and I always have fun and learn something new when we spend time with our
friends, David and Cheryl Barton (www.wallbuilders.com ). The time we shared a few weeks
ago was no exception. They graciously introduced us to their friends, Pastor Tim
and Terri Brooks who had invited my husband to address the annual Biblical
conference they host. While the
highlight of our trip to Arkansas for my husband was meeting hundreds of
excited and exciting participants, I have to admit to being a bit more
afternoon, the Brooks invited us to their ranch to ride around on ATVs. This
was a new experience for me and it was a bunch of fun. There was even a bonus
activity – shooting with an 1890’s rifle owned by the Bartons – check out my
ride an ATV and improving my marksmanship definitely qualify as learning experiences.
However, there was a much less pleasant piece of knowledge that I also gleaned.
David Barton informed us how many potential voters sit out elections. We are
not talking about apathetic individuals. Many of these people belong to
organizations that oppose the liberal agenda on issues such as abortion, gun
control or anti-business tax positions, yet they don’t cast a ballot.
that there are a number of reasons for this dereliction of duty, including keeping
off voter rolls in order to avoid jury duty and not believing that one vote
counts. Hearing about the enormous numbers involved was demoralizing.
When one of our
daughters was a young teen, she wrote an essay for a homeschooling newspaper
suggesting that not everyone should vote. She proposed that ‘get out the vote’
drives that encourage those who have no interest in educating themselves on
vital issues to nevertheless vote, damaged rather than helped our country. Have
you ever laughed when late night comedy hosts send camera teams to the streets
to pose questions such as, “What do you think of President Obama dropping Joe
Biden as his running mate and choosing Sarah Palin?” or “Do you think it is a problem
that Mitt Romney won’t release his college records?” It is, of course, not at
all humorous that the people who don’t know that these are facetious questions
might actually sway the direction in which America goes.
community in which I was raised considered voting to be a sacred and cherished
right. Even though I believe that the
majority of Jews vote against their own interests, that concept of civic
responsibility is valuable. Until our Arkansas visit, I had no idea that many
conservative Christians feel differently.
There is an
old ‘joke’ about a man caught in a flood. As the waters rise,
the city sends out four-wheel drive vehicles to evacuate the residents. The man
turns them from his door saying that he depends on God for salvation. As the water deepens, he moves to the second
floor of his house, where a couple in a rowboat comes past his window and
invites him to join them. “God will save me,” he replies. An hour later, he is
on his roof, when a Coast Guard helicopter hovers above, offering to pick him
up. He spurns its help, insisting he depends on the Lord, not on human beings.
Eventually, he drowns. In Heaven, he turns to God and says, “Why didn’t you
save me?” To which the Divine reply comes, “I sent you a jeep, I sent you a
rowboat and I sent you a helicopter. You sent them away.”
vehicle had no shock absorbers, maybe the rowboat was damp and maybe the
helicopter would have been a scary ride. They were available even if they were
imperfect. Each mode of transport had drawbacks, but a heavenly chariot wasn’t
one of the options offered.
see sitting on a jury as a hassle rather than an opportunity; maybe you are
convinced that one vote won’t make a difference; maybe you think that prayer is
the only correct option for a believer.
Perhaps it is time to consider that God offers us opportunities to participate
in our own rescue and He won’t look kindly on those who spurn the responsibilities
of freedom that other of his followers worked (and continue to work) so hard to