You Are A Good Man, Charlie Brown
President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
preached the goodness of man and the American people. In all cases they spoke to us as
they saw us, not as we were. And somehow we became better. With each confirmation of our
greatness and goodness we were challenged to do more and be better. Over the years the
American people have met the challenge---a military powerful enough to exert pressure on
tyrants around the world and an economy large enough to reward those who would avoid a
violent persuasion; the world leader in the exploration of outer space and implementation
of technology gained; technological potency unmatched; a moral conscious that protects the
downtrodden and provides an adequate standard of living for the poor.
Although there remain wrongs to be righted, any American who has traveled abroad will
attest that the U.S.A. is still the best place in the world to live.
By the information now available about the private lives of President and Senator Kennedy
and Dr. King, we know that they were not perfect and cannot be certain that we would have
been as inspired to act had this information been widely known at the time. (Would we have
been willing sacrifice for our country if we knew then what President Kennedy would not
deny himself?) Certainly character does matter when motivating the masses, or at least
what is believed about a person's character by their reputation.
Today our economy is thriving; our military is strong; we are a prosperous people, with
private resources great enough to send the gospel to the four corners of the earth. Yet
the reputations of our current leaders have been sullied, some say justly so. Should the
character of our leaders be our problem? Is our democracy a referendum on character or the
ability to lead? Is there a difference? Does it matter?
In America we have a say about who leads. We all have the opportunity to vote based on
what we believe to be the dominant issues. If we think that the economy is the most
important issue facing us, we would naturally vote for persons promising (promising by way
of demonstrated ability to impact) the most in terms of an improved economy. If the
economy really is the key to our success, providing more to more would certainly result in
a better society. Increased funds for education would enable those who would otherwise be
forced into a life of crime to obtain suitable employment. Expanded technology would rid
us of many of the illnesses and diseases that have plagued us over the centuries, as well
as newer illnesses. The availability of the essentials to all would eliminate the envy
that leads to strife. Or would it?
Does our better society depend on our economic, military, or technological might; or does
it depend on God's grace to His people? And if we believe the latter, do we not have a
responsibility to vote our convictions? Is 2 Chronicles 7:14
"If my people, which are
called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from
their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal
their land," still applicable today? Of course it is! But then why is America doing
so well despite the continually surfacing character flaws of our leaders?
Perhaps God has blessed America because we
exist in America? We may be the only reason this nation continues
to prosper. We are the ones who
". . . make up the hedge, and stand in the gap"
(Ezekiel 22:30 KJV) before God on behalf of America. And as we are, our
words offered to God in prayer, will certainly have an impact on the
character of our leaders and elected officials. That is why we must pray
unceasingly for our elected officials and any who would lead. If we do our
part, there will be continued prosperity and peace and goodwill will reign
and the country will indeed be filled with good men and women---1 Timothy
2:1-2 (KJV) "I exhort therefore, that, first of
all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made
for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead
ahttp://www.cafepress.com/scripturestuff quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."