My Presidential Wish List

Election season, 2016 has begun. A couple of candidates have now officially thrown their hat in the ring and we are officially off and running. It makes me think, what do I want in a candidate? What kind of a person would I vote for?

I want to vote for someone with morality. Someone who knows the difference between right and wrong and lives it both in public and in private. I don’t want to vote for someone whose ethics are being shaped by the pursuit of votes or by the whims of public opinion. I want them to have a concept of right living that is guided by a higher standard than current trends.

I wouldn’t vote for someone who is obviously going to further divide the country. Of course, it’s hard to tell who that will be. The current president spoke a good game of creating unity, but he apparently expected everyone to come to his viewpoint in order to experience that cohesiveness. I don’t want to vote for an idealist who cannot compromise without feeling he has corrupted his own perfect plans.

I want to vote for someone who patriotically loves this country. Someone who sees the founding documents as important and worth honoring. Someone who will not ignore the rest of the world, but will never prioritize world issues above the needs of our own citizenry. I want to vote for someone who understands US Government, not for the purpose of working around the limits and balance of power, but who will work to guarantee these boundaries as a safeguard for our future freedoms.

I don’t want to vote for someone with no track record or business experience. It seems to me that the oval office is one of those jobs that is too important to take a ‘learn as you go’ approach. I don’t want to try and figure out their skills purely from their speaking ability. I don’t really want to vote for a career politician, but would prefer a person who has chosen to serve for a time based on what they have to offer. Career politicians remain in the mix by protecting themselves, while public servants feel a freedom to do what is right without concern for how it affects their careers.

I want to vote for someone who can understand the economic world we live in and still create jobs in this country. Some jobs are being created but by eliminating manufacturing we have limited ourselves to job creation in service industries and entrepreneurship. In other words, the jobs we currently create are only for the best educated and qualified or are so low paying they cannot support the workers life needs. The jobs which form the historic middle class have been either priced out, or regulated out, of this country.

This is not a complete list. I will think of other qualifications as I give it more time. Unfortunately I already have doubts that my list will be met by any candidate, and even more doubts that if they are, the media will find these details important enough to report upon.





Denominationalism can be a tricky topic. For some people it is a contest, who is best? For others it is a proof, if God existed wouldn’t He cause His people to agree on everything? For other people it is simply a point of confusion, why can’t we all just get along?

I believe these questions all miss the point. They take the realities of human nature and pretend it should fit their preferences. In my examples the preferences expressed in the question were competition, anarchy and homogeneity. But none of these reflect the nature of all of humanity at any moment.

I think of denominations rather simply. It is a group of churches of like faith and order that choose to cooperate together for the purpose of missions or other mutual causes. Denominations can be large or small. They can be governed any number of ways. And they can be good or bad.

A number of things can make a denomination bad. I believe if it has a single autocratic leader, its already bad. If you don’t understand why, just wait until the day you have a bad person in the position. Bad doctrine will certainly make a denomination bad. Lead people astray and you will pay a high price. Bad organization will make a bad denomination. Good intentions require good structure and great follow through. I am sure the list could go on.

But in regards to all these different denominations, let me make a few observations. If you think they are all fighting with one another, get over it. Yes, you can find people who are that way. You can even find entire denominations that are that way. But an honest accounting would come to the conclusion they are few. And except on those larger issues, you will find they are mostly limited to young or young at heart believers.

What about those larger issues though. Honestly, some issues are worth confronting. Not by fisticuffs, not by shouting matches, but by reasonable conversation. Remember I said bad doctrine could lead people astray? If astray means sending them to hell we really should try to intervene within appropriate limits. (Yes, I am saying not everyone who calls themselves a Christian will be recognized as such by God.) This world acts as if addressing their spiritual falsehoods is the greatest rudeness. I would think letting people walk into eternal hellfire without a word of warning was much ruder.

This by the way is the answer to the other objections. God allows us our differences of opinions. Removing them would be equivalent to removing our freedom, and therefore our humanity. He makes Himself available by the Word and Holy Spirit, by nature and prayer. So Christians seek Him and they don’t all have the same personalities, preferences or experiences. So even with the same revelations, they come to different conclusions. God is willing to live with that, so we should be too.

For believers this means they have a point of responsibility. When one believes Jesus is God’s Son and the Second Person of the Trinity you would rather fellowship with others who believe and teach the same. The same truth applies to a bunch of other doctrinal points. At some level you begin to say a doctrine is minor enough that it is not an essential test of fellowship. But to decide that no point of doctrine is important enough to break fellowship, is equivalent to saying you will not stand up for God in any way.


Presidential Cooperation

This past week, President Obama addressed the UN General Assembly. He spoke to several issues hoping make the world a better place. Notable among them was his plans for the world to come together and battle terrorism. Among his suggestions were guidelines to interrupt the flow of money to support terrorism. Specifically a plan to prevent citizens from one part of the world, funding subversive organizations in other parts.

On one front it looks like a great idea for our president to cooperate with the rest of the world. We like that he is showing leadership. But on the home front, I wonder why it is he has chosen to place blame on his opponents rather than to extend an olive branch of compromise? He has preferred to save his spirit of cooperation for the international scene.

The idea of laws being instituted over our country by the international community bothers me. Specifically as a Christian, who supports missionary work all around the world, I am concerned. You see the definition of terrorism is different from place to place, and miscommunication can be disastrous. On a side note, this is why a group like ISIS can think it is a good idea to publicly behead American citizens. They think they are saying to America, “Stay away from us.” They don’t know what we hear then saying is, “We need to be wiped off the face of the earth.” Miscommunication can be pretty extreme indeed.

In the future it seems very probable some locations will define the work of missionaries as terrorism. At that point, will every mission minded church in America be deemed guilty of supporting terrorist organizations or activities?