And I’m annoyed.
If you’ve ever read anything I’ve ever posted, you can probably guess how I’m voting today. I’m a one-issue voter because I believe that where a candidate stands on that ONE issue speaks to his compass for making all decisions. Does this mean my candidate is perfect? By no means. Does this mean that my candidate is godly? By no means. He is human, prone to weaknesses and sins, just like all of us.
AND in the same way, does this mean that the OTHER candidate is evil incarnate? BY NO MEANS. I’ve seen countless letters, blogs, and assorted rantings from Christian brothers and sisters about how Barack Obama is evil personified. While I most certainly agree that some of the policies he stands by are indeed ungodly, I CANNOT, even as I am opposed to what he stands for, attack him as an individual. We have NO right to attack any man, much less a man who God may very well allow to become an authority figure in our nation. (Well, actually, he already IS an authority figure, being a senator and all.) He is human, prone to weaknesses and sins, just like all of us.
So, argue about the issues. But, please, let’s not elevate John McCain/Sarah Palin to savior status and condemn Barack Obama as a devil. I actually heard someone this past week say that they get an “eerie, scary” feeling when they pray for him. Well, friend, then YOU need to pray about why you have such a calloused, hard heart towards a fellow human being who, last time I checked, is still not beyond the reach of God’s grace and sanctification. Why don’t we channel the energy we spend criticizing this man into PRAYING for him to be radically transformed by the Lord so that he may lead our country in godliness? So that he might lead his family in godliness? So that he, too, might know Christ? Or do his political views keep us from seeing him as someone in need of Christ and in need of our compassion and loving witness?
I guess I was pushed over the edge when his grandmother (and primary caregiver from childhood) passed away, and there was still no lull in the bashing, name calling, and demonization. As Christians, shouldn’t we be the first to show compassion for his loss, to see this as an opportunity to pray for his salvation, and to identify with him as a real person, even if we don’t line up with him politically?
Honestly. Don’t pick up your Christian status to define why you’re voting how you’re voting and then put it right back down so that you can feel free to speak all kinds of slander, malice, and rage towards a lost man. It’s the very essence of hypocrisy to do so.
Wes preached a sermon this past Sunday on the death of King Saul. He spoke about how Saul was never God’s intent for the people of Israel, but He gave them over to their desire for a king, chose Saul to lead them, and gave him authority. Throughout his reign, David had opportunities to kill him, which would have only seemed to be fair play since Saul was trying to kill him as well! But David refused to do so because Saul was his king, who reigned because God had allowed it to happen. At the conclusion of the story, David was outraged by the Amalekite who eventually killed Saul, wondering out loud how he could, without fear, dare to touch the Lord’s anointed. I think the principle of the story remains true today. While we may not be absolutely thrilled to the core of our beings by the outcome of this year’s election, we need to remember that God is indeed in control. And we need to properly respect those whom He has allowed to become authority figures over us. Does this mean I have to agree with everything my president does? No. Does my disagreement over the issues give me license to talk about him in an ungodly and demeaning way? By no means. My attitude, compassion, and grace towards someone I don’t agree with should be even greater evidence of Christ’s work in my life.
So, please, vote your conscience today. But remember to honor Christ not only in that but in your response to lost men and women who are in need of Christ, no matter what they support and legislate and who they ultimately may become in our nation’s government.