Post-Election Post

If you know me, you know I have many thoughts and many opinions about politics and about the election outcome specifically. I will however keep them to myself.

4 years ago I was very vocal and very engaged on social media and on this blog and I fear it accomplished nothing but animosity. These spaces are too small to contextualize and communicate in a way that reflects my heart. So I made a decision. The only things I posted relating to politics, save maybe one or two, have been related to how our republic works and the big picture ideas I hoped would inform those who stumble across what I have to say. Along with that I decided to put all of my energy into building that which is dear to the heart of God.

God is passionate about his prize creation. God created man in His image and desires and pursues relationship with us relentlessly. I also believe God’s chosen vehicle to reach the lost in these last days is the local church. So Kim and I have made a decision to focus our energy there.

Earlier this year we established a ministry under the covering of Life in Christ Church in Limon CO we are calling, for now, Trobee Ministry Partners. Our heart is to partner with those who build the local church. We feel like we have a calling like Nehemiah to stand beside and encourage pastors and leaders of smaller churches. Sometimes leading a church can be the loneliest place on earth and we want to come alongside leaders and walk with them.

We hope to do that in several ways. I will continue to do worship team retreats focusing on helping people understand their role in the church is to be a ministry of helps. We have a vision to come to smaller churches and facilitate a sabbatical for their pastor while teaching the congregation about rest and stewardship, among other things, while the pastor is being refreshed.

Our vision is still developing but we are very excited about what God is doing in the local church and excited for opportunities to build new relationships with leaders.

If you would like to know more or ask how we can partner with your church give us a shout.

As always would love to hear your thoughts.

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Posted by Gary in Church Growth, Discipleship, Personal, Politics, Practical, Worship, 0 comments

Conservatism Defined

I’m finally back.

After the election I decided to fast from political everything for an undetermined amount of time. I was going to get straight back into blogging about worship, bicycling, faith, and occasionally politics. Then the funeral and then I got sick and then Thanksgiving.  It’s like anything else when you’re in the flow the momentum carries you but when you stop it’s hard to get started again. So here we go.

Conservatism defined,

I have given this much thought over the last several days. I didn’t do any research, read any definitions or consult any political geniuses. I wanted to define conservatism in my own mind and let the conversation begin.  This is by no means exhaustive it is rather the opening argument.

Conservatism is rooted in absolutes and principles that never change. Conservatism applies to everyone and doesn’t need to be tailored for each subclass or re-defined each generation. I believe you are either a conservative or you are not. I don’t understand how someone can say they are a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Conservatism is a set of principles and core values that inform and shape what you believe, core values to guide you in both fiscal and social matters.

Here is what I think conservatives believe:

Conservatives first believe in God.

Belief in God can be expressed in many different ways, denominations, or religions; however it must come to the conclusion that man is not basically good, redemption is available to everyone, and there will be a final judgment.  (Notice I did not say Evangelical Christian)

Conservatives believe in the sanctity of human life.

This is not a single issue. It is a core issue that informs every other point. Quality of life comes after the defense of life and human life trumps all other.

Conservatives believe in Liberty and freedom.

Individual liberty and freedom is what made this country exceptional. Not collectivism, not diversity, and definitely not government, though our form of government matters.

Conservatives believe in Individual responsibility.

Victimhood is part of what’s gone wrong with this country. When we take responsibility we take ownership and only then can we improve our situation.  When you are given freedom you must take responsibility or your freedom will be taken from you. Government should enable individuals to pursue their own self interests but not at the expense of someone else’s. That’s why I am not a libertarian. I believe the state has a role to play. A role spelled out very clearly in the Bible and in the constitution. Limited government and individual responsibility must go hand in hand.

Conservatives believe in the rule of law.

Laws should be applied fairly without regard to race, gender, etc, etc. Laws should not be passed solely to make retribution, like affirmative action, and should not punish thought, like hate crimes.  The state has an obligation to condone what is good and punish what is evil. God alone is the judger of hearts and motives.

Conservatives believe in strong national defense.

The constitution charges the federal government with defending our borders and our sovereignty. Immigration is what built this country; however allowing people to come illegally with no intention of assimilating or contributing to the culture and the economy will destroy it. Defending this country means war is inevitable unless we want to surrender to the latest evil that raises its head either within these borders or without.

Conservatives believe in stewardship.

Everything we have is a gift and we must steward it well. Environmentalism has become the home of the radical left who worship the creation not the creator. Stewardship is the answer not radical environmentalism.

I didn’t intend for these to be in any order but I think they’re ordered pretty well .  The top two are definitely the top two.

Conservatism is hard. It allows you to own your successes and your failures. It allows natural consequences when you make bad decisions. It allows the largest number of people access to upward mobility. It gives tough love not coddling or enabling. It allows for personal pride and dignity. It requires integrity, conviction, and perseverance.

The idea of fairness is a lie and holds us back. The playing field is not level and cannot be made level. The government cannot remove obstacles but should create an environment where obstacles can be overcome.

I’m sure there is more but no less. Before you unload on me I understand these are ideals and the devil is in the details. As you know I love vigorous debate but have very little patience for those who are full of passion and fire but without principled arguments or core values. If you believe socialism is better fine. Make a principled argument and may the best ideas win. I believe I hold a Biblical Christian world view. If you think I’m wrong make a principled scriptural argument. If you show me where I’m in error I will repent and be grateful to you.

Let the conversation begin.

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Posted by Gary in Civics, Politics

America’s True Genius

By Alexander Benard & Anthony Dick on National Review Online

I am thinking about a couple of ideas that will definitely start a discussion. In the meantime; heres a primer.

There are those who argue that the principles of the founders are woefully out of date — that our old ideals of limited government and individual liberty need to be revised and updated to accommodate the sweeping government intervention that the complexities of modern society demand. But Americans have always believed that our founding principles are not merely the product of a particular society or point in time. The principles are universal and inalienable or, to quote the Declaration of Independence, they are “self-evident truths.” These moral truths have not weakened over time, but rather have been strengthened by our national experience and our advances in social and economic understanding. Free-market capitalism has led not to the oppression and misery of the working class, but to a record of prosperity and a standard of living that are the envy of the world. Our conservative Constitution, skeptical of change and rooted in respect for the tradition of ordered liberty, has not made us inflexible but has rather safeguarded us from the turbulence of political fads and the temptations of radicalism.

Be sure to click through and read the whole thing,

America’s True Genius By Alexander Benard & Anthony Dick on National Review Online

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Posted by Gary in Civics, Politics

When Life Begins

Robert P. George on National Review Online:

I cannot add anything to this it’s spot on! the money quote:

A recently published white paper, “When does human life begin? A scientific perspective,” offers a thorough discussion of the facts of human embryogenesis and early development, and its conclusion is inescapable: From a purely biological perspective, scientists can identify the point at which a human life begins. The relevant studies are legion. The biological facts of are uncontested. The method of analysis applied to the data is universally accepted.

Click through and read the whole thing,
When Life Begins by Robert P. George on National Review Online

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Posted by Gary in Faith, Politics, 0 comments