Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Don't be a Stooge for a Political Cause

An interesting thing occurred while I was editing my new book One Thing: A Revolution to Change the World with Love. Some dear friends read the book for me and offered feedback. They assumed what my view was on certain issues simply because I was not espousing their views. I was not at all saying what they thought I was. The patterns in their brain “filled in” information that I actually never wrote. I asked myself why this happened. I had one of my friends read a chapter three times and then went over it with him line by line until he saw what I was actually saying. We were not so far off in our beliefs after that. One can argue from this that I am not a good communicator, but I think there is more.
I believe we all have been programmed to hear with a bias that doesn’t always allow us to actually hear what is being said. We have been force fed by media only two options and challenged to choose a side. We are so accustomed to the same sound bites on both sides that when we hear something different from our point of view our brains automatically dump the voice into the opposite category without really listening. We’re programmed to defend ourselves and demonize others. We have allowed the propaganda to infiltrate our minds so much that we cannot grasp any other alternatives than the two heaped upon us constantly by media.
It is entirely possible that readers with left leaning will think that my book is too conservative. It is also probable that readers that are conservative will feel I am left-leaning in my thoughts. This is not bad news to me, but actually a sign of success. Why? Because you cannot put Jesus on a side. He does not fit into your categories or align with any political agenda. He will not be the Right’s mascot or the Left’s rallying cry. Jesus challenges all of us, wherever we are, to change. There are two sides: his or not his (Matt. 12:30). He will not be packaged to fit a typical pundit’s commentary or coerced to take our side on any issue (Jos. 5:13–15).
“It was for freedom that Christ set you free” (Gal. 5:1). Free your mind and free your soul so that you, too, can be different enough to make a difference. Do not be a mouthpiece for a cause beyond Jesus. Do not let rich old white men in a room full of cigar smoke and expensive Scotch determine what you believe. A fraternity of elites in ivory towers with utopian dreams and zero tolerance of any other point of view should not determine your choice. You have Jesus as your head. Jesus is not a Republican, and he is not a Democrat. Jesus is not a capitalist or a communist. He doesn’t need to vote; in fact, in the end he has the only deciding vote in his kingdom. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Follow him and be different so that you can change this world.
The same old thing never changed anything. There is only one thing that can truly change this world, and his name is Jesus. You can’t have a one-thing spirituality and other things as well. By its very definition, a one thing is an “only thing.” Pursue the one thing at the expense of everything.
Welcome to the revolution. 
These are actually the last paragraphs of my newest book One Thing: A Revolution to Change the World with Love available wherever books are sold.


Drewe said...


JW James said...

Ah so you are an anarchist :)

Steve Simms said...

I so understand. My liberal friends think I'm conservative and my conservative friends think I'm liberal. But all I am doing is trying to see things from Jesus' perspective and walk out the Greek New Testament concept of ekklesia with other Christ-followers who are willing to set aside their agendas, plans, programs, comfort zone in order to hear and obey the direct voice and instructions of the risen Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Well said! Your comments also scratch the surface of a concept not discussed much: unconscious bias. The more we practice "perspective taking" the better we can understand, and communicate with, each other, even across cultural, political, or other demographic divides.

Neil Cole said...

JW, Ha! Yeah that proves my point. You are either a democrat or a republican and the only other option is a commie anarchist that wants to burn down the world.

Neil Cole said...

Yes, today I was watching a cable news program and one of the pundits referred to our financial state as the "Bush Recession." I'm not excusing Bush for some of our mess, but to excuse two terms of Obama and still say its all Bush's fault is so obviously asinine. Actually, both presidents did pretty much the same thing and it amounted to pretty much the same thing. Both were backed by huge financial institutions. Both bailed out large institutions. Both offered measly incentives to try and stimulate the economy...unsuccessfully. And both blame the other side of the aisle for all that ails us.

That's the way it works. You put two people on the TV of opposing views and they spew their venom to demonize the other side and we are forced to either agree or be the enemy. This is nonsense and dumbing down our people. The worst part is it is working! We are so used to being stooges that when a charlatan, lying, blowhard, celebrity bully says he's going to make America great again the people believe him. God have mercy. We are quickly letting our worst nature not just come out but take over.

Anonymous said...

I'm basically a Libertarian. I'm not right or left, but simply believe that open free exchange of goods and services brings the most people out of poverty, creates wealth and innovation. Rules and regulations rarely have the intended consequences our rulers believe they will.

Can I follow this belief system and still be a dedicated Christ follower? I often struggle with this, because true freedom means allowing others to behave in ways I simply don't agree with. I simply don't believe in legislating good or moral behavior beyond laws that keep us safe (murder, theft).

Anonymous said...

The term 'Revolution' carries with it heavy implications. While some have no trouble getting your meaning, others have no trouble distorting it (for whatever reason)! I would submit our 'Republic' has been under assault from the beginning by; what I call: the Corpocracy! In fact there is a little known book titled 'The Coming Battle' which delineates how and who; read it!
There you will learn the author was prescient to write and describe correctly our current condition in 1899... Yes it was 1899! Imagine that,,,

Neil Cole said...

This post is an excerpt from my book. In the book I explain the meaning of a revolution and demonstrate throughout what I am actually saying. Check it out!

Revolution (from revolve) means to turn things around.

Anyway, hope that helps a little.