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For the Lord’s Day

This time, as a people, is America’s soul required of us?

What is the first thing the Bible tells us about God? “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  According to the Scripture, our primordial perception of God is as the Creator of all that we survey.

What is the primordial principle of justice, according to the America’s Declaration of Independence?  It is the self-evident truth “that all men are created…”.  We habitually move right along to the next word (equal), so that we can pretend that equality is the first principle of justice articulated in the Declaration.  But in fact, as I’ve often said in my speeches, to get to equality you must first go through the Creator.

As a matter of empirical fact, all human beings are provably unequal.  Some are stronger, some weaker; some are more, some less intelligent;  some are swifter, more coordinated, more or less prone to physical courage, and so on.  Based on our experience of the material facts of our humanity, almost nothing seems further from the truth than the notion that we are all,  in any important respect, equal.

But just as disparity in the relative size of objects dwindles when they are seen from a great height, so the inequalities among men dwindle to insignificance when considered from the boundless perspective of God.  We often cast this in terms of our mortality, of course.  After a time all the material advantages one person appears to have over another end up quite literally as dust in the wind.  But in the meantime the better endowed can comfort themselves with the thought (not really true, course) that their material advantages give them better prospects of postponing the dusty end of life’s journey for as long as possible.

If human perception were simply a matter of time, that thought would be comfort enough.  But there is a subjective quality to our perception of ourselves that leads us to value the moments of our lives in terms of the happiness they bring, and in this sense a longer time is not necessarily a better one.  The rich and powerful person’s limousine pauses for a traffic light.  In the park nearby, a father pushes his child on a swing.  In that moment the limousine’s passenger feels the loss of simple joy occasioned by the incessant demands involved in preserving his wealth and power.

In the parable (Luke 12:16-21) Jesus recounts the satisfaction of the rich man as he tolls off the outward provisions that secure his wealth and power.  But with one thought- the thought of what his soul requires- our positive perception of his satisfaction is stripped away. Man hungers for power after power because no matter how much he attains the boundless contentment of the universe stands before him, mocking his little moment of satisfaction in anything he has achieved.

Just as a father or mother, may feel in that moment of mockery the price they have paid in terms of the joys of what should have been their loving relationships, so anyone may in a moment be brought to feel the cost of their ambition, in terms of what should have been their relationships with other human beings.  They encounter a sense within themselves that defies the boundaries and conditions that define the perishable vessels which contain the material remains of their ambition.  Reaching beyond those little boundaries, it brings home to them the real importance of the subjective joys they have dismissed by their neglect, and the subjective pain their obsession with material objects has inflicted upon others.  The emptiness of the time thus wasted floods their consciousness, filling them with apprehension as they realize that there is no time to make up for all that they have lost.

“Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:20-21)

I received an email this week exhorting me to vote for Mitt Romney because “we’re electing a President not a pastor.”   But what if, as a people, our night has come? What if, in the crisis of our time it is not our worldly power and wealth that is being weighed in the balance, but what God requires of our soul?  We claimed our liberty from the authority of God. We claimed our power, prosperity and strength as the blessings of liberty.  But in recent times we have utterly surrendered those blessings to be governed by people  who are “lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”  (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

People blinded by partisanship may wish to pretend that these words only apply to “the other side”.  But the telling fact is that if we consider the major Parties as wings of a single faction, that faction, taken as a whole, displays every trait mentioned in the Scripture.  Is it any wonder that in the past ten years we have witnessed the precipitous decline of America’s material strength in every respect. We can debate which generation in the course of our nation’s history deserves to be called the greatest.  But honesty demands that at the least we plead “nolo contendere” to the charge that the leaders that have wantonly squandered our nation’s moral and material treasure over the past decade represent, by far, the worst generation in our history.

And this is the first generation in which the power of the Creator God has been formally disparaged, rejected and treated as of no account in our laws and public policies.  In light of this, the real choice we face in the 2012 election is not the insulting, obsessively materialistic sham (It’s the economy, stupid!) insisted upon by the two wings of the elitist faction.  The real choice is the one God offers to each of us, about the way we live and the way we use the voice and vote we have claimed from his authority.  Tragically, Barack Obama and the Democrats represent the all but formal  abandonment of our God-acknowledging principles, and Mitt Romney represents nothing but formal respect for them.  Together they offer a choice  “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”

How then can we vote in a way that acknowledges and relies upon the power of God and his judgment, as America’s founders did in the Declaration of Independence?  We can do so by casting a vote that represents our determination to reject the false choice we are offered; a vote by which we commit ourselves to the movement that insists upon a return to God’s authority as the premise of our constitution, our laws and our politics; and a vote that courageously displays our faithful determination to demand that this premise it be respected, in public spirit, word and action.

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  • vr October 17, 2012, 2:39 am

    Dr. Keyes… Your words are proven true every time we hear the candidates speak…During the second debate Barrack Obama issued a direct and accurate challenge to Romney on social issues: “In my health care bill, I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured… Governor Romney not only opposed it; he suggested that in fact, employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage…” Obama also voiced his opposition to Romney’s promise to defund Planned Parenthood. Romney was not given the opportunity to retort. (Was this to signal there is really no difference between the two individuals’ viewpoints, or is “severely conservative” Romney not allowed to speak?) Romney, ever averse to being taken seriously at his word to the Republican base, immediately clarified that he is firmly on both sides of the issue. “I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not (said to the base). I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not (said to the left). Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives (said to all).” Of course, the issue isn’t whether any official or employer can tell a woman to use or not use contraceptives, but Romney’s verbal gymnastics help to muddy the waters and lead astray the inattentive. Perhaps the word choice is the deliberate obfuscation that lends itself to “clearer” (but still mutable) interpretation later. “Well, I was just assuring women I would defend their right to always have access to contraceptives,” or some such nonsense. Freudian slip Romney finished by saying: “The president’s statement of my policy is completely and totally wrong.” Magical Romney strikes again: Now you see the conscience clause, now you don’t…

  • Chennaicarpenters October 16, 2012, 6:06 am

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  • Doug October 16, 2012, 12:19 am

    The eternal battle of good verses evil. We are the fast approaching the end of the line. Politicians have given the illusion of an America full of freedoms. The reality is that progressives have choked the life blood out of our republic many years ago. A republic that was built on the concept of Natural Laws and that our rights, as humans made in His image, come from God almighty and not a centralized government. God help us. Thanks Dr. Keyes for your insight.

  • JA Wilson October 15, 2012, 2:09 pm

    EXCELLENT Dr. Keyes. I’m really enjoying the truth you are speaking in these For the Lord’s Day thoughts! “The real choice is the one God offers to each of us, about the way we live and the way we use the voice and vote we have claimed from his authority….Together they offer a choice “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” As you recommend, I will be “…casting a vote that represents our determination to reject the false choice we are offered; a vote by which we commit ourselves to the movement that insists upon a return to God’s authority as the premise of our constitution, our laws and our politics; and a vote that courageously displays our faithful determination to demand that this premise it be respected, in public spirit, word and action.”

  • Nori Coleman October 15, 2012, 11:04 am

    I have been saying the same thing and it seems to land on many deaf ears. I think the remnant is being called into place. As Catholics we say we believe in the visible and invisible but not many will look into the evil invisible forces at work. The Catholic Church is the New Israel but don’t even recognize their inheritance. People are afraid to put all of their trust in God and instead pander to the money changers and the false political regime in place. The Mormons( cult) and temple institute in Israel, the Muslims and all false prophits think they are the royal priesthood and are going to usher in the temple of the anti- Christ. Jesus as King Maranatha fellow Catholics wake up!

  • Tawny October 14, 2012, 11:16 pm

    Excellent, Mr. Keyes. There is a spiritual battle coming to a head and it is Good (God) vs Evil(devil). There is no more middle ground.

  • Linda Parks October 14, 2012, 8:18 pm

    Great article Alan , reposting the link to it on my FB wall page. You are always welcome to come join me as a friend on FB , anytime !
    Linda

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