For it is by grace you have been saved...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Huckabee Returning to Missouri

Just heard that Gov. Huckabee will be coming back to Missouri on Friday. On Tuesday he was in Jeff City and St. Louis; this time he'll be in Springfield. If you live in SW Missouri, this is your chance to come out and show your support for the man who should be our next president.

The details weren't all arranged as of this posting, but he'll be at the Springfield Airport from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on Friday, Feb. 1.

Also, while in Jeff City the other day, Huckabee picked up the endorsements of over two dozen Missouri Legislators, including Representative Brian Baker and Senator Matt Bartle, a couple of names that should be familiar to Missouri Baptists. Thanks, guys, for making the right call once again!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Life and Politics: Update 2

Speaking of Right to Life endorsements, the Missouri Right To Life organization has issued a public endorsement of Mike Huckabee. Their statement says, among other things:
Among Governor Huckabee's achievements as Lt. Governor and Governor in Arkansas are the following:
*Passage of the Arkansas Unborn Child Amendment
*Partial Birth Abortion Ban
*Parental Notification law
*Informed Consent (abortion) law
*Unborn Child Pain Awareness law
*Safe Harbor law
*Unborn Victims of Violence law
In addition, Governor Huckabee was the second governor in the country to sign into law a true ban on Human Cloning, outlawing the creation and destruction of living human embryos for research.

Still no word from the National Right To Life group. I'm still hoping that with their candidate dropping out, they will back the man they should have to begin with.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Life and Politics: Update

As soon as I post and mention the National Right to Life endorsement of Fred Thompson, the news comes out that Thompson will drop out of the race. Here's hoping the leaders of the NRL will see the light and back Mike Huckabee.

Also, for a wonderful and detailed review of the entire Roe v. Wade case, check out Rod Albert's recent post on this issue.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Life And Politics

I’m frustrated!

Not just because as we acknowledge the 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade we have seen the slaughter of 50,000,000 innocent children; though certainly that should frustrate and sicken us all.

Not just because most people have no clue what that legislation really means; the complete freedom to kill any unborn child at any time during the pregnancy for any reason. Our MBC Pathway carried a nice article from Baptist Press reminding us of the many misconceptions which people have about that.

No, it’s not just about the issue of abortion itself, though that is definitely cause for frustration. But what really gets to me is the number of normally sane Christian people who seem able to ignore this issue when it comes to Presidential politics.

In discussing the mostly lamentable collection of candidates we have been offered, I repeatedly voice my continued support for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, noting in particular his pro-life stand. And so often I get responses that include, “Well, yes, but I’m not sure about his tax policy” or “I don’t think I like his ties to the NEA” or any number of other issues.

Fine, we may not all agree on some of those things, though based on his official policy statements I find very little to disagree with. But even if I did, it wouldn’t change anything. In my mind, we should be willing to deal with tax issues and even illegal immigration issues much easier than we can tolerate the continued massacre of millions upon millions of children! Where’s the problem, folks?!

Further muddying of the water comes from the National Right to Life’s official endorsement of Fred Thompson. This blows my mind, since as recently as a couple months ago, Thompson said in an interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press that he would absolutely NOT support a federal human life amendment (Read Rod Albert’s inspired take on that whole thing).

Mike Huckabee is the only candidate who has been solidly and consistently pro-life. He is the only one who has not been trying to run from his faith or explain it away. No one is perfect. I don’t pretend to believe that I would always agree with the man on every issue. I’m obviously much less enthused about public education than he is (however it should be noted that in his policy statement on education he does reiterate his ongoing support for the right of parents to homeschool).

But those other issues, though important in their own right, pale in comparison to the ongoing mass murder of millions of children. Let me just say what I said to our church on Sunday: “Christian people cannot in good conscience support any candidate for any office that doesn’t stand for life. I don’t care what party they represent or how good they look on television or how much money they promise they’ll put in your wallet; God’s people ought to be more concerned with those 50 million murdered children than any other policy, foreign or domestic.”

Maybe you think that’s a little strong. But when we stand before God, I don’t think we’ll have to answer for our taxes. But we may just have to answer for our silence regarding the nationally legalized slaughter of innocents. I urge you to pray diligently about this year’s election. And be sure that you support only those who support life.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Power and Providence of God

Late Monday and into Tuesday morning, the Ozarks endured a 14 hour marathon as one wave after another of storms hit the same places over and over. At least 5, and as many as 12 tornadoes blasted through the area. Within a few miles of us, at least two people were killed, many others injured, and still more who lost their homes. Two of our church families were among those who were hardest hit. And both are lessons in both the power and providence of God.

One family literally rode the storm out in their truck as they were leaving their home to go to “safer” ground at a family’s house. Tossed about by the twister, they escaped unharmed. Their house wasn’t so lucky, but God’s providential hand was definitely on them in the midst of this powerful display.

The other family hunkered down in a hallway, not having a basement to retreat to, and yet even though the roof was ripped off and trees blown through the living rooms like rockets, they also escaped unharmed. God’s hand at work again.

In fact, as we helped a bit with some clean up, another brother brought in some Sonic cheeseburgers for lunch, and the brother who owned this house stood in the roofless, ruined shell of his dining room to offer thanks for the food, and began by praising God for His blessings. I honestly came near to tears.

And yet, I still struggle with many aspects of God’s Providence. I firmly believe in it. I teach on it regularly. But I honestly struggle. Why is it that these families lost their homes while our house received only minor damage? The kids trampoline was tossed onto the shed for an impressive visual, but the house itself has only a handful of minor issues.

Why is it that God’s hand protected these two families in such a miraculous way, and yet at least two others died? Why is it that as we hunkered in the basement, my stomach doing flip flops from anxiety (better known as lack of faith), God set His protection over us, while just up the street a family’s house is destroyed?

I don’t know that I will ever have answers to my questions. I don’t know that I can answer others when they ask. But whether it seems like another empty platitude or not, all I can say is this: God is still God. His power and providence are both evident in all this. With Job, I can only affirm to Him “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). I can only pray that God will give me the faith of my brother who praised God in the midst of his loss, and recognize God’s hand at work. And I pray that I will be more aware of that Hand day in and day out, knowing He never sleeps nor slumbers, and may I have faith to recognize with David:

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

(Psalm 139:7-12 ESV)