Pause. Breathe. Pray. Love your neighbor through your good work and acts of kindness. Read history. Stay alert to opportunities to serve. Foster justice. Turn off the media for a day and discover normal blood pressure.
Freedom of conscience is the first freedom.
Yes, I do want all around me to place their faith in Jesus Christ. This is an invitation, not intolerance, a voluntary act welcoming a believer into a new identity and sociology, not a political party or enslaving ideology.
And I affirm the liberty of those of other philosophies and religious to debate, share and digress from me. While we dialogue and evangelize, let’s make our neighborhoods flourish and be friends even with our deep differences.
Breaking free of generational oppression (cultural, economic, racial, social, spiritual) is a work of divine power…most often expressed through healthy relationships. As people of faith, hope and love, we have huge social capital – and when we intentionally make friends, the world changes. Every transformational story includes at least once inspiring relationship. Perhaps we are that person for someone.
2 challenges for today:
Libertarians: will you consider the common good and advocate for ethics and unselfishness as part of true liberty? You cannot unite Ayn Rand and Judeo-Christian values.
Socialists: your compassion must be united with economic sense. Removal of incentives chases creativity and innovation away and a large government class is no substitute for entrepreneurship.
There are better paths than these extremes.
Global lovers of liberty face an implacable enemy that believes that they are destined to subjugate the world in the name of Islam. Yes, most of our Muslim neighbors reject this intolerant and violent ideology, but their religion has no reforming stream powerful enough to counter the dedication of both Shi’ite and Sunni radicals.
It is up to people of conscience – of all faiths or none – to rally wisely with the future of freedom at stake.
In the USA, the Left and Right are both failing is their responses. Here are some reflections to create a different kind of dialogue:
Compassion and strength are not opposites.
Resisting ISIS, Hamas, Al-Qaeda will require both.
Without losing our values, we can devise military and political resistance that is more than an occasional foray.
I challenge the Left to realize that there are millions of folks – not economically deprived and oppressed – that want our destruction. “Love and peace” banners are not enough. Wishing away the hatred of those dedicated to our demise will not make it so.
I challenge the Right to end jingoism and offer strategic ideas for alliances and long-term effective action. We must not descend to the level of the enemies we face. It is possible to love our enemies even as we resist their hatred and violence.
I challenge oil-rich Islamic nations to welcome millions of refugees in the name of their hospitable religion. A Silicon Valley Imam recently agreed with me that given the wealth of many Islamic nations, there should not be a single Muslim living in poverty.
“Can’t we all just get along?”
Sometimes the answer is a tragic, “No.”
But Christ offers a divine, “Yes!” to all who repent…and that is our greatest “weapon” – gospel love and truth that transcends culture, ideology and national interests.