“Nothing in the world is more haughty than a man of moderate capacity once raised to power.” - Baron Wesenberg
The phrase “born again” is thrown around a lot, usually in Christian conversation of some fashion. Over the past few days, I have found myself in such a conversation but it has been an internal one. Recently, in a very roundabout way, the question was asked if one Christian can be better than another. The answer, I have to believe is a resounding “no.” Superiority is something we feel as part of our individual human experience. It’s easy to look at those around us and feel a bit holier-than-thou. It doesn’t usually take much of an effort to find someone lower on at least one totem pole than yourself. There’s always someone with less money; there’s always someone with a shakier marriage; a sinful past or a good old fashioned creepy feeling about them. We as humans seem to view perfection through the lenses of our own, personal ideas. In other words, my idea of perfection is different than yours.
When it comes to Christianity, we often assume that the guy with the foul mouth, or the tattoos, or the absurdly beautiful wife simply can’t be “as good of a Christian.” We look at such things as job title, or tax-bracket as pieces of evidence in our quest to determine someone’s value in the eyes of God. No one is equipped to make that determination, yet we all try. We all spend energy identifying those lower on various totem poles than ourselves. It feeds our egos. It makes us feel advanced in whatever we find important. For many, that’s public image. For other’s it’s materialistic display. For Christians, our ego is often fed by what we perceive as a lower “sin-count".” First of all, no man has the ability to accurately count his own sins. We simply can’t count that high. A wise man once shared an analogy with me that seems applicable here. If Hitler and Mother Theresa tried to swim from San Diego to Hawaii, but each sin they had ever committed took away one stroke, who would make it further? Well, Mother Theresa would obviously make it further, but she would still cramp up and drown well before her intended destination. The same can be said for Christianity. If we try to be “better” than another Christian, we may get a few yards further out into the water, but we’re still falling WAY short of God.
The phrase “born again” literally means to begin a new life. That’s exactly what Christians experience but every Christian’s path is different. God waits to enter a life until such a time as His presence will have the most impact. For some it comes through desperation. For others it comes through loss. The lucky ones receive God’s Gift in their youth, but God doesn’t care how long it takes a Christian to accept Him into their heart as long as they eventually do. A lifetime on earth is but a blink of God’s eye, and our individual, earthly accomplishments are even less noticeable. The most important thing we can do on this earth is not to live in a fashion we view as superior to another man, but in a fashion that tells God we appreciate the Gift He gave us all. None of us will ever be able to swim all the way to Hawaii, but luckily there’s plenty of room on the S.S. Almighty Father!
Since this site was never meant to be an exclusively Christian site, but more of an entertaining and relevant look at the world through the eyes of a man whose Faith is firmly cemented within the walls of his heart, I will take this opportunity to get back to the conservative ramblings that have generated my small but unimaginably appreciated following. While religion is often a focal point in a presidential campaign, it is often for all the wrong reasons. Prepare yourself for an all out war against the Mormon Church waged by a man with more mysterious beliefs than Merlin. For all we know, Barack Hussein Obama could be tossing chicken bones around the floor of the Oval Office to determine the future of our country like a Haitian witch doctor but he will use every penny he can raise to convince us that Mitt Romney’s religious beliefs have anything to do with the ability to clean up the mess he’s created. God could care less what we do here in the United States of America. God doesn’t favor one country over another. He favors Christians over those who oppose Him, no matter the country of origin. The demands I have of my President have absolutely nothing to do with the plans I have for eternity. The demands I have of a President will only impact my life here on earth. Sure, I would like to be able to fill my car with gas and not have to cut out one of my own vital organs to pay the tab. I would love to live the rest of my life without being forced to learn Chinese. Of course I would like to be able to buy groceries without cussing at the receipt on the way out of the store but if I died on the way home, do you really think the last thing to go through my head would be the rising cost of food? No. It wouldn’t be. The demands I have of a President are that he restore a sense of morality and confidence in this country. Without looking them up, I can’t recall any of Reagan’s economic figures, but I can certainly recall the feelings and the overall attitude that hung in the air over this country during his time as President.
Vote for the man you believe will restore our country, not your path to Heaven. No man but you has that power. The President is just a man. Hopefully it’s a different man by this time next year, but it will still just be a man. God’s Plan for this world and for every being who has walked, is walking, or ever will walk it’s surface will unfold no matter who sits in the White House at the time. The responsibility of leadership falls on every person who casts a vote, not the man that wins the title. True leadership takes place at home and within the people you have an opportunity to influence in a positive manner; not in the praise you receive for the efforts. The responsibility to teach our kids falls on all of us, but the lessons can only be learned if we give them a future in which to apply them. If the United States continues spiraling out of moral, economic, and logical control then the little letter after our final President’s name will not matter a whole heck of a lot. No party is “better” without a country to represent. No Christian is “better” than another Christian because the very concept would lend credence to the idea of perfection in the eyes of God. No man is perfect. It’s impossible.
I have sinned. I have led many years of my life in a manner that would make Charlie Sheen grimace, but those experiences led me to the relationship I now have with God. They led to the happiness He has delivered to my life through the pain of mistakes. He has delivered the confidence I have as I face my future. No man’s opinion can take that away from me. I look back on my life with pride and horror in the same breath. So many instances of narrowly escaping an altogether different path, but this is the one God has chosen for me. When I have resisted, I have suffered. When I have tried to insert my own will, I have been crushed. The same will eventually prove true in a President. Shiny words and inflated promises may get you a title, but ineptitude and failure to honor the demands of the people you represent will bring about embarrassing defeat. What do we learn from that defeat? Do we rise and apply the lessons learned? Do we go out there and take back our country from the grips of failure and defeatist mindset or do we continue to blame, ignore, and hope? I truly believe that I was “born again” and I believe that this country can be “born again” as well.
Like I said in the beginning of this article, my idea of perfection is different than yours. If we’re talking about perfection in terms of a “perfect day”, then mine would involve a beach, my beautiful bride at my side, my kids laughing in the surf, and a specific playlist of music you might not enjoy at all. Since your idea of a perfect day had better not include my wife or kids, I assume yours is different! Maybe you dream of a cabin in the snow covered mountains with a raging fire to warm your chilled flesh. Would either vision of perfection work? If someone knocked on your door right now and said “pack your things. You and the family are heading off on a ten day vacation in Fiji” would you slam the door and yell “come back when you’re offering Breckenridge?” Unless you’re the most stubborn man alive, you most likely would find a way to accept the compromise. Nobody is perfect, especially a politician of any kind. Don’t let a man’s “sin-count” determine your vote because all of them would sink after about five yards in the water. Heck, Obama might even get justifiably sucked into the spinning turbine of the aforementioned S.S. Almighty Father! See…..I just proved my own point! No man has the right nor the ability to accurately determine the value God places on another man, yet we can’t seem to stop ourselves, can we?
As always, thanks for playing.
J. Robert Giles
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