Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Politics Suck

I don't like politics. It's a system that causes one to engage in things that they would rather not identify (or see others identify) with. For instance, Donald Miller giving the closing prayer of the Democratic National Convention. It seems that it's just to stick it in the face of the evangelical right. Same goes for Brian MacLaren endorsing Obama. If you're job is to lead spiritually, then lead spiritually, don't tell people who to vote for, especially when they didn't ask you.

Not that such things are new, either. MacLaren and Miller are far from the first leaders in Christianity to promote the Democrat ticket. Which makes me feel distant from a group of Christians I once considered very kindred spirits (emergent folk). Don't get me wrong, I know they aren't all the same. But, to see such high profile leaders in the movement playing the same old game is discouraging and demoralizing. They talk about change and being something new, and then go do the same old things.

The problem, as Christ followers, is that both roads available to us in American politics tie us to the empire of this world. The system wants us to keep playing the game, and it doesn't care which side we are on. The system is not the route to the City of God, or civitate dei, as my respected colleague, Halden, so much more eloquently (and "big-wordly") points out. It is when we quit playing the game and living out the gospel promise that God's kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not telling everyone to stay home on election day (nor am I condemning involvement in government, but I don't know anyone that is an elected representative who reads this, anyway). What I am saying is that you shouldn't be sitting in the pocket of either party. That is a reactionary stance out of fear (the right) or spite (the left) that is not glorifying to God or unifying to His Body. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Vote where you feel led (again, not my job to tell you what or who to vote for). Personally, I can't vote for anything that would jeopardize my pro-life stance. I'm still deciding if I'm going to vote in this year's presidential election (neither presidential candidate is firmly pro-life, though I know Sarah Palen is). Maybe you're already firmly decided, and it looks crazy from my perspective. Great, and the Lord bless you in that.

Just don't forget that it is a small stopping point, a short rest, on the pilgrimage to the City of God. If you park there, you no longer journey on. Let us press on in love and unity, not rubbing the nose of others who disagree with our perspective in it.

1 comment:

Steve Oberg said...

This is a great post, thanks for writing it. It expresses something I have found quite hard to express myself. I am worried about the expectation of always being part of one party or the other. True, I definitely lean to the Republican side but I feel like I'm a conservative, pro-life voter, not necessarily a Democrat or Republican. I'm also new to the whole voting thing, having grown up believing it was wrong to vote at all.

This is actually partly why I plan to vote for McCain and also like (as far as I can tell) his VP choice, because both of them have a record of independence even from within their own party.

Steve