So What's This All About?

In case you didn't know, I'm in the multi-year-long process of posting a Christian devotional at the TAWG Blog. The TAWG Blog is, and always will be, mostly apolitical. For the most part, Bible-believing Christians will find little to disagree with there. But I also firmly believe that God's word can--and should--inform everything in life, and this should include politics and popular culture. How should we vote? How should we respond to hot topics such as abortion, capital punishment, taxes, and other issues? Which party, if either, is closer to the Biblical ideal? Tony Campolo and Ron Sider, Evangelicals whose political leanings are on the Left, have made the case in several of their writings that God wants his followers to vote politically on the Left more than on the Right. At times, some of them have gone so far as to equate voting on the Left with obedience to Christ, either subtly or not-so-subtly contending that the converse is true as well: If you vote Republican, you're sinning against the Savior.
I don't agree. I think that to the degree they actually resort to the Bible, they're misinterpreting it. With a whole bunch of caveats, I think politically conservative positions are a lot more compatible with the Scriptures than the Leftist positions.
Just to clarify, I would never accuse people who disagree with me--especially siblings in Christ--of what they accuse me of. I don't judge my own heart, much less anyone else's, and I don't equate political disagreement with theological fidelity to God. I have no reason to doubt their love for the Lord and "for the least of these," but I believe that they're sincerely wrong.
So there are two main purposes for this blog. One is to make a case for my political beliefs based on Scripture. The other is a bit more vague, basically to work out my political beliefs and figure out what's based on Scripture and what's based on my own biases. I certainly don't have all the answers. Some of this stuff I'm still figuring out. And I'm certainly open to correction. As long as you make your case civilly and based on Scripture, feel free to make a comment, and I promise I'll post it and consider your arguments thoughtfully and prayerfully. Who knows? Maybe we'll learn a little something from each other.
May God bless our common striving together towards both the "little t" truth and "Big T" Truth. Our watchword here is a line from C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle: "Further up and further in!"

P.S. -- Below on the left is "Topics I've Covered" which lists everything I've posted topically. It's come to my attention that some people would like to see everything just listed for them. If that's you, you can get it here. Thanks to my friend Stephen Young for the tip!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Join or Die

From Bill Bennett's American Patriot's Almanac:

On May 9, 1754, the first political cartoon published in America appeared in Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin himself probably designed the woodcut, which shows a snake severed into pieces representing Britain’s American colonies.

The drawing was a reminder that the colonies must unite to defend themselves as they entered the French and Indian War. In an article accompanying the cartoon, Franklin warned of “the present disunited State of the British Colonies, and the extreme Difficulty of bringing so many different Governments and Assemblies to agree in any speedy and effectual Measures for our common Defense and Security.” Franklin may have chosen a snake because of a popular superstition that a snake that had been cut into pieces would come back to life if the pieces were joined before sunset.

Dozens of newspapers throughout the colonies reprinted the cartoon. Years later, as the Revolutionary War approached, the snake image became a favorite American symbol for unity and love of liberty.

Here's the drawing:



Every day, Bill Bennett provides via email--for free--a reading from his American Patriot's Almanac. It's "a daily newsletter that will teach you key events that took place each day in American history." Click here to subscribe.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Mount Vernon

From Bill Bennett's American Patriot's Almanac:

On this day in 1775, George Washington was traveling north, having left his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia, to attend the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. As he rode along, his thoughts were pulled in opposite directions. Ahead, war loomed—fighting had broken out at Lexington and Concord. Behind him, at his beloved plantation, the fields were full of green wheat and newly planted corn. Herring were running in the river, and the gardens were in bloom. He was not sure when he would be able to return.

Washington inherited Mount Vernon in 1761 from his half brother Lawrence, who had named the estate in honor of Admiral Edward Vernon, Lawrence’s commander in the British Navy. The plantation eventually covered about 8,000 acres, and the columned house, atop a bluff overlooking the Potomac River, was one of Virginia’s finest. Washington was keenly interested in farming and never tired of trying different crops and breeding livestock.

He could not have known, as he rode north, that he would have to spend years away from his plantation, first as commander of the army, later as president. “It is my full intention to devote my life and fortune in the cause we are engaged in, if need be,” he wrote his brother John in 1775. But he always yearned for Mount Vernon.

When the long years of service were finally over, he happily retired to his home. “At the age of sixty-five I am recommencing my agricultural pursuits and rural amusements, which at all times have been the most pleasing occupation of my life, and most congenial with my temper,” he wrote in 1797.

Washington was able to live his last years at Mount Vernon, where he died in 1799. He and his wife, Martha, are buried in a simple hillside tomb there.

Every day, Bill Bennett provides via email--for free--a reading from his American Patriot's Almanac. It's "a daily newsletter that will teach you key events that took place each day in American history." Click here to subscribe.