Friday, December 10, 2010

Come Now, Let Us Reason Together

Come Now, Let Us Reason Together

As we contemplate the recent past and anticipate the immediate future, many are unsure about what may happen in North Dakota, or even in this land we call America. As we approach this Holy season, it may be time to reflect, a time put all in perspective.

The elections in November provided two new faces in the North Dakota congressional delegation, as well as placing the Republicans in control in the US House of Representatives. Republicans made substantial gains in the North Dakota legislature and especially in the senate where the margin is now 35-12.

As in the aftermath of most elections, the victor claims a mandate—citing “the voters have spoken”. President Obama made this claim in 2008, and now Republicans in 2010. To a great degree this is how things have gone for years, on all levels, state, federal, and local.

The losing party develops an immense liking of compromise, and castigates the majority as some sort of evil force if it fails to give in proportionately. On the national level, today—President Obama and the Democratic Party are expecting compromise. The same scenario will play out in the 2011 North Dakota legislative session—compromise will be expected.

While compromise in and of itself is not unacceptable, the foundational reasoning for the compromise may be of concern. If that reasoning does not have its basis in the constitution, or in firm principled standards, but is responding to the temporary whim of a poll—it is not sound or wise. Ours is a republic which places supreme power with the people.

As we seek even greater guidance, looking to Isaiah 1:18 may provide some profound wisdom, applicable centuries before Christ’s birth, as well as today. “Come now, let us reason together”, says the Lord. In response to His people turning away, rejecting Him, He offers to reason with them.

Was He offering to compromise? The short answer is ‘no’. The offer is to reason. The verb reason is to think or argue logically. The noun reason is defined as a motive or basis for an action, decision, or conviction. God is asking those in 700BC to bring their thoughts, requests, and arguments to Him. The basis for the response is measuring their arguments in relation to His standards, His will. Isaiah documents His response.

Today, whether in the public policy arena or in our personal lives, we fail to measure our arguments against His standards. Compromise in most cases is limited to the viewpoints of this world, the standards of this world. The culture of the flesh determines the parameters of our discussion, and the eventual compromise.

So what can we learn from Isaiah 1:18? We can utilize His call to reason. Whether in our personal lives or as an elected public official, we must carry with us the values, beliefs, principles, and standards of our faith. Doing so we will be able to reason in all environments; dealing with a family matter, a business transaction, or a public policy decision on the state, local, or federal level.

As Christians, being of good courage, reflecting truth and grace, “Come now, let us Reason together”.

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