Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Regardless of what the literal meaning of "Traditional Values" may imply, most everyone in America today would agree that the term conjures up a laundry list of good, old-fashioned concepts like "God, Grandma, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet", or some similiar combination of words. At the core, it's a reflection of our inner desire to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear when politicians were honest, prices were low and life was simple.

The problem of course comes when we realize that this is nothing but a fantasy. Sure, we might love to kick back and remember the good old days with fondness, but the reality is that we've always complained about high prices, lying politicians and never having enough time to slow down and enjoy our lives. Besides, we do not have access to time travel technology outside of Hollywood and science fiction, so any longing we have to turn back the clock is automatically moot. It's just not going to happen.

Therefore, what we're left with now is what you see in front of you. This world we live in is the only world there is. There is no such thing as a "Christian World" other than the one we create when we surround ourselves with media, clothing, and services that shelter us from reality. There is no such thing as a better yesterday that we can return to by wishful thinking or by breeding a super senator who can dismantle the corruption in Washington with his bare hands and restore sanity with the stroke of his mighty pen. It's not going to happen.

As followers of Jesus, our only hope is Him. When we place our hopes in politics, or politicians, we've already lost the battle. In fact, nothing so underscores our lack of faith in the Messiah or His Gospel than our attempt to solve the world's problems by legislating the outward behaviors that only Jesus can create from within.

The American Church is currently lusting for political influence and power. Why? Because "Plan A" has failed to create the result we desired, and so we have now reverted to "Plan B" which is to attempt to Christianize the society around us and to legislate our Christian values.

I would encourage today's American Christian to remember this: The Christians we read about in the New Testament lived under an oppressive pagan government. They were killed for sport and persecuted horribly. Instead of attempting to reform their government, they obeyed Jesus and loved their oppressors. They did not take up the sword and fight back. They did not verbally abuse the pagans for their sinful lifestyle. They did not attempt to form a coalition or a lobby group to force legislation that aligned with their views. Instead, they simply loved the people around them, shared all that they had with others and, in time, they turned the world upside down by imitating Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our faith was born under intense persecution and the Church survived by emulating the humble, peaceful, loving response of Her Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. If we do anything less - or more - than follow the example of Jesus today, we are hopelessly lost.

NOTE: Today's article was written originally in response to a question asked of me by my friend and fellow blogger, Joe Ortiz, regarding the question of "Traditional Values" and their meaning in today's political climate.

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