Maybe You’re Asking the Wrong Question

In my work in computer programming, I’m often presented with problems that need to be solved.  I have learned over the years that those problems are often very difficult and need to be approached from the correct angle before you can find a viable solution.

I usually jump into those problems asking “Why is it doing this?”  However, very often, that is the wrong question to ask.  Instead, I need to ask “Why isn’t it doing what I want?”

In other words, I need to look at the problem from a different angle.

Now, I have said many time that I don’t want this to be a political blog…and I don’t, but sometimes a post of a political nature is what is needed.  I’ve been reading a lot from people about third-party candidates.  There is a displeasure by those who are considering voting for a third-party when told they are “throwing their vote away.”

I’ve seen articles on it.  For instance: http://www.redstate.com/brandon_morse/2016/07/29/gary-johnson-response-say-theyre-wasting-vote-switching-libertarian-party/

And, here is where the problem solving comes in…maybe you’re asking the wrong question.

Instead of asking “am I throwing my vote away?”, you should be asking “can I live with my decision under every condition?”

The second is the kind of question I live to answer.  I live to answer them because I get to do something that I love doing.  That is, take an argument to a ridiculous extreme.  If you take an argument to the most ridiculous extreme you can and it still holds up, then it’s a good argument.  So, here is my ridiculous extreme.  It also happens to be the question and argument I used against myself when considering a third-party candidate, so please don’t think I haven’t run my own logic on myself.  (BTW, I always run my own logic on myself)

When considering voting for a third-party candidate, you mostly likely have a ranking of candidates (I will try to keep this non-partisan).  They probably go something like this:

  1.  The third-party candidate I’m thinking of voting for.  I agree with them on pretty much the full range of politics and platform.  I think they would be very good for this country and that they probably hung the moon.  They love moms, America, and apple pie.  Their kids are little darlings that I want to adopt.  Etc, etc, etc (you get the point)
  2. A first-party candidate that I don’t hate as much as candidate number 3.  I can agree with them on most politics at least as far as what they are saying right now.  I could probably even support them if they become president as long as they aren’t too far off the rails.
  3. A first-party candidate that is the worst.  They will usher in a whole new age of racism, sexism, ageism, Satanism, veganism, and any other ‘ism’ they hear about (or you can think of).  If they were the only candidate and I would be beheaded if I didn’t vote for them, then I would let them call the axeman.

Now, I realize that there may be other third-party candidates that you may vote for in-between numbers 1 and 2.  Go ahead insert them…I’ll wait.  The logic still works no matter how many you put in there.

Now, there is one more thing to consider.  And it’s unpopular to say this, but I live in reality and I hope you do too.  The thing to consider is this: You cannot control other people’s thoughts, but you can change your’s to take into account their inevitable actions.

What do I mean by this?  Well, here is the unpopular thing.  A third-party candidate will not win this election.  I know that there are some of you who will quit reading right now because I just made that vein stick out in your forehead.  That’s fine.  Getting angry is an illogical response.  I’ll stick with those who will be reasoned enough to finish reading.

I’m sorry, but a third-party candidate will not win.  Why?  Because you can not control other people’s thoughts.  Let’s face it.  Even though we want to hold out hope for the underdog, we know that is isn’t going to work.  I wanted Ben Carson.  I thought he great (see number 1 above).  But, it didn’t happen.  Them’s the breaks.  It will not do me any good to write in his name.  He WILL NOT win.

“But, if everyone would write him in, then he could.”  That is true, but reality once again sets in.  EVERYONE IS NOT GOING TO WRITE HIM IN!  Because, some where around 90 – 95% of the voting population doesn’t want a third-party or write-in candidate.  A third-party candidate getting 3% of the vote is not enough.  10% is not enough.  20% is not enough.  The two-party system is still here because the vast majority of the American people like it that way.  Trying to change their minds is spitting into the wind.  You cannot change their minds, but you can change your’s based on their actions.

So, we have our candidate line-up and we have our knowledge that a third-party candidate will not win.  Great…what now?

Now, we take it to the ridiculous extreme and ask our question.  Here is the question:

If I vote for my first choice and my last choice becomes president by just one vote over my second choice, will my conscience allow me to be alright with that?

My personal answer to that was “No.  I would not be alright with that.  I would feel awful.”  So, knowing that I can only change me, I do what I must to appease my conscience…I vote for my second choice.

“But, Brian (you silly goose), the third candidate will never beat the second candidate by just one vote because <insert whatever excuse you want here>.”

Probably not, but at what number of votes does my conscience become appeased?  Is it 2?  Or 10?  Or 50?  Or 100?  Or 1000?  Does it make you feel better to say “Well, at least I’m only 1 of 1000 people who made it possible for the satanist loving person to become president.”?

It sure doesn’t make me feel better.  It would make me feel like I haven’t done all I could do to make sure the satanist loving person doesn’t make it in.  And I would know that forever.

“But, Brian (you precious little feeb), I did all I could do.  I didn’t vote for the satanist loving person.”

No, you didn’t do all you could do.  It’s true that you didn’t vote for them, but you also didn’t vote for the person most likely to defeat the satanist loving person.  And that doesn’t make it any better for me either.  I didn’t vote for them sure, but I didn’t vote against them either.  I voted for someone with no chance to win.  None.

To me, I would know that I hadn’t “thrown my vote away,” but I had grossly misused it to help someone I never intended or wanted as president.

You are welcome, of course, to disagree with me.  Perhaps your conscience isn’t as tender as mine and you are able to vote and never look back.

I can’t.

 

Are You a Hypocrite?

For the past several days I’ve had this thought rolling around in my head and I finally decided to put it down.  The question is “Are you a hypocrite?”  You may be and not even know it.

Let me explain…

God has given us free will to choose as we will.  He desires for us to follow the example and the commands of His Son and Jesus told us in Matthew 7:21:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

If we say that we are Christians, followers of Christ, but we don’t make decisions that are in accordance with the Word that God and Christ have said, then we are hypocrites.  When we do that, we are pretenders because we are just pretending to follow Him when we really aren’t.

I said at the beginning that you may be a hypocrite and not even know it.  How is that possible?  I mean, wouldn’t you know if you are just pretending to follow Jesus but inside are making decisions contrary to His will?  The answer to that is…sometimes.

Sometimes, yes, we know we are pretending.  However, there are some decisions that a vast majority of people claiming to be Christians make on a regular basis in which they never stop to consider how the Word of God should play into that decision.

I’m talking about voting.

When I started writing this blog, I decided that I would write exclusively about the Bible.  I decided that I would rarely interject anything about politics, but I feel that I must do this right now.  The overarching question is this:

Are you casting your vote without considering how the Word of God plays into your decision of who to vote for?  If so, you are a hypocrite.

If you vote to support a person that opposes God, then you are voting for a person that supports Satan.  Be very careful!  Let’s take a look at a few things from God’s Word.  I’ll leave it to the reader to decide if their past votes have made them hypocrites.

Abortion

God knows us before we are born:

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
(Psalm 139:13-15 ESV)

Paul says he we set apart before he was born.  How could an inert hunk of non-human flesh be set apart:

But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,  (Galatians 1:15 ESV)

Homosexuality

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.  (Romans 1:26-27 ESV)

Welfare

The Bible talks about those who can work but choose not to.  Keep in mind, this isn’t speaking about those who can’t fend for themselves…Christians should already be helping those who can’t help themselves.  The problem is, we have a lot of people who simply refuse to work in favor of letting everyone else provide for them.  This is what Paul is addressing here.

For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.  (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 ESV)

Marriage

The Bible supports only traditional marriage (as it has come to be called…when God invented it, He just called it marriage.)

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.  (Genesis 1:27 ESV)

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  (Genesis 2:24 ESV)

Prayer

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  (2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV)

Morality in Office

When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.  (Proverbs 28:28 ESV)

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.  (Proverbs 29:2 ESV)

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?  (Luke 6:39 ESV)

 

So, I ask once again, are you a hypocrite?  Do you vote the way you want to or do you vote according to God’s Word?  Please pray and consider carefully before you vote.

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.  (2 John 1:10-11 ESV)

 

How Far We Have Fallen

I just wanted to write a quick article to demonstrate how far we have fallen as a nation and especially as a Christian nation.

Already I hear the atheists screaming, “But, we aren’t a Christian nation.”  Well, I’m not going to argue the finer points of historical fact with you.  Read it if you want to, otherwise  leave and go visit Atheism Today.  You’ll like it better there.

Ok, now for those who are left, thanks for staying.  I want to give you a link I was sent the other day by a friend.  Born Again American.

Well, when I first went to this site, I was pleasantly surprised.  It seemed to be God centered.  The song was catchy and the lyrics were things I could agree on.  But, I felt a little skeptical, so I started digging.  Everything on the site seemed to be non-partisan.  Awesome!!!  But, still something nagged at me.  So, I started going to links that it recommended.  One of those links was to a site that would let you “learn about your freedoms”.  It is called “People for the American Way“.  Hmmm.  Sounded pretty good, so I started reading it.

Imagine my surprise.  It was a very liberal slanted site that is pro-abortion, pro-gay, and has a sister site called “Right Wing Watch” that talks about how wrong the “religious right” are.  Well, well, well…  A little further digging and I found out that all these sites are tied together.  Hmmmm.  Interesting and hypocritical.  After all, why would the sister site of a “Born Again” site be slamming religious people.  As “Alice in Wonderland” says, “Curiouser and curiouser”.

Come to find out, these are projects by a very liberal TV mogul of the 60s and 70s named Norman Lear.

And then it hit me.  I understood what had nagged at me.  It was a couple of the lyrics.  Here is the chorus:

I’m a born again American
Conceived in liberty
My Bible and the Bill of Rights
My creed’s equality
I’m a born again American
My country tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream
From Sea to shining Sea.

Beautiful, isn’t it.  Well, what nagged me was the line “My country tis of me”.  What happened in this line?  Well, it was changed from “My country tis of Thee”.  Yep.  Shocked me too.  God was totally taken out of this line.  What?!?!?!

How can you say you are a born again American in one breath and in the next breath say that your country is from you, giving God none of the credit?  So, I went back and listened to it several more times.  There wasn’t much of anything in the song about God or being a spiritual American.  As a matter of fact, “Bible” is the only religious word in the whole song apart from the title “born again American”.

So, why do I bring all of this up?  Well, it’s to prove a point.  And that point is that the other side will use anything to try to fool the people into voting for their agenda.  I even read some of the bios for the singers and I can say with certainty that some of those people didn’t know that the site was the project of an ultra-liberal who is in support of abortion.

This is a demonstration of just how far we have fallen as a christian nation.  Satan will use anything, even religious phrases such as “born again” to try to trick us into supporting his evil.  We have to say “No”.  We have to do our research and make sure we know what we are doing.  We also have to let people who do these kinds of things know that we will not stand for it!

We have to make sure that everyone knows that we are Christians first and Americans after that.  Please, folks, do your homework!