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September 4, 2008

The Servant

In her acceptance speech, Sarah Palin repeated the line from her Dayton announcement speech in which she signaled fellow evangelicals that she was one of them, to wit: "We are expected to govern with integrity and goodwill and clear convictions and a servant's heart." John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter explained the enthusiasm that greeted the final item the first time around as follows:

That reaction wasn't simply about approval of good government; the phrase "servant's heart" is a popular bit of Evangelical terminology, used as a short-hand for Christian humility. A quick web search reveals thousands of churches, ministries, and bands that use some variation of "servant's heart" in the title; there's even a residential cleaning service in Calgary called "Servant's Heart."

The term is so common, in fact, that Christian comedian Tim Hawkins has poked fun at it. "I hate it when somebody tells me I've got a servant's heart," Hawkins says. "It means they want me to start stacking chairs."

When Palin pledged to govern with a "servant's heart," Christians, especially those with an Evangelical background, had no trouble recognizing one of their own, even without the convenience of a denominational label on Palin's resume.

Lest you thought the culture wars were over.

This article is cross-posted from Spiritual Politics.

Comments

I think the culture wars are far from over. They will change though. They always do.

Jesus NEVER spoke like Sarah Palin did last night. That was an embarrassment for Christians. She was just what she described herself: a pit-bull with lip-stip. I was ashamed for my religion. She sounded exactly lie Rudy Guilliani. She should have thought twice about the 'community organizer' mockery especially. Nice racist dog whistle there. I don't know if she realized what she was saying since she didn't write the speech, but the crowd sure did. Especially the ones with the cow boy hats who started chanting 'zero' when Rudy said it. That was utterly disgusting. I have washed my hands of Christians who see Sarah as a champion for Christians in Washington. She IS Sarah Barracuda.

Actually we wash our hands of you! Obviously you haven't REALLY read the Bible! God will separate the people who believe and who don't!

Anton,

Man I am so sorry for the remarks from Eric. He may wash his hands of me as well...

However I was just reading about how when we feed the poor, and provide housing for the homeless, and provide clothing it is as if we had done things to and for Jesus. This is something that community organizers do... they are the ones that Jesus called "righteous" Its in Matthew 25 if you want to have a look.

What is so Ironic is that the article is called "The Servant". meanwhile one of the most powerful statements in her speech was one in which she criticized another person for being a servant of a community.

As a Christian, I was definitely NOT embarrassed by Sarah Palin last night. She showed the toughness needed to take on the sharks in the media and in Washington. Some Christians erroneously think that it is wrong to be strong and to aggressively defend yourself and your beliefs. As a result, many people have come to think that Christians are a bunch of doormats who never stand up for themselves. Those who say that Jesus never spoke like Sarah Palin are obviously not very familiar with the Bible. Jesus outright called the Pharisees "vipers" and "whited sepulchers". He also got very angry (yes, there is such a thing as a RIGHTEOUS anger) when he found people disrespecting the temple of God by turning it into a marketplace. God says in His Word that he expects us to be "bold as lions" yet have a meek servant's heart. Yes, there are times when we need to "turn the other cheek", but there are other times when we need to "take an eye for an eye". God gives us the wisdom to know how to deal with each situation and I believe that Sarah Palin's speech was delivered with wisdom. She may not have written the speech herself, but anyone with an ounce of perception would be able to tell that every word she spoke came from her heart. It's ludicrous that Christians would be embarrassed for Christianity as a result of her speech.

I really don't know how people can equate the "community organizer" jabs with racism. Giuliani and Palin were criticizing Obama's experience, which has NOTHING to do with his race. As a woman of African-American descent, I am sick and tired of people bringing up the race card. Constantly crying "racism" not only keeps the focus on race, it de-legitimizes true racist acts. How can we possibly start looking at people based on the "content of their character" and not the "color of their skin" when we keep bringing up race in this election? Those who make keep making race an issue reveal the truth about themselves - that they see Barack Obama only as an African-American instead of simply an American.

Harris,

Just so you know I agree that pulling the racist card on the community organizer thing was wrong.

However I do not think that people see Christians as door mats... far from it. They see us as judgmental, hypocritical, selfrighteous. i dont have a problem with standing up... Heck that is what we are doing right now. I just think that it can me done without smearing and personal attacks.

Harris,

Just so you know I agree that pulling the racist card on the community organizer thing was wrong.

However I do not think that people see Christians as door mats... far from it. They see us as judgmental, hypocritical, selfrighteous. i dont have a problem with standing up... Heck that is what we are doing right now. I just think that it can me done without smearing and personal attacks.

The tone and content of the speech was mean-spirited and full of venom. She took a wonderful opportunity to positively introduce herself and turned it into a time to mock her opponents. This is not right. We can disagree on politics, discuss the issues, and come out better for it. Name-calling and mockery is not the place we need to go.

To Anton, Ben,L.Hamis, and Hank How you and relate that statement about being a community organiser as racist is beyond me. You didn't get it. It was all about Executive Exeperience/which Obama does not have. Race was never an issue unless from your perspective you are trying to make it that. Being for killing the innocent is the most ungodly thing Obama can stand for That alone is why I cannot support Obama. His stand on supportting same sex marriage or same sex civil unions is the second. A truely committed believer could not support either without trampling in the prescious blood of Jesus and I will not be guilty of that Ernie French Atascadero, Ca

Ernie: I completely agree with the points that you made. However, what I actually stated was that it was ridiculous that anyone would say that the "community organizer" comments were racist.

Ben: Have we heard public apologies made to the Christian community when Jesus or our beliefs are publicly maligned? I never have. Do we hear apologies to the Muslims? Always. Have you seen the countless videos on YouTube mocking and villifying Christianity such as "Hunky Jesus", "Blasphemy Challenge", etc? Do you think YouTube would tolerate videos attacking Muslims? No. This is what I mean by being thought of as doormats. People think they can just do or say whatever they want about us without us standing up for ourselves.

Prior to becoming a Christian, I thought Christians were judgmental and self-righteous. However, it was mainly because I was convicted by the actions of those who were living a true Christian life.

In fairness to all, I hope you are as critical of Obama, who considers himself a Christian, about all of his smearing and personal attacks.

Harris,

I think i was misunderstood about my race card statement. I do not think that it was fair to suggest that the community organizer statement was a racial statement. I agree that it was a statement about executive experience. However it stands alone as a poor statement on its own. Bottom line it came off as elitist and snide.

I also understand what you mean now about being doormats.

Yes early on i was very critical of Obama and his church attendance, suposed muslim faith, all of the internet rumors. I bought it all.

What has changed for me currently is the need for social action in our country, something the republican party seems to have no interest in.

I also understand that it is generally accepted that the vice presidential speech is to give some "red meat". In my opinion it was too much and certainly went beyond what I would call a servant. These are just my opinions.

I have to say the guy who is trying to play the race card is full of the devil. I guess thats not P.C.but don,t care this is a war for the soul of America. I am so sick and tired of so called black christians who vote year after year for the slaughter of the unborn,and for "gay" marriage along with the demoncats that are trying to take our christian freedoms away from us! I spoke with a "leader" at Obamas "christian" church :Homosexuality OK ,Muslim faith OK , Louis Farrakhan OK ,most Black "christians" seem only concerned with big gov,t taking care of them not Christian pricipals. I don,t care what you say you have the blood of the unborn on your hands if you don't vote pro life!

Joe & L Harris - well said and great discourses!

Ben Rodda - Don't you dare apologize for me!

I will not play patty-cake or play nice with those distort the truth. Those in church leadership who lead people astray will have a severe problem come judgement day before Christ.

"What has changed for me currently is the need for social action in our country, something the republican party seems to have no interest in." And the democratic party does(pro slavery)?
So the government is the vehicle for social change? I think not! The church and the movement of the Spirit is the vehicle. Just because it is your opinion...doesn't make it right!

God bless you all! I can see, that politics is always a great opportunity, not for only Christians, but for everybody, to quarrel. It is really hard to say where are the boundaries: till what line can we go in politics when speaking of religion, or vice-versa. Personally I believe that there is no such thing as "pure" politician - I speak by experience. In my country I can see, that those, who are called to be against communism and secret police, were all once traitors, and that's how they ended up being on top of everything. In politics everything is so complicated: you can't distinguish right from wrong. I'm not American, but I still know, what Jesus said to us: following Him means not to do what he has done in the temple, but to love one another, and with wisdom and meak heart we should stand for truth. That does not include being rude, take an eye for an eye, or being concerned about people calling us doormats. If nobody apologises publicly for mocking Jesus, I don't think that is the biggest problem. God is almighty, He can do everything, it's not our job to defend Him, but it is ours to stand by the truth with LOVE, even when we have to face homosexuals, abortionists, and so on. I don't think the Pharisees can be equated with people whom we don't like, and who don't have the same opinion as we do. Americans are too concerned about their inner problems, even Christians. But what is really important for me: who will care about America being the boss, the world-shaping power? I mean, America needs for the sake of all of us such a leader that won't destroy other countries. I know that it is good that America is the strongest is a way, because God knows what would happen, if for instance Iran would be the Boss... But still, I don't like some things that America is doing, especially, that so many Christians live there... When you are voting for a president, you should think of us too, who don't live in America, because you are responsible for us.

Long ago, I noted that whatever Obama stood for, his intent and all of his experience in adult life was about crossing barriers and reaching to others, many of whom had different beliefs and life experiences.

And then I see the GOP barracudas, having failed to learn that there are many Christians and non-christians who are sick of the close-minded meanness, jingoism, and homogeneity.

The current bunch of "government is evil" types has looked the other way for eight years, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hit the shoals, this weekend.

Pretending to win with righteousness in the abortion wars won't change the gross incompetence and bullying we've seen.

Hold your stones, I'm against abortion too. But my real fight is against pig-headedness.

And you'd give me your approval vote, too, if I cut you an oil check for $25,000--instead of spending it on infrastructure.

Long ago, I noted that whatever Obama stood for, his intent and all of his experience in adult life was about crossing barriers and reaching to others, many of whom had different beliefs and life experiences.

And then I see the GOP barracudas, having failed to learn that there are many Christians and non-christians who are sick of the close-minded meanness, jingoism, and homogeneity.

The current bunch of "government is evil" types has looked the other way for eight years, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hit the shoals, this weekend.

Pretending to win with righteousness in the abortion wars won't change the gross incompetence and bullying we've seen.

Hold your stones, I'm against abortion too. But my real fight is against pig-headedness.

And you'd give me your approval vote, too, if I cut you an oil check for $25,000--instead of spending it on infrastructure.

I have posted on several forums in Christianity Today that the McCain campaign maked no mention of a plan to address Poverty on their website. Matter of fact the word "poverty" is not even on their issues page at all. With 2000+ verses in scriptures confronting us with the call to take care of the needy without condition I find it appalling that McCain/Palin are winning the evangelical vote.

So far not a single McCain supporter has responded to this?

I am not one for brimstone but Jesus says in Matthew 25:41-46

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."