My buddy Philip was up later than usual tonight and we were chatting about our usual range of topics (girls, politics, girls, the Bible, girls, food, etc.)
This afternoon I received my brand new copy of The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul. As Philip and I were talking, I began babbling some of my sentiments about “the good Dr.” as many of his supporters are wont to call him, and I thought I’d share that conversation here (unedited, in all it’s AIM glory):
i don't know why i've been so energized by this guy. less than a year ago, i thought politics were just another spectator sport
had no interest in economics past my own individual budget
probably wouldn't have even registered to vote yet
if it weren't for reading up on his campaign
i guess he's the first politician that i thought wasn't a liar or a sellout and who said things that i thought have real bearing on the direction of our country
and even when he gets excited he doesn't take pot shots at the other candidates
2:01 when the media tries to pin him down to support either mccain or obama, he tells them neither and then goes right back to talking about the issues
he won't shut up about it
Talk to any Ron Paul supporter and you’ll hear much the same story. Someone who was once apathetic becomes a near-raving lunatic trying to get out the news about this Ron Paul guy and more importantly, his message. (Part of his campaign even included a “Ron Paul cured my apathy” slogan.) Freedom makes people excited. Hopeful. The truth makes people resolute, even if the truth is incredibly scary. Knowing it just seems to take the fear out of things.
One time there was a man who clambered up a slippery rock in Athens. He might have looked a little crazy as he eyed the polished statues around him and the philosophers who talked among them. Then he opens his mouth.
“Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.”
Later on this same man came to Ephesus and made some silversmiths angry for jeopardizing their income. They started a riot in the local stadium and the crowd wanted him dead. He wanted to get up and reason with them, but some of his good friends prevented him so that he wouldn’t be killed by the mob.
Eventually his travels brought him to Jerusalem, and once again some very angry people tried to kill him. The military took him into protective custody while they tried to sort things out, but he wouldn’t go quietly:
“I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.”
What in the world possessed this man who had been killing followers of the Way, to change? To become a near lunatic, risking death and torture in the service of this Way?
” ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.
‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied.”
Paul met Jesus Christ on his way to kill and imprison Christians. When he met Jesus, he completely changed his attitude. No one could dissuade him from speaking about the Resurrection. He would not shut up about it.
I’m a big fan of Ron Paul, and I think his message is important. But in the cosmic scope, it’s really not. The United States will one day be a union that used to exist. Whether it happens now, or at the end of time, it is an inevitability.
The message that really matters, that really gets me excited is the Resurrection. If I’m wrong about that, then all bets are off. As Paul said, pity me if I’m wrong about that. If I’m wrong, then I’ve been epically duped. All my eggs are in that one basket, because i believe it’s the truth.
Jesus of Nazareth was able to convince Saul of Tarsus to become excited. To become hopeful. Once he knew the truth about the Resurrection, it took the edge off even the sharpest of realities. Was Saul a murderer? Yes. Had he persecuted the Son of God? Yes. Would he be with God forever at the eschaton? Yes!
Those truths should mobilize us as Christians more than any political rally or concern for our own well-being. Let us wake up, open our eyes, and be hopeful about tomorrow, for we serve the Lord of the Resurrection.