Monday, May 21, 2012
As Christians, we worship the God Who created humanity and who loves all of us. We believe that He has a good plan for every person, and a great plan for the ultimate redemption of all creation. Things in life can get pretty messed up at times because we live in a sinful, imperfect world and we know that not everything that happens is God's will.
And so God gave us the Bible as our guide for life. The Bible, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is how we navigate this life and prepare for eternity. The Bible is filled with life principles, but also has some rules. There are some things that are flat our right and wrong.
Because of those rules (and usually because of how Christians mis-represent them), society often thinks God is the "anti-God". God is against everything. People think He is anti-alcohol, anti-women, anti-sex, anti-birth control, anti-science, anti-homosexual, and anti-fun. In other words, God is anti-everything good and fun.
The reasoning goes that if God were good, He wouldn't be against everything. He would let people do whatever makes them happy, as long as nobody gets hurt. Live and let live is God's motto because He loves everyone.
But the truth is this: God is not the anti-God. At the same time, BECAUSE He loves everyone He cannot let us do whatever we want. Jesus made it clear that there are some things He is against.
He is anti-oppression. Anti-greed. Anti-empty religion. Anti-casual sex. Anti-hate. Anti-favoritism. Anti-wickedness. He is against those things because it's not loving to say "live and let live, as long as you don't hurt anyone". He has standards that He has put in place BECAUSE He loves us.
Jesus is against those things because He is pro-you. And pro-me. And pro-everyone on earth. He is pro-humanity! He even said in John 10:10 that He came to give us abundant, meaningful, fulfilling life. God is for us and wants what's best for us. Like any good, kind, and loving father, our Heavenly Father gives us rules for our good so that we know how we should live. Sin always has a "gotcha". Nobody can disobey God and get off scot-free.
So yes, God has rules. But not because He is the anti-God. He has rules because He is pro-YOU. And when you live life the way God says in the Bible you should, then you'll experience the life that is truly life.
What do you think about the idea that God gives rules BECAUSE He loves you and wants you to live a good life?
Sunday, May 13, 2012
* Disclaimer: this post is my personal opinion and does not represent the views of any organization with which I am affiliated or am known to have a connection with. Also, this was totally unsolicited by the candidate whom I endorse. Thanks for understanding that. *
Politics is such a polarizing thing, but it's also such an important thing. Our great nation was founded on among other things, the right to have your voice be heard through fair elections.
It's no secret that I'm very passionate about politics, yet I try to stay away from voicing my political opinions online because it can be so divisive. Usually to support one candidate is to make a bunch of people mad at you because they support the opponent. And the higher up the political office, the worse it gets.
Yet in this post, I want to publicly endorse a local candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 1 here in El Paso, Texas. The reason I want to do that is because this is someone I truly believe in. This person deeply cares about our community and has a track record to prove it. This person has previous political experience but is not a crony of the political establishment here. I do not believe this person has been corrupted like many other politicians here in town. I honestly believe this person has no ulterior motives except to do what's best for El Paso.
I first saw this person in action when I was in college and had been given an assignment for one of my classes to write a paper on local politics. I went to a board meeting for my school board and I paid special attention to how this person governed because this person was my district representative. I was pleasantly amazed and grateful that this person didn't just go with the flow, but raised some good questions and started some good discussion, all of which centered around doing what was best for their constituents.
Years later, after this person was no longer on the school board, I was thankful again when as a part of the local public corruption scandal it was discovered that several other board members at that time had been bribed and were part of the corruption scandal.
The candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 1 whom I publicly endorse is Liza Montelongo. The El Paso Times recently endorsed her candidacy by writing "During her tenure on the Ysleta school board, she showed a propensity for asking difficult questions. She stood her ground, even in the face of withering criticism of fellow board members. Montelongo summarizes her pledge to voters simply: 'that the county's job is to deliver cost-effective, efficient and friendly services to all of El Paso.' We believe Montelongo can deliver on that promise."
Liza's challengers are a Mr. Romo and former El Paso Police Chief Carlos Leon. I don't know anything about Mr. Romo and I do know that Chief Leon is an honorable man and would be a good Commissioner - yet I still believe that Liza Montelongo is the best choice for County Commissioner Precinct 1. I made a donation to her campaign early on and I wish I could have been more actively involved in her campaign, but unfortunately my schedule has prevented me from doing that.
Yet I hope you will learn more about her at at www.LizaMontelongo.com, I hope you will consider making a donation to her candidacy, and most of all, I hope you will trust her with you vote.
Early voting in El Paso begins tomorrow, and election day is May 29. Find more information here: http://www.epcounty.com/elections/.