I don’t know about you, but my moral compass has been spinning during the 2016 election. I want to seek justice as I vote, but I am not sure it is possible. To help myself (and others who felt this same tension), I asked you guys to share with me your own perspectives as you try to balance your worldview, beliefs about God, and opinions as you seek the good of our nation through the context of justice.
The goal of these points aren’t to fight, but to help us consider the same three points from various vantage points to help us look at all angles.
Check out the rest of this series here:
- Justice, God and Politics: 2016 Election
- ANONYMOUS #1 (How Would Jesus Vote)
- ANONYMOUS #2 (Why I Can’t Vote For Pro-Abortion Hillary)
- ANONYMOUS #3 (Don’t Be A Jerk–From A Jewish Perspective)
- ANONYMOUS #4 (Weighing All The Candidates Through A Lens of Justice)
- ANONYMOUS #5 (Freedom From the Republican Christian Lie)
*Disclaimer, the individual posts in this series do not necessarily reflect the stance of Average Advocate*
God & Politics: ANONYMOUS #6 (What As A Christian I Should Have Been Telling My Kids)
So here we finally are! Mere hours now from E-Day. And not a moment too soon, even for a politics junkie like myself. For months, I have been on a constant diet of refreshing Google News minute by minute, saving and forwarding articles and blog posts, and formulating and reformulating my arguments (for no one but myself). The nominating conventions—both Republican and Democratic—were like the Super Bowl for me. If I couldn’t be at home in front of the TV, I was listening to live coverage on the radio. I couldn’t get enough.
Except now, I have had enough. I’ve found that even I have my political limits. Last week I skipped my post-Sunday tradition of listening to the talk show rebroadcasts on C-SPAN. Yesterday I listened for only a few minutes. At this point, I’m exhausted and disgusted. And honestly a little apprehensive. Not really about the outcome of the election itself, but about how people will treat their fellow citizens tomorrow at the polls, and after the votes are counted.
I must admit that I haven’t been particularly charitable towards my fellow citizens who will vote differently than I will tomorrow. I haven’t cussed anybody out (not out loud, anyway), or ripped up any yard signs, but my heart has definitely not been loving towards everyone across the aisle. Up until now, I have always tried to be careful about how I speak about other people in front of my children. Whether it’s a personal acquaintance or a celebrity, if I have an issue with someone, I will be diplomatic—or at least silent—in the presence of my children.
Boy did I take a departure from that this year. I have passed up very few opportunities to share my strong opinions of one of the presidential candidates. My youngest even said he felt sorry for that candidate, no doubt because of my passionate and repeated denunciations of this person.
But as my pastor reminded us during his sermon yesterday, Jesus died for that candidate. Jesus died for Donald Trump, and for Hilary Clinton, and he died for you and me.
So now, with the election season about to end (maybe, hopefully), there are two things I believe I should have been telling my kids. Things that have nothing to do with my opinion. Things that will be true in four years when my oldest will be of voting age. Things that will be true no matter who is running for president. And so the following is addressed to them:
There is only One Savior and Lord.
This may seem obvious to a follower of Christ, but it is worth saying. Why? Because it is very easy for followers of Christ to make lords of other followers. Like spouses, pastors, and spiritual mentors. Or parents. Or the hottest Christian blogger or the leading authority on family values or Biblical hermeneutics. Scripture does admonish us to sharpen each other (Proverbs 27:17), encourage each other (Hebrews 3:13), and seek wise counsel from other believers (Proverbs 11:14). But be on guard against turning any one man’s or woman’s word into the final word on anything. Unless it’s God’s Word, it is at best, a nice human idea. Examples of nice human ideas include: news outlets, presidential candidates’ websites, political party platforms, and even the U.S. Constitution, as fabulous as it is.
One problem with having little lords is that it is idolatry. Another problem is that when little lords mess up, as humans always do, we find ourselves devastated and even questioning God as if the failure were His. “If so and so committed such and such sin, what does that mean about everything I’ve ever believed?” The good news: nothing. If Jesus is the foundation of your faith, the failures of His followers will not (I pray) be able to shake it.
One of my greatest concerns as a parent has been that my mistakes in raising you or the sins you see me commit would negatively impact your walk with God and how you view Him. And while God does hold me accountable for my witness to you (Matthew 18:6, Proverbs 22:6), I realized something very liberating just yesterday. Every single person of faith, including the spiritual giants from the Bible and beyond, had human parents who made mistakes. Somehow, in spite of those parental failings (or even through them, because God has this way of making it seem like everything was in His plan all along :D), God was able to hold on to His saints.
So while I hope that nothing I say or do would be a stumbling block to your faith, I encourage you to look to Jesus, not me or anyone else (certainly not a political leader), as the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Your U.S. passport will not get you into heaven.
Since you were born in the United States, you are an American citizen. Your parents are also American citizens–both of us having been born here–so you would be a citizen even if you hadn’t been born here. That citizenship confers to you many rights and privileges, as listed in that Constitution I mentioned before.
You are also a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20). By grace you have been saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8). And that confers to you status as an heir of God, co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17), His special possession (1 Peter 2:19), who is seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6).
Both of these citizenships are precious gifts, but only one of them will you keep for eternity. They are not of the same value; there is no comparison. No earthly identity, title, status, or relationship compares in significance to your position in Christ. Even if you end up living in the United States for the rest of your life, consider it your temporary address. All these other things that you’ve seen me get so excited about—primaries and caucuses and political parties: also temporary. Even the Constitution is temporary! “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8). So, by all means, do your part to make a positive contribution to this American society. Pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3) and pay your taxes (Mark 12:17). Just remember what is really going to count when our time on this earth is done. And maybe you can remind me the next time I get riled up listening to CSPAN.
I appreciate the vulnerability of those who chose to share. Considering, even if you disagree with them, please keep your comments clean and respectful or they will be deleted.