The Cottage on the Moor is a place where I'll keep a fire going on cold winter nights and a breeze flowing through the windows on steamy summer days. There will be a "cup of warm" waiting for you to stimulate your mind. I'll try to keep it fresh by adding something every week or two. So come often. I hope you find something you enjoy.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Sticks and Stones Break Bones – Words Are Deadly
An e-mail I received today said, effectively, what I have
felt since the election of Barack Obama in 2008. It came from a thoughtful and
compassionate friend who is disturbed, as we all should be, by the tone of
political rhetoric in our land. Here is a part of her comment:
I’m hoping the political rhetoric
will die down after the election. I am a conservative…not a member of any
political party…but I believe President Obama when he says he is a Christian.
Our job as brothers and sisters in Christ is to pray for whoever is in places
of authority—Christian or not. Can you imagine how much grace and confidence it
takes to hear these negative statements from millions of people across the
country day in and day out? I don’t know how these people in positions of power
can handle all that negativity when they are doing what they think is best for
all of us. That is something else people don’t think about—these people have to
do what is best for ALL kinds of people on both ends of the spectrum and
everywhere in between. They need our prayers, and once they have won the
election; they need our support also.
I hate politics—in the church and out
there in the world.
It has been a fact throughout the history of the Christian religion
that believers in Christ are just as likely to be attacked, imprisoned, or even
killed by others claiming to be Christian. It is a tribute to the faith of
those under attack that they maintain their affiliation with the Church given
the awful treatment they sometimes receive at its hand.
No politician can expect to escape criticism. Much of it
will be unwarranted and even vicious. George W. Bush most recently endured harsh
judgments by his Democratic opponents. But I would be hard-pressed to find any
place where he was accused of being anti-Christian, or even anti-American.
Democrats can be terribly unfair in their assessment of Republican candidates
but they seldom reach the level of personal belittlement that I’ve found in the
e-mails received from Evangelical Republicans. Here is an example of what I’m
talking about, excerpted from an e-mail my wife received yesterday from a
professing Evangelical Republican:
With all my heart, spirit, mind, and
soul; I believe him (President Obama) to be an antichrist, an imposter, a
arrogant liar, extremely anti-Christian, anti-American, an extreme Muslim
sympathizer, a traitor, a betrayer, and one who has evil motives and plans to
carry them out. We will see. The truth will come out; I promise you that - if
he is re-elected.
His heroes are, and always have been,
Stalin, Lenin, and Hitler. This comes from the mouth of people who have known
him all his life, people who roomed with him in college, people who have seen
his hypocrisy in the churches he attended, people he has worked with, on and
on. He has an agenda that came from his extreme American-detesting father and
an older black man who has deeply mentored him since he was in his
mid-twenties. That agenda is extremely anti-American. This is very well known.
He offered the infamous America-hating Reverend Wright, his VERY GOOD FRIEND of
22 years, $150,000 to "keep silent about their true
affiliation." Yet the liberal press never reported this. There is so
much being covered up.
Wow! And this spoken by one who claims to be a follower of
Jesus Christ. It is an embarrassment to me, as a fellow Evangelical believer,
to be associated with such hate-filled rhetoric. In fact I refuse to be “associated”
with it. Those who speak in this way do not speak for me. Nor do I believe they
speak for their Lord.
Jesus once said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the
mouth speaks.” It should be obvious what is in the heart of one who would make
the assertions cited above without documenting in minute detail why they are
true. Of course they are NOT true and one could search for the rest of their
life for any valid documentation.
It is my opinion that both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are
flawed men. But neither of them is a devil. A Christian can safely vote for
either one without endangering his/her soul or even imperiling the nation. No
doubt one of them has better ideas regarding the ways to guide our nation but
no one really knows which one that is. And no one knows that the person with
the better ideas would be more successful than his opponent if elected. Too
many other factors play into the affairs of nations to predict who will succeed
and who will fail.
We need to tone down the rhetoric, show respect for those
with whom we disagree, and pray for the peace and prosperity of our world,
regardless of who is leading it.