I can say, without a doubt, that this has been the most interesting presidential campaign that I can recall. The almost unlimited stream of data on the candidates that is available has certainly made it possible for voters to make informed decisions. The minute details of the candidates lives are exposed for all the world to see. It would not surprise me in the least to see Wolf Blitzer report that John McCain fell asleep with his dentures still in, or for Sean Hannity to bring breaking news that Barack Obama switched brands of deodorant.
Another thing that has made this an enjoyable campaign is blogging. I had not yet discovered the world of online, self-published punditry in the previous presidential race, so it has been provocative, to say the least, to read the thoughts of so many others and interact with them in the discussion.
In many of the discussions in which I have participated, invariably theological questions and concerns are raised. This is probably due to the fact that most of the blogs that I frequent are operated by Christians and we understand the dynamic of our faith touching every part of our lives. I have seen many of these conversations escalate to the point of name-calling, questioning ones salvation, slurs, twisting of words, etc. Come to think of it, it really hasn’t been all that different from a lot of theological conversations after all. 😉
I wanted to share just a few thoughts that I am using to help keep my perspective on track (I think).
1. We are electing a president, not a pastor.
There is a difference between leading the country and leading a church. To confuse the two may be an indication that either ones church is over-politicized (gasp, that could never happen), or that we are assuming that God’s kingdom may somehow be hamstrung if we don’t elect the right candidate.
I find it ironic that many of the extreme right consider themselves to be adherents of Ronald Reagan and yet turn up their nose at John McCain. Now, I am not dissing the Gipper, I admired the man greatly (I came within a whisker of naming my oldest son after him), but many of the same theological objections I have heard some raise about McCain would also apply to Reagan. Ronny was known to imbibe, he was divorced from his first wife and while he professed to be a Christian, his church affiliation could hardly be called evangelical.
In our nation’s history, we have never had a president who would make a good pastor. Why is this election suddenly different?
The Bible gives a list of requirements for the office of bishop/elder/pastor, it does not do so for the leader of a country. It does tell us about the consequences of having ungodly leaders, but if there is an inventory of qualifications I have not seen it.
2. Change does not begin at the White House.
I know I am leading with the trump card of both candidates, here. I honestly believe both men are sincere in wanting to bring change to this country. However, if we as voters are naiive enough to believe that even the Apostle Paul could change the course of this country we are dreaming.
No, change begins at my house and your house. In four years, we will be doing this whole process again (won’t THAT be fun?) and it is highly unlikely that the political landscape will be changed significantly by that time. What brings lasting change is what happens in the homes of the American people. We each have the opportunity to bring change.
Someone wisely stated it this way, “If the Ten Commandments were on the walls of more homes, it wouldn’t be as big an issue about putting them on the walls of the courthouses.”
3. We will always be voting for the lesser of two evils.
By its very definition, an election means that I am choosing a candidate that I believe is better suited for the job at hand than is his/her opponent. For me to think otherwise is to distort the intent of the process. There has never been a perfect candidate and there never will be. Mankind is inherently sinful and everyone who has their hat in the ring is in that category.
I do not intend for this to be offensive, although some may find it to be so. Those who abstain from voting, simply because they cannot find a candidate who agrees with them on everything deserve to live in a dictatorship.
I owe it to our forefathers, our veterans, our troops, my family, myself, you and the generations that will follow to vote.
4. The sun will come out tomorrow.
I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.
I do so appreciate your post on the election. I agree wholeheartedly with what you have written here. Thanks for your level head.
What?! You are voting for evil?! Must be voting for McCain.. just joshing Gordon.. you’d be disappointed if I didn’t.
I have had thoughts similar to yours.. God seems to be saying to me that our kingdom is not of this world.. our kingdom citizenship trumps nationalism.
I have to agree with you that debating with bloggers has been an invigorating part of the election season. I did have one blogger tell me that I was a bad pastor because I didn’t tell people in my church to vote Republican.. but that has been the worst of it.. not bad.. could have been a lot worse 🙂
I am still undecided and have found this to be a great place.. I have never been undecided because I have always voted Republican. So this season of conventions and debates is different as I try to discern how God wants me to vote.
Hope your week is a great one Gordon!
Thanks, Beverly. There might be some that would be tempted to change “level” to “block”, though. 🙂
PSU is looking good.
Thanks for the humor, Bob, it’s always appreciated.
I think if a pastor has to get up and tell his members which party to vote for, he is selling his members and his preaching short. I believe if he is preaching the truth of God’s Word, the people should have enough discernment to apply those principles to the election and everything else.
I had to look back to see what I wrote…yes, level. FSU didn’t do so bad themselves. Penn State has done fairly well. Of course, they’ve played those cupcake teams, although I read that Oregon State should have given them a harder time.
Right now, I’m involved with the Tampa Bay Rays. This has been such a fun year for them After being the laughingstock of baseball, they’ve been so great this year…great team effort.
Hey Gordon, you did it again. Great post. I also agree with you completely.
Beverly, it would be great to see the Rays knock of the “big dogs” of that division. I’m rooting for them.
Thanks, Bro. Tim. You and I are in agreement a lot. I look forward to sitting down with you some time over a cup of coffee, if not here then in Heaven. (There will be coffee there, don’t you think?)
Er, that last comment was from me. I didn’t realize my wife was logged in.
I look forward to that too. Sometimes it is good to discuss things with someone who disagrees with you.
Though I sometimes don’t like to have people disagree with me, they still challenge me.
Your thoughts often challenge me as well.
I totally agree Gordon, and I especially love #4
I’m a registered Republican, but I have not decided who I’ll vote for…or if I’ll vote at all.
And I’ll tell you why…both of the last two times, I voted for Bush. I didn’t realize Cheney’s position on gay rights and gay marriage. For the last four years I’ve had a re-occurring dream (or nightmare in my opinion) that a bill to legalize gay marriage came down to a tie vote in the Senate…Cheney as VP broke the tie by voting for gay marriage rights.
All I keep seeing is the finger of God (like in that painting) pointing at me saying, “Look what you did.”
Now I know that’s just a dream, and I know that Romans 13 tells us that God appoints our leaders…and gives us who we deserve. And I think that as long as we keep selling ourselves short and settling for “the lesser of two evils”, that’s what God is going to keep giving us. And as we all notice our country is slipping further and further into the abyss.
Granted, we can’t legislate a social gospel by voting for someone, mainly because that is not how Jesus told us to change the world. but I truly believe if we stood our ground as the Church, and demanded righteousness from our leaders, God would honor that and raise up a standard that we could be proud of.
LOL…but ya’ know what…as the Church we’re never going to do that because we’re in the end times, because we’re being bombarded with “men” who want their ears tickled with a feel good gospel that doesn’t require righteousness, because people are convinced that God winks at their perceived “tiny sins” and only punishes murders and pedofiles.
When the Israelites in the Bible first wanted a king, because all their neighbors had one, God tried to talk them out of it by telling them all the bad things the king would do to them…finally He had to just throw up His hands and give them what they wanted, even though it was bad.
*sigh*…I really feel much better saying I’m not going to vote for “the lesser of two evils” because in addition to not being able to find a list to judge a ruler by, I also can’t find a spot where God said it was alright to vote for a little evil.
Luv ya, dude!
Bro. TA, I’m glad we can challenge one another on occasion. Nothing like a little iron sharpening is there?
Bonnie, it’s always good to hear from you and the feeling is mutual. While I have my favorite candidate in this race, my hope is that everyone who reads this will sincerely pray about their voting and follow the leading of God in the matter.