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 a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."

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