where religion and politics meet

Everybody has a worldview. A worldview is what you believe about life: what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is the meaning of life, what is important, what is not.

If a worldview includes a god/God, it is called a religion. If a bunch of people have the same religion, they give it a name.

Nations have worldviews too, a prevailing way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Politics is the outworking of that worldview in public life.

Our country’s worldview used to be Christianity. Now we are told it is and has always been secularism, which is practical atheism. This issue divides our country, but those who disagree are divided as well on how to respond.

Our country could not have been founded as a secular nation, because a secular country could not guarantee freedom of religion. Secular values would be higher than religious ones, and they would supersede them when there was a conflict. Secularism sees religion only as your personal preferences, like your taste in food, music, or movies. It does not see religion, any religion, as being true.

But God, prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments were always important parts of our public life, including our public schools, until 1963, when the court called supreme ruled them unconstitutional, almost 200 years after our nation’s founding.

Our country also did not envision a multitude of different religions co-existing in one place, because the people, and the government, would then be divided on the basic questions of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our Constitution, which we fought a war to be able to enact, states, among other things, that our government exists for us to form a more perfect union, ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. It could not do this unless it had a clear vision of what it considers to be true, a vision shared with the vast majority of the people in this country.

I want to engage the government, the culture, and the people who live here to see life again from a Christian perspective and to show how secularism is both inadequate and just plain wrong.

Because religion deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, though the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation, critical thinking, and a hunger for what is true.

Science and education used to be valuable tools in the search for truth, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions of life without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary, possible, or worthwhile.

poligion: 1) the proper synthesis of religion and politics 2) the realization, belief, or position that politics and religion cannot be separated or compartmentalized, that a person’s religion invariably affects one’s political decisions and that political decisions invariably stem from one’s worldview, which is what a religion is.

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues. Many of the newer articles are shorter responses to partiular problems.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-RztuRKdCEQzgbhp52dCw

If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Qualities of a Leader: 5. Competence

The Qualities of a Leader:

5.             Competence


                The fifth quality of a leader is competence.  It answers the question: how good do you want to be?  In your work.  In your character.  In your relationships. 

                We talk about the need for leaders to inspire the troops, but that’s more than just giving them pep talks.  Give them the pep talks.  That’s good.  Then there’s the inspiration that comes when someone is honestly impressed by either what we know, what we do, or what we are. 

                So we go back to our original questions:

                How good do you want to be in your work?  Do you want to be good enough, or do you want to be the best?  Being the best means two things:  On the one hand, we are often compared to other stores, other departments, or other regions.  But that may only be a measure of our competitors.   Would you rather be the batting champion in the minor leagues, or in the top ten in the majors?   The best quarterback in college or a starting quarterback in the NFL?

                Of the 18 stores in the Midwest Region, do you care where you stand in comparison to them?  Where are you content to be?  Do you want to be first, or are you content to be fifth?   Becoming first may be unrealistic or so far unlikely that you’re not going to lose any sleep over it.  But then we said that being the best in your work can mean two things: being the best compared with the others, and being the best that we can be.  Do you really want to do better than you are now, or are you content to just do the job?  I grant you, when I get out of work, I am tired.  There’s not much left, but I can’t work any other way.  You do your best.  If I can’t be the best overall, I will be the best I can be.

                The second question is: how good do you want to be in your character?   What good are you doing if you are the best grocer, the best merchandiser in the world, but you’re a complete jerk personally?  What good is it if you can build a display, but you can’t build your own life?  That display you built will come down in two weeks, but what you are will be with you forever.  That display can be knocked over by one ten year old child, but what you are, you can keep building on it and building on it. 

                Nobody wants to follow a jerk.

                The third question is: how good do you want to be in your relationships?  When you want your people to go that extra mile, sometimes they are going to have to want to do it for you.  For our people to do their very best, they have to want to do it for themselves, they have to want to do it for the company, and they have to want to do it for you.  All these three factors will enter into the situation at one time or another.  Are you working to build relationships with your team?  I don’t mean going fishing with them or drinking beer after work, but do you actually talk with them about things other than what to do next or what they are doing wrong?  Do you actually listen to them and care about what things are on their minds?  And do they know that you actually care about them and their welfare?

Competence goes beyond words.
It’s the leader’s ability to say it, plan it, and do it
in such a way that others know that you know how ---
and know that they want to follow you. 
                                p. 30

When was the last time you gave a task your absolute best
even though nobody but you would know about it?

                p. 36