Common sense isn’t enough, but it would still be nice

I just thought I would post a quick comment today.  I was reading in the news this morning about the attempts in Wisconsin and Indiana to make real progress in fiscal discipline and I was encouraged.  Peggy Noonan’s article this past weekend about Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey was refreshing.  Her story about Gov. Christie’s straightforward explanation to the 7,500 booing firefighters was inspiring (though I have to say my favorite line from her article was her description of Gov. Daniels as ‘the Indiana governor who is the answer to the question, “What if Calvin Coolidge talked?'”).  The news this morning about the struggle in Wisconsin was encouraging, too — that politicians are at points where they are willing to take steps that make common sense but which are politically dangerous is, to me, encouraging.

I bring this up because I want to make sure that in all of our talk about what’s going wrong with the country I don’t come across as someone who wishes for its defeat.  I’ve expressed this concern before — in fact, about three years ago, in a February 2008 post.  That post, after some cleaning and polishing, became a small article in the July-August Tomorrow’s World magazine: “Rooting for Defeat?”

I can understand how someone who isn’t reading too closely might think that.  But I do love my country, and I hate to see it buckling under the weight of its sin and its willingness to ignore the wisdom and guidance of the God who has blessed it so.

While I know — and say here repeatedly — that the only real and lasting solution to our national ills will come from real and lasting national repentance, at the same time I am encouraged when I see better fiscal policy.  I’m encouraged when I see politicians of any stripe or party do things that make sense and which might make a real difference.

Yes, terrible things must come before Christ’s return, and consequences must be experienced.  But do we cheer those consequences on?  Of course not.  Rather, as it is recorded in Ezekiel:

“Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?'” (Ezekiel 33:11)

And in Proverbs:

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles…” (Proverbs 24:17)

…and if this is the case for your enemy, how much more for a nation and a people you love?

(By the way, it’s passages like these, among others, that makes the joyful, grinning faces of some of the placard-bearing members of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church so ungodly and appalling.)

I would like to see common sense in our government, instead of the weird, “altered reality” mindset that seems to beset many individuals who come into public office, in which perception and pretense seem to so consistently trump reality.  It’s not enough that common sense be present in government, since having an accurate sense of the desires, plans, and commands of God is often not common sense (Rom. 8:7, 1 Cor. 2:14, 2 Cor. 5:7, et al.).  But it would still be encouraging.

These times hold a powerful potential for being exactly the kind of alarm needed to help rouse our leaders and our citizenry, overall.  If it means waking up to common sense, I will be encouraged, even though that isn’t enough.  If it means waking up to the need for God’s active presence and aid in the affairs of our country — now that would be something.

But if it means the nation simply hits the snooze button and turns over, I will wonder how soon before the alarm ceases to sound and the consequences of showing up late to work begin.

3 thoughts on “Common sense isn’t enough, but it would still be nice

  1. Steve

    I never had the impression that you wished for the country’s defeat, Mr Smith. Quite the opposite. If a family member fell into some kind of trouble, you’d probably go after him, and try to strengthen him. Same principle.

  2. art thoede

    Howdy!! From a Houston brother: I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your web site (if I have this correctly stated). I have been checking and going over so much of your discussions on various subjects; and, have been greatly edified by your input. Most all of the responses I have read from others on your remarks have also been helpful to my learning from God’s word. I have read some comments that just “astounded” me, because, they seemed so contrary to respect for you; and some of our leaders in LCG. Even to some of the scriptures themselves. Not that I will ever be perfect in this flesh in fully understanding all of the scriptures; nor will any of us who walk IN the flesh. I’ve been baptized for over 37 years (beginning with WWCG); and, learned from when Mr.Tekotsh ( I don’t feel like looking up the exact spelling of his name), took over the leadership; that we can’t just “follow a man” regardless of what role of leadership they have! But I know, and know that I know that Jesus Christ leads His one true Church; and puts in charge, those that follow Him! I get sick of hearing what has become a cliché, “but the PEOPLE are the Church!” and “I don’t follow any man”. It is funny that this is usually stated by someone (of course someone who does not follow a man or woman, they think) who does not want to be in an LCG congregation. And of course “qualify” their statement by saying how they “follow Christ”. I know how our hearts can be sincere; and still be sincerely wrong. Yes even my own heart. But I truly believe most of us in LCG are quite aware that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked”, and, BOY! How well do we know that! ANYWAY, I’m looking forward to you and your family, coming to New Braunfels, Tx for the FOT this year. And, looking forward to reading (and learning) from your website. Please keep it coming! In Christian love, Art Thoede

  3. Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Thoede! Concerning some of the comments, you’ll have to keep in mind that some of them come from folks not in our church, so don’t hold it against them too harshly! Since this blog is public, it’s read by a variety of people.

    Thanks, again!

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