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: 8. Focus

The Qualities of a Leader:

8.             Focus

                Have you ever wondered why lion tamers hold a stool or a chair when they are in front of a lion?  Why not a baseball bat, or a stun gun, or a shield?   The answer is that when the trainer holds the stool with the legs extended toward the lion, the lion will try to focus on all four legs at once and that will paralyze it. 

                Or to put it another way, an old proverb says that, if you chase two rabbits, both will escape. 

                What this law is saying is that, if you want to accomplish anything of value, you need to focus on it.  That means knowing clearly what it is that you want.  If you don’t know what it is you want, you won’t be doing the things that you need to do to accomplish it. 

                So the first thing is to know what it is you want to do.  Sounds simple enough except I am not sure most people really know what it is they want to do with their life.  Then, when you have that figured out, you often have to break that down into its components to see what the next step is.  Maxwell tells the story of Tony Gwynn, a professional baseball player who has since retired. 

                So what kind of goals might a professional baseball player have?  He might have a goal just to stay in the major leagues, or he might have a goal to be the best baseball player there is.  But even that isn’t good enough.  What would a perfect baseball player be like?  He would hit for power and he would hit for average.  He would have great speed and catch everything hit or thrown in his direction.  And, depending on his position, he could throw the ball a long distance with both accuracy and force.   Tony focussed on being the best hitter he could be.  Nobody will remember how his fielding was, or his throwing, or his speed.  But they will remember that he was the best hitter since, perhaps, Ted Williams.

                The fact is that few players can excel in more than a few of these at the same time.  The reason?  To improve, they need to focus.  If there is too much to focus on, they will become paralyzed like the lion with the stool.  With effort a player can improve in every area, but generally it is only when he focuses on that one thing that he will excel at it. 

                There was a commercial on television some years ago about how a company was the best at what they did, because “they only did one thing.”  Few of us have that option, but there are things that we are good at.  Maxwell says that effective leaders “spend more time focussing on what they do well than on what they do wrong.”  p. 54   He recommends spending about 70% of your energy on what you do well. 

This may not be generally accepted as truth.   Some people will tell you that you need to focus on your weaknesses, and when those improve, you will be better all around.   But, “ ‘the great mystery isn’t that people do things badly but that they occasionally do a few things well.  The only thing that is universal is incompetence.  Strength is always specific!  Nobody every commented, for example, that the great violinist Jascha Heifetz probably couldn’t play the trumpet very well.’  To be successful, focus on your strengths and develop them.  That’s where you should pour your time, energy, and resources.”  p. 54

Having said all this, the fact still remains that growth involves change, and change means new things.  As adults, the only positive changes at this point in our lives come through learning and work.  To learn anything, a person needs to learn how to say both: “I don’t know” and “I was wrong.”  Both can be very hard things to do. 

So to be the best at whatever it is we want to do: first identify what your gifts and strengths are and focus on developing them.  Don’t get sidetracked on things that can distract you.  But then, be sensitive to those things that you may be avoiding that would make you better if did those too.   That’s one reason why “the meek will inherit the earth.”  They’re not too proud to say they can’t learn anything new.