It's election day again here in the United States. Here in Michigan we've had what's becoming the normal fare of "go after your opponent" politics. It seems like the candidates have a hard time respecting each other in what they say. It's all about showing up their opponent. Instead of thoughtfully being engaged together in a discussion of the issues. And with charity, debating their differences. Not.
I have to say, for myself, that while it's an important day here, I think we as evangelicals are missing the boat in some ways. We have exalted to some kind of canonical status certain positions, that while good in their place can blind us to other issues. And most importantly, what we say, and how we conduct ourselves on the political stage, conveys something to the world that I think, all too often, is less than Christ-like, as in following the Jesus of the gospels. He is, after all, the Jesus we follow.
For myself, personally (to emphasize it!), I am in a kind of funk over my quandary as to how to vote. Voting, as has well been said by an eminent blogger, is a messy thing. More messier than we evangelicals often make it out to be. If I'm to believe my ears, this is all about "black and white". But unfortunately I can't see it that way. I can't say that if I do vote on certain races, I'm going to be happy with my vote. But I vote, and seek to do so in prayer. Praying that God's will will be done as I try to think through issues. And I am sure this can be the case for us, even as we vote for opposite candidates or differently on proposals. This is good to at least get us engaged in prayer, and perhaps at times, in actions in our endeavor to follow Jesus.
My hope and prayer is that we would learn to see the political side as one way in which we express our faith in Jesus. That we would move away from either "the religious right" or "the religious left", into a far more thoughtful and kingdom of God-oriented political view, ethic and practice. And that above all, in all of this, we will be more and more in sync with our status and calling in God as the "holy nation" in Jesus, that resides in every nation throughout the earth. Lord, help us to that end. Amen.