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: 10. Generosity

The Qualities of a Leader:

10.             Generosity

                There is a story about a great wise man who had a band of followers.  He had been promising them a kingdom that they would share in ruling.  Now one day He caught them in an argument about who was the greatest among them, who would have a higher place in this kingdom.  So He says to them, Look, do you want to be great.?  Become a servant.  You want to be first in your group, then become their slave.

                When I first read Maxwell’s chapter on generosity, I admit I couldn’t at first make the connection between generosity and leadership.  Why must a leader be generous?   Then I remembered that story about the Wise Man and His followers. 

A lot of people want to become bosses.  It’s called getting ahead, or moving up.  There’s power, and often with that can come things like admiration, respect, and, oh yeah, a lot more money.  But as we said before, just because you are the boss doesn’t make you a leader.  Bossing people can get you just so far, and in the short run it may even seem to yield greater results.  But it will soon lead to things like frustration, resentment, anger, and burnout.  That is, if the employee cared in the first place.  If they didn’t really care, then it just leads to indifference and what I like to call good-enough. 

The leader knows that to get the most out of your people in the long haul, you have to win their heart. 

Let me digress just a little here.  As I just said that, what came to my mind were images from sports and how we often read or hear of coaches who were brutal to their charges and achieved great results.  What we need to keep in mind is the level of commitment that the coach has to his team and the level of commitment that the team member has to excel.  Now there are no gold medals for stocking shelves, no big endorsement deals because your meat team set a record, and you won’t make the talk show circuit because of great comps.  Most of our people just want a job so they can pay their bills.  They are not in it for a cause.  And secondly, admit it.  When you discipline your help, are you really thinking about making them  better persons;  aren’t you just doing it out of frustration and anger?  If you really wanted to make them a better person, you wouldn’t be so eager to get rid of them; you would work with them.   

What we are trying to say here is that being a boss doesn’t make you a leader.  And for a boss to become a leader, he or she must show that they are not just out for themselves.  I’ll go a step further here.  Apart from your immediate family, what have you done for anyone else lately where you weren’t concerned for what you got back.  One person has gone so far as to say: “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”  p. 63    When a person is generous, it shows that they are not just out for themselves, that they really care about others.

One of the definitions of “to lead” is “to show the way.”  If you want your team to go the extra mile, you need to do that first.  And that often involves doing things for others without expecting them to do anything in return.   Others will see it and, if they are courageous, may do the same.  BUT, somebody has to start it, and that person is the leader.