Sunday, April 3, 2011

Can Obama ‘Win the Future’ at the expense of Our Past?

It is apparent that the new campaign and operational slogan for the Obama camp is "Winning the Future." It seems so perfectly youth oriented and Chairman Mao in its aspect but is it something that is costing us everything we have ever been?

Just when you thought the Bible concerns itself with sin and righteousness or heaven and hell alone, you are confronted with a verse like this. "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old" (Mt 13: 52 NIV)

Cults and heresies tend to sweep into a person's life and demand that they give up all of their past relationships and most of their old behavior. Real Christianity does not do that, but rather demands that we strengthen our relationships with others and calls for us to do better at what we already do in our calling or on the job. Christ never demands that we trash every bit of what we have become, but only that we submit it all to him to bring what's good in balance with what must be discarded or abandoned.

In fact God often uses all that we have already developed in education, skills and various talents to glorify him and advance the kingdom. It is the treasure pulled from the storehouse, some new and some old.

I preach from time to time as opportunity arises and I have over five hundred articles on line and in print. I have published two books, written five and never once really thought of myself as a writer or journalist. I only think of myself as did the Apostle Paul who said "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1Cor 9:22)

I have never felt the urging of the Holy Spirit to give up playing the several stringed instruments I play, nor to cease singing the two hundred or so American folk songs I know, the two hundred or so Irish and Celtic songs I do and the seven or eight hundred hymns, songs and bluegrass gospel songs I play.Add to that the hobbies I have been involved with over the years and a few other pursuits including running one of the best little websites of its kind on the internet.

Just so I don't get lost in a long list of personal meanderings the point is this. My first and most important calling in life is to be a child of God, a servant. Secondly I am a preacher, prophet and teller of the will and counsel of God. But after all that I am just myself.

I have spent years telling others that God does not want to rob anyone of their personality and best traits or talents. Connecting to Christ is about changing our character and our vision of life and it is for the best. It is not un-armed robbery done by a benevolent God to leave us in a place of disconnection from our own sense of ourselves.

It is here that I will abruptly leave behind all reference to myself and apply all I have just said to our national psyche or our national character. All we are today is a result of all that has gone on before, with the accomplishments and failures, with all our historical highs and our most regrettable lows.

All that America has been cannot be discarded on the slogan, the whim or the concerted efforts of a few people who think we need a whole new direction even if it is not very well defined, nebulous and misguided, not to mention dangerous. Some people say Mr. Obama is a socialist or worse, yet others think he is one of the dark personages of the scripture sent to lead this nation and perhaps the world into its last waltz of the history of man as we know it.

Those who say, no, we must return to the foundations and the things that once made the country great are looked upon as lumbering, dinosauric, and slow footed blockheads who are slowing down the very progress of the nation.

It is not the comparison of the old and the new that wins this argument it is the feeling of loss that cries out to the nation. The loss of strength and confidence at home, tranquility in our towns and cities and the honor, dignity and standing we once had in the eyes of the entire world. As these things slip away the call to "winning the future" becomes a call to give up the treasures we have pulled out of our storehouses marked as old, and a call to retain only those marked as new. To do so, would be a loss of about half of everything we are, and have ever been.

At this juncture I am compelled to resort to the calling and purpose for which I was born. Whatever I may have ever been or yet may be is based and centered by the calling to see. It is here that I can safely say that this nation does not want to 'win the future' at the total expense of her past.

Seers are supposed to warn but that is not all they do. Along with the warnings come admonition and counsel that points toward the windows of escape or a better path. Sometimes that path has to do with returning to what has been established and is pragmatic, proven or utilitarian. It is perhaps best described in the old adage, "If it's not broke, don't fix it." Seers must give warning but they also show us windows to better days and better ways. Often those windows are views to our past.

In a recent newscast President Obama was heard exclaiming his amazement with all the new handheld electronic phones and gadgets for reading books and using apps. It was impossible to miss the contrast shown on a primetime offering of the new Blue Bloods a CBS drama that follows the life and family of the New York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan played by Tom Selleck and Mr. Obama's titillation with electronic toys.

In one episode where the life of one family member was narrowly saved from certain death they are found sitting at a supper table together at the end of the day and bowing their heads to say grace. Selleck says, "This isn't something that is done much anymore in this country but it is what makes us strong as a family."  

Does the strength come from the fact that it is an old tradition or a revered or nostalgic allusion to a nobler past and better time? Not on your life! Such things aren't great because they come from the past but they are great because of their own intrinsic value. They were not broken then and they are not broken today.

The Blue Bloods scene is a prime example of heeding the warnings and choosing a window (to the past) instead of racing off with the purveyors, sycophants and mindless middling's of the nascent. Here is a perfect picture of why we do not need to fix what was never broken.

Look out the window America and see your past. has since 2005 featured the articles of columnist Rev Michael Bresciani along with news and reviews that have earned this site the title of The Website for Insight. Millions have read his timely reports and articles in online journals and print publications across the nation and the globe.


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