Author archives: Unix Diza

The Day After November 8th

by Unix Diza

November 9, 2016

With over 590 days passed since Ted Cruz became the first person to announce his candidacy for president, this election cycle is finally over. Many news articles, headlines, and Facebook posts in the months leading up to the election revealed the deep disunity within our nation and the discouragement that was felt by many voters. Regardless of whatever our first reaction may be to the outcome of November 8th, we must go into the day after the election with a proper foundation.

Where do we find our hope? Our hope is ultimately found in Jesus Christ, and to place our faith in anything else is to stand on an unstable foundation. Scripture reminds us over and over again of the sovereignty of God. Daniel 2:21 says, “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” From this verse, we can know that whoever is president was established by God. It is in this high view of God that we should root ourselves. Furthermore, the peace and security that the Gospel provides us should be treasured in our hearts and at the forefront of our minds on a daily basis. Admittedly, this is all easier said than done and is something that we must remind ourselves of constantly. Our default position should be to fix our eyes on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of faith,” as Hebrews 12:2 says.

Of course, this biblical bedrock does not exempt us from our civic duty as citizens. God’s sovereignty and human responsibility are two parallel truths. Our theology will not excuse us from our responsibility of being involved in the affairs of our nation, but should actually do the opposite. Our faith should inform our outlook on every sphere of life. We must always be cognizant of God’s sovereignty while at the same time being obedient by engaging the culture for Christ. We are to be in the world but not of it.

So how do we move forward after November 8th? The bottom line is that Christians must seek to influence and shape culture from the various vocations to which God has called us.

The doctrine of vocation simply recognizes that, “God has chosen to work through human beings, who, in their different capacities and according to their different talents, serve each other,” as Gene Edward Veith Jr. writes in his book God at Work. In a later chapter, Veith writes that, “Our vocation is not something we choose for ourselves. It is something to which we are called.” Consequently, every Christian is critical to the future of our nation because we each have unique talents and abilities that were given to us by God.

Moreover, in a democratic republic that is of the people, by the people, and for the people, we must remember that government is a reflection of the culture. As Henry Adams wrote in his book Democracy, “No representative government can long be much better or much worse than the society it represents.” In light of that, as believers, we must seek to wholeheartedly engage culture in and from whatever vocation God has called us to. Martin Luther King Jr. said it well: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” We must all strive to daily live out our vocations in life with excellence unto the glory of God.

The manner in which Christians should engage culture is a topic that the church has debated for centuries. Thankfully, there have been examples of Christian engagement in culture that we can look to for guidance on how to transform the situation we find ourselves in today.

In A letter to Diognetus, the writer describes Christians living during the 2nd century: “They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country.” This particular description of Christians who lived over 1,800 years ago displays the sweet paradox of the Christian life. Can what was said of Christians in the 2nd century be said of us today?

A little further along the timeline of history we come across the life of an individual who epitomizes Christian engagement in the culture—William Wilberforce. Perhaps best known for being the leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade in England, Wilberforce also made some insightful statements regarding Christians living out their faith in the public sphere:

  • Surely the principles of Christianity lead to action as well as meditation.”
  • I would suggest that faith is everyone’s business. The advance or decline of faith is so intimately connected to the welfare of a society that it should be of particular interest to a politician.”
  • My walk is a public one. My business is in the world, and I must mix in the assemblies of men or quit the post which Providence seems to have assigned me.”

In conclusion, we must remember that on this day there are winners and there are losers. In the races that we won, we need to acknowledge victory with compassion. In the races that we lost, we need to accept defeat graciously. We must enter November 9th with the firm resolve that God is sovereign and He has given each of us a role to play in continuing the fight for faith, family, and freedom.

Your Vote Counts!

by Unix Diza

October 26, 2016

Should I vote during this election?” “Does my vote even count?” Those are some of the questions that you might be asking yourself as November 8th gets closer and closer. I would say “yes” to both questions. You should vote during this election. Your vote does count. Of course, the next logical question is, who do I vote for? To answer this question, many arguments could be made and the potential for disagreement is high. However, that does not detract from the point that voting this election is something that all Christians in the United States should take seriously. To lay a foundation for why you should vote during this election, we will take a look at statesmen, statistics, the Supreme Court, and Scripture.

With the recent success of the Broadway musical Hamilton, there has been a renewed interest in the life of Alexander Hamilton, the United States’ first Secretary of the Treasury and signer of the U.S. Constitution. As one of our Founding Fathers, we should strongly consider what he has to say about voting. He said, “A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the estimation of the law.” Samuel Adams, Founding Father and cousin of John Adams, said, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual—or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Hamilton and Adams, as did many of the Founding Fathers, recognized the importance of voting and being involved in the political sphere.

So how have we, as evangelical Christians, done in our stewardship of the privilege of voting? The answer frankly is we have done a poor job. Statistics from the 2012 general election tell us that there were around 90 million Christians of voting age in the United States. Of those 90 million Christians, only 77 million Christians were registered to vote. Of those 77 million, only 51 million voted in the election. That means there were about 39 million eligible Christian voters who were either not registered or just decided not to vote. Breaking down the 39 million, we know that approximately 13 million Christians were not registered and 26 million decided not to go to the polls. The importance of these statistics is made particularly clear, for example, when we know that Mitt Romney lost the popular vote to Barack Obama by a margin of just 3,476,755 votes.

Yet all of our focus should not just be centered on the presidential race. We should remember the critical state and local elections that will be taking place this November. It is perhaps at the state and local level that one person’s vote counts all the more. For example, in the 2013 New Jersey General Assembly District 2 election, the race was decided by a margin of just 40 votes. The 2014 Arizona Second Congressional District election was decided by only 179 votes. In what has been such a polarizing presidential election, people often forget that there are other important races. The executive branch is just one-third of our government. Elections this November, for example, will decide who will be in control of the Senate going forward. The involvement of people of faith who will choose to vote their values in these races, especially the battleground states like Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, will probably be a big factor regardless of whether we have a red or blue White House in January.

Another factor to consider this upcoming election is the vacancy in the Supreme Court left open by the recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. It is worth noting that our next president will potentially appoint not just one, but possibly as many as four justices to the Supreme Court. Since 1970, the average Supreme Court Justice has served for about 25 years. In light of this, the new president’s appointments will have lasting effects that will endure well beyond their four-year term. It is also worth noting that not only does our next president have power to appoint new Supreme Court justices, but he or she will have the power to potentially appoint judges to any of our nation’s 94 federal district courts and 13 courts of appeals.

The importance of the Supreme Court is further highlighted by its recent decisions that were split 5-4. There are times when a 5-4 vote has gone down in our favor, such as the decision to uphold religious liberty in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Yet we are also particularly cognizant of the times when an unfavorable split decision was rendered, such as the recent Obergefell v. Hodges case that gave us court-created same-sex marriage. With the court currently at eight seats, whoever will be the ninth Justice will play a crucial role in future cases that go before our nation’s highest court.

Your vote counts. It is as simple as that. We cannot afford to stay home this upcoming election. In Mark 12:17, Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” The general principle we can take away from this verse is that Christians are to be in the world but not of it. We know that God is sovereign and in control of everything. He is our ultimate authority and deserves our utmost allegiance. Since living under a democratic government is a blessing from God, we have been given an incredible stewardship that is not given to everyone. That means that if we have the opportunity to vote, we should vote. Vote your values. Exercise your right and privilege in this country to vote and do not forget to vote all the way down the ballot. There is much at stake this election, so this November 8th be sure to get out and vote. If you have not registered yet, visit FRCAction.org to get helpful tools on registering to vote, important deadlines, voter guides, and more. Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for voting for faith, family, and freedom.

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Record High 245 Members of Congress Score 100 percent on FRC Action's New Scorecard
by FRC Action (Jan. 30, 2018)

Family Research Council (FRC) Action released its scorecard today for the First Session of the 115th Congress. A record number -- 245 Members of Congress -- scored a perfect 100 percent for ...

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