On The Journey, Judy Bowman

Kindness and politics

Politics. This election year we see and hear political discussions all the time and everywhere around us. Many of us may complain about the number of ads on TV and the “other guy’s” candidate, but if we’re really honest, we Americans love us some politics. And that’s a good thing, because political decisions and issues are how we live out the reality of our Republic in daily life. We’re blessed to live in a country in which every citizen, with few exceptions, can vote freely for the candidate of their choosing. Many millions of people around the world don’t share these freedoms. But sometimes we allow politics to become a source of angry or hurtful words. This is especially true in our online relationships. We feel so strongly sometimes that we allow our words to hurt others. Instead of debating our political differences, we attack the person with whom we’re engaging. What I find most disturbing is that I see fellow Christians saying or posting hurtful words about one another.

It’s easy for us to get emotional about politics because, like religion, it speaks to our fundamental beliefs, to what we hold most dear. We tend to blur the lines between “debate” and “attack” when someone disagrees with our political views or our faith. After all, if we didn’t truly care about our politics and our faith, we wouldn’t get upset if someone disagreed with our views. And it’s good for us to care; good that we feel deeply about how we view the world and our place in it. What we can’t do is to allow our emotions to override our charity. When we do that, we’ve become like an unbeliever.

To begin with, we accept that the person with whom we disagree is a fellow child of God, created in His image and loved by Him uniquely and for all eternity. Yes, even that supporter of our political foe, who stands for everything we don’t want in a President. There’s a wonderful quote by St. Josemaria Escriva to remember at times like this: “Don’t say, ‘That person gets on my nerves.’ Think, ‘That person sanctifies me.’“ Ouch. What is it about that “other” person that grates on you enough to make you respond so harshly? Usually it’s because we see in them something in ourselves that we really dislike. They mirror back to us that most unlovely part of ourselves and, if we’re honest, we know it. And we can invite the Lord to heal us of that flaw.

The next thing is to truly know what it is you believe and why it is that you believe it. And this applies to both your politics and your faith. When we can clearly lay out why we support Candidate X, it makes us take a close look at our beliefs and values and why we hold them. We have to be able to think logically and to state our positions with clarity and precision. We used to teach debate in our schools and for a good reason. It’s very instructive when you must defend a position with which you disagree. Try doing that with the political candidates from that “other” party. You’ll come to see pretty quickly why it is you support your favorite man or woman. And when you discuss them, you’ll be more able to speak from a well-thought-out position and not just from your emotions.

And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we must accept that it’s unlikely that any of our political arguments will change anyone’s mind. But when we allow our politics to become a hurtful attack, we DO allow it to change our hearts—and in a bad way. We are, after all, called to love and respect the dignity of every person, even those with whom we disagree. Perhaps, most of all, with these folks. Because when the election is over, we’ll all have one President and one Congress. And we have so much that we need to come together for and work together to solve. We can all pray that the Lord will guide us to choose the best possible people to lead our nation. As St. Paul instructs us to pray:

“… for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.” — II Timothy 2:2

Glenda Smiley, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

Sunday morning service was somber yet challenging. Pastor Flood focused the service around the Sanctity of Life Day recognized on January 19th. It was a stirring message with facts concerning abortion presented to the congregation. Fifty-three to fifty-six million innocent babies have been murdered since the passing of the abortion law in 1973. This nation will be held accountable for the murders of these babies, as we taxpaying citizens, stand idly by and allow our tax dollars to be used to destroy innocent life. We need to stand! All life is sacred, unborn babies, sick and special needs and the elderly. All created in the image of God. God gives life and God alone has the authority to take life. The killing of babies (murder) is a slippery slope. Dwayne Hill had been asked to pray for elected officials, Cody Cranmore for Youth, and Glenda Smiley for Mothers/Mothers of Abortion. All of us sin and abortion is not the unpardonable sin. Mothers of Abortion need to face their choice honestly, confess their sin and receive Christ as Savior. God desires to save them just as He desires to save all who will come to Christ through faith. Sin is sin and God loves all sinners, ALL. Those who are considering abortion as a choice need to reconsider. Terminating a pregnancy does not alter the fact of motherhood, but the killing of the life within your womb, now makes you the mother of a murdered baby. You trade one circumstance for one much worse. We pray you will reconsider and come to Christ. He knows, He cares, and He loves you and He will provide. Members of Pleasant Valley Baptist care of you and desire God’s best for you. An amazing video was presented of Gianna Jessen, a surviving victim of abortion. Her biological mother had been administered a saline solution which burns the baby inside and out causing death. By the hand of God, she was born alive. Instead of being strangled or left to die. a nurse called for an ambulance and she was transferred to the hospital. She was placed in foster care and through the blessings of God with the tender care of her foster parent, she not only survived but flourished. She does have cerebral palsy caused by the saline which deprived her brain of needed oxygen, but considers it a blessing as she is used of God to glorify Him. Meant to die, but used of God! You can find her videos on YouTube. So inspiring and challenging.

Pray with us for those with physical needs, Warren McAllister, Betty Pitts, Dianne Hullender, Jewel Mitchell, Carolyn Denton, Lula Petty, Denise Pitts, Claudette Armstrong, and many others of whom the Lord knows their name and their need. Many extended family members are in need of prayer and ask for them to be remembered in your prayers knowing God knows. Pray for Pastor Flood and his family, for the church and ministries including missionaries, Sunday school, youth, nursing homes and homeless, orphans. Pray for Israel/America. Pray for our US Congress and the members who represent you and I. May they each humble themselves before God and call upon Him. Pray about Iranian issues facing our nation. Pray for our President and all elected officials, national, state, and local. Pray concerning the impeachment trials, for God’s will be done. Pray for PVBC to grow and spread the gospel in this community. Pray for souls to be saved and that God will send revival.

Services are live-streamed on Facebook. Service times are Sunday School 10AM, Worship 11AM, Evening 6PM with prayer at 5:45PM. Wednesday Bible Study and Youth Kid’s Zone meet at 7PM. Call for transportation 706 537-3633.

Come visit us at Pleasant Valley Baptist. What better time than now, a new beginning for a new year. You are always welcome!

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