Summary: People have different opinions as it relates to religion. That’s what makes faith real and authentic. People should not be coerced into believing something; they must come to their own faith.

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Dr. Wayne A. Lawson

Perfected Praise Worship Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Delivered on Sunday, February 3, 2008

Title: Are You Following The Polls?

Scripture: St. Matthew 16:13-17

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

It has been quite interesting following the polls as so many candidates feel they should be elected as our next President. In two days our great state of Oklahoma will go to the polls for what has been termed “Super Tuesday.” Currently there is no clear front runner as to who will receive the nomination for their particular political party. On Tuesday, our state will play a key role in helping to shape and solidify the front runners who will most likely go on to win their party’s nomination. There are various opinions as to who should become our nation’s next leader. Candidates have various opinions about one another – most not very kind in their assessments. In 21st Century America, we have a number of opinions about every issue. As we continue to watch the 2008 Primaries unfold, the candidates continue to offer different opinions on the various issues of our day. Their opinions usually sprinkled with the flavor of the day.

I believe that it is safe to say that people have different opinions about politics in general. I also believe that it is normal and some of these political opinions can become very heated. Yet, isn’t that the beauty of a democracy. I simply hope that people offer informed opinions on key issues that affect us for year to come, not just simply repeating what they hear. Most of what we hear from others tends to be inaccurate. Be careful what you embrace and repeat from:

• Radio talk shows

• Rush Limbaugh Show

• What you watched on Saturday Night Live

• What you watch on the Late Night Talk Shows

• Or the all too many 10-second sound bites

• Or the bombardment of the recent 30-second commercials offered by the candidates

If we take the time to look carefully at what the issues really are and how they affect us, we can tackle these issues in our country, then we can make more informed decisions. Who are the candidates? Does anybody really know them? It is important that we take the time to investigate them and what they stand for. It would not be fair to any of the candidates to presume to know them and their views on the issues based on insufficient information! I know what some of you must be thinking already, because I have heard it myself. Many say that there are two things that one should not speak of in polite company: politics and religion!

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