A word or two to get you through the day.

A word or two to get you through the day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Can Newt Gingrich Stand Winning? Can You?

If you know me, you know something to be true. I am incredibly political. I have always been that way. Even in my youth. So this season is always exciting as I watch the various candidates vie for the most powerful position in all the land. I know there are a lot of debates and every aspect of their lives are called into question, but if you are running for President one could argue that it makes sense.

With that being said I am immensely impressed with ALL of the candidates who are running and who have run. Yeah you have to have a huge ego to even say “I am qualified to be President,” but think about it a little deeper. When you turn in the application for the job you know three things to be true.
·         There will be something embarrassing from your past that will be in the papers and on TV.
·         You will have to spend at least 6 to 8 years of your life preparing to and running for the office.
·         You will have to be very fortunate.
So with that being said, I watched the Republican Debate a few nights ago and in watching it I paid particular attention to Newt Gingrich. He has been an interesting figure for many years and it’s amazing how he looks as we examine him up close and personal. Yes, he was the Speaker of the House—but we don't elect a person for such a position so you can argue that the only people who REALLY knew him were in his congressional district. So as we see him up close, he reminds me of a character we don't talk a lot about in the bible by the name of Gomer. Now if you know your bible you are scratching your head with the thought of such juxtaposition but I promise you I will land the plane safely.
Speaker Gingrich is fond of speaking of his grandiose ideas and he is hoping to ride a wave of anger from people fed up with the status quo into the White House. One can say he is hoping to ride the Newt-mentum all the way to 1900 Pennsylvania Ave. But then something happened between the South Carolina Primary and America’s first step toward establishing Moonlandia as its 51st state. He became the leader of the race and on Thursday night he proved once again he is better fighting for than controlling the lead when he is ahead.
To use a boxing analogy during the debate, Mr. Gingrich looked like the fighter who looks great the first round until he is cold cocked—and he gets that deer in the headlights look. Speaker Gingrich looked that way most of the night. So why is that? How can a person be so good when they are losing, yet look so bad when they are winning? (Hold on to that thought as we will revisit it momentarily.)
I heard Speaker Gingrich referred to as “The Angry Teddy Bear.” I giggle when I think of the analogy because whenever my son walks in the room and sees his face he laughs. When I ask him why he says it’s the haircut. “Looks like he has a little school boy haircut,” he says. And if you dropped in from out of space (Okay insert your Gingrich joke here) and saw a picture of the Speaker you would view him as a kind warm and friendly type of guy. And that's the guy they seem to want America to see. But every time America gets closer to him—he says something to push her away and his poll numbers fall.
When you look at his life and how his two previous marriages ended there is a parallel between his failed marriages, his run for the presidency and Gomer. (Yes I will connect the dots.)
Based on press reports, biographers and the “limited” information we have, Mr. Gingrich pursued both of his previous wives and left them when life may not have been going their way. There is no way they could have wanted or needed him more than the day he walked out of their lives. He also seems to focus intently on being the Republican Nominee—until he starts leading the polls. And then he starts making outrageous comments like "People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz." You know? Something so bazaar you want to ask, “What was that again?” In hopes that you heard incorrectly.

So what is it in the character of the “Angry Teddy Bear,” that will not allow him to lead the race, to be loved by the Republican Party or to stay married? I am of the opinion that the same thing that causes him to not be embraced by the voters once he is leading the race is the same thing that causes him not to be embraced by the G.O.P. And the same thing that causes him to not be able to be embrace by the Republican Party in part led to the end of his marriages. The inability to be loved. Now before I connect the dots allow me to pull out my Word.
In the bible 760 years before Jesus was born there was a man named Jeroboam II. Don't get caught up on the name. Jerry-BO’ham. See it was not that hard. So this guy, Jeroboam II was on the throne of the northern kingdom of Israel, and his military exploits had extended Israel’s borders farther than they had been since the days of Solomon’s glorious kingdom. Let’s just say he had a thing for war. Now in keeping with our comparison to the political landscape of today you might compare him to George W. Bush. The son of a king—but was not really equipped to wear the crown.
Well; money from subject nations were pouring into the treasury at the capital city of Samaria, and the people of Israel were enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity. Sounds like the United States post “W” right?
Just as in the current day, with prosperity came waste as well as moral and spiritual degeneration. Secularism and materialism captured the hearts of the people and sin ran rampant. The list reads like twentieth-century America: swearing, lying, killing, stealing, adultery, drunkenness, perversion, perjury, deceit, and oppression, to name but a few. You know when people say times have never been this crazy? They just need to read the bible. But the thing that grieved the heart of God more than anything else was the sin of idolatry. The golden calves set up by Jeroboam I had opened the floodgates to every evil expression of Canaanite idolatry, including drunkenness, religious prostitution and human sacrifice.
As we know, God had a special relationship with the Children of Israel and He viewed her worship of others Gods as spiritual adultery. How would you feel if you watched your wife with another man—over and over again? I rest my case. The Old Testament speaks frequently of Israel whoring after or playing the harlot with other gods. Well God had told Israel from the beginning that this is where he would definitely draw the line. “You shall have no other gods before Me” was the first of his ten great commandments. Pretty cut and dried right? But she (Israel) persistently ignored His command, and by the days of Jeroboam II (W) the situation was intolerable. God was about to speak decisively and He chose first a prophet named Amos. The former herdsman of Tekoa, giving God’s warning of imminent judgment, but the nation paid little attention. So God spoke again, trying to do whatever he could to get the message to His beloved that his love was true. This time he tried to do it through the prophet Hosea whose name meant “Jehovah is salvation.” And this is where Newton Leroy Gingrich comes in.
The very first thing God ever said to Hosea tells us about his relationship with Israel. “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.” Not very subtle right? When you read this passage it’s clear that God is commanding this prophet to marry a woman who looked the part yet had absolutely no morals. A woman who’d lost so much even when she was winning she’d find a way to lose. A woman who was the embodiment of Israel. A woman who obviously cannot handle being loved. A woman ironically enough like our Newt Gingrich because the more Hosea (The Republican Party) loves her—the more she pushes him away.

Just like some in the G.O.P’s early infatuation with Mr. Speaker, the early days of their marriage between Hosea and Gomer were beautiful. There love was in full bloom. I'm sure part of the reason was because Gomer was on her best behavior possibly shocked that such a man was in love with her. (Are you seeing obvious correlation?) So because they were in love God blessed them with a son (primary win) and I am sure Hosea must have felt as if he was on top of the world. He and the G.O.P. were convinced that his marriage would be better than ever with this little one to brighten their union.
But it was after the birth of the child named Jezreel that Hosea seems to have noticed a change in Gomer. She became restless and unhappy, like a bird trapped in a cage. Being a prophet he continued doing what he was called to do. His message was simple. “Return unto the Lord!” and he preached it over and over again. But Gomer seemed less and less interested in doing what he was called to do. Gomer (and Newt) had her own agenda. And she began to find other interests to occupy herself, and spent more and more time destroying the thing she once valued so much.
So when you look at it from a distance you can see that the Speaker may have a hard time being loved. But question? Can you? Can you really stand being loved? A love without limits? Can you accept the love Israel walked away from? Can you accept being love by one willing to put your life before His own? Remember the previous question? How would you feel if you watched your wife with another man? If you have not given Christ your heart; that is how he feels every time he looks at you.
Yes it’s easy to look at the foible of Newt and the Children of Israel when they display self-destructive behaviors but are you any different?
Oh yeah, make this day—the first day of the rest of your life.
By Timmothy B. McCann

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