Fast-forward twenty-seven years from my senior year in college to the summer of 1995. No longer was I an agnostic who had all the answers. But instead, I was now a seeker who needed answers from the Lord.
As I paced around the living room, softly praying and asking the Lord for His help in my financial needs, He dropped a bombshell on me.
“You don’t like America,” whispered a gentle voice to my heart.
I stopped in my tracks. “What?” I spoke aloud.
No sooner was the word out of my mouth, I had a vision. In it, I saw the anti-war rallies of the 1960’s, the books concerning the Vietnam War and America’s many mistakes in fighting it, President Nixon’s Watergate problems and all of my judgmental attitudes toward America and its leaders.
“How can you minister for Me to a nation you dislike?” whispered the gentle voice to my heart.
I fell on the floor and wept. How could I argue with the Truth? I did not like America!
“Lord, I’m sorry. Forgive me,” I cried. Then I added, “Lord, give me a love for America.”
And just like that, I loved America. Yes, it’s an imperfect nation. Yes, it has imperfect leaders. Yes, it has made many mistakes. But I love America; and so does Jesus.
From that day forward, this revelation reverberates within me: If you are going to give strong prophetic words to a person or a group or a region or a nation, check yourself first. Make sure you love them. And then, make sure you’re willing to identify with them and to suffer their penalties for them. This is what Jesus did for us at the cross and we are to be just like Him.
Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27)
My journey in politics from one deep ditch along the side of the road to the ditch on the opposite side of the road is much like Christianity’s problems with politics.
(Continued in Part 4)