By Bob and Rose Weiner
Published September 1, 1988
Once to every man and nation
comes the moment to decide;
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood,
for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new messiah,
offering each the bloom of blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand
and the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by forever
‘twixt that darkness and that light.
from “The Present Crisis”
by James Russell Lowell
Every man’s case seems just until another man comes to try it. The leaders of the Democratic Party had their say in Atlanta this past July. It appeared for one brief moment that some of their defecting members were “coming back home” to the party. But when the Republicans convened in New Orleans in August, they weighed the Democratic platform in the balance and found it wanting.
President Reagan threw down the gauntlet that Sunday evening in mid-August when he arrived in New Orleans prior to the convention’s opening. He announced: “This is not a political campaign we are waging. This is a crusade for America’s future! … This is a moment of hope for America, and now, in a moment of folly, we can throw it all away. The fate of generations to come, the hopes of peace and freedom for this world and for our children rests upon us.
“… We are the keepers of the flame, the dream, that the blessings of freedom will be the birthright of every person on God’s green earth … While we are here in New Orleans, we must tell America of our vision for the future, of our vision for peace among nations, of our destiny and our great calling as a nation.”
Reagan was more than a president who was preparing to turn the helm of the party and the country over to another captain. He was crying out as a prophet to his fellow Americans to help him save the ship of state.
As revelations of Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis and the “hidden agenda” of the liberal Democrats were exposed, the sense of disaster looming upon the horizon became all the more apparent. The atmosphere of Democratic special interest politics paled in the white-hot light of the Republican rendition of love for God, home, and country. While the Democrats feigned obedience and made a pretense toward patriotism, the Republican convention smacked of the “real McCoy.”
Vision, purpose, ideals, and direction for America’s future poured forth like water in the wilderness of the liberal rhetoric heard in July.
A month earlier, the Democrats produced only one man of burning oratory and one woman of winning speech. The Democratic nominee himself admitted his hesitation to follow them, feeling that he was a rather boring speaker. This admission, and the empty ring of liberal rhetoric, only served to reveal the poverty of ideas and lack of vision and spirit that the liberal agenda brings to November’s campaign.
Meanwhile in New Orleans, leaders with heart-moving passion addressed the American people each night. Tears came to many eyes as the values that tug at the heartstrings of Americans were brought into focus. As one convention delegate commented, “Well, its truth. It just goes right to the heart of the American people.”
Throughout the week, from Christian vocalist Sandy Patty’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” – which marked the convention’s opening – to George Bush’s acceptance speech, the benediction, and the stirring verses of “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America,” electricity and deep, heartfelt emotion filled the air.
As the Republicans stated their position without equivocation on social and moral issues, religious freedom, economics, strong defense, foreign policy, education, etc., the Democrats began to be viewed with suspicion. They had remained silent on these issues a month earlier. As the Republican governor from Nebraska, Kay Orr, stated, “The Republicans share their vision with the American people. The Democrats hide theirs from the people. Dukakis is a “stealth” candidate who tries to hide himself and his position from the people. They know if people find out what they stand for they will lose.
“We say loud and clear we won’t raise taxes – period! However, from the Democrats, there is no word about taxes. In a poll taken at the Democratic convention, 67% of the delegates favored a tax increase, but 65% wanted to keep it out of the party platform or to cloak their views in empty rhetoric.”
Even more alarming was the advice given to special interest groups headed by homosexuals, women, Blacks, and Hispanics in the Democratic Party. The following statement made by one of the major Democratic election advisors appeared in Congressional Quarterly: “Just shut up and you will get everything you want after the election. In the meantime, just shut up so we can win.”
The Republicans peppered their speeches with “God bless you” and “God bless America,” continually evoking the blessings of God upon one another and the nation. George Bush openly acknowledged, “There is a God and He is good and His love, while free, has a self-imposed cost. We must be good to one another.” The absence of the “G” word (God), as presidential nominee Pat Robertson put it, was very obvious in Atlanta one month earlier.
In New Orleans, not only were Christian ministers and statesmen invited to do their share of the speaking, but love for God and country was a major foundation of the Republican platform. However, in Atlanta one month earlier, Senator John Glenn went so far as to rebuke the Christians for trying to bring God into politics. As one news commmentator noted after Glenn’s jab, “The climate has certainly changed since the last election. No one would have dared make such a statement in ’84.”
Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when we learned that Michael Dukakis is a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization committed to removing all public affirmation of religion or acknowledgement of God. This fact takes on even a more ominous tone when we realize that the next president will have the opportunity of packing the Supreme Court with new appointees. If Dukakis’ judicial choices followed suit with other ACLU leaders, we could expect horrendous legislation that would hinder religious freedom and encroach upon every other precious American liberty for decades.
Two Different Visions of the Future
In his acceptance speech, Bush observed, “The stakes are high this year. The choice is crucial, for the differences between the candidates are as deep and wide as they have ever been in our long history. There are not only two very different men, but two very different ideas of the future will be voted on.”
That difference is observable in many different ways. It is underscored, first of all, in each candidate’s view of the office of the Presidency. Bush sees the President as an idealist who must see to it that government intrudes as little as possible with the life of America’s citizens. He believes it is right and proper that a nation’s leader take an interest in the nation’s character and that the President must be able to define and lead a mission.
Dukakis, at the opposite end of the spectrum, would rather dispense with the inspiration and ideals. He just wants to roll up his sleeves and get to work managing big government. But then, if your heart does not burn with purpose, if there is no sense of mission, then it is hard to muster up stirring oratory to support very much. As Bush stated, “A person who is competent can make the gears mesh, but still know nothing about the magic of the machine.”
There are two different views of America and its role in the world that will be decided in the 1988 election. In Bush’s words, Dukakis “sees America as another pleasant country on the U.N. role call somewhere between Albania and Zimbabwe. I see America as the leader, a unique nation with a special role in the world, and this has been called the American Century because in it we were the dominant force for good in the world.”
Perhaps this different perception of America and its role among the nations explains why Michael Dukakis wants to throw away the Monroe Doctrine, according to Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) , which calls for America to keep the Western Hemisphere safe for democracy. Perhaps this is why Dukakis says that he can live “comfortably” with Soviet states existing in South and Central America, says Sen. Dole. Perhaps this is why he opposes support for freedom fighters around the world.
Reflecting the traditional American point of view, Vietnam veteran and war prisoner John McCain, now a senator from Arizona, stated, “We must support those struggling for freedom, which is our heritage. It is dishonorable for us to sell South America down the river to communism. We must give freedom fighters the support they need and stop the flow of Soviet weapons into the western hemisphere. “
Reflecting on these things, Senator Bob Dole stated, “This election represents a crossroads for America. The alternatives have never been more obvious or the consequences more important. The bottom line question is, ‘What kind of country will America be as it enters a new century? Strong or barely strong enough?’ … I am afraid that Dukakis does not know where to draw the line to say no to the Communists. Reagan and Bush drew the line in Grenada, in Libya, in Afghanistan, in the Persian Gulf … A strong America keeps the peace…
“According to the Massachusetts liberal, communism, terrorism, and drugs are just issues to be managed. But there is a real world out there where Americans must defend the freedoms we cherish against those who would take those freedoms away.
“The 1988 election is very serious business. We are electing a president and the next leader of the free world. I realized this fully just three months ago in Moscow. I was with President Reagan and was seated next to Gorbachev at a dinner. For three hours I was able to exchange views with him face to face, and let me tell you, I was impressed. Gorbachev is smart, shrewd, and believe me, he is committed to the goals of the Communist world he leads.
“After dinner I thought about Gorbachev and I thought what might lay ahead. And I knew that the free world could not afford to deal with this hard-as-nails Communist with an untested, unprepared, unsure president – someone who did not know where to draw the line, who did not know when to say yes and when to say no.”
With a tongue as the pen of a ready writer, Bush made the following assessment of the accomplishments of the last eight years. He asked, “And what of peace in the world on this bright evening in August? The spirit of democracy is sweeping the Pacific Rim. China feels the winds of change. New democracies assert themselves in South America. And one by one the unfree places fall, not to the force of arms, but to the force of an idea. Freedom works!
“We have a new relationship with the Soviet Union – the INF Treaty, the beginning of Soviet withdrawal from Afganistan, the beginning of the end of the Soviet proxy war in Angola. … Iran and Iraq move toward peace. It is a watershed. It is no accident. It happened when we acted on the ancient knowledge that strength and clarity lead to peace, weakness and ambivilence lead to war. Weakness tempts aggressors. Strength stops them.
“The tremors in the Soviet world continue. The hard earth there has not yet settled. Perhaps what is happening there will change our world forever and perhaps not. A prudent skepticism is in order and so is hope. But either way we are in an unprecedented position to change the nature of our relationship. Not by pre-emptive concession, but by keeping our strength; not by giving up our defense systems without anything in return, but by thorough, hard, cool engagement in the tug and pull of diplomacy.”
Reflecting on the last Summit in Moscow, President Reagan said, “I got a glimpse that for the first time we could eliminate the threat of nuclear war … That there is hope for a new era in human history.”
This could have been the same sense that 19th century historian Charles Coffin felt when he made the following observation regarding the meaning of history: “Behind the turmoil and conflict of human wills there is an unseen power that shapes destiny – nations rise and fall, generations come and go; yet through the ages there has been an advancement of justice, truth, right, and liberty. To what end? Is it not the march of the human race toward an Eden of rest and peace?”
The prophets of old all spoke of the era when the golden age would come around; when nations “will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. When nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war” (Isaiah 2:4). Could this era be beginning to break over the horizon? Is this the glimpse that people are beginning to see? Defining America’s call and destiny as a nation, George Bush exhorted, “We have forgotten who we are. We are the people who sundered a nation rather than allow a sin called slavery. We lived by standards. We celebrated the individual. We weren’t self-centered, but we were practical. We didn’t live only for material things. We believed in getting ahead, but blind ambition wasn’t our way.
“Prosperity has a purpose – to allow us to pursue the better angels – to give us time to think and to grow. Prosperity with a purpose is taking idealism and making it concrete – taking certain acts of goodness. Where is it written that we must act as if we do not care, as if we are not moved? Well, I am moved. I want a kinder, gentler nation.”
Remembering Life Before the Reagan Era
We cannot forget the misery that the Reagan presidency removed from us over the past eight years. We must ask: What did the Democrats give us before Reagan took office in 1980?
As a nation we were a sinking ship on which no one wanted to polish brass. Love of country and patriotic fervor was at its lowest ebb since the beginnning of our history. The Democrats, after years of liberal policies, had inspired our enemies not to be afraid of us and our friends not to respect us. We were the laughing stock of the world.
Seven million Americans were unemployed. Families had given up hope of ever owning their own home. They were afraid for their children’s future. Everything was running out and running down. Fuel prices doubled and people had to wait in endless lines for gas. We had double-digit inflation rates, 16% mortgage rates, and a falling standard of living. There was real fear that the world was running out of energy. Despair and defeat hung in the air.
There was excessive government and a crushing tax burden. We were smothering in regulations. There were ships, planes, and guns which did not work. Enlisted men were eligible for food stamps. The two worst years of inflation in a 60-year period took place during Jimmy Carter’s presidency at a walloping 13%. The highest tax bill for the individual was issued. Democrats began to talk in terms of “the misery index.”
When Jimmy Carter left office in 1980, we were entering a major recession – the worst one since the Great Depression. Carter exhorted the American people to learn to live on less, to buckle their belts, an to prepare for scarcity.
During those dark times there was a deep confusion about America’s role in the world. Serious mistakes were made in our foreign policy that cost the world its freedom. Disarming America was seen as a noble goal. President Carter canceled the B-1 Bomber, the Trident Submarine, and the Long-Range Missiles. We stopped building up our arsenal and the Soviets continued building up theirs.
Countries began to topple in the face of wreckless communist aggression. Carter’s solution was to cancel our athletes’ participation in the Olympic Games and to refuse to sell wheat to Russia. We were a nation filled with self-doubt. We were lacking in will and were barely strong enough. The liberal Carter administration did not know when to draw the line and say no to our enemies.
There was the belief that America needed to ask the UN for permission before we could make a decision to do anything or to move to protect liberty and freedom. We entered into a stalemate with the Soviets. President Carter signed a treaty to give away the Panama Canal and place it in the hands of an unstable Panamanian government, thus putting the western hemisphere in jeopardy.
Since the Reagan era things have changed. There has been a renewal of patriotism in America. A restoration of the values and principles for which she stands has begun. The nation is filled with optimism and hope. Deregulation has spawned an entrepreneurial renaissance throughout the world. The prime rate has been cut by 60%. There have been 17 million new jobs developed by the American people. These are good jobs offering an average of $20,000 a year.
Double-digit inflation has dropped to less than 4.4%. Family income has risen by 12%. Black unemployment has been cut in half. America is self-confident, strong, and secure. A movement has begun to return our nation to traditional moral values. Reagan has put forward amendments to protect the unborn, and to restore to our school children the privilege of praying in the public schools.
Excessive government bureaucracy has been limited through a new level of competent management in which 600 million hours of paper work have been eliminated. Peace has been obtained through a position of strength as our national defense systems have been built up, thus fulfilling one of the basic purposes for which our government was established as stated in the Constitution: “To provide for the common defense.”
The greatest proof of success is that people are coming to America from all over the world to study what we are doing and to follow our example. The liberals call Reaganomics a disaster. The world calls Reaganomics a miracle.
A Tale of Two Cities
Addressing the Republican convention, Pat Robertson drew the following analogy of the choice that is set before America at the polls in November: “Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities opens with the double sentence, `It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ In 1980, Reagan and Bush began a long journey to rescue this nation from the worst of times. Our task in 1988 is to continue that journey and build the greatness of America through moral strength.
“One hundred million Americans will choose the future course of the United States of America. Our tale of two cities is really a choice between two paths, between two visions of America, between two philosophies of the future. When Charles Dickens wrote his novel, he described in heart-rending detail the consequences that the right and wrong choices made in two cities in Europe.
“City number one was under the deceptive slogan `Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.’ The people, with revolutionary zeal, threw out God, the Church, established morality, the established government, their former leaders, sound currency, and some of the private ownership of property. Then they demanded that the new government buy them happiness, which the people thought they would get. They got instead liberal divorce laws and a break up of families, anarchy, looting, ruinous inflation, and financial chaos.
“As the madness fed on itself, they got something much worse – the reign of terror – a time when no one’s life was safe from the dreaded guillotine.
“The second city followed a very different course. Their faith in God was maintained. There was even a spiritual revival under John Wesley. Respect for the rule of law prevailed. Instead of wild excess there was self-control and self-restraint. The currency was strong and families were stable. Private property was protected and life was held sacred. With all its faults, England created a strong stable conservative government that survived with prosperity for 100 years.
“The two cites made their choices in 1789 that shaped their future for decades and for generations to come. Now, 200 years later, America faces its choice.”
Pointing out this choice, George Bush proclaimed at the Republican Convention, “Our work is not done, our force is not spent. There are those who say there is not much of a difference this year. But America, don’t let them fool you. Both will speak of growth and peace. Only one has proved it can deliver. Both will ask for trust, only one has earned it.”
Painting the picture of the Democratic city that awaits us if the liberal Democrats take the Congress and White House this fall, Pat Robertson explained: “The Democrats have given us a clear picture of their city. They offer unlimited government, massive transfers of wealth from the productive sector of society to the non-productive, an ever-increasing regulation in the daily lives of the people and their children. The city of the liberal Democratic party is a city where the liberal mind-set rules supreme. Criminals are turned loose. The innocent are made victims. Disease carriers are protected and the healthy are placed at great risk.
“In the Democratic city, welfare dependency flourishes and no one is held accountable for his or her behavior. Society is always to blame. In the Democratic city the rights of the majority must always take a back seat to the clamorous demands of special interest groups. And it is always the majority that must pay the bills through higher and higher taxes.”
This is where the liberal Democrats want to take us. The question is, do we as Americans really want to go there? It is a path that will most probably lead to unmerciful persecution of those who practice Christianity, to a reign of terror by the rule of men and women who forsake the restraint of God’s laws and know nothing of the love for humankind that only God can give. The unrestrained passions of men will inevitably hold sway.
Before us lie two paths. Will it be the path that marks the rise of what promises to be the greatest experiment of liberty with law and under God that the earth has ever witnessed? Or will it be a path leading to decadence, disease, violence, declining wealth, and darkness which engulfs our nation and the future of our children’s children.
What about you, America? Which path will you choose?
“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep his commandments and His statutes and His judgements, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land … I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days …” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).
Editor’s note: We, of course, acknowledge that America cannot be saved from God’s judgment simply by an election or political power; we must, most importantly, repent and give ourselves to prayer according to II Chronicles 7:14. We acknowledge that both political parties have their flaws and their strong points. This message is being published in order to show the drastic philosophical differences that are evident in this upcoming election.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of this election. It will determine whether we will be able to continue preaching the gospel unmolested by the State, or if we will have to preach the gospel under ever increasing persecution.
Copyright © Bob and Rose Weiner 2007, All Rights Reserved
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With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
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Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
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