It is another election year in the United States - the year in which we will determine who will be our President for the next four years. As we know, this election season will be filled with all manner of debate, with men and women alike posturing for position and power. Lots and lots of promises will be made, some quite valid and within the individual's ability to keep, while others are not. I cannot help but be discouraged from watching all the media hype about some of our candidates, though. This is also the time of year when groups of individuals begin to "choose sides", so to speak, and align with these candidates in the race. In essence, it is like a big schoolyard filled with bullies, all squaring off against one another, while the onlookers choose sides and begin to cheer them on. It is quite unfortunate that our political climate has become one of having to undo the other's character, pointing out each and every character flaw as though the other candidate had none of their own. This is also the time in our nation when men's sins will be flaunted and will eventually become so "public" that their hopes of achieving office will be dashed to pieces by the smearing of their names across the airwaves. It will be difficult for us to really get at the root of what makes for a good leader of our nation when all this hype is happening around us, though. The truth we need to realize is that of having wise leaders and good advisors makes or breaks our nation - plain and simple.
A nation without wise leaders will fall. Many good advisors make a nation safe. (Proverbs 11:14 ERV)
Some will campaign on the rights of every individual to be and / or do as they see fit - choosing who they will call a spouse, what "rights" an individual has who seeks out a better life in a country which promises more in the way of work or schooling for their family, etc. While all the issues will be important, some will receive much more focus from the media than others. If we were to be honest here, the truths our founding fathers actually stood upon a couple hundred years ago will not be the main focus of the campaigns. Instead it will be the rights of those with an "illegal" status, along with the rights of the gay/lesbian communities, and the candidate's stand against terrorism that will likely hit the forefront of much of the debate materials. As we "choose up sides" in this all out "war" to the finish line, maybe we'd do well to keep in mind the issues our country was actually committed to "standing upon" when it was formed back all those years ago.
Some have taken the "right" for the pursuit of "life, liberty, and happiness" to mean there is a wide avenue of ways to actually pursue these goals. If we look at what our founding fathers intended by the use of those words, it wasn't that government officials would "make" or "define" the rights of individuals governed by them, but that they would reinforce the "rights" God gives to individuals. We need trusted and wise advisors to guide our nation - men and women alike who understand the principles established by God as "right" and "true". Principles such as true liberty coming from the sacrificial death of his Son on the cross for the "setting free" of all who would call upon his name as Savior and Lord. I think the leaders we need are those who understand that liberty is freedom to pursue anything which "feels good" to the individual, but which better establishes one's rights to pursue the principles taught in scripture. This is what our founding fathers intended those many years ago.
To prepare ourselves for the elections ahead, we need to be wise in asking the right questions of our candidates. It isn't whether they support this or that right which have become the popular "rights" of the day, but where their heart is aligned with supporting the "rights" of true life, liberty, and happiness as outlined in God's Word. This may seem a little too "narrow" for some, but honestly, I have to ask - are we "on track" with what our founding fathers intended? Their vision was for neither candidate to debate the truth - because debate really has the power to change the minds of those not only engaged in the debate, but in those who are onlookers to it. Maybe we'd do well to look for candidates who are able to not turn scripture toward their opinion, but form their opinion upon what the scriptures say! Just thinkin!