Two nights ago, I joined the celebration in my community for president-elect Obama. Last night I comforted friends who were grieved. They were grieved not by the election results, but by the venom flowing from the pen and lips of those who claim Jesus as their Lord.
I know, many will claim that NO Christian should have voted for Obama. Because Barack does not believe that abortion should be illegal, and that gays should have rights comparable to straights they believe a vote for him is a vote for the anti-christ. I won’t try to argue this point here, but suffice it to say there are so many OTHER ISSUES (on which the BIBLE is also very clear) and on these issues many sincere Christians chose to cast their ballot for Mr. Obama.
I wonder…. how many in the current evangelical church would have been uncomfortable as as one of the twelve disciples……? Jesus did not expect political UNIFORMITY from his followers. He intentionally chose a group with very diverse political (and theological) views. To zealots (like Peter) collaboration with ROME was a SIN. It was equal to idolatry, to accept a ruler over Israel other that YWH – the Lord God.
But Jesus also chose Matthew ( a tax collector – who reinforced Roman rule) and showed love to Zacheeus in an effort to declare “MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD” He seemed to be saying – “Go-head believe what you will about Rome and politics… but I’m starting something new”
During the election process I was grieved at how my brothers and sisters in Christ were believing and passing along gossip and half-truths, I was grieved at how believers in Christ were believing more in fear and hate. I was grieved at how a people who had been called to unite and transcend – were tools in the hands of those (Hannity, Rush, “Christian Radio” and others) who were calling them into the gutter, rather than into the heavenlies.
As an election judge, I saw people who had lost HOPE and lost direction, find a restored glimmer of HOPE and confidence in America. I helped old and young vote for their first time ever.
As a follower of Jesus, I too find HOPE that we can begin a new era in American politics. Barack Obama is not the friend of terrorists, potential anti-christ, (at least no more than GWB) or pathway to immorality. Neither is he the messiah or solution. God is still in control.
Followers of Jesus Christ need to rise up and FOLLOW our LORD. We need to become ones that take earthly HOPE and point people to ETERNAL HOPE. But…. PLEASE fight the carnal urge to become political putty in the hands of those who are NOT called to our same purposes.
I have comforted many grieving believers in the wake of the election – grieving because their sisters and brothers in Christ heap hate and shame upon them. Much damage has already been done to the church; by Christian attacking Christian. These attacks often reinforce the class, cultural, and racial divisions in America. Let us be the “alternative” voice for HOPE, not one sold to the highest bidder.
The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12 that one aspect of a united body of Christ is that when one part rejoices, all rejoice – when one part grieves all grieve. I believe the present state of things demonstrate how sick the church is. One part cannot even FEEL the grief or joy the other part is experiencing. Let us come together in Jesus Christ – and not be divisive for the gain of politicians – and the pain of the body of Christ – and a shame to the LOVE of the gospel.
God help us be your bride (driven by LOVE) , and not a prostitute (let by LUST) to political parties.