Politics: Vanquishing A Vehicle For Vitriol

“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.” ~ James 1:19-21

Preface:

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I used to be obsessed with politics.  Key phrase there is “used to be.”  Talk radio, magazines, television, social media, even my sermons were laced with politics.

I breathed this cancer like second-hand smoke at a restaurant.

I changed some years ago because I believe God convicted me about my earthly, temporal obsession.  I really did not have faith in a God who was bigger than the White House.  And there’s nothing uglier than a politicized, religious individual.  I would know!

These days, I do all that I can to not get roped into the pervasive political arena, but we seem to be losing our minds.

Problem:

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” ~ 1 Peter 2:13-17

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Two things always happen when we get involved with mud-slinging…we lose ground and we walk away with our hands getting dirty.

Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 on a two-word platform: Hope and Change.  And although this is in no way a plug for him, there aren’t two things I desire more in my life, politics, and our world.

Hope and Change.

People are genuinely concerned over various issues and in desperate need of hope.  They are also sick and tired of the same old routine where politics somehow justifies humanity becoming the worst version of itself.

And why does the majority of the Church forget why it exists whenever we enter election cycles?  What happened to loving God and loving people?

Practice:

Can I just state the obvious?  We all are craving Hope and Change, but very few seem to actually be seeking methods that will make such ideals our shared reality.

“With great power comes great responsibility.” ~ Uncle Ben

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Social media has given everyone great power, but very few seem to exhibit the love, mercy, grace, understanding, and discipline necessary to use it wisely and effectively.  Suddenly everyone is an expert and supposedly deserves equal access and airtime.

My point?

Bashing people is wrong, even from behind a screen.  And it does not create Hope or Change.  Neither does the self-deluded arrogance that undergirds such activity, propping up certain egos that have no place in making, sharing, or posting the all-to-common divisive diatribes we are subjected to everyday.

My HOPE4Hipsters:

May the Church shed light without turning up the heat.

May the Church be seasoned with grace, not disgrace.

May the Church remember that both candidates are made in the image of their Creator and were bought at the price of His life.  From the perspective of the cross, WE ARE NO BETTER.  It was the FACT of sin, not the FLAGRANCE of it.  There is no “US” and “THEM”, there is only “WE.”

May the Church live in faith that the Kingdom of God will not be thwarted by November’s results because it’s reality transcends this temporal trepidation!

So Clinton or Kim-Jong, Trump or Tojo, God will have His way.  Will His Church join Him in expressing His Kingdom?  This only happens when we have the right focus.

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Let’s not forget that the Church rose out of Nero’s empire!  It’s been worse than deleted emails and locker room talk, believe it or not.

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(from Theodore H. Feder’s book, Great Treasures of Pompeii and Herculaneum (Abbeville, 1978)

Let us fix OUR eyes on Jesus…not social media, not Washington, not the good ol’ days, and certainly not on the opposing side’s arguments.

Let’s focus on principles and not personalities.  Let’s focus on what we’re for and not what we’re against.  Let’s maintain the line of decency and compassion by being descriptive, not pejorative.

Let’s also remember that if we were in either candidate’s shoes, we would not like or appreciate the majority of what is so callously thrown around in the name of truth, awareness, preservation, or whatever other false pretenses we disguise our ugliness with.

“We don’t serve a God who points fingers.” ~ Carl Lentz

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ 1 Tim. 2:1-4

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Looking to the One who comes on a White Horse, not the one who enters the White House. (Rev. 19:11-16)

 

“Love’s no politician, because it listens carefully…”

 

 
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Comments

  1. I heard David Jeremiah on the radio say, “Its NOT about the Donkey, its NOT about the Elephant…its about the LAMB!!” No truer words!

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