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Be An Example

By Pastor Phillip Howle

web posted March 9, 2016
RELIGION-- My oldest son loves politics and the news. I am ok with that. We talk about each political party and politician from a Christian Worldview and it gives us good discussion. When I was his age, I would watch an old news show each morning called “Around the World in Thirty Minutes.” Then I would go to class and try to discuss what I learned with my teachers. They thought I was a genius. What I really was, was a kiss up!

The problem is, in the past few months, I have not been able to let him watch much news. He wanted to watch last week’s Republican debate. But I would not let him. Reason being, the candidates were speaking in ways that I did not want my 9 year old son to hear or repeat. The display of crassness and vulgarity was atrocious and from a party whose values are supposed to be conservative.  I am conservative politically and culturally, but the way the candidates have been behaving, it's clear we have given up the moral highroad!

I also am not merely referring to any one candidate in particular, the whole lot of them would do well to keep their behavior as such that I could commend it to my nine year old or any other child. (I will add that Cruz and Kasich tried to focus on issues.) But on the whole, there is little thought given to real ideas, but just insults and jabs. Much like I did when I was in middle-school, the mass of people come running to see a fight. It seems the debate moderators are all the happier to set up the attacks and enjoy the ratings.
At the end of the debate, I was no better informed on policy matters, just disgusted with the candidates and myself.  My mom is a home health care nurse and she says she will go to the home of sweet little old ladies who watch the Jerry Springer show. She says now they will say “Just look at all that trash” and “can you believe those folks act like that.” But they watch it every day. I have watched this political season closely. It matters greatly who our nation's next President is. Sadly, I fear I am worse off for my time invested in this political-entertainment reality show.  Jerry Spinger himself said “They ought to run a crawl along the bottom of the screen, "This is NOT a debate for junior high school class president."'

I am not trying to come off as holier than thou, call me old-fashioned or whatever, but I am tired of it. Politics has become nothing more than entertainment and a pretty crass form at that. But politics is not entertainment, it is all too real! The lives of the unborn are at stake, our constitutional rights are at stake, religious liberty, fiscal viability, national security, etc. In light of the gravity of all that the best the “conservative” candidates can do is make petty jokes about “hand size” and call each other names like seven years on a playground! Their speech and choice of words matter, because Jesus himself said “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person” in Matthew 15:18.

Sorry to rant and talk politics, I wanted to write a sweet devotion, but I am feed up. I don’t have a solution to the problem and I know my frustration may not matter to the candidates or you, but let us seek to personally practice what the Word of God preaches.

Proverbs 15:1-2 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

Ephesians 4:19 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 5:4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.

Praying for our nation and praying that the candidates behave in such a way as to inspire greatness in our children! Pastor Phillip

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