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The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.” — Ecclesiastes 9:17

Gratitude, civility, recognition, appreciation, respect, loyalty, friendship, humility, knowledge. These traits are vital in any solid relationship, don’t you think?

In the previous twelve months preceding this October, an increasing number of folks have been communicating with me, through personal conversations, or by text, by phone and email, affirming my written contributions in the Hillsboro Free Press and the Kansas Farmer. It is to these people I express appreciation and gratitude for their support and thoughtful responses.

Though they may not always agree 100% on everything I write, they have found much to think about and are motivated to engage in further critical thinking, which has always been one of my goals for writing: it is an important component for an informed citizenry in a democratic republic such as ours.

No two people are alike, and it would not be a fun place to be if everyone was a spitting image of myself or anyone else. I cannot imagine a world where it would even be possible. So, why do we believe all people should act and behave the same way, socially, mentally or even politically?

It is possible to be friends, even when we do not always agree on everything. I interact with folks every week, if not every day, and we come together and talk about life and work, and interact without allowing issues in which we disagree to come between us.

Some of these people even work for me from time to time. It is our reality, and in as much as we have dedicated our friendship to this effort, it will remain as such. This is the test of a true friendship.

Back to the topic of quiet words: the writer of Ecclesiastes tells a story of a city that is under siege by a powerful king. A poor, yet wise man saves the city by his wisdom. After the battle, everyone has forgotten to thank him and acknowledge that he saved their lives by his selfless contribution. The writer of the text concludes, “But the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are no longer heeded. The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.”

Did you get that last part, “of a ruler of fools?” I did. Ouch.

We Americans resemble that remark. Why are we willing to believe the lie of a radio barker like Alex Jones who tells us to rise up and kill or hang liberal politicians? We are willing to reject our spiritual upbringing which tells us to live with one another in peace, as much as God has given us the strength to obey. Is that not enough reason to obey God?

As if this were not enough reason to obey, here are more quiet, wise words from one who identifies with our mostly conservative Christian values: Matt Kaufman, a writer and former associate editor and contributing editor for Focus on the Family’s ‘Citizen’ magazine (now canceled), and also a political conservative who formerly contributed to The Federalist, writes, “I spent years working for a conservative Christian organization. But I believe that supporting Trump damages the country—and Christianity, too.”

In his column published by thebulwark.com website, an ardent pro-life, pro-religious liberty supporter, Kaufman asserts other conservative Christian folks are echoing similar concerns, supporting Mr. Trump and his mismanaged schemes is a clear and present danger impacting Christianity.

He writes, “We’ve seen a lot of Christians making a lot of excuses for Trump over the past few years. We’ve seen them twist into knots to avoid facing who he clearly is. We’ve seen them jettison one long-proclaimed standard after another to let him off the hook. We’ve seen them resort to denial, downplaying, and deflection. We’ve seen them deploy and distort scripture in Trump’s defense as they’d never dreamed of doing for a Democrat. (To cite the obvious example: If this had been Bill Clinton…)

..we (Christians) know better. When we do it anyway—sacrificing our professed principles on the altar of political convenience—that changes us. It erodes our character, both individually and corporately.”

Kaufman adds rejecting Trump is also a matter of moral credibility. He asserts this country badly needs credible conservative voices, but more than that, credible Christian voices calling all people to live a Holy Spirit-driven and inspired life. In fact, people will not just refuse to take Christians seriously, they will recoil against us for the same reasons they recoil against him (Trump).

We who call on the name of the Lord, whether we worship in any one of the many churches within our county boundaries, we must listen to these quiet words of wisdom and acknowledge we, too, have much to confess before we can stand blameless before our God.

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