What Are You Living For?

Not sure of the answer to the question of what are you living your life for? Check your bank account and time sheets. Whatever you think you live for, the truth is your heart is wherever your money and your time are.

If you work on the Hill, maybe it’s status or recognition of some kind. Or becoming influential, an “insider.” Could be having a certain title linked to your name. Or perhaps having as much fun as humanly possible.

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Big Challenges For Christians In Pew’s Latest ‘Nones’ Survey Results

“Religious Nones” are among the fastest growing groups whenever survey research organizations like the Pew Research Center do polls concerning religious issues.

The results of the latest Pew survey of a representative sample of the Nones – which includes those who identify themselves as “atheist,” “agnostic” and “nothing” – finds an important reason (60 percent) these folks give for their views is they “question a lot of religious teachings.”

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Working On The Hill: Seems Like Just Yesterday But It Was 1977

Check it out. My first job on Capitol Hill was as press secretary for Rep. Robert Bauman (R-MD), who represented the Eastern Shore of Maryland, working from 118 Cannon HOB.

Odds are, this shot was snapped as I was on the telephone talking to Don Baker of the Washington Post Metro Section staff, who covered Bauman during my nearly two-year tenure there. He remains to this day one of the journalists for whom I have the most respect.

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Alisa Childers’ Rescue Boat For Hill Aides Adrift In a Sea Of Doubt

There are hundreds of men and women working in Congress who came to town a year ago or maybe a few years ago professing to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, but then the realities of life on Capitol Hill hit them square in the face.

Challenges to their faith — intellectual and otherwise — are everywhere on the Hill and doubts can become a huge problem. Some choose to leave their faith behind, others retreat into spiritual ghettos.

Photo by Mishal Ibrahim on Unsplash

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Can Christians Be Faithful AND Work With Integrity On ‘The Hill?’

Christians everywhere face the question of whether their faith has anything to do with their jobs, but it’s an especially acute issue for those on a congressional payroll.

Here’s why: The law in America is made through the competitive political process, but culture is upstream from politics and faith in turn is upstream from culture. Your faith shapes your work ethos.

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Should A Congressional Aide View ‘Forensic Faith’ As An Oxymoron?

People on Capitol Hill often speak of the importance of doing a “forensic audit” of a government program, a corporate expenditure or a political campaign, typically in conjunction with a court case or a congressional investigation.

The purpose of a forensic audit is to uncover facts that would otherwise likely go undiscovered, which could in turn render the case or investigation inadequate or outright wrong. Can there be such a thing as a “forensic faith?”

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Here’s Why Even Critical Scholars Now Say The Gospels Are Reliable

One of the effects of working on Capitol Hill for any length of time is how it tends to capture your focus within the narrow confines of Washington politics and policy.

There’s a whole world out there in the “real world” beyond the Potomac River, one small but immensely significant part of which is the community of scholars who study things like whether the New Testament are reliable records of ancient history, especially the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Now, here’s what is likely a shocker for a lot of folks who spend their working lives toiling away in Congress: Beginning in the early 1970s and continuing today, scholars who once declared the New Testament was not reliable have now come to the conclusion that the Gospels are indeed authoritative and trustworthy.

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Maybe Those Gospel Contradictions Are Intentional

Mention “New Testament” or “Bible” or “Gospels” in a mixed crowd and be prepared to be told there are so many contradictions in the documents that they can’t be believed.

As Prof. Sean McDowell points out, there are indeed what appear contradictions in the Gospels, such as John 3:16 and I John 2:15. “Which is it? Are we supposed to love the world, as God does, or not,” McDowell asks.

“Yet closer analysis reveals they are not thoughtless mistakes from a careless writer, but part of an intentional rhetorical strategy to get readers to reflect upon the deeper meaning of words,” McDowell continues.

If you work on the Hill, such a rhetorical approach might not seem so foreign. After all, liberals and conservatives use the same words all the time, but infuse them with different, sometimes radically different, meanings.

McDowell goes on to illustrate his point with additional examples. Definitely worth your time to read and consider.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Is Jesus’ Resurrection Fact Or Just ‘Fake News?’

You hear it regularly in conversations on Capitol Hill. One guy says X and the other guy instantly dismisses it because “oh, that’s what you expect Fox/CNN/MSNBC to say. That’s just fake news.”

And that raises an interesting question, and not just for men and women working in the House and Senate or one of the congressional agencies like the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or Government Accounting Office (GAO).

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Wasn’t The Resurrection Really Just A Conspiracy?

“Conspiracy” is a word one hears regularly on Capitol Hill and it’s almost always in the context of somebody doing something they don’t want somebody else to know about.

After all, as Scripture says, darkness hates the light.

So there is invariably a sinister association with conspiracies, as well as with other words that can mean the same thing, including “plot,” “scheme” and “collusion.” The true purpose behind of any of these can actually be good or bad, but they are usually thought of as representing criminal or otherwise unpleasant purposes.

Which brings us to Jesus. People in high places and low have for millennia tried to dismiss the claim that Jesus was resurrected on the third day after his death on the cross as representing nothing more than a conspiracy among His disciples to fool the world to protect their own hides.

Cross-Examined’s Dr. Frank Turek often hears the claim, as he was recently by a Maryland college student. His response makes it clear that nobody needs a subpoena to get to the truth about the Resurrection:

Can We Think About Jesus Like A Detective? Or A Hill Investigator?

Whether you are a famous cold-case detective like J. Warner Wallace solving 30-year-old murders or a veteran investigator for a congressional committee probing government contract fraud, much of what you do and how you do it is the same.

Take, for example, assessing the credibility of witnesses. Crime detectives and Hill investigators have to do that all the time as it’s one of their most important skills. What if witnesses don’t agree on all the details of an event? Is that reason to reject some or all of the witnesses?

For many critics of the Gospels, the fact Matthw, Mark, Luke and John provide four accounts that appear to differ on important details about the resurrection of Jesus disqualifies them as credible witnesses. And that in turn raises huge question marks about the Resurrection.

“What if witnesses don’t agree on all the details of an event? Is that reason to reject some or all of the witnesses?”

Wallace is well-known for his many appearances on NBC’s “Dateline” program where he showed America how he solved five stone-cold cases from decades back.

He knows about witnesses and in this video he shares four rules derived from California judicial procedures that he has used for many years and that helped him evaluate the credibility of the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection.

Enjoy.

Does The Bible Demean Women (On The Hill Or Anywhere Else)?

It’s a truism in many secular precincts that Christianity has kept women in a subordinate position to men, but is that a reflection on the Bible that defines the faith or on the Christians who misused or misunderstood it?

With at least 100 newly elected women heading to mount the Capitol Hill steps above as a result of the 2018 midterm election, according to Kathryn Watson of CBS News, the treatment and status of women in America is certain to be a huge issue in the new Congress come January. (Photo above by Louis Velazquez on Unsplash)

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Today’s Question For Hundreds Of Hill Staffers — What Now?

Tuesday’s 2018 midterm election is followed by a grim morning for hundreds of congressional aides. They work on the personal staffs of losing Democrat and Republican senators and representatives and, on the House side, on the outgoing Republican majority’s committee staffs.

Come the first week of January when the new Congress is seated, with Republicans in the majority in the Senate and Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, these aides will be out of work. It’s part of the rhythm of Congress as every two years, the seats of one-third of the senators and all 435 representatives are open. Many are re-elected, more than a few are not.

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What About Christians And Identity Politics?

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Call it “identity politics” or “multiculturalism” or whatever else you like, but America’s public discourse today is often all but dominated by analyses based on speakers’ respective racial, ethnic and cultural identities.

Democrats are deep into identity politics, while Republicans often find it repellant. There are Christians among both, but does the God of the Bible have anything of value to say to Democrats or Republicans on the issue of identity politics?

You bet it does, especially if you happen to work on Capitol Hill where the issues raised by identity politics are especially intense and urgent. So where do we start?

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This Mom Is A Great Argument for God

So you’re walking down a corridor of the Dirksen Senate Office Building during a break in a committee hearing and there on the floor is the word “MOM” spelled out in Cap’n Crunch.

Being a dutiful son or daughter, you love your mom, of course, so you stop to ponder  this odd sight, speculating for a few seconds about how it got there and then going on about your business before the hearing resumes. As the day continues, though, your mind keeps going back to that MOM because something about it is puzzling.

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