This is an excerpt from Chapter 4: No Spin
On Election Day in 2004, I was greatly saddened by the subtle forfeiture of freedom in the United States of America that I witnessed. It wasn’t a lack of voter turnout that taxed my patriotism, nor was it the shameless shenanigans by politicians to squeeze as many votes as possible from undecided voters. What affected me more than anything else during that election cycle was what I saw while exercising the right afforded me by the shed blood of so many Americans.
I entered the voting booth and perused the panel of names for the candidates I had written down on a piece of paper. I saw two ominous buttons, one for each major party that if chosen would automatically select all candidates from that party.
How many people chose the button for the party that they identify with, saving themselves the effort of actually finding out what those people actually stood for? It makes me wonder how often party hard-liners have been taken advantage of. They vote Democrat or Republican simply because they always have, or because their favorite pastor, movie star or musician has recommended it. As a result, they forfeit their obligation as citizens of this great land and make themselves vulnerable to political thieves and robbers. What is presented as a badge of loyalty is really a bad case of apathy.
Freedom taken for granted often results in laziness, and laziness makes us vulnerable to thieves and robbers of all kinds. The Gate is our way to verify what we choose to believe as truth from God. True citizens of heaven spend the effort to make sure we’re hearing the right Shepherd using The Gate as our safeguard.
In Jesus’ second analogy beginning in verse seven of John 10, he gave us another way to figure out truth: run it past The Gate. He’s there to protect us from wandering off or being stolen away by thieves and robbers – even within the church:
Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:7-10, NIV)