The Government and Personal Responsibility

Rex and Mark had some very insightful words to say in discussing the post on being a good citizen of the world. I first wanted to say thanks to everyone in that discussion including Philip and Tammie for discussing it in such a loving and kind manner.

Here is what Rex had to say:
“Everybody wants to govern themselves while wishing the government to govern everyone else. One person want the goverment to legislate green laws and gun laws but make no laws regarding family/marriage issues, while the other side wants the goverment to legislate the whole marriage question but stay out of the economic issues and so forth. In the end it looks like everyone want the government when the government suits their cause but would like to kick the lawmakers to the curb when the legislative process interferes with their wants.

It makes no difference what laws the government does or does not make, laws will not change hearts and until hearts change there will be no meaningful and productive change. The only way for hearts to change is for those who preach change to live out that change and show the rest why the said change is right.

Grace and peace,

Rex”

Mark had this to say in response:
“Yeah. We’ll find shortcomings with absolutely anyone–politician or not–if we put them under a bright enough spotlight or a strong enough microscope. I genuinely hope Obama does well as president, but I’m unconvinced that he’s the immaculate shining beacon of hope like he’s allowed people to claim about himself. I expect him not to fulfill the vast majority of his promises; in some cases I hope he doesn’t, but in other cases I hope I’m pleasantly surprised. I don’t wish bad on either him or his family.

I think Rex’s words are wise: my job is to watch my own actions and inconsistencies. If I have time to watch mine and several other people’s simultaneously, then I’m probably not watching my own well enough.

As a minister, I know what it is to be nitpicked, and if you’re going to claim an important leadership role in society, it’s part of the job description. There’s a lot for which to be accountable, and a person who makes such abundant promises is inviting people to expect him to make good on them. We shall see. Hopefully we don’t cross any lines in expecting him to be a person of his word.

Randy Harris had some good things to say about this topic a few weeks ago. He said, very simply, “There are some things of which you can be confident: 1. The world is going to be messed up. 2. No matter who the President is, he won’t be able to fix all of it. 3. God will continue to work and to bless us in surprising ways.””

Wise words that I certainly need to take into consideration in my own life.

0 Responses to The Government and Personal Responsibility

  1. Mark says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Matt. I’m flattered you thought any of what I said was worth repeating. I always appreciate Rex’s ability to remain Kingdom-focused. He’s good at seeing the big picture.

  2. K. Rex Butts says:

    I am equally flattered that my comments would be worhty of a repeat. Mark, I spend most of my day wishing I could live out the bigger picture I see rather than being so focused on myself.

    Any ways, I really appreciate the contributions of everyone in this on-going discussion that definitely needs to take place. Recently I had someone ask me is anything is every accomplished from a blog discussion other than a variety of people sounding off on their various opinions. It is a good question and one I have raised in my own thinking as well.

    With that in my, let me say that I can testify that good does come from such discussions. Phillip mentioned such simple actions as unplugging the cell-phone charger as a way of conserving energy. That got me thinking about my own cell-phone practice. I have a practice of plugging my cell-phone in to charge when I go to bed and letting sit on the charger all night when in reality I could place it on the charger in the morning when I wake up and have it fully charged before I leave the house for the day. So last night I left the cell-phone off the charger and did not plug it in until the morning. This will be my new practice.

    So…good does come from a blog conversation. Without communication… well, you know!

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  3. “I really appreciate the contributions of everyone in this on-going discussion that definitely needs to take place. Recently I had someone ask me is anything is every accomplished from a blog discussion other than a variety of people sounding off on their various opinions. It is a good question and one I have raised in my own thinking as well.”

    Don’t let anyone shame you out of blogging! (g) It’s such a blessing to be able to think out loud in a forum with other intelligent minds — to challenge one another & allow our own reflections to be refined. It is a great thing, even if just a tad bit nerdy. (g)

  4. K. Rex Butts says:

    Don’t worry, I have no intentions giving up blogging. I enjoy the activity and find it very encouraging and educational. Plus, from a Christian standpoint, I believe it is changing the face of practical theology in the church. I know people who, if it were not for the blogs they read, would only hear the same old traditional view on every biblical passage/issue.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

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