Nov 2016

Divided and Disgusted

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America’s political scene has never been this divided, nor have so many people been completely disgusted with the whole process. As I travel people ask in amazement about how America’s politics works. It seems incomprehensible — even to Americans these days. My Singaporean friends say that they look for competence in their leaders and America looks for celebrity. I can’t deny that.

This blog is not a political harangue to promote one party or another, but it’s to ask our B4B readers to pray.

As I’ve worked, lived and traveled around the world I’ve seen that America is both loved and hated. Sometimes it has been a good thing to be an American, but sometimes it hasn’t. And frankly, the last few years it has mostly not been a good thing at all. America is the place and culture people love to hate. We are often arrogant and believe we have the answers even before we know what the questions are. I admit that. But America does fulfill a role in the world that other countries don’t.

We were not founded on a people group or geography, but on a principle. The principle that people are given rights by God, not by government authority. The Declaration of Independence says:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

That’s not a principle that is seen in too many places today: that God is the foundation of our rights, not a government. Even in America we seem to believe that our rights come from the government, rather than our creator. And so we approach next Tuesday’s election divided and disgusted.

What will happen? Not only, who will win, but what happens next. Will we have chaos? Violence? Will the stock market rise or fall? Will we actually be able to seat the new president? All those questions make many American’s very nervous. As I talk to people in different countries, I hear a common refrain…we are praying for America… and its so very encouraging to know that our brothers and sisters are standing with us, before God, for this nation.

B4B isn’t a political organization. We are not a non-profit. We are a for-profit company dedicated to bringing biblical principles to the world of business. We purposely set up B4B as a for-profit business so that we could have the benefits of that structure. It does mean that in order to remain viable we earn money through selling products and services, not through tax-deductible donations. But it allows us a voice that has been silenced in many places.

In America our churches and Christian organizations are hobbled by the rules of non-profit tax-deductible status. In 1954, as a senator, Lyndon Banes Johnson (who became president upon the assassination of John Kennedy) changed the tax law for 501c3 tax-exempt organizations:

The Johnson Amendment was passed by Congress as an amendment to section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code… stating entities that are exempt from federal income tax cannot “Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.”

So a pastor can urge his congregation to vote, but cannot take a political stand on one candidate or another. This tax code has been broadened to make it difficult to even take a stand on politically fraught moral issues. We have silenced Christian leadership when we need them most.

But we know that God holds the power over the king. He has used ungodly rulers to work His purposes many times in our world. We are told to pray for those in authority over us. So I ask you, dear friends of B4B, please continue to pray for America at this uncertain time. We know that God is sovereign, but unlike many of you, we Americans believe somehow that we deserve to live in a Godly place that “holds these truths to be self-evident…” That’s not promised to any of us. We don’t know what God has in store for America, but we cannot afford to be complacent and not pray for His will to be done.

I’m grateful for brothers and sisters around the world who are praying for America during these difficult days. You are truly showing the Love of the Body of Christ.

Blessings on you…and thanks for continuing to pray.

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