IS SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS DIVIDING AMERICA?

I was raised in an entirely different America than what I witness today. One hundred years ago, J. C. Penny opened his first store and it was called: “The Golden Rule”. He believed, as many other leaders, that we were to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us”. They believed this Biblical rule should apply to all aspects of life. These were the values that guided many leaders back then.

Today, too many leaders are too self-righteous and are unable to compromise. Defining self-righteousness is: what I believe is right and if you do not agree you are absolutely wrong. For example, many conservatives are 100% against big government and over-spending; also they are anti academia’s liberal teaching, big unions and the liberal news media. There are progressives that are against the wealthy aristocrat and their power and all businesses and Wall Street who they believe continually deceive and cheat the middle-class and poor and those who cause global warming. How else would you describe what is happening in Washington, D.C.? Have you heard recently any one of them talking about the Golden Rule? It is more like: do it to others before they do it to you! That is why we have gridlock and it is almost impossible to reach compromise. It’s our way or the highway! This is what creates the uncertainty for the future. Uncertainty affects corporate executives and the consumer from buying and investing.

We all have heard that a house divided will fail. Is self-righteousness dividing America and are we headed for failure? Will America ever get back to when leaders believed the Golden Rule applied to all aspects of life? Can anyone be trusted and is all Wall Street out to take advantage of all investors? Seeing the laws being enacted one wonders! America was established on Christian/Jewish principles of honesty and helping others succeed. Can’t we get back to that philosophy? Our hope may be in our young people who seem to have a less cynical and conciliatory attitude and may be capable of uniting America once again. Never give up on America; we have had these problems before, especially during President Lincoln’s term.

We often find self-righteous people in churches. The church has adopted many nonessential traditions that have become an albatross to church people. If you try to change, you will find they become essential and they don’t go without a fight. I have often stated that in the 1980s our church was very traditional and the services had followed an almost ritualistic routine for years. When we changed from a traditional to an evangelistic church with a vision to save lost sinners, many were not willing to change the weekend services that would be more appealing to the unchurched. We needed to explore new ways to help unchurched people feel comfortable in our services. We would never reach lost people in any great numbers if we did not create an atmosphere that is friendly to them.

Even after a number of years of trying everything we could to maintain our vision and keep people happy it almost seemed impossible. Many believing Christians, who had always gone to services that were geared to their liking, still were not pleased that the emphasis was on those, who were not even members. No matter how hard we tried, we realized Central would not be for everyone and that we would continue losing some believers. It was difficult to see some very strong, tithing Christians leave the door for another church. But we believed God needed these people to strengthen other churches in our city in order for Las Vegas to be evangelized.

The literal definition of self-righteousness applies politically. Many Christians would not vote for President Kennedy because he was a Catholic. Recently, many would not vote for Romney because he was a Mormon. It is the attitude that if you don’t believe like I do religiously you won’t get my vote. I have read that it was believed that if every Christian, who failed to vote in the 2012 election, voted for Romney, he would have won.

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