Well the Olympics are over and new sets of games have begun in our culture: the political conventions and campaign season. Yes, the airwaves are rich with disdain, blame, and criticism, and the twenty-four hour news cycles have their plates full dissecting party platforms. What are we to make of it all and how are we to respond?!? Some view the whole thing as a form of entertainment much like cheering for a favorite team. Others view the whole scene with a certain amount of cynicism and disgust. Still others view their party with a religious-like affection and hope that belongs in a song sung by a guy wearing skinny jeans on stage at church. It is my personal conviction that the three above responses are sadly misplaced and in need of correction. Therefore, I would like to make some basic observations concerning both sides of the political aisle during this campaign season and then suggest a Christian response. I believe both sides misrepresent the truth to some degree as a result of trying to win votes in a highly charged political atmosphere in the following ways.
Both sides misrepresent the truth through
- The Blame Game
- Reducing mega-issues to sound bites
Therefore as Christians our attitude should demonstrate
- God doesnt ride the backs of donkeys or elephants
I remember several years ago listening to Dr. Tony Evans preach at a conference and shout that statement from stage. The statement should simply be interpreted as follows: God cannot be placed in a box or confined to one political party because human categories are finite and He is infinite. That doesnt mean that certain party agendas cannot reflect values that matter to God, rather it should be clear to us that no party can have a monopoly on God.
- God can be glorified in the public square
Great and wonderful achievements can happen in government that glorify and honor God. I am sure that all of heaven rejoiced when William Wilberforce finally accomplished the abolition of the slave trade in England. And yet thirty years of effort began with a clear call and vision to serve God in parliament.
- Every Christian is called to citizenship and thus the political process
Citizenship is a calling. The great reformer Martin Luther taught that every Christian operated with four callings: church, family, vocation, and citizen. In other words it is not an accident that one is born into a particular society and as such they are to be a responsible citizen. That means, in part, that each Christian citizen is to play a role in the decisions that affect their society. This is accomplished in large measure through the election process of local, state and federal politicians.
- The disappointment or excitement we feel should not detract from the hope we have
Gods Will is not held hostage by who will serve next in the White House. Make no mistake about it, I have deeply held convictions that will determine for whom I votebut for whom I vote will not determine the hope I have obtained in Christ. I want and will vote for a certain candidate. And yes I will be disappointed if he doesnt win. But that disappointment will be short lived, because the mission of God should consume my time rather than lingering feelings of what could have been.
Let me know your thoughts and reactionsleave a comment below.