I’m sharing with all of you Steve’s daily diary entry and here are the words I sent to Steve:
If every Christian, beginning and continuing with me, will allow the Holy Spirit to have your words penetrate to our bone marrow, our country can literally change over night. I ask your permission to republish this in its entirety on my blog “Salt and Light.” What I have awkwardly tried to say for the last 20 months you have so eloquently, glory to God, accomplished in one day.
May God use His mighty work through you to light the spark that brings our nation’s much needed Third Great Awakening.
Now for Steve’s poignant words:
I’ve contemplated this for several days now after reading and monitoring a lot of discussion about the Iowa political scene as of late. In many ways what you are about to read is something I know I should’ve done a while ago, but I just didn’t have the stones to do it . Self-assessment is not necessarily something any of us are all that enthusiastic about, and that definitely includes me. But after something I came across yesterday I just knew that now was the time.
Yesterday, one of my favorite blogs/bloggers had this to say about the much-balleyhooed battles within the Iowa GOP (which are mirroring what’s happening nation-wide):
While Krusty’s analysis, even if I don’t agree with all of it, is well-reasoned, the Nero-like comments from mostly anonymous readers are interesting fodder, and most of them simply bolster what I’ve been telling all of you for two years now.
I’ll say it again here: If you’re a Christian with a Biblical worldview who actually has convictions and isn’t for sale to the highest bidder, the Republican Party hates you, they laugh at you, and they loathe you. They want your votes and your money, but they want you to keep your mouths shut while they cash checks from nefarious donors who work both sides of the political street to pilfer and plunder the country-side (not to mention separate lonely old ladies from the retirement funds).
They’re fine putting your issues in the party platform, but if you actually expect someone to move on those issues once they’re in office as a majority, that big tent suddenly begins to shrink.
Yet despite all the times they’ve stabbed us in the back, or lied right to our faces, it’s been our tribe that has usually been the first to volunteer or vote for them. We’re either a loyal puppy dog who returns to its master after being kicked time and time again, or an abused wife who just can’t leave her husband, but whatever the rationale may be there would’ve never been a Republican Party majority anywhere in America this last quarter century if it weren’t for us — for better or for worse.
We’re not the reasons the GOP is returning to its Whig Party roots — and the nation is turning to a political neophyte with an alarmingly naive and unbiblical view of human nature — and thus utter defeat and disaster. They are. They’re the reasons the party is about to go into minority status across the country, but just like Nero they blame the Christians for the fire they actually started. Goodness, look at their latest complaint. Their latest complaint, when you actually boil it down, is that they can’t believe the grassroots wants candidates who will actually stand for the positions and values in the platform that defines what it means to be a Republican. In other words, they don’t want to have to do the things we elect them to do.
Why? Because they’re pagans, and the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. These are people wise in their own eyes who actively suppress the truth. These are a stiff-necked and obstinate people who don’t want to acknowledge their own sin, because then they’d have to admit their need for a savior.
And it’s our own fault for expecting anything more of them without the grace of God intervening in their lives, because until the grace of God intervened in ours we were just like them. Before the grace of God, we were only out for ourselves, and thought we could out-strategize ourselves out of any dilemma — including the messes we made for ourselves. Of this crime I am enemy #1.
And when we take our focus off the grace of God in our lives, we again become just like them, which is why we (or should I say I) bristle when we hear them call us hypocrites. See, all too often when we hear that word we suspect they might at least be partially right. But we keep that still, quiet voice to ourselves because we also don’t like to be constantly reminded of our own sinfulness.
After all, we’re peeved about Republicans not wanting to stand for what’s in the party platform, but consider how many buildings with a cross on their exterior don’t stand for the One who bore our sins upon it? Are we as peeved about that, because I would make the argument the latter is far more damaging to our communities, culture, and country in the long-run than the former.
The Iowa GOP doesn’t have a party leader who’s even read the party platform, but many of our churches have pastors/priests/elders who’ve never once or rarely opened up the Bible to read God’s.
The GOP leadership doesn’t have the courage of conviction to take their party platform planks to the masses and persuade them as to why it’s right for a people to live this way. But neither do many of our pastors/priests who cowardly refuse to preach the whole counsel of God and our people are perishing for a lack of knowledge as a result.
A lot of Republicans, once in office, act like Democrats. Just like a lot of Christians (very much including me), at home and in public, behave like pagans.
The GOP wants to water-down their platform to make it more palatable to the huddled masses, which is exactly what our churches are doing with seeker-friendly schizophrenia and health-and-wealth sophistry. And when we do this, in the end, it always becomes about the money no matter how good our intentions are. And so it is with the Party as well.
A lot of folks don’t know the history of the Party, that it was a Party founded by social activists, most of them Christians. Just like a lot of Christians don’t know the history of their church. And those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, which is exactly why the GOP is returning to its Whig Party roots as we speak. Which, by the way, is exactly why so many are falling away to old heresies that were debunked by tradition long ago.
See, the Party isn’t the problem. THE CHURCH is the problem, and the Party is just mirroring what it sees from THE CHURCH.
Otherwise, how would you be able to explain why the political party that is the predominant home to Bible-believing Christians has false prophets called talk-show hosts and pro-family leaders who literally lie on a daily basis?
Otherwise, how would you be able to explain why the political party that is the predominant home to Bible-believing Christians had two of its own governors fail to uphold the rule of law and institute sodomy marriage in their states?
Otherwise, how would you be able to explain why the political party that is the predominant home to Bible-believing Christians had many of its leaders stand up and support/endorse a presidential candidate whose religious beliefs are so contrary to Scripture that the Bible says those who share them will spend eternity in Hell?
We can talk about public policy all we want, and the Bible has much to say on that. But the Bible also has much to say on personal character, too. It wasn’t Chet Culver that cheated on his wife. It was Jim Nussle. It wasn’t Barack Obama that cheated on his wife. It was John McCain. It wasn’t Governor Jimmy Carter who brought no-fault divorce to America. It was Governor Ronald Reagan. It wasn’t President George McGovern who did nothing while the Supreme Court instituted Roe v. Wade, it was President Richard Nixon. And for every Ruth Bader Ginsburg served up by the Democrats, there’s a David Souter served up by the Republicans.
We have seen the enemy folks, and he is us. We see through a mirror darkly, and right now the reflection is murkier then ever.
Now, please do not take this to mean that I think we should abandon the GOP or the civic realm altogether. As Kuyper once said, there is not a square inch of this planet over which Christ — the King of Kings and Lord of Lords — does not declare mine! God has given us dominion over the Earth and stewardship over its resources. He has placed us in a largely free nation with the ability to freely choose our leaders, and that bears Biblical responsibility. Righteousness exalts a nation, and sin is a disgrace to any people, so we better do our best in a free country to make sure the State does not actively endorse destructive things that God abhors. That’s a stewardship issue. And I’m not exactly sure how you can be salt and light to a lost world if you don’t engage the one arena that impacts the lives of everyone in it.
What I am suggesting, however, is that we engage in some serious critical thinking skills before we engage this arena. That we contemplate the log in our own eye before condemning the speck in our brother’s. That we humble ourselves before God, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. That we pray for our enemies. That we freely and publicly admit our sins and seek others’ forgiveness as we forgive them. That we practice the highest law, which is to love Christ with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, while loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.
And I’m starting with me.
I’m sorry for the private conversations I’ve had that I told myself were about strategy but really were about gossip. I’m sorry for the times I’ve inflated my own image, sometimes even subconsciously, while at the same time telling others I really don’t care what they think about me. I’m sorry that I’ve looked for unethical ways to leak information about someone I know to be a vile influence on the political process, without recognizing that by doing so I would become just like him. I’m sorry for the unrighteous anger I’ve had for others during the last two years that led me to forget that therefore by the grace of God go I. I’m sorry for the things I know and believe and didn’t have the guts to tell you but should have. I’m sorry for the things I did tell you that I should’ve said in a different way. I’m sorry for the times I didn’t consider others’ feelings, all under the guise of relentlessly standing for truth. I’m sorry for the times I pointed out the immorality in our culture without truly allowing God to deal with the immorality in my own life.
And I’m sorry for the times in the future when I’ll have to say I’m sorry for all of these things all over again, because such is the human condition apart from the perfect peace one only finds in communion with his one and only Creator. Sadly, all too often in this fallen world we don’t achieve that communion in this life, but have to wait for the next. As a result, we end up with many things to say we’re sorry for.
I want you to know that I’m not writing this so that you’ll tell me how eloquent or brave I am for coming forth and putting these thoughts on paper. I’m writing this because I have to. I’m writing this because I can no longer ignore the still, small voice I hear in my car on the ride home from the show. I can no longer drown it out with my cell phone. And I’m writing this because I’ve got the sneaking suspicion so many of you feel the same way. So if somebody needed to step forward and be the bearer of bad news, let it be me. For some odd, supernatural reason I’m comfortable in that role.
Whether you think I’m weird, too introspective, or a hypocrite is also not my concern. I’m not writing this for you, either. Let those who have ears let them hear.
Just so you know, I don’t regret confronting anyone or anybody who has meant to do evil or perputate it. But in the future I pray I will be more mindful about the method I choose to do so. I don’t regret using the Gospel as the centerpiece of my show in a secular sphere and will continue to do so. But in the future I pray I will be more mindful in my pursuit of seasoning my words with salt and not just saturating them. I don’t regret being bold and blunt as my Creator made me, but in the future I pray I will be more of a blunt instrument that boldly gets people’s intention without trampling them underfoot in the process. And I don’t regret going to war to stand for those being led away to slaughter, but in the future I pray it will be a just war that causes the least amount of collateral damage as possible.
So many times over the last year I have sat in private meetings with community leaders or others who aspire to be. So many times they have sought my input, or to get an audience with my audience. And so many times I have told them that as Christians we don’t worry so much about the what and the how, but the why. So many times I have told them that as Christians we don’t obsess over the outcome because that belongs to a sovereign God, but that we should be concerned about the process. And so many times I have told them that as Christians we don’t believe the ends justifies the means, but that motive is what really matters.
So many times I have not practiced what I preach. This time I finally — by the grace of God — intend to.
Gregg recommends we buy Steve’s book and I’ve just ordered my copy. Just click on the book cover below to get your copy today!