Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Musings from a liberal conservative, democrat, republican, libertarian, independent, green party Christian.

Today is Election Day here in the USA and regardless of what political party you belong to I hope you voted your conscience.

Regardless of who wins the presidential election probably about half of our country will be disappointed. Some will be downright mad, especially Christians on one side or the other.

You see for the past generation or two something strange has been happening to Christians here in the US we have bought into the concept that we can legislate morality or better yet God’s will by the voting box.

If you are a conservative evangelical Christian there are two issues that become your litmus test for who you will vote for in an election.
Gay Rights
Right to Life (Abortion)
These two issues are the rallying cry that every good evangelical stands firm on. We prove our commitment to God by our commitment to the conservative agenda on these two issues. And you know what, they are serious issues that the Bible does address.

If you are a liberal main line Christian or one of the few evangelical who are of the liberal persuasion then you also have two main issues that become your litmus tests for who you will support with your vote.
The Poor
The Environment
These two issues are the major rallying points for your social agenda. And you too prove your commitment to the cause by your devotion to these issues. And again the Bible does speak to both of these issues, too.

Interestingly enough the Bible speaks to all four of these issues and many more. So why is it that the two parties have chosen these as their hot buttons? Why do we have to choose which camp we are in and why do reject out of hand the other issues?

Who gave us the right to decide which issues are more important to God then the others? As I have been studying the Bible I see a God who commands us to be good stewards of His creation. Who calls us to help the poor. Who loves life and commands us not to sacrifice our children on the altar of our own self interest. Who commands us to love the sinner (regardless of the category that we place the sin in) but to hate the sin.

Isn’t it interesting that when God lists sins He includes the sin of lying (slander), idolaters, thieves, greedy and homosexuality together as all sins that God detests? (I Corinthians 6:9-11)

Why do we pick and choose what our personal agenda will be? Why is it that we become partisans to a political cause to the exclusion of those who disagree with us politically but are still our spiritual brothers?

The only answer I can come up with is that we are still embedded with the sin nature. We are not yet what our God calls us to be and because of this defect in us we are prone to sinning against Gods command to show our love for God by our love for each other.

I was reminded of the 12 disciples that Jesus chose to represent Him as His Apostles. When we read the gospel accounts we learn a lot about these men. We learn many of their occupations and we even learn about two of these men who were from different political worlds. Matthew was a part of the establishment and was partner with the Roman government and would be considered on one extreme of the political party line. His contemporary and political opponent was a guy named Simon (not Simon also known as Peter). Simon carried a descriptive name to distinguish him from the better known leader of the disciples. This Simon is always identified as a zealot. Zealots were on the other extreme of the political spectrum from tax collectors and collaborators, like Matthew.

Isn’t interesting that Jesus choose men on both extremes? Isn’t even more interesting that both of these men chose to give up their respective political positions to take on an even greater position as representatives of the Kingdom of God?

While I’m concerned for who will be running the government here in the United States for the next four years, I’m more concerned about advancing the Kingdom of God and seeing His shalom spread throughout a world that knows no peace that knows only conflict, wars and hunger both physically and spiritually.

Let’s live beyond our means, using God’s means. And let’s show to the world what Kingdom living is all about.

Won’t you join me as together we seek to live as citizens of the kingdom that is now and not yet.

Pastor Val

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Careful there Val, you may be right there next to me as one of the first Evangelical Conservative Baptists to be excommunicated. Good post, now if people would read it, ponder it, and act on it.