I have to say. Tonight I was quite proud of our President. I don’t listen to his speeches all that often. But tonight he did an interview with Bob Costas from Beijing and I was pleased with a lot of things he said.
Bob asked him several questions that had to do with America’s relationship with China. It was good to hear that his attitude as a whole is one of building bridges with the most populous country instead of causing unneeded hostility between us by pointing a finger and saying “now this is what you should be doing”. He mentioned that he has had several meetings with the President of China, HU Jintao, since being in office and that conversations concerning China’s views on human rights and religious freedom have come up quite frequently. But President Bush stressed the fact tonight that we will have our differences and that that should not prohibit us from carrying on a growing relationship and finding grounds that we can meet on together. I also liked what Bush said about how in one recent meeting, he admitted to the Chinese President that he attended church while there in China and that the government should consider registering the underground churches there and letting religion flourish. Bush also said in the interview that he’s learned that once religion takes hold within a society, it can’t be stopped.
Now, I’m not naive enough to believe that these conversations will lead to an overturn of communism in the east and that Christianity will sprout up like weeds among the communities there. But I am proud to have a president (for these last short months) that is vocal in representing our values to the great leaders of other countries and even more proud that he does it with a mature, non-demeaning attitude. I’m a strong proponent of a leadership model that doesn’t strive to constantly lift oneself above their followers, but instead lowers a helping hand to those that struggle or even worse, reject the path that’s being taken. I’ve been underneath many “leaders” in the past that constantly put others down and show no encouragement for me to do better. Unfortunately I have to be honest and say that those models have had an affect on my leadership skills and I find myself mimicking their poor attitudes frequently. This is something I pray God will change in me so that I will consciously follow after Christ’s method of leading people, which is one of love and encouragement yet disciplining and firm to those that don’t understand.
I thought it ironic that I ended up going on this little spiel about George W. after, just yesterday, pulling out some old school Michael W. in the car. Every once in a while I get in the mood for the middle aged pop artist that used to pretty much set the standard for Christian music. And even though I grew up as a pretty devoted fan, now I look back and regret the role that he(i’m sure unintentionally) played in segregating “Christian” music from the rest of the music world. I think I’m seeing that reversed now and I hope that it no longer has to be just another thing that divides us from culture and causes more harm in churches than it helps. I think music about and to Jesus is biblical, but I don’t need a label to put boundaries on what’s “Christian” and what’s not. And the less stones we give the world to throw at us(i.e. segregation of music styles) the better.
I’d love to keep going... I never do feel like i’ve finished an entry with everything I wanted to say. But due to your attention span and the fact that I have class in 7 hours, I’ll call it a wrap.