My own father was never involved with politics, so whatever impressions I had as a boy were made by my grandfathers.
Before my parents met each other, granddaddy Binkley met granddaddy Frazier when he called up a tobacco company in Winston-Salem to order a box of Days Work. This was before my parents had met each other, and didn't learn this little secret until years later.
Granddaddy Binkley was a car salesman most of his adult life, and always had a small farm near Mocksville. He described himself in later years as a Roosevelt Democrat.
Granddaddy Frazier was involved with various business activities, including tobacco, groceries, and his last business was a flavor extract company.
He was a Republican.
As a boy, I had a hard time figuring out what the difference was between a Democrat and a Republican. Both grandfathers wore suits to work, and always with polished shoes, and a felt or straw hat. Both went to church, and took their large families with them.
Their Christian life was more important than their politics. Both men enjoyed a cigar after dinner. Both of my grandfathers loved their communities, and were involved with activities that promoted general good for all citizens.
I always believed God loved them both.
I began to think as a young man that the party system in America was not a good thing. I deduced that my families were all good folks, even though some were Democrats and some were Republicans.
But, later as I studied our history in more detail, and took some political science classes, I began to understand more about our system, and came to appreciate a system of political activity that encourages opposing ideas in an environment of mutual respect and protection of rights.
When I ponder and pray over the beautiful story of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, I remember the involvement of people of power. There was the character King Herod who was ruling over Israel at that time under the direction of Rome. Jesus was born during the time of the Roman Caesar Augustus, who had ordered that a census be taken of his kingdom.
This is the reason why Joseph and Mary made that journey to Bethlehem, the ancestral home of Joseph.
Wouldn't that be something, in our mobile society, if we all had to journey to our hometowns every 10 years to be counted! That might eliminate all those high school reunions and cut down on some junk e-mail.
The records concerning the birth of Jesus of Nazareth are framed according to the rulers of the times, thus making the story a matter of history.
We learn from the Bible that God has always loved every person.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
God's love is of such a high magnitude that we can scarcely comprehend it. God continues to love us even we are rebellious and want to go in the opposite direction of God's leading. God is patient with us and desires to bring us back into His love and protection.
Jesus came from Heaven to show us God's true nature of love and forgiveness for all people - including world leaders.
It is possible for us living today in this great United States of America to continue building a nation that honors God by allowing the free promulgation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our country is a great country for that very reason!
We publish more Bibles and literature about the Bible than any other people on the earth. In our wonderful country of Democrats and Republicans we are still free to publish far and wide the Good News in all languages known to man.
I sincerely believe that if the time ever comes that Democrats or Republicans turn away from this principal of giving freedom of religion, and even encouraging the work of the Gospel, then this nation will not enjoy the great blessings we have now.
We have seen evangelistic activity flourish when the Democrats were in power, and we see the same success of the Gospel under Republican administrations.
Let us pray that no one in this generation or the next will "make no law regarding the establishment of religion." Let freedom ring!
Let the Gospel go forth to the entire world from the USA! God bless America, land that I love!
If you have never accepted the amazing salvation that is offered to you by the gift of God's love, then why not make that choice today. Receive Jesus Christ as your Savior by confessing that faith, repenting of your sins, and obeying the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You are invited to attend the services of the Church of Christ which meets at the corner of 3rd and E Streets.
Please write to me with any questions or comments at P.O. Box 186, Cedar Key, FL 32625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Check out our web site at www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com.