Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Pragmatism, according to Dictionary.com, is
1. character or conduct that emphasizes practicality.
2. a philosophical movement or system having various forms, but generally stressing practical consequences as constituting the essential criterion in determining meaning, truth, or value.

In my words, it is making decisions based on what works. It is outcome-based reasoning. And, in my opinion, it is backward.

Voting for the lesser of two evils has practically ruined our government. Unless the people demand candidates who well represent their values, we will keep getting the richest or most popular candidate. And unless we reward those who do share our values, by giving them our vote, our views will never be defended in government.

As it stands, almost no one could really believe in a canidate's views, and he would still get elected. If he is deemed "most likely to succeed" by the powers that be, everyone in his party is obligated to vote for him or else betray their "side."

Should there be sides in politics? In the beginning of our country, there were many canidates with good morals and political understanding. Instead of choosing the lesser of two evils, one could choose the best of several good choices. Imagine.

Do you know why this happened? For one thing there were more good men available. For another the people were good, and therefore knew the importance of voting for good men. They took their vote seriously. They took representation seriously. After all, they fought for it.

I take the position that no change happens in majorities. If the world is going to change, it will change one decision, one person, one vote, and one voice at a time. As long as I keep following the corrupt system, the corrupt system will appear to have my approval. My conscience and my faith, however, will not allow me to advocate evil.

"Who is he that overcometh the world,
but he that believeth
that Jesus is the Son of God?"

This is the key to combatting the pragmatic world. Believe God. Believe His ways works. He created this world, and probably knows best how it will run. He also is the mastermind behind the attempt to redeem the world, and so His methods will be most effective.

When I believe that God will bless where man's wisdom says blessing could not come, I have overcome the world. Because God is faithful, and because He does bless. So having a lot of children is helping to restore the world. Even though it looks like it would make you poor, God says they are a blessing, and it turns out to be true.

When I believe God, I am free from the priorities of the world. Suddenly not having three cars for our family doesn't I don't have to go to college as a woman because I don't have to have a career because I don't have to rely on a job for prosperity because I know that God has promised to take care of me, and the Bible tells me He wants me doing other things. Amazing how that works.

Pragmatism has invaded our churches as well. Why do we take offerings each week? Because it works. Why do we have one senior pastor? Because it works. Why do we do youth groups? Because it works. Why do services last 2.5 hours once a week? You get the idea.

Except... It doesn't work. When we set out to do these programs and continue these customs, from what man can see and reason, we think it will work. Look at the results, though. Giving is down. The money churches do receive is directed toward special effects and buildings and overly-credentialed staff and best-selling programs. The senior pastor of each church is burnt out. Congregations expect pastors to spoon-feed them spirituality. Youth fall prey to temptation. After youth group, they leave the church altogether. There is little to no community in our churches.

God's projects are best done God's way. Each time I face a decision, be it voting or ministry or something in my personal life, I have have decided that "It works" will not be allowed as a legitimate justification. I trust God to provide me with the instructions I need for life.

2 Timothy 3:16
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect,
thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

To God be all glory.

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