Sunday, February 21, 2016

''It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is.''

Bill Clinton, during his 1998 grand jury testimony on the Monica Lewinsky affair

''Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?''

George W. Bush, Jan. 11, 2000

We are all a hodgepodge of different likes and dislikes. Some people live in the South and don't like to hunt and don't own firearms, I am one of those. A rare jewel in my extended family as almost everyone in my wife's family hunts and owns firearms, but I do not. Many households in our modern times have 2 incomes, both husband and wife working to pay the bills and if someone stays at home it's the wife. This is not always true, however, as my good friend and former suite mate at college, James, will tell you, he's a blogger and stay at home dad with a gaggle of kids. (he does quite a lot of stuff at home, to his credit, check out his channel in the footnote)1

The list could go on, some like wrestling and teach college, some people love animals but don't like people that much. Some people are movie buffs and don't read much, some people read a lot and don't own a tv, some people are outgoing and the life of the party and a slob at home. Some people like coffee and others are communists, you get the picture.

This being said, it is drawing nigh to elect a new president.

People of the Christian faith have varying views on the candidates. But let's get one thing perfectly clear. Jesus did not die for your right to vote. Jesus died for your sins. As great a privilege as it is to vote the Bible doesn't support your candidate. The Bible doesn't support your political party. The Bible supports Jesus. Oh, you might say, “Yes but Jesus supports the values that my...” Listen, it's been said before and I'll just come right out and say it. Using your own personal Christian values and convictions to uphold your political platform (whatever it might be) is superficial at best and damning at worst.

Several things we should note as this election draws near. First, Jesus is not American. Whenever we have some political or national event of significance in our nation we tend to bring Jesus into it as if Jesus is not also in other parts of the world, doing other things. America is not the only nation in the world and it's certainly not the most important. We are an arrogant bunch.

Second, has anyone noticed that the American political system is a two party system that is largely flawed? With every good thing that a presidency has done there has also been a world of bad. But depending on which party you support you focus on the good. No matter what your beliefs about the political system you will probably find good things to pick and choose from, from various candidates, and from various parties and platforms.

Last of all, if a party or politician represents some ideas you believe in (help for the poor, justice for the oppressed, the rights of the unborn) and you believe in that candidate then why don't you do something about those beliefs, those values?

Is it not the church, the believers responsibility to take up the causes that no one else will address? It is not America's job to clothe, feed, provide jobs for and justice to the many needy masses. Well, maybe it is, but if it is, is it not much more our job to do the same?

Yes we should be sharing the gospel but if someone dies from starvation, lack of AIDS medication, or before they are even born, how will the message matter? We should be about preaching the gospel and living the gospel. That's what Jesus summed up everything with right?

Mark 12:28, “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29“The most important one,”answered Jesus,“is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”

You know what you should focus on this election season? Not the fact that...”gasp” a socialist is running for president. Which, he's not, he's a democratic socialist and there's a big difference. Nor should you focus on the fact that Hilary is pro-choice and seems to avoid checking her emails. You shouldn't even worry that Donald Trump's clarion call to Evangelicals seems to be like crack to an addict, or the fact that he has hair like a bad televangelist and he “tells it like it is” (whatever that means).

You should focus on Jesus, sharing the gifts of the gospel in word and deed. Because Obama doesn't run America and neither will the new President. We serve Jesus, with all our strange and wonderful likes and dislikes, we serve Him.

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