Thursday, December 10, 2015

Getting Angry & Ugly

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Watch Devotion VIDEO here

In an interview last year theologian N.T. Wright was answering a question about the issue of gay and lesbian rights. His answer included a little history lesson he’d seen on TV the previous night.  

The question’s set-up said that the government is on the (LGBTQ) side, and many people saying if you don’t support it you’re on the wrong side of history.  The question: who said in 1956, ‘History is on our side and we will bury you’?

Wright’s comment was, one of the contestants got the answer right: It was Nikita Khrushchev. When people claim, ‘We’re going with the flow of history,’ that’s just a rhetorical smokescreen. So, that’s where I am.[2]

Increasingly this year’s primary election season is getting more angry and ugly; that is, angrier and uglier than usual.  I’ve never been a fan of political wrangling; I don’t see it as even marginally-interesting, much less an art form. 

But this year is a special kind of ugly!

You can turn on the news channels at any time of day or night, and the lead story (if it’s not about mass-shootings) will be the newest most outlandish thing Donald Trump said, and the backlash from the rest of twelve thousand other candidates.

And most of the vitriolic name-calling has Mr. Trump on one side, and everyone else, including the so-called “objective” news anchors shouting back from the other side. 

And I do mean shouting…all at the same time.  One news show I watched had six political analysts hollering at each other at 120 decibels, sounding like magpies over a road kill.  It hurts my head! 

And still, with all the “shock-and-awe” of political angry-and-ugly, Mr. Trump’s candidacy grows in popularity and momentum.  One set of “reasoning” as to why his popularity grows is Mr. Trump resonates with what the American (Republican-party) voters see as long-overdue pushback against attacks on the Western way of life by Muslims.

For many of the analysts the driving point is that Mr. Trump’s continued ramping-up of the heat and anger in the free-for-all that is American contemporary politics, is the kind of demagoguery that taps into the fear in people’s minds created by the recent flurry of attacks.  Pushback is a powerful motivator, especially if someone else is willing to be the one to do it for you.

Now, this isn’t about Democrats and Republicans – it’s all about what’s in our hearts and minds, and who (or WHO) we are willing to trust.  Do we trust the political analysts, and go with the flow of history….or do we trust God’s view?

When Israel’s first king (Saul) messed up so badly that God sent the prophet Samuel to pick a replacement, Samuel saw David’s brothers first.  The first one he saw looked good to him and he imagined he’d be a great head of state.  This was based on what he saw.

God saw things differently:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”   

1 Samuel 16:7(NLT)

Every election is a spiritual referendum; there are great things at stake.  Not the least of these is whether you will listen to your head, heart or God’s revealed truth (His Word) as you enter the voting booth.

As followers of Jesus Christ none of us can afford to let “angry & ugly” carry even a part of our day.

For You Today

Fear in our hearts will sometimes yell so loudly we cannot hear anything God says; take some time to get away from the yelling, fear and commotion.  Let there be room for the still, small voice.

Chew on that out on the Rocky Road today…and have a great day!

[1] Title image:  By DonkeyHotey, via Wikimedia Commons
[2] Watch the interview here:  NT Wright on Gay Marriage

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