The views, thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author. They are not and do not necessarily reflect the opinion(s) or position(s) of the organization, board of directors and/or any other individual(s) or entity (ies) affiliated or unaffiliated with Christians in Public Service, Inc.


 

Monday, July 13, 2020 4:48 PM

Monday, July 13, 2020 4:48 PM
Monday, July 13, 2020 4:48 PM

The Problem Isn't Christians in Politics, It's Politics in Christians
Saturday, July 4, 2020 9:44 AM

The Problem Isn't Christians in Politics, It's Politics in Christians

Saturday, July 4, 2020 9:44 AM
Saturday, July 4, 2020 9:44 AM
Though not at all my intent, I'm sure this post will anger more than a few. Truth has a way of doing that.
 
But I am more concerned about the weakening of our witness in the political arena than I am any name I could possibly be called or insults hurled my way. After all, I'm a big girl from Texas so I can take it.
 
The truth is 1) we can't legislate morality and 2) Jesus never saw the need to partner with Caesar.
 
No, I am not a "progressive Christian." Anything but. Actually, a redeemed and recovering right-wing, card-carrying NRA conservative Republican.
 
Only God could have torn me away from what had been a lifelong allegiance to a Republican Party I once knew but is no more; and, my love of all things political.
 
I am a graduate of one of the most conservative evangelical seminaries in the world, a former elected official, a career government person and a lifelong student of scripture and government.
 
It is the former, scripture, that finally won over my heart and its timeless principles are the foundation of my writing, speaking and training in both faith-based and secular environments.
 
The political system is a world system doing what world systems do. The problem, in my opinion, and the genesis of much of the conflict and division we are seeing in American culture today, is not that the political system is not doing its job; the church in Western culture isn't for the most part doing ours.
 
In fact, to break it down further, politics, not governing is antithetical to Christianity.
 
Jesus never saw the need to partner with Caesar. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 13 that God established government for good. 
 
The Greek word for politics is politiki which means among other things enlightenment (not revelation by the Holy Spirit), intuition ( not faith), anxiety or timidity (God said he didn't give us this spirit).
 
Fear and anxiety are the two major drivers of politicians - the fear of and needing to please people which is a snare; and, anxiety in the tension brought about by the fear of losing favor and support of those they feel they need to retain office (i.e., donors and voters) - no matter that the same may not be in agreement.
 
It's the deal they strike to stay in office. The Holy Spirit speaks, but donors and dollars in many cases speak louder.
 
The Romans established the first representative form of government (i.e. a republic) that many countries throughout history, including America, would later copy.
 
It was the Roman form of representative government that the forefathers used to establish the representative government we now have in the United States. We are not a democracy but a Democratic Republic - the Roman model.
 
It's why majority does not rule in electing our president. The Electoral College is the system by which all are equally represented in our representative form of government.
 
Why say all of this? Because so many of us Christians have become so immersed in politiki (including once me) that we have forsaken God and the teachings of scripture.
 
We are to be disciples, not Democrats. Christ's representatives, not Republicans. Democrats and Republicans are world systems in a democratic republic. Disciples of Christ are representatives in governing. We can't change what we've adopted as our way to roll.
 
This is why there is such a clash and division. It's a clash of systems and Kingdoms. The Kingdom of God or light and the Kingdom of darkness.
 
How can two walk together unless they agree? We can't. We are going about this thing wrong and it's not Dorothy Burton saying it, it's written in the Book (Bible).

Jesus never saw the need to partner with Caesar.

 
 
It's not as if the men of God with outsized platforms don't know. They do. It's just that the lure of power, dominance, and control is too great. The world's way. What they have forgotten is apart from God, it all one day with the changing of the guard (political party sway) will change. It always has and always will.
 
Why? Because only the things of God will last. It's just a shame so many of us have forgotten this. "Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Render unto God what belongs to God." Jesus said this, I didn't.
 
I'm not saying we shouldn't be in the arena. We as Christians need and should absolutely be in politics. It's just that politiki should not be in us.
 
We can't fight with the same weapons and in the same suit of armor, partner with Caesar and claim Caesar's victories as our own. They are temporal. That's why it seems we take two steps forward but ten backward.
 
As Christians in politics, if we are going to be successful in impacting culture for Christ, we must grasp fully the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12 and begin governing this way - "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood (i.e., Democrats or Republicans) but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (or high) places."
Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Render unto God what belongs to God. - Jesus.
We fight against one another based upon our party affiliation and their platforms in world politiki systems, which are rooted in everything of flesh and blood (i.e., race, ethnicity, gender, etc.) and wonder why we are not changing anything.
 
In fact, things are worsening and are becoming more divisive by the day.
 
It's not that world-systems aren't doing what they are supposed to do, we aren't. They will be successful in theirs and if we follow God's word, we will be successful in theirs and ours because it all belongs to God.
 
Where are his hands and feet? We have joined forces with the world, applauding party and walking away from, not toward God.
 
We walk away when we look the other way on wrong; worse, join in with it. If we are to be light in the darkness, we must light the entire room not just a corner of it.
 
We must shine the light as brightly on the sin of adultery as we do on the sin of abortion.
 
We must shine the light as brightly on the sin of racism as we do the celebration of freedom and liberty (not for all).
 
We must call sin what God calls sin and not be political and biblical cherry-pickers. The sins we disagree with but say nothing of those God abhors.
 
If we are to see a change in culture, Christians and Christian leaders are going to have to turn back to God and not just with our lips.
 
The world is weary of Christians that talk a good game and are confused when we say whose team we're on, but they see us suit out for the opposing team.
 
The question is asked in Amos 3:3 - "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
 
The answer? No, we can't. And this is the problem in culture God will not help us solve, no matter how much we call on Him with our lips when He sees daily the actions of our heart.
 
 
We Need A Washington Not A Bonaparte
Saturday, July 4, 2020 9:21 AM

We Need A Washington Not A Bonaparte

Saturday, July 4, 2020 9:21 AM
Saturday, July 4, 2020 9:21 AM
 As Benjamin West was painting the portrait of King George III, King George asked him what did he think the first president of the new free nation (America), George Washington, would do now that the American Revolution had ended.
 
Benjamin West kind of matter-of-factly replied to King George he thought Washington would likely go back to his farm.
 
King George reportedly retorted to West, "If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world!"
 
Who would voluntarily give up that much power? Such was rare and today is no exception.
 
George Washington was so highly regarded for his integrity that a number of power brokers, leaders and citizens supported the idea of making the first president, president for life.
 
George Washington was anything but vain and he, like great leaders before and after him, understood the one thing above all that will topple the greatest leader is vanity.
 
Vanity is insanity when it comes to leadership and is every leader's greatest enemy. It has caused the downfall of many because it's shelf life is not long.
 
Vanity is insanity when it comes to leadership.
 
Washington did what he set out to do and accomplished that which he had determined. He had determined that his goal was to serve the people and bring stability to the new nation. He had done that and after two terms it was time he reasoned to exit the stage.
 
Refusing a third term, Washington rebuffed a growing movement to make him president for life. After being re-elected unanimously in the 1792 presidential election, he chose to retire after two terms. He calmly handed over the reins of office and power to his Vice-President, John Adams of the Federalist Party.
 
In doing this, Washington set the standard for presidents to come and helped stabilize a young nation.
 
On the other hand, across the ocean, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, was a military leader. Lauded for his military skills, Bonaparte loved being in power and being in control. He desperately desired to be Emperor for life.
 
Bonaparte instead was toppled, twice-exiled and it is said that the people of France wanted him to be a leader much in the same way as the new nation's George Washington.
 
He couldn't do it. Why? He loved power and control way too much and would have never voluntarily, on his own accord, given up the most powerful office in France. Even when it became obvious to the masses that his time was up, vanity told him differently.
 
The pendulum will swing back in America. It always does in politics. It isn't a matter of if, but when it does, America will once again have to find its true north.
 
Too many leaders in DC are drunk on power and blinded by vanity. That's a deadly and foretelling combination.

 
I wonder what George Washington would say today of the nation he so carefully, courageously and wisely led?
 
When it is all said and done and the smoke clears, one thing is certain - it is going to take a new breed of leader to right this ship and heal this great nation of so great a divide.
 
A leader who really does put country over self and understands what Washington so clearly understood and modeled - the collective power and uniqueness of America really is by the people and for the people and does not, nor should it ever yield to the vanity of any one leader.
 
America is in desperate need of a Washington, not a Bonaparte.
 
What Changed Me
Saturday, June 27, 2020 4:44 PM

What Changed Me

Saturday, June 27, 2020 4:44 PM
Saturday, June 27, 2020 4:44 PM

Many of you who know me now would never believe how ultra-conservative I was. I mean for real. Almost bordering on hatred of some "others." I fit perfectly with the right-wing of my party.

I get the Candace Owens and the Allen Wests of the world. I was once one of them. My views of people have changed, and how I view the world has changed in the light of scripture.

Many Christians who make a dramatic change often attribute it to a "Damascus Road" experience. Not me. Mine was not instant and it wasn't any one thing. I'm not a Paul, I'm more like a Peter. Headstrong. Opinionated. So sure of myself -- I was.

God had to take me through my own Acts 10: Years ago, I had an Apostle Peter Acts 10 experience. Then he had to take me through a Luke 22:31-32 experience that really, literally almost took me out. Then my Pastor so patiently counseled me and walked me through with 1 Corinthians 8-10.

So when my Republican friends, my Christian friends, people who knew me before ask what happened to me -- that fiery woman who loved lighting up liberals and Barack Obama and anybody else who didn't fit my conservative view of scripture - all I can say is through a series of events, I changed. Over a period of years in seeking God -- I mean seeking him to the point that nothing else much mattered to me than knowing Him and trying to figure out what all those things meant in my life.

Today I know. God doesn't just call us, He prepares us. And God's preparation is purging, it's brokenness, it's confusing, it's uncomfortable, you don't feel you fit anywhere until you do.

it is a process of ups and downs, progress and failures, falling down and getting back up, victories and devastating defeats. And it has nothing to do with anyone else, but everything to do with you and your relationship with God.

Today, I have never been so sure of anything at any time in my life. I know what I am to do because the Holy Spirit tells me. He shows me as I spend time in the Word and with God.

I thank God for even the life partner he blessed me with in my godly husband, Michael. I couldn't do what I do without him covering me.

Life is a journey. And if you have it figured out and are in it just for you, you will miss life and God's intent for you.

I wish I could say I have it all figured out now. I don't. But what I do know is that I am to love people. ALL people. And my goal is to use every talent, skill, success, failure, experience, knowledge, and ability I have to advance the Kingdom in the system He has long prepared me for - public service, politics, and government.

God made sure I would be prepared. Every success, every failure, every degree, every mistake, every success, every election victory; and, every life and career defeat prepared me, and for that I am thankful.

I am very confident. Not in me, but in the me I have become in Christ. I understand well the system he prepared me for. But even more, I understand the spiritual not just the politics of it.

I have courage because my courage is rooted not in my ego, knowledge, degrees, who I know or who knows me --- but in knowing God and knowing that Jesus lives in me and lives to intercede for me -- even when I mess up and don't get it right --- and there is no greater feeling.

Life is a journey. And if you have it figured out and are in it just for you, you will miss life and God's intent for you.

Today, I have no prejudice, no judgment of people, and as my brother, Peter, often reminds me in Acts 10: 34-35: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to him."

And so they are to me.

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow
Friday, June 19, 2020 11:46 AM

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Friday, June 19, 2020 11:46 AM
Friday, June 19, 2020 11:46 AM
From July 31, 2019... 
 
 
I'd been a Republican for 42 years. Forty-two years. Some of y'all haven't even been alive that long! And recently I was so happy to join a local club with the goal of getting more actively involved in time for the convention in Houston next June, supporting my friend Col. Allen West for State Party Chair and on to 2020.
 
I had to text the Colonel and we had a great exchange. I so admire that man. He talks plenty sh** but is the real deal. Extremely intelligent, a true patriot and a good man.
 
But God knows, I can't. I just can't do party politics anymore because both sides are sorely lacking in the core values I hold most dear... true leadership, statesmanship, integrity, and courage.
 
Neither party is concerned about the welfare and well-being of the citizenry. I love my Republican friends just not my Republican Party anymore. It used to stand for something. Under this President whom I voted for, I no longer recognize it.
 
I realize I will lose some people. But I'm good with it. Because those who know me well know that I am without pretense. What you see with me is what you get. I'm the same on Friday as I am on Monday and I'm the same in the dark as I am in the light.
 
I have the gift of good-bye; meaning, I don't have that thing inside that causes me to grieve when friends leave or when people walk away. Given my life, God knew I would need that gift. I just wish people well, and genuinely mean it.
 
But just as I had to finally cut up my NRA Membership Card, I have to finally cut ties with my party. It saddens me to no end. And I'm grieving because it has been such a big part of my life and so many good people who helped me along the way. I hope they stay my friend but if they don't I wish them well.
 
It's like when you have been in a marriage for so long and you know it's over, but you go back one last time hoping against hope that it can be saved. You soon realize, however, that the flame is no more and it is really, truly over.
 
You turn around, walk out the door, glance back, and stand for a moment reflecting on happier days. Pausing to relish past hard-won victories, hearing the echo of laughter and remembering the sights, sounds, and giddiness when we won, and the somber but determined moods when we didn't. Those really were the days. You marvel for a moment, thank God for the memories and then it's time to move on.
 
You glance back one last time thinking of all the people of days long past and together how we did some mighty good work. And then, it's time to walk away and no looking back. I have great Democratic friends, am married to a Democrat - but I doubt if I will ever become one.
 
It was especially tough for me as a teen and young adult being black and Republican because being a black, conservative Republican in Texas in college during the late 70's and early 80's was unimaginable. I loved my afro and disco but I also loved my Republican Party.
 
I just had to see if the flame was still there. It wasn't. I'm sad. But it's time to not turn the page, but close the book. God had to let me get it all out of my system for the work He has for me to do for the Kingdom. And everything I learned over those 42 years about people and politics, having even served in elective office; and, everything I've learned about God at Dallas Seminary.. and still learning... all have prepared me well for the next leg of the journey.
 
See y'all down the road.

< view previous