The reason I like democracy is because it is the only self-balancing system of governance (that I know of) through which a society can become a positive expression of the goodness or badness which is found in the majority of people. We are coming out of a time of badness because enough people realised how horrific our choices had been, and we used our democratic right to change our minds… so we did… and now our societies will reflect what we have learned, now we will vote not for greed but for the good of people in general.
May I recommend that you take the time to read these posts. Democracy is only effective if the people doing the voting are informed about the dangers that exist if they DON’T vote wisely, and if they are aware of the issues that they are voting about. You need to be informed and you need to stay informed and also you need to inform the people around you – otherwise the social fabric is broken and democracy won’t work.
And if you are a Christian reading this, then your job is not only to be informed, but it is doubly important that you are active in raising people around you to take action on social issues and encouraging them to love, and to vote for bills and polls which match the command that Jesus Christ gave us… “And here is My command: love one another” (1st, 2nd)
Democracy – when it works – is simply an expression of what is in the hearts of active people. If the news media encourages fear, then the active people vote according to the fear in their hearts.
Passivity in people is as good as not voting. So it’s actually twice as hard for good to occur, because it’s “good versus passivity+negativty”. This is why we can never forget that “All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing“.
So here are the posts I’d like you to read and deeply consider your own thoughts about. We all have differing opinions on everything and that’s fine and great. What matters is that you come to your own conclusions…
Rick Warren to new U.S. Anglican Church: God loves all – “We are to love the people of the world no matter what they believe; we are to not love the value system of the world. And the problem today is lot of Christians are getting that reversed. They love the value system and hate the people,”
My thoughts… It is absolutely vital that we understand that God loves everyone, no matter what they think, do or believe in. God loves people. Christ died for people, He died even for the people who were crucifying Him, we know this because He compassionately said “Father forgive them”.
Proclaiming Christ’s Return – A Message by Billy Graham – Through the centuries men and women have been experimenting with their own social, national and international programs. They have been trying to bring about a righteousness that is not of God and, therefore, it is not obtainable… Today, when the church should be leading the way out of the darkness that covers the Earth, it is all too obvious that we are unable to do so because of our spiritual impotence and lack of knowledge. T
My thoughts… It is absolutely true that darkness covers the Earth. And the church is meant to be “first seek the righteousness of God” – and we know that Jesus Christ is the Righteousness of God. I am excited that we are coming to a time when the fullness of God’s “secret” (which is the cross of Jesus Christ, His perfect life, His death and His resurrection) will be revealed. It will be a time of very great change as everything adjusts to the spiritual impact of this change.
- The Real Lesson Of Iran — Beware America’s Republican Mullahs – if the Republican/Religious Right/Neoconservative agenda had come to full fruition over the last 35 years the Republicans would have plunged America into our own version of the misbegotten theocracy destroying Iran today. I know. As a former Religious Right leader I worked to make America “safe” for “Christian values” and dangerous to everyone else. Thankfully I, and those like me, failed.
My thoughts… This article is chilling in it’s message. Thankfully we averted this possible future. We are not out of the woods entirely yet, because much of the things introduced in those years have not been reversed as promised. Adding to that, the full extent of the evil done has not been uncovered and apologized for. The downside of this is that democracy is poorer and less effective. We need full disclosure if people are to realize what happened and what was averted. When people see the darkness, they recognize the light more easily.
Openness and darkness
Democracy is not a panacea. Implementing democracy doesn’t garuantee anything. The people who vote must have maturity, the ability to handle the messiness of real life, education and access to facts. In modern society with twitter and blogging, we certainly have access to facts and the ability to express ourselves. This is very good for maturity and that is good for democracy, because darkness will gradually be more and more exposed.
Permitting our past to hide in the dark disempowers democracy because people then cannot recognize what is light, because the contrast is hidden. Then they vote out of ignorance or emotions created by news networks, because they are poorly informed. Poor access to information on what the governments were doing was what enabled these evil acts to be done. Why should we encourage even more hiding and conceilment?
I suggest we pursue maturity and become used to openness. We all know wrong happened, let’s find out the details. It’s really not going to shock anyone, but it may bring healing and tolerance and understanding. But if we hide what happened… we know that unless these things come into the light, they fester and continue on. Future generations won’t have learned anything from these events and history could repeat itself.
For the sake of democracy we should have a global truth and reconciliation in each country, because openness can result in forgiveness and understanding, which then may lead to tolerance and social cohesion. But hiding the past away under a rug just cripples the maturity of the very people whose democratic vote can stop the next bout of madness. The Tories and the Republican Party can lead the way and forge for itself a completely new start with voters.
Simms, a longtime civil rights activist, recommended a formal process of racial reconciliation as South Africa underwent in the 1990s after the end of government-sanctioned segregation in that nation. “I would like to see us get over it,” he said. “But it’s not going to happen without the mechanical steps. They had a truth and reconciliation process that became a source of healing. We have to have truth and reconciliation in America. When that happens, we can all do better.” – desmoinesregister.com
And in the vein of openness I am delighted to be able to point to this page…
The Obameter: Tracking Obama’s Campaign Promises is a wonderful development, but I also feel it’s unfair to hold someone to promises made before he had the highest security clearance, and in what seems almost like a bye-gone era.
But my point still stands, even if we are heading into a time of light flooding the world, we must still deal with our sordid past.
Government vs democracy
I understand that the growth of technology has enabled governments to do more (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th). But this causes a terrible imbalance of power and breaks democracy, because openness has not been increased at the same rate that powerful people are able to become even more powerful. Previous governments collected power illegitimately and modern governments don’t want to give it up and let it go.
It is not an either-or situation. We must deal with our past and bring openness and forgiveness into our past – in order to save the future. Only light can combat darkness. Darkness cannot be used to combat darkness. We use light to combat darkness!
I have culled some superb scriptures from this bible study on Light.
Hiding in darkness
Job 24:13,15,17 (NIV) “There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths… The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk; he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’ and he keeps his face concealed… For all of them, deep darkness is their morning; they make friends with the terrors of darkness.”
Isa 29:15-16 (NIV) Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!… Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing?”
Isa 28:15 (NIV) You boast, “… for we have made a lie our refuge, and falsehood our hiding place.”
Ps 139:7,11-12 (NIV) Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me…” the night will shine like day….
Jer 23:24 (NIV) “Can anyone hide in the secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.
Jer 16:17 (NIV) “My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.”
John 3:19-21 (Phi) “This is the judgment: that light has entered the world, and men have preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil. Everybody who does wrong hates the light and keeps away from it, for fear his deeds may be exposed. But everybody who is living by the truth will come to the light to make it plain that all he has done has been done through God.”
Darkness revealed by Light
Mat 10:26-27 (NIV) “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops.”
Mark 4:22 (Jer) “For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light.”
Ps 90:8 (NIV) You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
Job 12:22 (NIV) He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.
Job 28:11 (NIV) [God] … brings hidden things to light.
Dan 2:22 (NIV) He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
1 Cor 4:5b (Phi) He will bring into the light of day all that at present is hidden in darkness, and he will expose the secret motives of men’s hearts.