Oct

18

Reflections From The Stump

By pastorbillwalden

A Funny Image, Thats All

A Funny Image, That's All

Life in Jesus continues to be amazing to me. I spoke at a political rally today.  It’s not my normal gig.

The rally was billed as a Prayer Rally for those in favor of Propositions 4 & 8.

Prop 4 deals with the issue of teenage girls being able to have an abortion without parental consent.  Prop 8 is the effort to define traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman.

I am really glad that I spoke at this rally. I would have been glad to just be there, but the added responsibility of being one of the speakers put an extra twist on things.

I’ll write briefly here on my experience, since it is Saturday night, and I need to be studying for Sunday morning. The location was the lawn of a local High School, on the corner of the busiest intersection in Napa.  About 100+- protesters were already there when I arrived, marching in a circle around the area where the rally was being held.  They were loud, a few were disrespectful, and they were carrying signs and balloons.  When I saw the balloons, I asked myself, “How bad can this get?  They’re not carrying weapons, only signs and balloons.  This isn’t Tienanmen Square, and things will be fine.”  I was right.  There was nothing more than loud voices, honking horns, chanting, and one megaphone.

I’ll post some other aspects of my experience tomorrow. Below is a copy of what I sought to communicate to the folks that were there.  I didn’t exactly stick to my notes, as I was distracted by one protester, but I got to share the important points.  By the way, the main group of protesters left before I spoke.  I would have preferred them to be there, but that’s O.K.  Maybe I am ADD or something, and it’s better that they were gone…I dunno…

Here’s a copy of my notes…keep in mind that they were written as a reference for me…not as a literary piece.

Props. 4 & 8 Rally

Introduction
Name, pastor, church name, been here 17 years, love Napa.
Not here speaking on behalf of Cornerstone Ministries.
There are varying political opinions in our church.
Our church is not a Democratic church or a Republican church.
Political allegiance is not an interest to me.
I am here as a Christian man who has chosen the Bible as the guide for my life.

We have a varied crowd here today.
People of different faiths, perhaps atheists or agnostics.

Different political perspectives…
Republicans, Democrats, Independents, perhaps people not registered to vote.

Before going any further, let me speak to anyone here that may resent or struggle with people of faith, with church goers, or with pastors.
I do not stand before you to defend the history of the church, or much of the present activity of what is called Christianity.
If you have been treated badly by someone who uses the name of God, or of Jesus Christ, I am sorry that you experienced that.

Churches are full of very imperfect people.
We are very capable of wrong expressions of anger, self righteousness, and shallowness.
We are capable of self service, greed, and arrogance.
None of those characteristics can be assigned to Jesus Christ. He was none of those things.
But I admit that all of those things are possible and do happen sometimes, in the name of God.

Because I am a Christian, and a pastor, I hope that you do not find me guilty by association.
I ask that you would hear me out.
I ask that you would not pre-judge me, and I pray that I do not pre-judge you.

We live in a country where we have great freedom to share our opinions.
In many countries around the world, such rights are taken away from citizens.
They are told what they will do, and are not allowed freedom of choice re. life.
We have that privilege here in the U.S., and with that privilege comes great responsibility.

We are obviously in an election year.
Perhaps the most critical election in our nation’s history.
We as citizens have the responsibility of voting.
Political parties are polarized.
Lifestyle preferences are polarized.
People are angry, and understandably so.
Many of our leaders have failed us.

We are called upon to cast our vote for how we think our country should be run.
Who should lead.
What should be lawful or unlawful.
We cast our votes because we have opinions about what is right, fair, and good.

I have my opinions of what should be lawful or unlawful.
I have my preference of who I would choose for President and Vice President.
Quite frankly, I will be glad when the elections are over.
Part of me is so tired of hearing about it.

I do not look to either Barak Obama or John McCain as the ones who will make all things right.
We live in a Democratic society, and I strongly believe that we all should vote.
But my confidence is not in man.
My confidence and my hope is in God.

My goal is not to persuade you to vote according to my conviction today.
I am not here to make you agree with me.
Those who are for Props. 4 & 8 have their minds made up.
Those against have their minds made up.
There may be a few undecided people in the crowd.

I DO think that I am right about my opinions regarding these propositions.
If I have an opinion, I should believe that it is right.
Those with an opinion opposite of mine should believe that they are right too.
With the issues that we face, we must have an opinion.
And we ought to be able to discuss our differences with respect and love towards one another.

The BIG question that I submit to this crowd is this: WHY do you believe what you believe?

There may be some who are moved by emotion.
We cannot allow ourselves to be people that live by our emotions or feelings.
Emotions are not reliable.

We cannot be people who simply have an opinion without having a reason for that opinion.
We are voting for a President and a Vice President.
We are voting on what the legal definition of marriage will be.
We are voting on whether a teenage girl can have an abortion w/o her parents knowing about it.

These are critical issues.
I submit to you that the wrong decisions will have catastrophic consequences in the future.
The cost of being wrong about such things will bring immediate consequences, and will create hardships for the next generation.

We are being asked to believe the candidates.
They are claiming to have the answers to what this country needs.
They are making us promises about bringing change that will solve our problems.

We are being asked to believe those who have drafted Propositions 4 & 8 are right.
They are claiming to be correct. Others say that they are wrong.

We cannot afford to be wrong on such issues that will affect our nation, our friends, and our children.The stakes are too high.

I have made a decision to not trust my feelings.
I have made a decision to trust what I read in this book, the Bible.
This book, the Word of God, gives me direction for life.
I believe that it is inspired by God.

Sometimes it steps on my toes, and corrects me, and convicts me, and tells me that I am wrong.
Other times it brings me comfort, and revelation.

To follow the Word of God is my conviction, and this is how I have chosen to live.
I try to live so that my life is not a self determined life, but one that looks to God, who alone has supreme wisdom and knowledge.

I do not believe that humanity has been left to live by its own wisdom and instinct.
Humanity has a very bad track record of deciding what is right.
For that matter, much of organized religion has a bad track record in deciding what is right.
I believe that God wants to lead this nation.
I believe that God wants to lead you as an individual

I am speaking to each on of us, and asking you this question:
Why do you believe what you believe?
What leads you to believe that you are right?

You will cast your vote as an individual.
Hopefully you will make up your own mind.
You ought to have reasons for your opinion.
Feelings and emotions are not enough for such important issues.

Will your reasoning be limited to your own wisdom?
Will you depend on the so called experts and professionals?
Will you vote according to party lines?
Will you vote for what is most convenient for your life?
Will you vote for what is right, even though it may complicate your life?
Will you look to a Higher Power for guidance?
How will you know your Higher Power is right? Will you look to the God of the Bible?

Why is this line of thinking so important?
Why shouldn’t I just tell you that I am right, and that if you disagree with me, that you are wrong?
Why should I bother to ask you why you believe what you believe?
Does it really matter?

I say yes, it matters. You must understand “why” you believe what you believe.
It affects every decision you will make. Not just at the ballot box, but in every area of life.

Our votes are simply a reflection of who and what we are.
The issues of our nation are a reflection of our national choices and values.
The issues of our state are a reflection of the inhabitants of our state.

Is your vote simply a matter of convenience, preference, or sympathy for others?
Or do you have a strong conviction that your vote is right, regardless of popular opinion?
And by what authority is your vote right?

WE must decide on an individual level…
Will I be a person led by emotions?
Will I be a person led by my political party?
Will I be a person who is led by my own opinion?
Will I be a person that is led by the professionals?
Will I be a person who is led by God, and His revealed Word?

Luke 6:39-49 39And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 41And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
43“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
46“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 47Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the sand without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

1. Our nation needs to examine itself, but this only happens on an individual level.
2. Our nation cannot expect that good fruit will come if the tree is bad. What is in our hearts?
3. Our nation has increasingly built on the sand of popular opinion, and has pushed God out of national thinking. We are seeing the consequences of that in all aspects of all culture.

We are at an economic, military, cultural and ethical crossroads.
In my opinion, more importantly, we are at a spiritual crossroads.

I am voting yes on Propositions 4 & 8, because I believe that is what is right & good in God’s eyes.
May God in His mercy and grace, bless America, and may America bless God.

21 Responses so far

Praise God for His goodness and mercy! Thank you Pastor Bill for speaking.

That was powerful! I’m sure God spoke to hearts of those ‘who have ears to hear’ – that was my prayer –
Bueno!

Bravo! I wish I had been there to hear it, and I wish those who left early had stayed. I thank God for your leadership in this town. Thank you for having the courage to stand up and speak the truth. What you said is both convicting and healing. Would that more of our leaders – in government, in the press, as well as in churches – spoke to us like this.

Becky, Helen, Susan,

Thanks for the encouraging words. I will tell you that I was nervous going in. I am used to a friendlier crowd.

As I sat there watching people march, and reading their signs, (and realizing that they were carrying balloons, not guns or tomatoes) a lot of my apprehension left.

I’m no hero, that’s for sure. It was a small thing in God’s grand design, but it was good and right.

More about this Monday or Tuesday. I learned some good things today. We need to be out in public…we need to be among the unsaved in the world…we need to be fishers of men.

That was an excellent presentation, Bill. Great job. Not only did you answer with truth, but you also answered with much grace. Well reasoned, Biblical, excellent.

You represented the Lord and His people very well. Thanks for doing that. I’m proud of your response.

great presentation, Bill. I hope and pray that God has used this to soften some hearts of people who live in your community.

It’s times like this that I am glad I don’t live in the Golden State anymore, but it’s is probably only a matter of time before we are fighting this fight here in Oregon..

still california dreamin

have a blessed Lord’s day

PB, thanks for being a light and having the “guts” to speak out today about what you think is right. Should any of us have an opportunity like this to speak out from the heart, I pray that we would do so with conviction and resolve. Keep strong and courageous. Peace, Rich

Bill, Mike, Rich,

I appreciate you men and thanks for the encouragement.

When we consider that 500 Christians are killed daily for their faith (according to Voice Of The Martyrs magazine), my efforts are not even a blip on the radar screen.

I do believe that not only opposition will increase in our lifetimes, but that persecution will follow, as it is in other parts of the world.

I am not a doomsday prophet, but I read my Bible.

It is interesting to be that we are told, “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man”. When Jesus returns to earth, it will be as bad as it was in Noah’s day.

We are, in my opinion, more on that course with each passing year.

I look forward to sharing more of how God used this event in my life.

Blessings…

Great message Bill.

Okie,

By the time you read this again, your Sunday service will have come and gone. Blessings on your new effort.

Someday, may we sit and worship God together.

Wait a minute….someday we will!

It will be my great privilege, brother (and if I am reading the Scripture right, it will be yours as well!) 🙂

Bill,
you said:
“I do believe that not only opposition will increase in our lifetimes, but that persecution will follow, as it is in other parts of the world.”

I agree with you. The burden of my heart has been for the younger generation[s], not only my children and others in their age group, but my grandchildren as well. We dedicated a little baby girl of a godly couple this morning, I strongly encouraged the parents to continue walking with the Lord and to teach their daughter His ways. I have to wonder what type of a world she will grow up in……

We need to insure we have a strong handoff in passing the torch, which includes leaving the legacy of finishing well ourselves.

If we do not finish well, our children will not finish well. We are their example and our responsibility is to communicate our faith to them in word and in deed.

Speaking of children – after years of prayer – the Lord blessed me to go to to Calvary Chapel, Concord this morning with my grown son … for the first time!

– it was a powerful message from Luke 9: 18-26 – “Who do you say that I Am” –

my son and i had a moving discussion afterward – seeds were planted that i’m praying will bear good fruit for the glory of God in his life!

Praise God for all He is – for His love and His power!

God is faithful and able to keep us to the very end!

Helen,
Woo-hoo…rejoicing with you.

Okie,
Amen and amen. Our lives speak to our children so much more loudly than do our words.

blessed: You are truly blessed indeed. What wonderful news!

Bill. What a blessing! We all need to be willing and ready to be used by God at all times. He is seeking whom He may use, we need to be the willing vessels.
Just as Isaiah was willing “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
I know it is easier said than done; and yet knowing that God is with us can give us the confidence to stand up for what is right, whether there be signs, balloons, or guns. (Guns would definately require much more courage)
Bill, I am blessed by your ministry and how you allow God to use you in this dark world. You are an example of what a willing heart should look like. God bless you.

Hi Boss,

I’ve already told you after you spoke that I appreciated your comments. I know you had some other experiences there also and look froward to hearing further some ofyour thoughts on them.

Where did you get my x-rays, that was private information!!

( -;} Coach

Coach,
🙂 You are too funny.

But you got it all wrong, those are my x-rays…

Helen, I have a big smile on my face after reading your posting. I was 45 before I was broken enough to realize God was speaking to me and humbled enough to listen. Keep being a light to your son and loving him with prayer!

Bill – I was a bit confused at the start of the article, I thought that Prop 4 was IN FAVOR of a minor’s right to an abortion without parental consent and that you were voting yes in that regard. Am I correct that Prop 4 would PROHIBIT that in the case of a minor?

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