Lincoln Logs and Legos

legosTwo engineering behemoths engaged in some tit for tat this week.  The two heavyweights were the Pope and the Pompous. In a rare exchange with an American politician, the Pope expressed his displeasure with Saint Pompous—Donald Trump.

Pope Francis said: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” I think the Pope meant Trump was not acting in a “Christian” way.

Donald, however, is never one to duck an issue, and he made one out of this when he complained the Pope said he was not “a Christian.”

While I’m not a Catholic, I do know that every Pope has been a priest, but only a handful of priests have ever been the Pope. When the Pope spoke of “building bridges” he defined the meaning of the word priest. In Latin “priest” means “bridge builder,”  and  several places in the New Testament focus on the work of priests:

  • Hebrews 4 speaks of the bridge building work of Jesus, and describes Him as a High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses because He was tempted like we are; yet He remained pure.
  • I Peter 2:9 speaks of Christians as a “chosen people, set aside to be a royal order of priests, a holy nation, God’s own; so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light.”

When I was a kid, I would use either my  Lincoln Logs, or erector set to build something. Today, a child is more likely to dump his Legos on the floor and begin piecing them together.

Paul didn’t have Lincoln Logs or Legos, but he did know how to build bridges; and he spoke of this when he wrote to Christians at Corinth:

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Ambassadors for Christ share the story of salvation, and they build bridges of grace for God’s glory.  Which story are you telling and what bridge are you building?

Lip Service: In Name Only

rhino-trumpI guess it’s somewhat fitting that the date of the Iowa caucus is just a few weeks ahead of Valentine’s Day.  Both are love-hate events, and the language of the participants is characterized by loving phrases of praise or acerbic accusations that are as sharp as Cupid’s arrows.

When lovers and politicians just talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk, they’re labeled as an in-name-only person. This type of false sincerity was the focus of John’s admonishment to young Christians (I John 3:18):

  • Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. ~NKJV
  • Don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love. ~The Voice
  • Let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words]. ~Amplified

Donald Trump and a few others vying for the office of President have been accused of being a RINO or a Republican In Name Only.  Individuals like these paint themselves in the colors of the Republican Party and sport a freshly inked GOP tattoo, but they don’t walk the party line.

On Valentine’s Day, a spurned loved may be accused of being a LINO or a Lover In Name Only.  The offender can try to persuade the offended with a box of chocolates and a dozen red roses, but the scent of the flowers can’t undo the smell of betrayal.

My concern is not so much that you might be a RINO or a Lino, but whether or not you are a CINOChristian In Name Only.  Are you a lip-serviceChristian, or are you sincere in your commitment to Him?  As you think about this question, you might want to examine your love-lines and wrinkles in the mirror of John 13:34-35:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

Faith, Values, and Politics

fox-debateA recent survey that was conducted by the Pew Research Center involved a national sample of 2,009 adults. The results of this survey, that was take earlier this month, offer some interesting findings:

  • Being an atheist is a big liability for anyone who pursues the office of president.
  • 51% of adults indicate they’d be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who is an atheist.
  • 37% of the respondents say they would be less likely to support a candidate who has been involved in an extramarital affair.
  • 41% of the participants say they would be less likely to support a candidate who has a history of financial struggles.

The chart below looks at the public’s perception of seven of the the people who have tossed their hat into the ring in an effort to become the next President of the United States.

reltableIs it important to you that the President of the United States is a person of strong faith and high moral character?    Do verses like Psalm 33:12 hint that our leaders should be people of faith, and do they influence how you would vote?

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”

While the hope of the United States is found in Christ and not the President, the actions and decisions of those we elect to office will either help or hinder the health of our nation.  This is why we should heed Paul’s instructions to Timothy:

I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior  

~2 Timothy 2:1-3

9 Reasons Why Trump Is Rising

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump fields a question during the first Republican presidential debate hosted by Fox News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena on August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent political polls.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

I have to admit that I thought Donald Trump would have fallen in the polls by now.  Even though his star is still rising, I still think he’s a poor choice for president.

I just read an interesting article by Steve Deace that lists the 9 reasons behind Trumps surprising strength.  You can read the article here: 9 Reasons Why Trump Is Rising