It bothers me when I hear politicians, and former politicians, call for a Lasting Peace in the Middle East… especially a Southern politician, a Baptist, at that, and… a former President of the US.
I am referring, among others, to former “horrible” President Jimmy Carter of Plains, Georgia.
Now, let me see if I can explain this a bit:
It is always difficult to “unmix” politics and religion; at least it is for me. I really like to keep them separate, as much as I can… with the knowledge that each will, most certainly, intrude on the other… and there is no way to stop that. Not in a free society, anyway.
I was raised Southern Baptist. I left the Baptist church when I was in my mid-twenties and became a Lutheran. I felt the Lutheran church offered me something I could not find in my former denomination. Today that offering has been revoked and I find myself a “non-practicing” Lutheran.
Experience in the Baptist church taught me many things. One is that the policy Mr. Carter is suggesting, a “Lasting Peace in the Middle East”, is certainly not what the Baptist church teaches... at least they didn’t when I was a Baptist. In fact, it taught just the opposite… that there would be no peace, whatsoever, in the Middle East, until the return of Christ and the great battle of Armageddon.
So, you can imagine how my jaw dropped when I read Carter’s article in the Washington Post. You can find it HERE.
What’s going on here? Has “Jimma” finally gone round that bend he has been approaching, rather rapidly, of late? Or, has the Baptist church changed its stance on Peace in the Middle East? I simply don’t know. But, knowing the Baptists, as I do, (there are a number of my family, including my brother, who are Baptist ministers) I cannot believe the church has changed its teachings to reflect modern, secular, politics. (I expect I’ll hear from a Baptist, or two, about this! Fine people, those Baptists!! How’s that for “sucking-up”?)
The last I heard, (and I have some friends who travel to Georgia, fairly often, and attend church at Carter’s church… and even attend the Sunday School class he teaches, or did teach.) the Baptist Church had not changed it’s teaching on “End Times”, Armageddon, or the Rapture. So, I have to wonder how other Baptists, members of one of the most conservative denominations on the earth, feel about this prominent Baptist misrepresenting their belief.
Carter’s association with the Baptists and his obvious break with them concerning Israel, and the Middle East, is a puzzlement. But then, politicians, who wear their religion on their sleeves, have always raised my eyebrows.
There is a distinct difference between wearing one’s religion on one’s sleeve, and practicing one’s religion, as that worthy adversary, Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman, does. I do not question his faith. He lives it.
Seems to me America would be a much better place if our politicians would LIVE their religion rather than publicly touting it as so many do.
Am I guilty of judging others by going against the biblical precept, “Judge not, that ye be not judged”? Of course I am! Christ himself said: “Ye shall know a tree by the fruit it bears.” I’m just examining the fruit! I’m kind of a “fruit inspector”, if you will.
I suggest we ALL begin examining the fruit we’re being offered much more closely than we have in the past. All the evidence we need to convince those among us who STILL need convincing has been splattered all over the media lately.
J. D. Longstreet