Posts Tagged ‘election’

Okay, I gave up politics a long time ago when it became readily apparent that I was letting my priorities get way out of whack. It was one of the most liberating things that happened in my life. Right now, though, I am starting to feel like that movie character who once said, “Every time I think I’m getting out, they pull me back in…” No. I will not go… I will not…

So here’s where I am at. Every day on social media my friends are battling on all sides of every issue. I have a lot of friends and they have a lot of opinions. I heard today that the UK left the EU. I have a few ideas on that, but why should anyone care about my opinion on the topic? I’m neither British or European, and as such, my opinion doesn’t matter. I wish them well and figure they are smart enough to work out what they will and will not be a part of.

Of course, here in the states we have our own issues. The forthcoming election now seems to be down to two candidates, Trump and Clinton. Frankly I don’t see how I could vote for either of them. Of course Bernie Sanders is still in and a lot of people will vote for him. Anyone who does that needs to think seriously about 1992, when a man named Ross Perot funneled votes away from the sitting president and gave us the first President Clinton. These two candidates are so unpopular with many that the third parties are starting to get energized. That’s not going to work for the same reason. Third parties need to run candidates, and lots of them, year year after year after year, if they want to gain ground. Instead they wait for a presidential year and drop a candidate in at the last minute.

A vote for Sanders is a vote for Trump. Likewise a vote for the libertarian is a vote for Clinton. I don’t see how I could vote for either candidate and so I don’t really know what do say. To be honest, that these are the two candidates for the top job in our nation, shows us something of where we’re at as a nation and I am starting to think folks better start reading the books of First and Second Kings STAT!

What concerns me more than anything else is the fervor these candidates seem to have mustered in the Church. To read social media, you would think that we’re electing a Messiah and that some seem to think one of these people could be the one. They’re not, neither of them and this is part of the problem. There is a Messiah. There is One who can actually solve our problems and lead us to the righteous path we belong on. His name is Jesus and church, our job is not, nor has it ever been to get politicians elected. Our job is, and has always been, to help people to elect to follow Jesus. This needs to be our focus and frankly the political climate we live in shows us it has not been. A national repentance is needed and it needs to start with us. To trust that anyone but Christ can fix what ails us is idolatry. The solution is not politics. We need to pray for our leaders and get back to work.

This nation needs Jesus. If we turn back to Him, politics will take care of itself.

Don’t lose focus. Who’s president is far less important than who’s KING!

I made this a little while back to remind my congregation of what’s really important this election year. It’s a tongue in cheek approach to a serious topic. For the record, I omitted Kasich because there was talk that he was going to drop out before the PA Primary and these things take a while to do. He’s not my candidate either.

This is a way to use humor to communicate. How can you use your gift to share a message?

Just coming out of the election season, the Illustration Friday Challenge word stretch took me here. Stretching the truth is no longer truth. The truth is pure and as Jesus said, Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Once there was the perfect candidate for leadership. His character was impeccable. His record was flawless. He was young and energetic and intelligent but more than intelligent he was wise. He was kind and compassionate generous and giving. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth and while uncommon, he related to the common man, yet he was very powerful. He stood up to the powers that be and opposed injustice. His decisions were flawless and he always worked for the greater good. He said what He meant and meant what he said. He never made a promise he did not keep. He was the perfect candidate.

What happened? The powers that be didn’t like that he questioned their authority and their decisions. They showed his constituents that he would not give them everything their greedy hearts desired and that he would not allow them to live in the anarchy of lawlessness. Eventually the majority turned on him and they elected to kill him, by nailing him to a cross.

The perfect candidate was Jesus Christ. There has never been another. We had one perfect candidate and we killed him because he wouldn’t do things in our imperfect messed up, broken, destructive way.

But there is good news. He died in our place, to pay a price we could never pay and on the third day He rose again. He is still a leader, a great leader, the greatest leader ever. With Him it’s different. We don’t vote for Him once every four years. We elect Him every time we face a decision.

Elect to follow Jesus every day. He’s still the perfect candidate.

Don’t worry, I’m not going political. I don’t want to say I’m an undecided voter, it’s more like I’d like to have an option that says “none of the above.” This has been further cemented by the number of prerecorded phone messages I have received this week. I’m not sure how either party thinks that kind of thing is going to change my mind or inspire me to go to the polls. I haven’t been less inspired to get out of bed and go to the polls in a very long time.

That being said, I realize the beauty of our system. In the US (as well as many other nations) we have the ability to pick our leaders and I still value that freedom so tomorrow I will cast a vote. That being said, I am thoroughly disappointed in the level of discourse surrounding this election. When I look at social media and I see the kinds of things my friends and others are posting I get really disturbed. I cannot wait until this election is over so that the healing can begin. We are truly a nation divided.

Here are my thoughts. Barack Obama is neither that bad nor is he that good. Mitt Romney is neither that bad nor is he that good. Neither is a Messiah, neither is an anti-Christ. Neither is an angel, neither is a demon. They’re flawed sinners just like the rest of us. They both possess the level of arrogance needed to say “Yes I will assume leadership of the 300,000,000 people.” Neither will be solely responsible for our successes or our failures. Barack Obama is not solely responsible for the mess we’re in and Mitt Romney won’t be able to fix it. At the end of the day they’re each just one man, limited by the actions of others (Our system is set up that way, remember “checks and balances” from seventh grade civics?). More than that, we elect our leaders, our leaders and our nation look like us. The condition of the nation controls what our nation looks like. Our condition as a nation is less about who occupies the white house and more about what happens in your house. Our leaders “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed” remember?

This is especially relevant for the church. Our Bible commands us to pray for our leaders (a passage that was written about the time when Nero was ruling the world). Further we are commanded to go and make disciples. God did not assign the government to do this. He assigned us, Church. If our leaders don’t look like Jesus or lead like Jesus, it’s because they were elected by a nation that is not following Jesus. The nation not following Jesus is not Washington’s problem because it’s not their assignment. It’s the Church’s assignment. I have seen Christians posting some really ugly stuff about the candidate they oppose and it kills me. You want better leaders? Work toward a better nation.

The nation of Israel in the Old Testament was led by God. They decided they wanted a human king instead and it was their downfall. They rejected the wisdom and leadership of almighty God to be led by someone with 10 more IQ points (or more sheep and goats) than they had. The job of leading a nation was too big for any flawed man and it still is.

Tomorrow, forget your party, forget the economy, forget what you think and pray. Ask God who He wants to lead this nation, cast your one vote and get back to your assignment. Elect to follow Jesus and get back to doing what God told us to do. Be ambassadors of Christ.