What Others Say

Thank you for writing the article in Saturday's edition of New Castle News. It was very good and very interesting. You bring it all to light, making everything very simple and easy to understand. - Kathy L. - New Castle, Pennsylvania

Monday, December 30, 2019

Keeping Our Focus in 2020


We will soon turn the page to 2020.  It seems like such a perfect number, so much better than 2019, an odd number that always seemed to fall just a little short. 2020 rings with the hope of perfect vision and a perfect year. 

But we already know 2020 will have its challenges.  It is likely to open with a Presidential impeachment trial in the Senate and conclude with a bitter political battle for another Presidential term.  2020 will not be easy. It certainly will not be perfect, but it can be better.

Evangelicals seem to be in the forefront of the early political discussions.  I have considered myself an Evangelical since my youth.  When I was a young pastor in Texas I considered myself Evangelical because I was evangelistic.  I wanted to introduce others to faith in Jesus Christ.  When I moved to Minnesota in the 1990s I discovered that Evangelicals include a broad swath of denominations interconnected through a movement largely defined by Billy Graham whose offices were in Minneapolis. (“That’s all the address you need.”)  I admired Mr. Graham then and still do.

In 1956 Billy Graham launched Christianity Today as the flagship publication for Evangelicals.  Recently Mark Galli, the current editor, rattled the Evangelical world with his editorial calling for President Trump’s removal from office.  He wrote, “The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.”

In response to the firestorm that followed, Timothy Dalrymple, Christianity Today’s president wrote, “The problem is not that we as evangelicals are associated with the Trump administration’s judicial appointments or its advocacy of life, family, and religious liberty. We are happy to celebrate the positive things the administration has accomplished. The problem is that we as evangelicals are also associated with President Trump’s rampant immorality, greed, and corruption; his divisiveness and race-baiting; his cruelty and hostility to immigrants and refugees; and more. In other words, the problem is the wholeheartedness of the embrace.”

I remember when Billy Graham endorsed Richard Nixon in 1972.  He had never endorsed a political candidate before. After Watergate he vowed he would never endorse a candidate again. In 2011 Graham said, “Looking back, I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now.” “I… would have steered clear of politics.”

As we enter 2020, we can only have a clear vision for our actions within our families, our businesses our churches and the world by keeping our focus on Jesus and the conduct he demonstrated.  That conduct is best explained in the Sermon On the Mount and 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things. Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:4-8).

A New Year's Gift: Download Bill Tinsley's Civil War Novel, Bold Springs, Free eBook.  Available January 1-5, 2020.  Click the image to the right.

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