Monday, February 10, 2014

Crushing America's Spirit--One Cupcake At A Time

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Chloe Stirling, an 11-year-old, wanted to start saving money to buy a car some day when she is old enough to have one.

She started thinking of ways she could accomplish her goal. She began to dream---to get a vision.

She decided she would bake cupcakes and sell them in the neighborhood. She also decided to give some of them away to charity.

Her mom said it was a good idea and in fact offered to match every dollar she made. Her dream was launched, not unlike the millions who have come to America to follow their dreams and pursue their vision.

After all, that is the American way isn't it?

Chloe started baking cupcakes, selling some and donating some. That is not only the American way, but it is a practice drawn from biblical principles.

Ironically, Chloe's success led to her getting in trouble.

The County Health Department heard about the project and shut her down.

Chloe's mom told the St. Louis Dispatch that Chloe can only resume after the family either (1) builds an entirely new and separate kitchen, or (2) buys a bakery.

The county says the rules are the rules.

Yes they are.

But it seems common sense and discretion have been swallowed up by government contempt for entrepreneurialism and the free market expression of "truck, barter and exchange."

Everyday personal dreams are being crushed, visions extinguished and incentives being exchanged for dependence on an ever expanding government.

While the "letter of the law" is invoked toward Chloe, our President continues to circumvent Congress and stiff arm the Constitution while advancing his dream---one of remaking America.

Is this merely a political issue born out of differing political ideologies, or is there something more at play?

Charles Krauthammer told Fox News last week that the President has circumvented Congress "at least 15 times" recently.

President Obama has promised to "go it alone" and continue to advance his agenda even if Congress doesn't support his agenda. He said, "I have a phone and I have a pen."

Saturday night, Attorney General Eric Holder told the audience at the annual Human Rights Campaign gala in New York City that today (Monday), the Justice Department will send "formal instruction" (a policy memorandum) to all its employees "to give lawful same-sex marriages full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent possible under the law."

"In every courthouse, in every proceeding, and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections, and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law," Holder said .

But same sex "marriage" is not the law of the land. The administration doesn't seem to care about that---doesn't matter the administration says.

"Federal benefits, including bankruptcies, prison visits and survivor benefits, will also be extended to 34 states that do not now allow same-sex marriage, but those benefits will apply only where the federal government has jurisdiction," Holder added, according to CNN.

"The government will not contest rights of gay married couples in states where previously prosecutors could argue that the marriage is not recognized in the state where the couple lives," Holder said.

This undermines states rights. And many are saying this morning that the administration is again over reaching the law.

"Just like during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the stakes involved in this generation's struggle for LGBT equality could not be higher," Holder said. "As attorney general, I will not let this Department be simply a bystander during this important moment in history."

Forget the laws, except as they apply to Chloe and her cupcakes.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced Friday that Obamacare will disincentive people in a accelerated way.

The Washington Times and other news services are reporting that "Obamacare will push the equivalent of about 2 million workers out of the labor market by 2017 as employees decide either to work fewer hours or drop out of the job market altogether."

This signature legislation, by all accounts, has a built in disincentive, among all the other issues we have been hearing about.

Obamacare ultimately discourages low-income individuals from trying to move up to higher paying jobs.

In the land of Obamacare, a raise or a promotion may be a "bad" thing and must be weighed against government subsidies. It may be easier to not work, or work less so one can have more free time and less stress.

It rewards people for not dreaming. It incentives people not to have a vision or goal for their future.

Under Obamacare, the less money you earn, the more money you receive from the taxpayers.

While those who advocate for these policies call them "progressive," it is becoming apparent that they are not "progressive" at all.

They are "regressive."

Gallup Poll is reporting that the U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate fell again in January.

Poll after poll shows America is becoming a dependent nation. Fulfilling the vision of the far left.

Is our moral mess and fiscal fiasco the result of political policy only? Or are their other factors?

I personally believe there is an underlying spiritual factor.

We are most familiar with Proverbs 29:18 from the King James version which reads, "Where there is no vision, people perish: but he that keepth the law, happy is he."

The NIV is a bit more clear on the meaning of the verse. "Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom's instruction."

This verse is often used to underscore the importance of setting personal goals or even writing a mission statement for our local church or your business. Both are good and very helpful ideas.

However, this verse is not talking about a pastor or leader's vision for a church of personal enterprise. It has to do with "special revelation" or God's Word. This is not about good ideas, but about Divine Revelation.

The words "cast off restraint" carries the idea of a near total collapse of social order. This same word is found in Exodus 32:25 to describe the social frenzy surrounding Israel's worship of the Golden Calf.

If people---any people, do not hear God's Word and His principles, the social order always breaks down and becomes fragmented and unsustainable.

In too many cases the church is failing to clearly communicate God's truth to this culture. We are distracted. And we seek social acceptance more than we desire to see repentance and restoration.

Public morality depends not on an evolving progressive "truth," but an absolute, eternal Truth.

Restoration is not related to whom we elect as much as it is to what we believe and are willing to act upon. Electing the right politician will follow.

Advancing the message of the gospel and a biblical worldview is the most important thing each person of faith and conservative can do.

Be Vigilant. Be Bold. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Pro-Active. Be Blessed.