Example 1: My first impression of the newest development in the scandal that has become professional cycling was one of regret and empathy. I expressed this to one of my Christian friends in my workplace and was surprised to hear how much disdain he had for Lance Armstrong. He filled me in on his back-story; of how he basically abandoned his family to pursue his fifth, and following Tour de-France competitions. Regardless of the details, it highlighted something to me. As much as I agree politically with the concept of what Rush Limbaugh calls the American Rugged Individualism, it can easily be taken to the extreme.
While statists like Obama and the rest of his predecessors, blatantly seek to kill the concept of God and replace Him with Government, not so blatantly, but perhaps more deviously, individualists just as easily kill God and replace Him with … themselves. We shower admiration upon successful individuals in America. People like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods are all lauded for their individual success; proof of the do-it-yourself attitude, determination, and drive that “made America great”. But what of their wives? What of their families? What of their relationship with their creator.
Example 2: I just recently saw one of those patently trite, banal, and intellectually-shallow little photos probably posted by some hack from MoveOn.org. It was on Facebook and was of course, dutifully shared by other vapid, and intellectually uncurious emotional basket cases; the typical types that populate the left. In the picture, it depicted on one side, an unborn child in the womb, and on the other, a starving, child raised in squalor and abject poverty. In the caption it asked how Pro-lifers can be for saving the life of the unborn and not for saving the life of the impoverished. Not wanting to throw pearls before swine, I declined pointing out that socialism and the other programs sponsored and popularized by leftist statists were responsible for more death and misery in the past 150 years than any Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital’s could have ever produced over the time frame of 3 millennia, but I digress. But it did make me think that in our zeal as Christians to defend black/white moral imperatives such as homosexuality and abortion, we lose perspective on Christ’s command to love. Now, I’m not advocating throwing money at the first pan-handler that comes around trying to score some scratch for their next bottle of MD20, but Christ fed the poor, healed the sick, and ministered to the destitute. How many of us would invite a teenager who just aborted her baby into our homes to feed her and attempt to minister to her soul?
Balance is necessary in all things. While believing in Calvinist theology is all fine and dandy as an intellectual exercise, if taken out of practicality, it is a detriment to practical Christian living and evangelism. While being in a Charismatic church, getting filled with the Spirit, and speaking in tongues may leave one in a momentary spiritual euphoria, it also leaves one foundationless and unprepared for the struggles of a walk with Christ. Balance is the key. To paraphrase, Churchill famously said that young people who are conservative have no heart and that older folks who are liberals have no head. When finding a balanced perspective of what our duties first as Christians and then as citizens, it’s imperative that we have both.