelings threatened by Biblical beliefs and looked at our problems through spiritual lenses?

Today, the city of Damascus is being inhabited by Syrians who will die for their President, a man who has probably killed people with conventional and chemical weapons.  Assad is a dictator who kills those who disagree with is beliefs, especially Christians.

Approximately two thousand years ago, Saul, a persecutor of Christians, was stopped by the Lord on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).   Saul also killed Christians.  As Saul, whose name was later changed to Paul, travelled down this now historic road, Jesus spoke to him in a voice from Heaven and asked why he was persecuting Christ. (Acts 9:4)

It’s rather ironic that Christians are being persecuted again, in the same city of Damascus.  Christians in our own country are experiencing similar persecution, yet not anywhere near the severity.

Saul was blinded for three days after this experience (Acts 9:9) and after spending time with those who knew the ways of Christ, he changed his ways and became a driving force in spreading the Gospel of Christ.

What might the reaction be today, if our leaders encountered a similar experience?  What changes might come to our country if our leadership was less self-serving and less focused on “fundamentally changing” our country (and the world)?

We have less than 14 months to learn about, choose, elect and reelect representatives of our communities and states.  What are we going to look for? Will we be looking for someone who will “tickle our ears” with things we want to hear? Or will we look for someone who will hold the values we believe are the most dear and important to our nation?  Will we lift up candidates who are true leaders, who are not afraid and who will only stand for our founding values?  Or will we continue to pursue our own “Road to Damascus”, where the line between what is right and wrong is blurred, because we have no distinctive beliefs and guide posts.

The answer is clear; we just have to decide to do what is right—and for all of us who understand God’s word, those answers will be brightly illuminated.

Tina Drake

Arizona PolitiChick Tina Drake has been teaching and mentoring Junior High and High School students, in churches where she has been active, since her time as a college student, over twenty-five years ago. Tina believes politics and religion can, and should, be discussed together. She says she is a lifelong follower of Christ and believer in the true significance of God's power in each and everyone's life and she believes in the absolute need for God and Christ to be honored and included in the decisions made for our country. Tina continues to mentor students in this age group, along with her husband, multiple times each week. She believes that encouraging people, especially students, to see the need for a relationship with God and Jesus Christ in their everyday life, is an absolute need in her life. Tina volunteers weekly in her children's school, allowing her to witness how today's students are learning and developing in their social, educational, political and spiritual beliefs. Witnessing how students experience life, during the timeframe of Junior High through College, is immensely important to Tina. She believes this age group needs to be mentored, so they will have the tools with which to navigate today's societal pressures to live life without God, rather than with Him. Tina has also been a teacher to women in churches, teaching small groups, as well as speaking to large groups on a variety of spiritual topics. In addition to Spiritual Formation, Tina has been actively following and discussing the many facets of politics. Tina is a graduate of the University of Arizona, having earned a degree in Communication and a minor in Political Science. After college, she worked in the field of Advertising and Marketing, specializing in Media Buying and Planning, as well as directing entire Marketing and Sales departments. She has been a writer for since 2012 and says she enjoys the opportunity to encourage Americans to live out their faith in Jesus Christ, while they stand firm on the principles set forth by our forefathers in their political beliefs.

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