Posted by: pastortomvabeach | September 28, 2016

Thought for the Week October 2, 2016

This Sunday, we will open our missions emphasis week with a focus on doing our part in bringing to our nation and world the only real heart changing remedy that can fix the major problems we face world-wide. The gospel of Jesus Christ changes people from the inside out and does what governments and laws can’t do. Throughout history those who have been governed by the internal presence of the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ have made the greatest advances in compassion, education, health, and world peace that the world has ever seen. We understand that the cure for what is wrong with our country and with the world is a full on revival in the church which spills out into the secular communities and changes people’s lives. That’s why we emphasize local and world-wide missions. We must go to our neighbors and send to places we can’t go.

That being said, our nation is approaching a significant milestone which we encounter every four years, electing a new president. We understand that no president is going to be able to fix everything yet in our system we are giving the duty of choosing someone that we believe will do the best job of positioning the nation so that we, as Christians, can live out our faith and have the most influence. Our vote is very important.

The next few weeks I want to share most of an article written by Dr. Jim Garlow, noted author, conference speaker, and pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego, and co-founder of The Jefferson Gathering, a weekly worship service for members of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. His article is entitled If You’re On Fence About Your Vote. Again, let me emphasize that the things I am writing and the articles I am sharing are my personal opinion about what is at stake in this election. I think Dr. Garlow has some valid insights that may help us make a decision about how to vote. The ultimate decision is up to each one of us to make prayerfully. I don’t necessarily agree with everything Dr. Garlow says and will make that known. Here is the first part of what he writes.

“I have been asked ‘the question’ so many times regarding Trump or Hillary. By way of background, I have followed every national convention—Republican and Democrat—from the time I was age 9, and have attended most of the GOP Conventions from 1984 to the present. I have watched the news virtually every day from the age of 8, and have never seen anything like what we are observing.

“In spite of the unprecedented nature of this election cycle, I will attempt to respond to ‘the question.’ I am not demanding that anyone else share my view, but I was asked. Here is my best attempt to answer as I am able to see things at this time:

“The Democratic and Republican party platforms are as different as night and day, in my opinion, as far apart as evil vs. good. The Democrat platform contains many points which are anti-biblical. (Time does not permit me here to identify what is meant by ‘anti-biblical.’) It is thoroughly socialistic (a socialist is a communist without a gun). The GOP platform is one of the strongest GOP platforms ever. A biblically alert person could be comfortable with almost all of it. Party platforms are a big issue to me. This is a serious and very important item. Most people have never checked out what the party platforms say. They should…at least consider voting for the candidate attached to the best party platform. (Tom’s Note: I wrote about some of the differences in the platforms in a previous blog).

“Both candidates are flawed. We all know that. But permit me an analogy: As a pastor, I would rather deal with a church attendee who is blatant and brash in his sinning than one who is devious, lying, cunning and deceptive. Both are problematic, but one is easier to deal with than the other. If I were a pastor bringing correction to a parishioner, I would prefer dealing with a ‘Trump-type’ any day over a ‘Hillary-type.’ The chances of making progress with the ‘Trump-type’ are many times greater than the ‘Hillary-type.’

“Another analogy. When my (late) wife’s remarkable and much loved oncologist said, ‘Don’t take Carol to that alternative treatment,’ I asked, ‘Why not?’ He said, ‘The unknown.’ I said, ‘Doctor, your known is much worse than the alternative treatment’s unknown.’ I took her to that alternative treatment. A year later that same oncologist went to the alternative treatment doctor to see how it was that Carol had improved so much. While alternative treatment did not ultimately save her life, it likely stretched two to three years of life to six years—by the admission of another brilliant young oncologists who said, ‘Without any medical training or scientific fact, you have put together a protocol of treatment that has moved her into the top fraction of 1 percent of survival rates of all patients with Carol’s particular cancer.’ Application of the analogy: Hillary’s ‘known’ is considerably worse—many times over—than Trump’s ‘unknown.’

“Trump is slowly being surrounded by increasingly good people. From time to time, I receive encouraging calls regarding this. Can these good people impact Trump? We will see. In contrast, I see no reason for any encouragement regarding the people who surround Hillary.”

I will share some more of Dr. Garlow’s article in my next blog. Meanwhile, I encourage you to plan to vote and do your best to educate yourself about the candidates before you do. There is a wealth of information available to help you make your decision. On the way, please continue to pray for our nation. Remember, the only real remedy for what ails us is a biblical proportion Holy Spirit revival where Christians begin to live like Christians so that we influence our world instead of our world influencing us. That’s something to pray about!

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