One of the definitions for expedience is that it is “a regard for what is politic or advantageous rather than for what is right or just; a sense of self-interest.”
In 2008 Barack Obama won an election on shear exuberance rather than expedience. In 2012 we are coming dangerously close to choosing his opponent based on expedience rather than excellence.
We carefully scrutinize the records of our candidates and try to discover all we can about their intentions for leading the nation. What always is grossly apparent is that we rarely question our own motives. The price of gasoline, the flux and flow of commerce and the state of the economy can hardly be thought of as the only good motives for choosing a candidate. We are led by some candidates to believe that the economy is the only true and acceptable motive.
What results cannot be called pandering, but it is much worse. It all becomes a promise to fix everything by providing what is needed at the very moment without regard to the future. It is expedience trying to masquerade as excellence. It is failure waiting patiently in the wings.
Excellence is derived from more than just a record as it pertains to great statesmen. The greatest of our presidents sometimes had failing records but were principled and beloved for their ability to stand by their principles even during times of failure. Lincoln may stand out as the best example of this point, but Washington, Jefferson and Reagan would also be included.
If we choose the candidate in today’s primary race based on the economic conditions that prevail today such as failing mortgages, joblessness and gas prices we may get a momentary reprieve, but complete recovery is subject to the test of time and the influences of other world economies. What seems most obvious then becomes the very worst reason on earth to make a major decision. If America is no more than a major economic force in the world, then our choice would be easy. But it is not.
In this critical hour, can we afford to make choice based on a predisposition, as in the lens by which we have always seen the socio-economic and political landscape? Whether democrat, republican, libertarian or independent, which lens is most suitable in the discovery of excellence?
When Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence he said the ‘truths’ by which we could declare ourselves independent from our oppressors were ‘self-evident.’ Partisan political views are anything but self-evident, but are derived from years of influences, compromises and positioning.
What is evident in America today is that we are in the deepest moral decline in our history. It is also evident that the incumbent is in way over his head and his administration has become oppressive and fully contrary to the American way of life.
The failure of Barack Obama’s leadership is not as easy to detect as was the tyranny of England against the Colonists. It is clouded by the preponderance of laws and partisanship that is well over two centuries in the making. It is further complicated by the insertion of pop culture influences into the political process.
It is a strange admixture the country has never seen before. It is fueled by promises that are not just political hyperbole, like ‘Change we can believe in,’ but it is offered by a man whose background is almost completely unknown, and what is known of him, is fully foreign to the American psyche. We chose to ignore his past, but we accepted his promises and now we are part of his vision for the future. That would all be just fine; if we were not also witnessing the collapse of the all-important present.
The future can be altered by what is normally thought of as the political process, but in times of danger or critical events the process becomes something far greater. It becomes a propitious time of opportunity that if scrutinized carefully will be seen as God given moments, offered as a reprieve to the willing.
There is no carpe diem for the willingly blind; it is also denied to the predisposed. To seize the day we must be able to discern the day. What day is this? Is it a day to convince the Republican Party to pick a candidate who best complies with their views of the issues, or is it something much larger and far more important than that?
Could it be that this is that propitious moment to look for a candidate that represents all that America ever was, and yet could be? We speak of excellence as if it was in the past, and sadly for the most part, it is. Is this the moment to bring it back?
The stringent application of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” has resulted in the contrivance that is now used as a device to accomplish any nefarious and corrupt behavior that comes to mind. It is connoted as “the separation of church and state’ but in practice has resulted in the separation of everything that is right, just, natural and moral from what is overtly and obviously wrong.
Does America need a corrective or remedial course in sound Biblical theology or has “separation’ mania dulled us so thoroughly that we cannot endure a reminder from the same book our founders once used to base their view of statehood and this very nation upon? Will we continue to hide behind the first amendment as an excuse? Will we continue blocking our ears to the truth the founders once heard and happily adopted as the only rock solid foundation they could agree upon that would guarantee our perpetuity as a free nation?
The founders of this nation looked to the Old Testament not for salvation because they knew Christ had already secured that by his death on the cross and his subsequent resurrection from the dead. They looked to the Old Testament because it helped them to understand the nature of God first and secondly the nature of sin.
The founders were well aware that in the book of Deuteronomy contained 14 verses of blessings (De 28:1f) for people who chose to take God at his word and live a moral and upright life. Conversely in the same passage are found 54 verses that outline times of severe economic woe and difficulty for any people who ignore his commands and guidance. It is in the same book and other books of the Bible that warnings are given about homosexuality, adultery and every form of wholesale immorality.
As it pertains to the practice of abortion, this world hasn’t a single leg on which to stand. Taking 150,000,000 innocent lives worldwide is indefensible as seen from any book of the Bible and it is a scourge that will help to bring about the final judgments against a reprobate world in the closing days of time. One third or 54,000,000 of those abortions belong to America and the gap is closing quickly for us to put a stop to this inhuman slaughter of the innocents.
The founders had no doubt about God’s description of exactly what sin is, but more importantly they did not doubt that his nature was not changeable like men. We may think this is the day to twist the Bill of Rights, stretch the meaning of the Declaration and pervert the plainest meaning of the Constitution. But God has changed his mind about absolutely nothing.
Any attempt at getting God to change his mind is futile and any declaration that he has changed his mind is strictly false. The only thing that changes is us; if we do not take him seriously. From this theological maxim was born the familiar adage - “You can’t break the word of God – You can only break yourself against it.” The words of the Rock have the same immutability attached to them as does the Rock. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Mt 24: 34)
If indeed our nation’s economy is directly connected to our morality then what can we possibly do about it? This answer may be the easiest one of all. We need to start taking God seriously and start thinking as he thinks. This is an element known as repentance, not to be confused with penance (Which is not Biblical) and it is simply deciding to turn around and start walking with God.
That may answer it for us, but what has it got to do with presidential candidates? Another simple answer here, we only have to ask one question and that is; which candidate is already thinking as God thinks? Here is where it is safe to say that only one candidate comes close to answering the question in the positive.
Rick Santorum alone is the only sanctity of life candidate who has not been ashamed or afraid to declare that America’s economic woes are tied directly to her decline in morality.
Is this a bid to help Sen. Santorum to get elected? Not on your life! All a responsible minister of the Gospel can do is state theologically sound facts; the rest is up to the American public.
Santorum may be America’s “propitious moment” and this may be the only time for many years to come that we will have a chance to make it right and start thinking as God thinks. Talk of a Romney lock on the nomination is presumptuous until all the votes are counted and the delegates have been given voice. This election is the most critical of our entire time as a nation and God does care how we make our choices.
Is this the moment to bring excellence back in; and set the country right again?
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Php 2: 5)
Copyright ©2012 Rev. Michael Bresciani