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, January 9, 2019

Thomas Paine Publishes Common Sense

From Bill Bennett's American Patriot's Almanac:

On January 9, 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense, a pamphlet that set the American colonies afire with a longing for independence.

Paine was born in England to a poor family and received little schooling. For several years he drifted from job to job—corset maker, seaman, schoolteacher, customs collector, tobacco seller—without success. His prospects were few when he met Benjamin Franklin, then living in London, who suggested he go to America. Sailing across the Atlantic, Paine caught a fever and was carried ashore half dead in Philadelphia. Once recovered, letters of recommendation from Franklin helped him get a job as a magazine writer.

It has been said that Paine “had more brains than books, more sense than education, more courage than politeness, more strength than polish.” But he could work magic with pen and paper. In Common Sense he made bold arguments that Americans should demand their freedom. “The birthday of a new world is at hand,” he insisted. He attacked the idea that people must live under a king, and urged a break from Britain.

“O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!” he wrote. “Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! [America] receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.”

Paine’s words sounded like a trumpet blast through the colonies. Thousands snatched up the pamphlet and decided that he was right. As Thomas Edison, one of America’s great geniuses, wrote 150 years later, “We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. . . . In Common Sense Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable.”

Every day, Bill Bennett provides via email--for free--a reading from his American Patriot's Almanac. You’ll read about heroes, their achievements, and key events that took place “On This Day” in American history. Click here to subscribe.

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