Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. – John 3:20-21
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28
Keep An Open Heart
As we roll inexorably closer to election day here in the USA, I’d like to reiterate my commitment to writing in a way that encourages readers to think, period, rather than to think like me; to vote responsibly, not vote because Derek Maul is voting a certain way; and above all to keep both your mind and your spirit open as you consider how to exercise your franchise as a citizen of this great country.
I believe that voting for POTUS is not about making sure your favored party wins the White House, but about selecting a leader who best represents the aspirations of this nation, as we continue to wrestle with what kind of world community we are a part of going forward, in this volatile twenty-first century.
We are a significant player on the world stage. We need to be less partisan domestically, more strategic economically, mutually cooperative in trade, and a strong servant-leader globally. An economically strong America is better positioned to help other nations prosper – and vice versa.
God is Not Partisan!
In light of my unwillingness to tie faith in Jesus to a political slant, I want to take exception to a line of thought that seems to be gaining traction. It tries to make sense of why many “evangelical” Christians are supporting one particular candidate, and the point of view was clearly articulated in an article I read this morning. The piece features a photograph of Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. alongside Donald Trump.
The article assumed a series of politically conservative social positions as de facto “Christian” points of view, and a series of progressive priorities as incompatible with “Christianity.” And there it is, nicely packaged – you simply can’t vote for Hillary Clinton and be a “Christian” at the same time.
Here’s what I posted in the comments section underneath the link to the article. My thoughts are rough and not that well constructed, but I believe the point I make is critically important:
The problem with this article is that it assumes being a Christian is incompatible with being liberal – or progressive – politically. Fact is, there are passionate followers of Jesus across the ideological political spectrum. We can disagree politically and worship together as disciples. For example, being against LBGTQ rights is not necessarily a “Christian” position… ditto many of the liberal positions mentioned. The article confuses being a Christian with being politically conservative. But then that’s a common misconception that has seriously compromised Christian witness in the past few decades…
Compromised Christian Witness:
My observation is that much of what is understood as “evangelical” Christianity is actually a social/political/nationalistic ideology rather than a commitment to follow Jesus. It’s the same with many on the hard left, only it’s not tied into a Christian-esque word like evangelical.
Hillary Clinton is a committed Methodist; Donald trump claims roots in the Reformed Church. I’m not here to question how Christian either one of them is, if they’re “Christian enough,” or who Jesus would vote for.
But I can say this. Jesus loves both candidates with a love that gave everything, and asks simply that we accept that love. And, while faithful Christians can anchor many of their points of view in their decision to live day by day as disciples, it is quite possible to disagree in politics, be at odds vis-a-vis social issues, take communion together, and work to advance the gospel at the same church; in fact I see it here at WFPC every week.
So let’s not make the error of confusing our political ideology with God:
- Jesus doesn’t want your candidate to win, he wants you to be the presence of Christ in this broken world;
- Jesus wants servants who demonstrate grace via loving one another;
- Jesus wants unity, not uniformity;
- Jesus wants us to model the invitational, non-judgmental, everyone is welcome at the table, generous, vulnerable, courageous love he introduced the world to and has planted in our hearts.
Jesus doesn’t ask for much – just everything.
– In love, and because of love – DEREK