The Loudmouth Protestant

November 5, 2008

Moving Forward

Forget the former things, do not dwell in the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19

 

President-elect Barack Obama

President-elect Barack Obama

For the past week and a half a song has been playing continuously in my heart. Every morning that I’ve woken up since last Wednesday, October 29th, “Moving Forward” by Hezekiah Walker and Love Fellowship has been in my heart, in my mouth, on my mind and in me from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep. I knew this song was speaking to something amazing that was about to happen in the next week and so I latched onto it and sung it as I walked down the streets and danced to it in my room on occasion. 

 

One week later, this morning, when I opened my eyes to this new day, the song started playing again. But this time, I was frozen in my bed and overcome with emotion for the historic news that was announced last night. Last night among hundreds of Obama supporters from all walks of life I celebrated our win. But this morning, I am celebrating His win and the fact that I know that the true reason why we are looking upon the face of an African-American man as the newly elected leader of the free world is because it was God’s will.

God’s grace has kept us to see this day that we thought we’d never see–but is anything too hard for our God? God’s grace kept us though we were slain–sold into slavery, murdered, hosed down, hung and drowned to death. God’s grace kept our parents to see the day that the hard work they did in fighting for the right to vote and the years they spent fighting for equality actually manifested itself into the greatest move man has ever seen. Where would we be without God’s grace? I don’t dare to think about it and I don’t dare to give anyone more praise for this victory than God.

There is yet work to be done but this moment we must celebrate the win, the victory in Jesus that was fully shown last night in the person of our president-elect Barack Obama. And I will–and you should–continue to carry “Moving Forward” the song and the concept in my life. Thank you my strong and mighty God!

“Not going back. I’m moving ahead. I’m here to declare to you my past is over. And you, things you may do, surrender my life to Christ, I’m moving forward…You make all things new. Yes, you make all things new. And I will follow you forward.” –“Moving Forward” Hezekiah Walker & LFC

September 24, 2008

Praying for Change

Filed under: 2008 Election,God,life,prayer — nickisym @ 3:26 pm
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Today marks the first day of the 40/40 Prayer Vigil launched by the Southern Baptists. The SB’s are inviting people to pray for the next 40 days leading up to the election and for the 40-hours prior to election day–October 31 at 4 PM to November 2 at 8 AM. The purpose of this vigil is to inspire a revival in the hearts of Christians to remember where their help comes from. Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission had this to say about their efforts:

“Our problems are God-sized problems. They are problems of the heart. They are problems of the spirit. They are problems of the soul. And they are well beyond our ability to solve them. The only way they are going to be solved is if we have revival.”

–Christian Post

I’ve never professed to understand everything about our political process, but I do have a relatively good understanding of the power of prayer. I fully believe that our stability as a nation lies not in the hands of Obama/Biden or McCain/Palin, but in our trusting solely on God. I have said this before, and I will say again, “If the majority of us survived eight years of a Republican administration, and came out pretty unscathed, why wouldn’t we survive another Republican administration?” It’s not to say it will happen again, but I am hedging my bets on God’s a whole lot more than I am hoping some politicians will save me. In the words of Jason Upton, “Republican or Democrat, both sides are fallen.”

For more information and to sign up click here: 40/40 Prayer Vigil

June 4, 2008

It’s Your Time, Part 2

Filed under: 2008 Election,Barack Obama,God,gospel music — nickisym @ 10:45 am

To Barack Obama:

It’s Your Time…

The Wait is Over

When I woke up this morning, I found a message from Obama’s camp with the subject line of “It’s Our Time.” I immediately thought about Donald Lawrence’s song “Seasons” in which he admonishes listeners to walk into their season. The season comes after you’ve sown, after the valley, after the trials and the tribulations which seemed determined to set you back and after the storms of your life.

Sixteen months ago, Barack Obama began the process of sowing seeds in hopes that he would secure the Democratic presidential nomination. As of last night, the wait was over and we were greeted by one Barack Obama, our Democratic presidential nominee. After many a trial and tribulation by way of people judging him by the color of his skin and not the content of his character; seeking to use his former pastor against him; digging up any bit of information they can find that would discourage would-be supporters and accusing him of using hope like a drug to rope people into voting for him rather than focusing on the issues he has overcome. All of those things only made him stronger and gave him more fuel for the fire to press on toward the mark of the higher calling that God has for his life.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t always a believer. I kept my distance from becoming an Obamaniac because I needed to stay level-headed about his campaign and Hillary’s. I needed to make sure that the candidate I would support would be the one who truly had my interest in mind. And because of that, I couldn’t wear buttons, pump my fist and attend rallies because I had no idea who I thought would be the best candidate. Plus I couldn’t vote in my state’s primary so I only had to sit back and watch and do my homework on the candidates. But after last night, it all became a reality and I saw that God is the one who made it all possible. It wasn’t about Obama, his campaign team, the voters, the delegates or the superdelegates. It was because it is his time as ordained by God.

Last night on CNN, their political pundits were sharing their thoughts about this great moment in history and one of them said that the Republicans always choose the person whose turn it is and it is John McCain’s turn to go up to bat for the White House. She then said, the Democrats don’t always work that way although it would seem obvious that it was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s turn considering her legacy. But what is a turn compared to God’s time. God’s time is a powerful thing because once you are in His time you are in order and the harvest will come. And in His time, which Obama is operating in right now, lives of people are being changed. Young black boys and black girls are learning that anything is possible if you would only just believe. This is the time when our youth need someone bigger than a rapper or basketball player to look up to and they have it.

So what happens next? We continue to pray for the strength of Barack Obama, because though he may have secured the nomination, Hillary Clinton’s unwillingness to concede means that the next few months leading up to the general election will still be a struggle. It will not be more than he can bear, but rest assured he will have to continue to stand and stand some more on the promises of God and hold on to God’s unchanging hand. This is just the beginning but a amazing beginning it is. Thank you God.

February 16, 2008

Wake Up!!!

Filed under: 2008 Election,Faith and Politics — nickisym @ 12:42 am
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People need to wake up. Everyone is in Obamatopia. They are feeling like everything is going to be alright as long as he continues to show off his oratory skills–as far as the 26-year-old speech writer and the teleprompter can get him. But I believe it is time for people to demand more of our potential next president.

Right about now we need to hear something other than flowery speeches. It’s time for him to hit us with the issues non-stop for the duration of this election season. An article in the Economist said that it is time for America to evaluate Obama the potential president not Obama the phenomenon. And people it is surely time for that.

I was disturbed when a friend told me this evening that she hears him speak about the issues “sometimes.” But as a man running after the White House, shouldn’t he be talking about the issues all the time? Shouldn’t our desire to put him in office be about his power to convince us how exactly he is going to change things and not how he can describe what change looks like? Interestingly enough, thinking like my friend’s is not rare. I have not heard enough people say they were in love with Obama’s stance on healthcare, economic policy, war, race and gender issues, etc. Everyone is just so enamored at his ability to blow minds with acceptance speeches. Should we not require more from the next leader of the relatively free world? I just want people to consider more than what they are seeing now. Spend a moment being wrapped up in his issues and really thinking about how they will affect you. The same Economist article points out a few interesting things about Mr Obama:

His voting record in the Senate is one of the most left-wing of any Democrat–within the same breath the writer points out that his policy for dealing with Iraq is a bit too idealistic suggesting that Obama would pull out of Iraq quickly, convene a peace conference, invite the Iranians and the Syrians and hope for the best.

His economic plans are more thought out but he often relies on telling people they deserve more money and more opportunities without considering that budgets do not magically cut themselves.

He has never run any public body of any note and that is a risk.

As always I must provide a disclaimer for my Obama-speak so that you know that I am not anti-Obama and pro-Hillary. At the end of the day, I just want the candidates to work really hard at proving their worth to me. The election is more than a popularity contest, more than an opportunity to see who can siphon the most money out of John Q. Public in 24-hours, more than a showcase of great orators. It truly is about change, but even change must change itself to stay relevant.

February 5, 2008

A Public Service Announcement

Filed under: 2008 Election,randomness,recent news — nickisym @ 3:24 pm
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In election season there are many slogans passed around to get people to understand the necessity of voting. “Vote or Die,” “Rock the Vote,” “Vote Now,” etc. On top of all these slogans we have what seems like idol worship of the candidates. From the hope-filled campaign of Barack Obama to the Lemmings off a cliff campaign of Ron Paul, all our eyes have seen in the past few months—to me—has mirrored the people of Israel creating the golden calf that they could worship instead of worshiping God. They are hoping that Obama can solve our financial problems, Hillary can make healthcare more affordable, Romney can ban gay marriage across the land and McCain can increase borders. But how much does all of this matter compared to the awesome power of God all by himself?

Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong advocate for democracy but I feel as though we are losing it to worshiping the process too much and forgetting about the God behind every government official. Speaking of which, if some of our candidates are so serious about God why don’t they spend the time telling the public that they pray for God’s will and not for them to be in office. Pride comes before the fall but the humble will be exalted. Does anyone realize that regardless of whether we get a Democrat or Republican in office, God is going to still be God and he is still going to supply our every need? We don’t need Obama, we want him because he could be the first black president and he’ll allow minorities to be smug that—in the words of the illustrious Will Farrell—”That Just Happened.” We don’t need Hillary, but we want her for the same reason on the opposite side of the spectrum, to prove that we have advanced so much in our still extremely jacked up thinking that we elected a woman to be president. And lest you think I am an angry Republican, we don’t need McCain because we just don’t need an old man running things and we don’t need Romney because the world is scared of Mormons—personally this doesn’t bother me.

Fact is, it has nothing to do with any of the candidates and their ability to “Lead on Day One.” It’s about the fact that we are all so far gone that we are telling ourselves that one candidate over another is going to make our lives better—and let’s not forget that we get doubly happy if they say they believe in God. I have no insight on any of the candidate’s personal lives further than what the media tells me but I will go on the record as stating that some candidates do go through training to learn how to speak Christianese.

(more…)

July 12, 2007

How Shall I Vote? Let Me Count the Ways

It is no surprise to me that this election season, faith is playing a big role. It’s as predictable as the separation of church and state. How do we figure that the separation of church and state is really being enforced when on any given Sunday across the US, politicians can roam into a sanctuary under the guise that they were “just in the area,” grab the microphone and do a little public service announce about something that just happens to be relevant to the campaign. And to throw more salt in the wound, the most gangster candidates will have the audacity to leave before the sermon starts (I’ve seen it happens countless times)–how they figure that shines favorable upon a naturally judgemental congregation, I have no idea.

So now the big question is, how is religion going to affect the vote for the 2008 election and how should the candidates go about letting the voters know their religious beliefs? According to a random poll mentioned in a NY Times Politics piece candidates are just encouraged to show up at churches regardless of their intentions. I don’t believe this is a good strategy but it has long been the politicians staple on the campaign trail to kiss a couple of babies and show up at a church or two.

So as a Christian do I feel like the faith of a candidate is going to impact my vote? I am almost sad to say that it isn’t going to be the a huge determining factor. Truth be told there are too many candidates that exist and who ran in years past that profess one thing and do the exact opposite when they land in office. It’s like so-called Christians who loudly proclaim that Jesus is the love of their life but don’t conduct themselves as such.

Given that, I don’t think I will be voting or not voting for someone based on their Christianity or lack thereof. It’s even harder to fathom considering most of these candidates based on their faith–with the exception of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney–because they are all recieving media training on how to God-speak to voters. So why, knowing all of this–that you’re being fed lies by a bunch of well-trained yuppies–would anyone bother to make faith the basis of the vote when the faith is not genuine, it’s just a means to an end.

It is clear that once again it brings us back to the chief-cornerstone, that solid rock upon which we stand, and the only person that can help any of us make a good decision about who we vote for, Christ. I think the media coaches and candidates might want to take some time to talk to Him too.

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