We Gotta Stop!

We Gotta Stop!

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary Pollard

If you’re reading this right now, it means you have access to electricity and internet. If you have access to those, you’re already familiar with the subject of this article. This specifically applies to Christians living in the United States, but I encourage those who don’t consider themselves religious to think about the following as well. There’s no other way to address this, so I apologize for having to write it.

“Let’s go Brandon” is everywhere: gas pumps, sporting events, social media posts, bumper stickers, etc. I thought it would die out by now, but it’s everywhere. I see it almost every day on gaming platforms, with many adopting some form of it as a username/handle. It’s become colloquial, used to “thank” the president for any less-than-ideal circumstance.

I am not a fan of our current president. If you drive, you know how much gas is right now. Afghanistan. The Russian ammo ban (and other anti-freedom measures). If you eat food, you’re already familiar with inflation’s impact on groceries. We could go on for a week, but this is a long-winded disclaimer and I need to get to the point.

No Christian should ever adopt the mentality behind the phrase at the beginning of the second paragraph. Besides the crass and hateful language it represents, it’s a sinful way to view our president. Christians are supposed to respect their government leaders (I Pt 2.17). In that passage it’s not a suggestion, it’s an order. The word τιμᾶτε (timate) is an imperative. It means “to show high regard for” someone (BDAG, τιμάω).

Paul wrote, “You should pray for rulers and for everyone who has authority. Pray for these leaders so we can lead a quiet and peaceful life…” (I Tim 2.2). Paul was under an emperor similar to our own president. God’s expectations for Christian behavior don’t change when the president is bad. We don’t have to like him, but we certainly have to respect him and pray for him.

We should not expect to live with God forever if we talk about the president the way so many others do. I get it – it’s hard. Politicization of the medical field under his administration has had a direct impact on my own quality of life. Praying for/respecting the president is not easy at all. But it wouldn’t have been easy for Christians under any of the Roman emperors in the first century, either. If they could do it, so can we. Please think about the serious impact our words have on where we spend eternity. Our first allegiance is to God. If He’s really our King, we’ll have respect for our president.

Image courtesy Flickr.
We Need A Break

We Need A Break

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

garyandme521

Gary Pollard

Being well-informed is an essential part of remaining free. Without an understanding – from reliable sources – of what’s going on in the world, we make ourselves vulnerable to deception. That said, it’s my humble opinion that we need a news detox/vacation. 

  • We need a detox because virtually all information sources pander to their political audiences. 
  • We need a detox because most reports are negative, defamatory, or otherwise divisive. 
  • We need a detox because it’s caused many to determine a person’s value by their opinions on current issues. 
  • We need a detox because it’s increasingly affecting our churches. 
  • We need a detox because God expects us to love people (Phil 2.3-4; Gal 6.10; I Cor 13.4-7). Being constantly bombarded with reasons to dislike others doesn’t help. 
  • We need a detox because there’s so much more to life than politics and negativity. It’s much harder to appreciate or recognize positivity if we’ve overdosed on current events. 
  • We need a detox because constant exposure has not done anything good for our mental health. 

Please don’t see this as a suggestion to live under a rock. That helps no one. Instead, see it as an opportunity to step back, cool off, and recalibrate how we view other people. It simply cannot hurt society to have more patience, compassion, and empathy!