A Christian Vacuum and My Prayerful Vote for America

Lines at My Local Auburn Polling Place
Lines at My Local Auburn Polling Place

I have been voting since 1988, and I really can’t remember ever waiting in line, ever. There is just something a little different about the election this time around. It seems like each candidate is already resolved to their fate, but seeing this kind of turnout is awesome. If you are an eligible voter in our country today, and you didn’t vote, shame on you, go vote. Regardless of party affiliation or particular ideology, people in our country have given their life so that all of us can freely vote our conscience on this day, and it’s our responsibility to do so. My polling station was busy. As you can see from the photo above, there were a lot of people in line, but it didn’t take long, and wasn’t too long a wait for the freedom to vote.

Over the past several months I have been trying to finish one of the greatest books ever written on discipleship, The Cost of Discipleship, by Bonhoeffer and he had some really incredible things to say about our process today. If you have access to this book, go read chapters 12 and 13 and read it in context of today’s world with the understanding that he wrote that during one of the reigns of the most evil leaders the world has ever know. His other epic book, Ethics, starts off with this explanation, which I find so pertinent to our world today.

The Christian does not live in a vacuum, but in a world of government, politics, labor, and marriage. Hence, Christian ethics cannot exist in a vacuum. The reality is not manifest in the Church as distinct from the secular world; such a juxtaposition of two separate spheres is a denial of God’s having reconciled the whole world to himself in Christ. On the contrary, God’s commandment is to be found and known in the Church, the family, labor, and government, with a responsibility for the institutions of the world.

Meaning… neither candidate we see today may be our perfect choice as Christians, but we don’t live in a perfect world, and we only have one perfect candidate, Christ himself. We have to live in the world we are placed, not stick our head in the sand. This article published by Religion Today says it very well, Evangelicals Want Moral Government But are Ignorant of the Bible, and the point is we need to become as knowledgeable about God’s word as we are about Obama or Romney.

This was my prayer for our election this morning: “Lord I pray for this election, that you will make your choice clear today, that your will be done, even if that means letting this country go deeper into the depths of hell before it finds its way out, and finds its way back to you.” For some reason David’s words when we prayed for deliverance in 2 Samuel 22 seem relevant to the state of our country at this point in history. We should do as he did and earnestly “call upon the Lord.”

I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised… for the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me, the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me… in my distress i called upon the Lord; to my God I called. 2 Samuel 22.

People Waiting to Pick Up a Ballet in Auburn
People Waiting to Pick Up a Ballet in Auburn
A Man Takes His Ballet From a Poll Worker in Auburn
A Man Takes His Ballet From a Poll Worker in Auburn
The Alabama Ballet for Election 2012
The Alabama Ballet for Election 2012

I hope you voted today, or are planning on voting today. This vote has historic consequences, as all elections do, but the world seems poised, seems to be on the cusp, of a time where we are still not too far gone, but can very easily fall over the edge. That edge, or cliff, is a combination of all kinds of things from war in the middle east to an economic crisis like we have seen in Greece.

For me, the edge or cliff is the erosion of faith in our country. A country that now receives more missionaries than it sends, where we continue to move into complete pluralism, where Christians themselves no longer stand for Gospel truths, and are no longer convicted to call sin, sin.

So regardless of who you vote for, have a reason for choosing a particular candidate, and go vote. This is not something to take lightly, nor something to brush off as unimportant. As Christians we have a call to be involved in the world we live in, to be a part of the process, not just as an armchair quarterback.

Air Force One Photos and Obama's Inauguration

Air Force One in Las Vegas

Continental Boeing 777

British Airways Boeing 747

Some of you may not know that I was once (and still in a different way) an aviation nut, buff, fanatic, whatever you want to call it.  I did get my private pilot’s license, and I did work for and was hired by several airlines earlier in my life/career.  One of my most favorite types of photography that I ever attempted was aviation photography (made almost impossible after 9-11).  I started while I was still shooting film and moved into digital SLR’s to enhance my aviation photography.

Air Force One is probably one of the most recognized aircraft in the entire world.  I love the plane and have been to Boeing field north of Seattle to see the older Boeing 707 that Nixon and Kennedy flew on as President.  That plane is no longer in Washington state (I think it is now in the Smithsonian), but even at 30-40 years old it still evoked feelings of pride in a country that is still one of the only countries in the world that has a fleet of aircraft for its leader.

I use to watch Tony Blair get on a commercial British Airways 747 and think what a disgrace to put the Prime Minister on a commercial aircraft but I guess it did save quite a bit of money for the British people, but didn’t do a thing to create an iconic air force fleet like we did with the Presidential aircraft.

One of my favorite shots I ever took was a shot of this British Airways Boeing 747 about to take off for London in the middle of a storm with a Boeing 777 landing right in front of it (if you look at the close up, you can see the Continental B-777 at the end of the runway in front of the BA 747).  It was no different than any commercial BA flight that Tony Blair would have flown on if he was in Houston at the time.

I can’t really recall a time in history when the press or anyone else questioned when, why, or how, we used the military fleet like they are now.  For good reason, it costs a heck of a lot more to fly the military fleet than a commercial flight, but even so, I would never want to see Mr Obama get on a commercial flight while he is still in office.  Now that Air Force One is officially part of the Obama administration, it has been taken for a ride, and because of the economy, more and more people are starting to question why we are spending money in ways that just isn’t necessary any more.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

This week, Mr Obama flew Air Force One to Colorado and Arizona just for the sake of signing a bill.  As far as everyone can tell, the estimated cost for Obama to fly to Arizona (don’t know about the Colorado trip) on Air Force One to sign the so-called stimulus bill was about $700,000.  $700,000 for a flight that didn’t have to take place to sign a bill to spend $787 billion.  So I guess just a drop in the bucket compared to $787 billion, so who cares.

Well, the very next thing Obama said was that American’s needed to start living within their means and at the same time he told us to turn down our thermostats.  We have officially entered the “do as I say, not as I do” time.

Obama Inauguration is $150 Million Appeasement Party

I don’t do many political type posts, but that is all that is going on in the news today.  I can never remember when an inauguration got so much coverage.  It is well deserved, but nothing has stacked up to this $150 million party that Obama is throwing that finalizes tomorrow.  Obama has managed to create this show of shows by outspending Bush ($40 million) and even Clinton ($33 million) by bringing out all the biggest names in Hollywood and making such a spectacle of the whole thing and I will be glad when it is finally over and we can collectively get back to the work of the country.

This particular inauguration is turning out to be the ultimate part of appeasement for Obama.  He and has been playing both sides and there is no better example than what John Piper gave on a recent blog post How Barack Obama Will Make Christ a Minister of Condemnation.  From Gene Robinson, an openly non-celibate homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church who will deliver the invocation to Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California scheduled for Tuesday, back to Bruce Springsteen standing on the same stage with Garth Brooks (although Rick Warren and Garth Brooks do seem to be the exceptions).

Does anyone remember from back in highschool when you tried to date two girls at the same time?  It never worked and more times than not you would lose both girls in the process.  That may be a bad analogy, but I hope that doesn’t happen to Obama and he ends up loosing both sides.  All he will be left with are the ultra moderates who can’t ever make a decision about anything.  Nothing worse in my book than indecision and luke warm.  Even scriptures talk about being against Christ is better than not having an opinion at all.

The discussion in our house lately has been if we want to see Obama succeed as president or not (a question Mr Bill has posed on his show lately).  I do in fact want to see America become stronger, more prosperous, better educated, and succeed in general (of course that has different meaning to everyone).  If it takes Obama to do that, great.  No matter if we voted for him or not, he is our President now, we should get behind him, even if we disagree with him.

Some Totally Random Thoughts About Politics on January 19th

  • The word “Obama” is NOT in the wordpress spell check database
  • I am sick of hearing the news ask someone if they thought they would ever see a woman or African-American as President, I DON’T CARE.  I want to see the most qualified person for the job, ANY job, and I don’t care what race, nationality, or genger the person is.  If Bill Lester is the best person to put in a race car GREAT, if he can’t win races, get someone else in there.
  • What is the reason we have to spend $150 million on a party and not think about how this translates into his Presidency?
  • Thoughts on #2 :: Bail-out?  Auto industry, economy, people out of work, consumer confidence?
  • Bush put everything he had into his job over the last 8 years, we should be glad someone kept us safe
  • Pelosi and Reed should be totally ashamed at everything they have tried to do in prosecuting Bush administration officials
  • I am waiting for my check in the mail from the Obama administration (never got one from Bush)
  • Keith Olbermann is possibly the worst excuse for a journalist that MSNBC has ever hired (and they have a lot who fit in that category)
  • OBAMA IS NOT ABRAHAM LINCOLN, he is Obama.
  • I personally don’t deserve said check from #8, I didn’t pay any taxes over the last few years because I didn’t make enough money

I wish the Obama administration well, and I hope they can keep American safe while turing around the economy, but most of all, I will be glad when this $150 million party you paid for is over and people can get back to work.