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The Gospel and Politics

Certain topics can create division, friction and tension if not communicated in a civil manner.  Yet, when words are accompanied by a loving spirit, the gospel and politics can be persuasive.  One of my friends ran for the House of Representatives in the state of Delaware.  Up against a heavily democratic district, Bryan needed to introduce himself to complete strangers, express his political views and convince several hundred voters to switch parties.  This task required a dedicated team of volunteers.  Initially, I told my wife that I would commit to being part of the ground team, going house to house to drop off pamphlets to potential voters each weekend.  Just as Christians experience lukewarm stages, at some point my heart wasn’t into surrendering my weekends.  I guess you can say, I wasn’t dedicated to due do what was necessary for victory.  While Bryan received one of the largest percentages of votes for a Republican, his campaign to represent the 5th district ended in defeat.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many, Mark 10:45.

During the first century, an obscure carpenter from Nazareth, a shady town overrun by crime began a three year campaign.  While lacking the finances to make a big political splash, Jesus turned to mainly blue collar individuals, fishermen from the Sea of Galilee.  After John the Baptist’s death, Jesus began to travel from town to town, visiting local synagogues.  Before long, crowds of people started following this motley crew as rumors of faith, healings and miracles spread.  Oddly, anyone who experienced these supernatural events were told to keep quiet, unheard of in any type of political campaign.  As followers increased, curious spectators began to see that Jesus was the real deal, a person who practiced what he preached.  This fact only endeared the masses to this uneducated man.  When Jesus began to be embraced like a rock star, jealousy spread among political and spiritual leaders.  This threat resulted in false accusations, gossip and slander to squash Jesus’ popularity.  Yet, after three years of serving, teaching and visiting strangers, Jesus became a man of the people, king of the Jews.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace, 1 Peter 4:10.

The only way for the gospel and politics can work together is if genuine faith unites with statesmanship.  Modern debates has turned to identity politics, putting one class, occupation or race against the other.  If there is a disagreement, the non-conformist is immediately labeled as a bigot, homophobe or racist.  If an opponent can convince potential voters that a candidate is extreme, embellishments, half truths and lies will continue to bombard citizens every election season.  Some where along the way, good news has been watered down by endless smear ads.  The word gospel comes from and old English phrase godspel, meaning good news or tidings.  It’s hard to be positive in a negative environment, especially when shrewd politicians use raw emotions to stir up their base.  Yet, why does the negative make national headlines daily while good stories are avoided, disregarded or go unnoticed?  Perhaps, its time for modern politicians to follow the Jesus model.  Serve one another, help the poor, feed the needy and extend a loving hand to the unwelcomed.  If future leaders begin here, you won’t need a campaign advertisement to get you elected.  Rather, the people who see the love of Jesus displayed by you will form loyal supporters to stand by your side through thick and thin.  This is the possibility of the gospel and politics.

by Jay Mankus

To Insure Proper Service

The concept of a tip was first mentioned in George Farquhar’s play The Beaux Stratagem of 1706.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, this 17th century term means to give or pass.  Thus, this act of gratitude has since been applied by individuals to local businesses who exhibit quality service.  Today, the acronym known as TIPS exists to insure proper service.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace, 1 Peter 4:10.

One of my first jobs was at the Concord Mall, serving as a bus boy in the old cafeteria.  Whether it was my service or not, I rarely received a decent tip, often collecting spare change left on tables.  Those who work in restaurant and service oriented positions tend to live and die by the gratuities one receives.  This element leads to jubilation or disappointment, motivating individuals to do whatever possible to insure proper service.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another, Galatians 5:13.

If only Christians could apply this concept to daily life, the world would be a better place.  According to the apostle Paul, Jesus freed mankind from the burden of sin so that people can serve one another through love.  To insure proper service in local communities requires hearts inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Relying on your own strength, the love human beings possess is limited.  Therefore, if you want to maximum your full potential, pray that God will revive and transform you to become the loving hands of Jesus here on earth.

by Jay Mankus



A Marriage Makeover

In the beginning of this year, the Lord opened up my eyes to several areas in my life that I have neglected.  Unfortunately, my marriage of one of these, taking it for granted without putting the energy and time God desires for a Christian husband.  Thus, I’ve spent the last few weeks reflecting and praying about the best solution to revitalize my marriage.  The answer has come in the form of a marriage makeover.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, Ephesians 5:25.

After having three kids, one of our favorite television shows to watch as a family was Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with Ty Pennington.  ABC and corporate sponsors gave families who were down on their luck or recovering from a loss to have a fresh start.  Movies like The Ultimate Gift and Fire Proof have added practical ideas to apply daily which individuals can alter their perspective on life and enhance their ability to love.  These influences have inspired me to put a formula for a marriage makeover into my movie script.

House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord, Proverbs 19:14.

In the last two weeks, I’ve heard two sermons which have convinced me that I am on the right track.  Since a portion of my current script has a couple going through marriage counseling, I hope that I am able to communicate and portray a useful tool for struggling couples.  In a society that is trading in marriages like a used car, I pray that the final edit of Dragged Behind the Devil’s Door will be the next film to impact America in a positive manner.  Below are the themes I have woven into my script.

  1. Turn the television off and begin to create your own reality show.
  2. Invest time weekly in an activity of the others choice, talking about it over dinner or a walk so you don’t stop getting to know one another.
  3. Serve one another by stopping what you are doing to listen, love and pray together.
  4. Display unexpected acts of kindness to ignite passion and physical intimacy.

by Jay Mankus

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