Lately I've come to see that my avoidance of the news altogether is not really Christian, in fact I'm shirking part of Christ's calling to me, I think. Though there may be those special seasons of getting away from it, for me especially the political campaigns and much related to that.
John R.W. Stott believed Christians and particularly pastors were called to be students of Scripture and of the world in which we live. I believe he's right. How can we become all things to all people unless we know what that means? Only by getting to know others and really caring about what's going on in our world, can we truly follow Christ and bring his good news to bear on it.
At the same time I'm saddened by the divisiveness that politics can cause between Christians who equally love the Lord. I think we need to accept our differences and after trying to persuade the other, continue to love one another. I want to be open to correction, yet at the same time I have to do so only after thoroughly thinking through issues.
Take the abortion issue. What issue is hotter in Amerca than that one? I look at the paradigm set forth in Scripture and in Jesus of the kingdom of God, then I look at what is set forth in Washington D.C., and elsewhere for the answers to abortion and everything else. Then I make up my mind according to what I perceive from Scripture and from the world of politics, in this case in Washington D.C., and precisely on the abortion issue.
I was raised in a staunch Republican area in Ohio and was that for years. In Michigan I registered as an Independent, my thinking curbed considerably, though my ballot was still marked the same. Next time around (and last here in Michigan) my ballot may not end up the same as in the past. I try to take everything in consideration, abortion, the poor, world affairs, etc. I believe we have the freedom and grace from Christ to vote differently come November 2008. And we need good people in both the parties as well as elsewhere, who challenge much of the status quo everywhere.
I can't vote just on the basis of one single issue. However my vote is never cast without consideration of every issue or of the whole. Now I'm not saying I'm a great student of these elections, I hope I do well with what I actually do, but I realize it's very limited.
I know this is scattered. But what might you like to add to this barrage of thoughts on politics? How can we avoid letting it become divisive? Maybe we need to take that initiative on ourselves and not assume there has to be division. Or maybe we just remain silent, certainly wise on some occasions at least. What's your take here?