Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne.
Behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.
James Russel Lowell, 1819-1891
As a result of the success of the Democratic Party in this week's mid-term elections, Bush and religious fascism are on the gurney and apparently on their way out!
Democrats must take the high ground and work to return American politics and American foreign policy to sensibility and civility, reversing the damage that has been done in and around the world and to eliminate the policies of preemption invasion and occupation that were formulated by the Bush 43 administration in Washington DC.
Democrats must govern from the center and Republicans must join them in the center in order to unite the country and in order to forge a steady future for America and the world!
We also need an open social policy discussion with respect to the new American demographic (not just as it relates to gay marriage but it should be inclusive of the entire changing population). If we are to amend the constitution at all, we need to do so in consideration of the changing family demographic, the rights of all Americans and the current make-up of American households. Some of the latter changes are a direct result of government policies over the past 20 years, if not longer!
Previous arrangements that have been sanctioned and buttressed by American Law, have been based on the constitution of homes and families that, by and large, are no longer in existence; it is an outdated paradigm. Many American homes are no longer comprised of a husband, wife and the kids! Americans must consider legislation that will take into consideration the needs of all American citizens with respect to insurance coverage, medical care, retirement, inheritances and tax-breaks for those other 50% of American households compromised of singles possibly for life, same-sex Americans, and the elderly and long-term platonic and single household compositions.
The church must understand that it is a part of America, and not America itself. The needs of all American citizens and taxpayers must be taken into consideration; Jesus never forced religion on anyone; Jesus was not a religious fascist. Someday, if the church in America is not careful the pendulum might swing in the other direction and the long-time privileges of the church in America could be amended away as well!
America must change course given the current political changes that were just made in Washington DC, and the church must return to it's original mission on earth.
What happened with Ted Haggard, disgraced President of the National Evangelical Association of America is symptomatic of what is wrong in portions of religious America today. The spirit of Pharasism and veering from the direction and methods that God intended for his church have taken approximately 30 million American Christians off course.
This body of Christians is being led by political zealots who are dressed in religious attire. Peter warned the new testament Christians in his epistle to beware of false prophets. On one hand these prophets would speak portions of the truth and lead many off into their direction. But in the final analysis, the false prophets or teachers would lead those who had just overcome into a worse situation than the one that they just escaped.
The disciples who walked with Jesus for almost 3 years of his public ministry were informed just before Jesus departed from the earth, that they must be born anothen (from above). Many individuals are being accepted into church congregations today, but are not being taught that they must experience conversion. Sadly, many of these same carry on good works and they give large sums of money, however, according to scripture they have never been born again.
The religious right or wrong as I refer to them, have grouped together about 30 million individuals who mostly have never experienced a spiritual conversion. Like the disciples of John who Paul encountered at Ephesus, they were dedicated disciples that had been baptized, but they had no idea of what it meant to be born again.
The danger here, is that these individuals like their leaders lean on carnality in order accomplish God's purposes. God's purposes will not be accomplished by using carnal methods. The church cannot exchange politics for prayer and divinely guided methods. It won't work, it has never worked and it did not work this time.
I feel sorry for Rev. Haggard (no one was born perfectly), however, there are many more Ted Haggard's in our churches and pulpits. These individuals spend their time and efforts persecuting others, when they are guilty of the same, being human and imperfect.
All of the ministers who were apart of the NAE and other religious organizations who signed on to condemn Pres. Bill Clinton years ago, the same who never attempted to restore him, and now being hung from their own gallows. Mr. Haggard was one of the signatories!
A Bishop in the Mid-West who I once served under often said, Just remember, none of us have made it yet! If someone is overtaken in a fault, Paul's instructions were to approach that person [or citizen] in the spirit of meekness. What Ted Haggard needs now is not a political solution, what the American chruch should be doing in America and in the world--is not political either!
Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon