I received an email a few days back from an acquaintance. It was a forward, of course, of a message that had gone out to “reassure evangelical Christians” about recent endorsements from well-known figures within our faith community for Donald Trump. The theme, repeated over and over again, was that God is opening the door for us to hire a thug.
No, the word “thug” was never used. That would be too startling and upsetting. No, this is a direct quote:
Maybe God is trying to tell us something important- that now is not the time for a “nice Christian guy” or a “gentleman” or a typical Republican powder puff. Maybe now is the time for a natural born killer, a ruthless fighter, a warrior.
And some of you who are reading this might agree. That’s your choice.
I’ve heard all of the arguments in favor of the position taken in this recent email, including those “supported” by the Bible. I find it disquieting that none of that comes within the perspective of John 3:16.
I suppose all I’m saying here is that we live in a country where we have a lot of freedom, including that of voting for anyone we choose. Exercise that freedom.
I would also ask that you exercise that freedom in what you communicate. Please don’t dress up a thug in his Sunday suit and try to pass him off as God’s answer. Don’t pretend he’s representing our values when every other statement he makes screams otherwise.
Your choice this election year is a challenge. Vote. Support whichever candidate you believe will be the best President. But don’t use God as an excuse for your choices.
Pain can rob us of movement. Pain can convince us that we must remain where we are — curled in a position that only temporarily dulls the sharp attacks. Yet when we move because others need us, the pain melts away. Pain? Find someone who needs you and move. — Joey Cope
As we walk our daily path, we see others — some strangers and some dear friends — who make choices that make no sense. How would our lives and relationships be changed if we first asked “What more do I need to know to better understand?” – Joey Cope
Precious anxiety. Occasionally, we run so hard from the unknown that we leave the tried, the treasured, and the trustworthy we know behind. We have developed a precious anxiety that steals our lives. Linger a while. If you must run, run toward what you know brings good to you and others. – Joey Cope
There is a moment almost every day when I pause. Calm is about me. My mind is clear. And then, suddenly, but not without warning, I am pushed into the busy current of life and I see so much rushing by. Most often my urge to join that stream of action propels me forward in my life’s plan. But sometimes, whether from panic or a realization of how little energy reserve is available, I’m simply pulled out and away, another victim of a rip tide.
I know full well what I should do. Not unlike the strategies of a swimmer facing the strong fingers of an ocean’s rip tide, I should keep my head, check my bearings, and move in parallel with the path of intention I was suddenly snatched from. At some point, I will leave the influence of those things rushing by and be able to focus on where I should be and what I should be doing.
Too often these emotional and practical rip tides of the soul tear us away from what we know and what nurtures us in such a violent way that we lose hope of ever finding our way back. When those times come, when we feel ourselves pulled into the boiling sea of worry, anxiety, and busyness, we should take a momentary detour to realign ourselves with the shoreline where we can stand and navigate freely.
And, when our personal will and resolve are spent, we should take the hands of those who reach out to pull us to safety . . . if, for no other reason, to deepen our opportunity to be the one reaching out tomorrow.