Sam Rohrer: America began as a holy experiment. That’s right, a holy experiment in self-government under God. Now, that was according to William Penn. That was a title that he established. It was William Penn who was viewed by some of the early founders, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, in particular, who viewed him as the father of the founders. Interesting. Why did they do that? Because of his deep understanding of a biblical worldview. He understood the nature of God. He talked about it. The sinfulness of man, why that was important to understand. The purpose for government. The purpose for law, and the biblical definition of justice. That, and more.
It was Penn and others who said that, and this is the word I want to focus on here as we go into the program. Said that self-restraint, self-restraint by the citizens, and the voluntary limiting of their actions according to God’s moral code, the Ten Commandments, that’s how they framed it. It was essential that citizens in this experiment in self-government, were to do those things. Self-control, according to God’s moral law, if that holy experiment would ever get off the ground, and as they said, if it did get off the ground, which we know it has, if it were to continue. That’s what they said.
Well, I fear that as we look around us today, that much of those aspects of self-restraint, to put it that way, are crumbling. We’re gonna talk about that as we weave that into the general theme for today’s program, Surprising Issues Driving Voter’s Decisions: The Latest Research from American Culture and Faith Institute. I’m Sam Rohrer, and I welcome you to Stand in the Gap today, for this Thursday edition. My special, and our dear friend, and recurring guest is George Barna, the Executive Director of the American Culture and Faith Institute. He’s also the founder of the former Barna Research Group. With that, I want to welcome you to the program. George, I am really glad you’re with us, again.
George Barna: Hi, Sam. It’s great to be back.
Sam Rohrer: George, this piece of research we’re going to get into in just a moment, is really key because it talks about citizen’s view of issues. We’re gonna talk about that in a minute, but when I look around at headline news right now, and all of our listeners, when they’re looking around at what’s happening across the country, there are things that are unfolding, it appears, that almost like an emerging Marxist left. We’ve talked about it before, but that mentality has pretty much taken over the Democrat part, generally speaking. There are those out there who are far more driven, it seems, by anger and hostility, and I’ve been moved with the fact of how many are using terminologies, almost like war terminologies, in response to the President, and immigration, and a whole host of things.
In a general sense, George, I just want to ask you this question. Are we, perhaps, witnessing a breakdown of American society as we see this self-restraint that Penn talked about in our founders, and all these things coming out? Are we witnessing a breakdown of self-restraint in an orderly society?
George Barna: I think what we’re seeing is the reshaping of American society. I think the breakdown, from my vantage point, is a breakdown in morality. As you and your listeners know, morality means right or wrong, the definition of right or wrong. So, when we look at things where there are a right or wrong choice, whether it’s divorce, or abortion, or marriage, or honesty, adultery, having children without marriage. I mean there’s all kinds of things where the choices we make, there is a right or wrong from a traditional Christian point of view. As you noted at the top of the program, with William Penn, and Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, and many of the other founders, building this nation on the bedrock of Christian truth and principles, that understanding of morality was absolutely critical to defining the nature of our society, and toward ensuring that that society could continue.
I think in addition to that breakdown in morality, we’re seeing a breakdown of something much more recent in fabrication, that being the American dream. I think what we’ve got now is kind of a new millennium dream, one that’s based on taking care of selves, one that’s based on not wanting to pay the price for things that are received, as opposed to the traditional American dream, which was all about taking advantage of earned opportunities, not expecting things for free, not expecting things to be given to you, but earning those things. I think part of that new dream has to do with the vision that people have for the nation, the vision that most Americans, based on my research at least, have today is for being able to live a life that’s formed around comfort and convenience, as opposed to the traditional vision that was about being your best, having pride in what you produce, seeking unity with others to build a community that’s based on compromise, but that’s all built around traditional truth and moral values.
So, I think that’s really the biggest thing that we’re seeing breakdown, and yes, it’s completely reshaping our society. Ultimately, will it destroy our society? If we look at the example of other nations around the world that have gone on this same path, where they’ve moved away from those biblical foundations to something that is based more on emotion, and feelings, and desires of the moment, yeah, we probably are gonna see American society implode.
Sam Rohrer: Well George, I like the way you say that reshaping, and I think that reshaping is becoming evident. I’m just looking at a couple of headline news here, right now. This woman in New York, Cortez, who won … the Socialist, who beat the other Democrat incumbent. One of the first things that she says is that, “I support impeachment of the President.” She says that she wants to be President, so boy, didn’t take long for pride to get to the forefront there. Here’s a North Carolina candidate who is running on this statement. He’s saying, “God is racist. Jewish people all descend from Satan.” That’s a Republican candidate, what? The Republican Party, so people know, backed off and said they have nothing to do with this guy, but he’s down there in North Carolina. The Venezuelan President, yesterday, called U.S. Vice President, Mike Pence, “a viper” and vowed to defeat what Washington’s doing, relative to a number of things.
I see these kinds of words, and I see these kinds of angers coming out here. Is that the kind of thing that we’re talking about, George? This kind of reshaping can’t lead to a good result.
George Barna: Yeah, exactly. Again, it goes back to moral truths, and foundations, and worldview and so forth. A lot of people have said, “Look, if you lie frequently and consistently enough, people will eventually accept the lie as truth.” That’s become a common practice in our court rooms. It’s a common practice in our political campaigns. It’s a common practice now in our schools, and particularly and especially important now in our media. But, that’s changing the tenor of the conversation, or sense of the world around us, that it’s also exemplary of the heightened political stakes. We now live in a society where we believe you’ve got to win at all costs. You become very machiavellian, where we think the ends justify the means. So yeah, it’s a very different day and age.
Sam Rohrer: What a culture, and voters within a particular culture identify as most important, or most compelling, usually drives the way and the degree of attention the media gives to, and treats these issues. Candidates promise to deliver on these issues, based on these things, and also determines the way public policy and law are ultimately made to address these issues. In our modern U.S. culture, some leading issues, like the economy, have historically been one of the most important. It’s possible that this may be changing somewhat.
As we’ve already noted, other issues, some more transient issues like people’s hatred for a particular person, like President Trump, are very really. Yet, other more societally fundamental issues, not normally a concern to Americans, like violence or unconstrained or unrestrained moral behavior, are seemingly like the dark horse coming around the outside of the track in its race to the finish line, maybe happening here now. In this segment, we’re gonna learn about the latest research, what it’s showing, and how it is driving and giving an indication of voter’s decisions as they may relate to the voting box, and those who may be running.
To share with us the latest research here from the American Culture and Faith Institute is George Barna, their Executive Director. George, you entitled this latest research, which you just released, as Surprising Issues Driving Voter Decisions. Would you give our listeners an overview of what results you found? I’m particularly interested in why you termed it, “surprising issues” because you’ve generally been around long enough, you’re not surprised about anything, but something about his information was surprising. Identify that, please. Could you?
George Barna: Yeah, when we looked at a wealth of issues, over 30 different issues, what we found is that there really aren’t that people are going to pay attention to when it comes to figuring out how they’re gonna vote. We did see that there were a handful of issues that pretty much everybody, across the ideological spectrum care about. Those issues include Donald Trump, gun policy, the performance or equality of governance we’re getting, and then crime and violence. We found that those four issues emerged as ones where conservatives, liberals and moderates all say, yep, those are issues that are gonna have a major influence on how I vote.
Now, we have to remember, that doesn’t mean that they agree on how they’re thinking about those issues, only that those are the issues that are going to have a significant impact on how they vote. I was surprised that economic issues didn’t come up higher in that list, but we found that to a large extent it’s because after 10, 11, 12 years of really struggling economically, the economy has been moving in the right direction. We’ve got a majority of people now, admitting that, seeing that, experiencing that, they’re joyful about that. So, they’ve kind of relaxed their concern about the economy, and now they’re focused on these other things.
The reason I said that they’re surprising issues that are driving voter decisions is that once you get past those four, then you find that for each of the different ideological groups, or the different faith segments, for instance, we looked at that as well, you’ve got a handful of issues that uniquely drive that particular group. So, for instance, with conservatives, immigration and religious liberty, and the moral decline of America, are three issues that are not nearly influential on the election related decision making of moderates and liberals, but conservatives will say, “Those are key things. I need to know what candidates plan to do, what they’re thinking about, what their track record is related to those issues.” In contrast, liberals picked out environmental policy, racism and racial intolerance, and economic inequality, as three particular issues that are really gonna have a significant impact on how they think about candidates.
Then, there were other combinations. Conservatives and moderates together, they thought that taxes, jobs, national defense of terrorism, those were critical things, but in contrast, liberals and again, moderates, thought that healthcare was a big issue. Not so much among conservatives. You kind of thread your way through this maze of different perspectives, different worldviews, different interests, different concerns that people have, to finally understand what is it that’s fighting people. I think, the choice of some of these issues was surprising to me, at least, very interesting. For instance, the fact that immigration isn’t that big of deal to liberals. I mean, gosh, if you turn on CNN or any of the liberal channels, that’s all they talk about. You’d think that this is number one on the hit parade, but when we asked liberals, themselves, what matters the most to them, that was not in their top echelon of issues.
Sam Rohrer: George, why you’re explaining this, it’s making me think in a different light here than I was going to go. When you talk about the liberal side of the equation, the immigration, environmental issues, and that kind of thing. To me, that almost is saying those are more the social justice type items of interest that are seeming to drive so much of what’s happening on the conservative side. They’re concerned about morality. They’re concerned about immigration, but it’s on the other side of that equation. It’s almost like the justice side, and the social justice side. Am I seeing some kind of connection there that’s accurate, or not? Talk to me on this.
George Barna: Well, yeah, but I always try to be really cautious about those labels that have been put on these things. For instance, conservatives being concerned about religious liberty or moral decline. I mean, those really, when you strip them down to what they’re about, those are about social justice as well. So, I think there’s been an attempt to hijack some terminology and to portray a high road for one group of people at the expense of another. This is part of how the political game is played. Because the media continually pump that into our minds, we often fall prey to that. It may be that what you’re suggesting is accurate, but I just encourage people, as well, to be really careful about the kind of labels that we’re being exposed to. The labels that are being attached to things that we’re taught to believe. “Oh, you know what? Environmentalism is social justice, but religious liberty isn’t.” Yeah, I would say that they’re really both a matter of social justice, and so maybe we need to expand our horizons and not automatically buy into what’s being said to us by really, a liberal media.
Sam Rohrer: George, I think that’s a great point. I don’t think we’re gonna be able to go there right now, but we’ve talked a lot about it and we tried on this program, do this define terms. That’s what I admonish or encourage our listeners, right now, as you’re listening, you hear these terms. Hear what George said. Be very careful, and it’s true. Don’t get locked up on one side of the other on the basis of some terminology, or group identification that someone may give, because you may not be there. You’ve got to define the terms, and of course, that’s why we go back to a biblical worldview, because unless we do that, we’re gonna be way off base.
I want to ask you one other question here, George. You identified these four issues that everyone that’s thinking about. It may not be the same end result, but they’re thinking about these issues: Gun rights, Donald Trump, quality of government, and tax policies. You site Donald Trump as the elephant in the room. His dominance is so enormous, it’s almost as if his presence becomes so great that we almost can’t even talk about the issues in an honest fashion. Have you ever seen anything quite like this, where a central figure in this country has almost seemingly overridden an honest discussion of the issues, because I’m afraid that a lot of the issues are just discounted right off because Donald Trump said it, perhaps on even both sides of the issue.
George Barna: Yeah, it’s a great point. I think it’s indicative of the fact that Donald Trump is endemic to the reality that we no longer have a foundation for truth. Truth now has become so personal, and so individualized that we can look at a particular individual, and if he or she doesn’t reflect what we believe, now we’re beginning to portray them as evil. You see, truth has become a moving target in our culture, and that’s why we can’t have a civil debate. In the past, we could have a debate where we actually wound up somewhere useful, because hopefully, some of the debaters will bring us back to, but what is truth. Well, when you live in a secular, humanist, or Marxist society, postmodern society certainly where there’s no such thing as an absolute moral truth, and there are no true foundations built on, all your left with is personal feelings, and the ability to outargue or out-manipulate somebody else.
So, that’s where are nation is today. Donald Trump has become that kind of major polarizing figure because there’s no truth for any of us to appeal to. With only one out of every ten Americans possessing a biblical worldview, with only three out of ten Americans bothering to read the bible during the course of the week, much less understand what it’s saying, we don’t have that foundation anymore, and that, I believe, is really the heart of the issue that we’re wrestling with.
Sam Rohrer: That, ladies and gentleman, as we continue our discussion of this research from American Culture and Faith Institute, Surprising Issues Driving Voter Decisions, we’re gonna talk a little bit more in this next segment about some of these areas where there are divisions. I’ve entitled America, polarized, split and miles apart. That’s one way of looking at it, but I think as you’d have heard George Barna say, when we as a nation, or any nation, set aside the common identification for truth, when this nation was a biblical worldview, it used to be. It used to be the Ten Commandments. When those were thrown out, when those had been cast aside, then where do you go to make your definition? Where do you go to determine moral rightness or wrongness? Because of that, I believe we’re seeing, as George mentioned, a lot of things happen in this society, now, very critical. We have to understand it.
Now, we’re gonna continue on with our special guest, George Barna. He is the Executive Director of the American Culture and Faith Institute, and really, the leading researcher from a Christian perspective of social trends, and what people think in this country, for such a long, long time. I’m just so glad for what he has done. The research just released here, that we’re looking at today, is Surprising Issues Driving Voter Decisions.
This phrase, as I put it out here, “One Nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” Of course, you recognize that as part of the pledge to our flag, but this is what it says. One nation, under one God. Because of that, it is really indivisible, and it’s marked by liberty and justice. Justice, as our founders knew, defined by truth, biblical truth, God’s truth balanced with mercy and applied equally to all. Now that’s justice, as understood by our founders and by our system of law, and to the extent that it’s understood, is effect you have justice. To the effect that that’s thrown out, you don’t have it. Now that being the case, yet according to the latest American Culture and Faith Institute Research about the attitudes and views of voters, and the issues that most concerned them, this portion of the pledge would appear to be under certain stress and jeopardy.
To find out more about what the research indicates and the implications of that, I want to invite back in now, George Barna, to Stand in the Gap, today. George, again, thanks for being with us today. When I look at your research that you do, which is so well done, I see major divides in relationship on groups of people that you are surveying in relationship to the President, in relationship to immigration, in relationship to the economy, to the role of government, all of those things. While there are always differences of opinion on people’s part, and that’s okay, these differences appear to be perhaps going deeper and far more passionately held, which makes me wonder whether or not they can be bridged. What are … In the groups as you’re looking at these issues, what are some of the more profound differences being held by the sides as you are viewing them? You said, immigration, there’s a plus and a minus. The President, there’s a plus and a minus. What are driving these distinctive differences?
George Barna: Oh, you know, so much of it comes back to what it is that people want for their lives. Of course, conservatives have a whole different point of view than liberals do. They have different dreams for their family, different dreams for their career, different dreams for their lifestyle, and certainly different dreams for the country they live in. Moderates, of course, falling somewhere in between there.
As we looked at the research, we find similar kinds of differences across the political parties, although one of the intriguing things to me over the past couple of years in particular, has been that as time goes on, Republican Party, the views of people who associate themselves with Republican Party, are increasingly similar to the views of conservatives. The views of people who associate with the Democratic Party, increasingly similar to the views of people who are liberals. Moderates kind of spread all over the map, and of course, what we find about moderates is that they don’t feel as strongly about almost any of the issues. We can look at listing, as we did in the survey of more than 30 issues, and find around almost each one their measures of intensity are almost always lower on every issue.
There are some things that are coming out, you know, incoming, but even when we look at things across faith groups, we find some interesting distinctions. We found that as we looked at seven different faith groups … We looked at SAGE Cons, the Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives. We looked at born again Christians. We looked at notional Christians, those are people who consider themselves to be Christian, but they don’t believe that they can feel assured of eternal salvation. They believe that they have to earn it, and they don’t know whether or not they have. We can look at people associated with non-Christian faith. Those are Jews, or Sikhs, or Buddhists, or whatever. Skeptics, Catholics and Protestants. Those are the seven groups. We found that there was only one issue that all seven of those faith groups said was gonna have a great deal of impact on their voting choices in November, and that was gun policy.
Then, when we looked at where they were coming out on that issue, the groups had different perspectives on that. Once again, unity on what issue mattered, disunity on how they looked at it. We found that there some issues like crime and violence, which were considered to me a major influence on the thinking of everybody except SAGE Cons. That wasn’t a big deal to them. We look at quality of government. Again, it was important to everybody except people associated with non-Christian faiths. Tax policy, all the religious segments except for Skeptics, said that it would have a major impact on their voting decisions in November. Healthcare, another one of those things that everybody, except SAGE Cons, said would be a major influence.
Again, it comes back to this whole issue of how does somebody take their faith, and collify it into some kind of a worldview, some kind of perspective, a philosophy of life if you will, that will help them to make sense of the world, and help them to use their personal resources to be invested in a way that really makes a difference and brings about the kind of world they want? That’s where you see it have an impact on these different issues. I would suggest that when you take a careful look at which groups choose which issues, and their stance on those issues, a lot of times, their stance seems somewhat contradictory to what their chosen faith would teach them to believe. There’s a lot of inconsistency and chaos.
Sam Rohrer: Well, I want to pick that question up, and pick up on that right now, here in the balance of this segment. You identified one portion of the research, where you entitled, “A dozen issues that are not influential.” These are, evidently, not that critical, but when I looked at them, I picked out a few. For instance, gay rights was one. Governmental debt and spending was another, and marriage and family stability was another. What I thought, now maybe I’m reading this wrong George, but when I looked at it I thought, “You know what? Not too many years ago, that was a big issue. All of them.” Gay rights, human sexuality, governmental debt and spending, marriage and family stability, and I’m wondering, am I looking at this right? Are we actually at a point where we’re seeing that these things, those that caught my attention, all of them are kind of like slow moving time bombs in a culture.
Ultimately, your debt can sink and collapse a nation. Marriage and family … If you don’t have a marriage, you’re gonna collapse your nation. If you have a dominant view of a homosexual view of life, you’re obviously gonna ultimately tank your society, because you’re not gonna have the children. So, am I looking at this thing right that perhaps there are groups that are looking and saying, these are no longer issues?
George Barna: You’re looking at it absolutely correctly. Basically, the issue comes down to, what do Americans think is worth fighting for? That list of issues has changed. Sam, when there’s no consistent worldview, or when that consistent worldview essentially boils down to do what feels right in the moment, which kind of is the reigning world view in America today, what you’ve got are feelings without a worldview, or any kind of values, constraints. So, the list of issues that you’re concerned about changes dramatically. You look at some of the things that you pointed out. Things like gay rights. Well, that used to be one of the top issues. That was one of the things that people thought, “Yeah, that’s worth fighting for.” Things have changed. Now, when we talk to people, they say, “Yeah, that’s already been decided. Besides, it’s a personal issue. Let people do what they want, as long as it doesn’t bother me.” Again, without any kind of a standardized worldview, everything is up for grabs.
You look at government debt. Well, we don’t really pay attention to government debt because number one, it’s kind of a hidden cost. People don’t realize how much of their money, how many days a year they’re working to pay for the government’s debt that was spent on their behalf, without our approval, and certainly without much benefit, but we’re not talking about that. We’re not concerned about that, why? Because it’s not put in front of us by the media. Who’s gonna put it in front of us? The media has to put it there and let us know. You know what? We’ve got a government that’s over 20 trillion dollars in debt. That’s just the Federal Government, not state and local. So, we’ve got an incredible amount of debt that will take generations and generations to pay off. But, because the media want us to become a Socialist Nation, the media want big government, and they want all of the entitlement programs to be available to people because somehow, they’ve decided that that’s what’s best for our future. They don’t cover things like the debt.
Things like marriage, again a personal kind of decision. This whole calculus of what matters has changed because our beliefs and our worldview has changed.
Sam Rohrer: Ladies and gentlemen, you’re hearing it straight up here, right now. Major issue. I compare it to almost like being a frog in the boiling water. We have changed a lot, a lot, and we don’t know it.
As we swing in now to our last segment on Stand in the Gap, today, we’ve been dealing with this issue of the latest research American Culture and Faith Institute: Surprising Issues Driving Voter Decisions. We’ve talked a lot about how decisions and views have been changing, and we’ve linked it very clearly to the dominant change, the way people view issues in this country, and what’s important is linked directly to their worldview. You have the biblical worldview, you’ll go one direction. You throw God off, you’re gonna go another direction. It’s just that simple. It’s not a matter, ladies and gentlemen, of whether or not you have a worldview. You do. It’s the question of which one? On this program, we talk about those solutions being able to make sense out of nonsense comes when we adopt and embrace a biblical worldview. But, we have many in this country that have rejected one, and it’s becoming, as we’re finding by this research, more apparent.
You know, differences in opinion, and holding differences of opinions on even significant issues is normal, and it’s healthy. But, coming to a final agreement on a pathway forward, and pulling together in unity at some point, is critical if there is to be progress. As our pledge says, and I recited it earlier, “liberty and justice for all” under God. Now, that’s what used to pull us together at the end of the day. We all know the truism of the statement that Jesus made, and repeated again by President Lincoln, that “A house divided against itself can not stand.” As we stand here in 2018, no matter how we want to imagine it, we are a divided nation. Divided on a lot of fronts, but really divided mostly on matters of worldview. Divided nations can not stand, not even the United States of America. So, what can be done? What must be done? We’re gonna talk about it now in this last segment with our special guest, George Barna.
George, we’ve had a guest or two on this program who have been very upbeat and said that the appearance of being divided in this nation is not true, that the division we see is manufactured by the media, but it doesn’t really exist in real America. I want to ask you, where is the division? I don’t want to focus on that. I want to focus on some healing, but we have to understand where we are. Are we divided, and if so, where?
George Barna: I think it’s pretty evident that we’re certainly divided. I think that we can say that the media have manufactured it. I would probably tend to say that the media has partly manufactured it, but they’ve partly magnified those differences, and they continue to try to build up those differences so that there’s this point of fermentation where radical action will be taken. I think the questions that we have to address are, okay … What do we as a nation stand for? What are people willing to fight for? How far are we willing to go? What are we willing to invest in? What are we willing to die for? We have this great nation because people before us, a couple centuries before us, really wrestled with these issues, and figured out the answers to those very questions, and they were willing to die for those answers. What are we willing to go that far for?
I don’t think there’s any doubt that United States today is approaching a point of moral and political anarchy. For me, it kind of brings to mind that biblical passage that says, “The people did what was right in their own eyes.” That’s what moral and political anarchy is, when everybody is simply trying to be “true to myself.” Trying to do what makes me feel right, what makes me feel whole, what makes me feel like I’m a good person, without regard to its impact on others around me. It’s really gonna take some strong leadership to realign us to be consistent and united, and to do that, we’re gonna have to get back to having a shared vision, and a commitment to some core principles that we build upon.
Sam Rohrer: George, you know, the President, he talked about the white elephant in the room. He is doing a lot of right things on matters of policy, but there’s also a lot of division being created. We’ve talked about a lot. The political positions are not the cure. They are a reflector of what’s happening, but we’ve talked about it. We do say, what the President’s doing, policy wise, is correct, but are we getting any closer to healing by what’s happening?
George Barna: No, I don’t see that. I think that a lot of the divisive language is simply making that gap bigger. I think that it’s hardening people’s positions, rather than softening people’s hearts. The key here is for us to recognize that a nation is a community of people with a common vision.
Sam Rohrer: There we go.
George Barna: You’ve got to get that sense of community, and you don’t get it by calling names, by throwing verbal bombs at each other. We’ve really got to find those points of collaboration, where we can reunite the nation.
Sam Rohrer: So George, it brings us to the question here, all right, we see the present. Conservatives would say, “Mr. President, we like what you’re doing. The issues are basically right.” But what you’re saying, so much of the way it’s being done is not helpful in leading us to unity. So, in this mix, where does the unity come from? As our listeners are listening, can they be a part of the healing process? Lay out some solutions here, because we need some healing in this nation.
George Barna: Yeah, I mean, if they’re not willing to be part of the healing process, there will be no healing process. Everyone of us has a responsibility in this. There’s an old saying. It goes, “You are the change.” So, I would say that if you want to see healing, you’ve got to bring it. If you want to see love, you’ve got to bring it. If you want to see understanding, it’s up to you to deliver this. If you want to experience and spread joy, you’ve got to be the one that’s initiating that.
For years and years, I kept looking for the one big political solution that would solve all the nation’s problems, and I would say the Lord finally led me through his words to understand, that’s not how it works. Things change one life at a time. A revolution is an accumulation of transformed lives that are walking together in lockstep towards truth and justice. So, if we want this nation to be brought back together …
You know, the whole point of Christianity isn’t that you attend church, or that we’re building buildings together, we’re singing nice songs, or even studying the Bible. It’s that we embody the life and the love of Christ, by displaying his principles every minute of every day, no matter where we are, no matter who we’re with. That’s our biggest challenge. That’s our greatest calling, is to love the world the way that Christ loved the world. Until we get to that place, where we’re willing to put political decisions aside, economic advantage aside, all of the other stuff. Just say, “You know what? That doesn’t matter.” My real purpose for being put on earth is to honor God, and the way that I do that is by following the example of Jesus Christ, every place I am, every moment of every day.
If we can clarify what that looks like in our own mind and heart, then we can start to practice it. Then we can make a commitment to it. Then we can really honor God, and we can bring about the revolution that we need without guns, without anger, without all the nasty words, without political division. We can do it through dialog. Friendly, loving, understanding dialog, and through practicing what we want to preach. That’s the light that people are seeking. That’s what we’ve been called to deliver.