Luke 17:3—4 (King James Version)
3Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
My Fellow Christian:
The story of Paul’s conversion is well known. While Paul (then named Saul) traveled the road to Damascus, in a light from heaven, the voice of Jesus confronted Paul saying, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” In short order, Paul converted and repented of his sinful ways.
Repentance is a powerful word. It means more than just turning away from sinful ways. It means seeing the evil in the sin that held a death hold before conversion.
Paul never tried to reconcile his life as Saul with his new life walking in faith — a faith in Jesus Christ. And he never spoke in general term as a means to hide his past sins. Paul admitted to his sins and he accepted Jesus’s forgiveness. Done, for eternity.
On the road to the November election, the Republican Party is now claiming its own conversion experience (actually its second conversion experience in recent times, but who’s counting).
In its Pledge to America, the GOP is professing some of the right words, some of the right phrases, and some of the right allusions.1 But in that desperate document, there is no act of repentance to be found.
Although Congressman Paul Ryan noted in an interview today that the Republican Party has fallen short of its Pledge, he did not provide specific instances where both he and fellow GOP legislators favored errant legislation — where they sinned. And none of them have repented from old ways.
Instead, Ryan adopted the very same tone as the Pledge: the Republicans could have been better in the past: they strayed a bit. But since no real sins were committed, there is no need for repentance.
Just a little polish to the image — a tug of the pants, tuck of the shirt, and straightening of the tie — and the GOP is back fighting for liberty, as it always has. Huh.
The Pledge states, "An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites makes decisions, issues mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many." Yet the GOP has not walked away from any of its own "self-appointed elites." No, it has embraced them with the same smile it continues to embrace its previous agendas and platforms.
What is a conversion without repentance? For the GOP, it is as hollow as their 1994 conversion — empty words that are pleasing to the party’s conservative base, many whom are fellow Christian.
In my past, I was both unsaved and a minor apparatchik in service to the state. Since becoming saved, I do not try to reconcile my past sins — I do not try to justify them in some context of, "I might have gone a little astray back then, but I was generally good in spite of it all." My sins were sins. Now forgiven, of course. But they were sins nonetheless.
As a member of my local school board, I served the beast. Since my conversion to liberty, I will not justify my actions. I voted to place tax levies on the ballot and I actively supported them. I repent. Forgive me.
Boehner, Ryan and his fellow GOP hacks are not repenting. So do not be taken in by their supposed late fall, 2010 conversion (or reconversion, so to speak). They are unrepentant statists through and through (Ron Paul excluded).
Furthermore, when these serpents refer to the Creator (God) in their Pledge, they offend Christianity by taking the name of God in vain.
The Republican Party wants power and it wants your money that comes along with that power. In this, they are acting as the wolves in sheep’s clothing we were warned about.
Men who seek a position in the church must have certain enumerated qualities. Paul does not provide an out should no man possess those qualities. He does not say, "In the face of two evils, choose the lesser of the two."
As Christians, we cannot hide behind the lesser of two. Either we choose a blameless man to serve or we choose no man to serve.
Yet we believe that by choosing the lesser of two on the ballot, we are serving God by serving democracy. We are not.
If no candidate is blameless, do not vote. It’s that simple. Despite the current worship of democracy and the supposed obligation to vote, you bloody your hands by voting, not voting keeps them clean.
- The Pledge website ends in .gov, implying that the Republican Party is the government. It just might be so.