Monthly Archives: October 2012

Politics

I confess that I am not a political person. Oh, Doris and I vote faithfully. We watch the debates and then the debates about the debates. We are very proud of our sons who follow the political scene and voice their convictions. But for me politics has always been a necessary evil. I get no pleasure out of pulling for a party like I was rooting on the OSU Buckeyes. I don’t watch with dismay as one political party takes sway over another. Nor do I bounce with glee when “my group” acquires a controlling voice in one legislative body or another. I am just old and cynical enough to wonder if it is really going to matter.

I guess I would describe my political affiliation as Judeo-Selfish. I have a vague sense that there is some moral objective to the whole government thing but what I really want to know is how is it going to benefit me. Will my taxes be lowered? Will my sons be kept from war? Will I be able to afford health insurance? Can my grandkids get a good education and find a good job? Most of the planks of my political platform point right to me and my house. What do we need out of this election?

Now some of you are saying, “Right on, (if anybody says right on anymore) Preach it brother, that’s exactly the way I feel.” And I know others of you are so mad you could spit right now. You are mumbling to yourself about responsibility, personal action, and national apathy. I get that. And I didn’t say I was right in my thinking. I am just confessing my approach to the whole election season.

But, I am also an ever more devoted follower of Jesus Christ. I am trying to take more seriously His call to “live holy and Godly lives.” I am (hopefully) becoming more mature in my desire to know and apply the word of God to my life in everything that I do, my work, my play, my parenting, and even my politics. If Jesus does not go with me to the ballot box I have no right to vote or to call myself a Christ-follower. However divorced I may feel from the democratic system, the Lordship of Christ in my life demands that He be considered in every decision, from what kind of car I drive to who I vote for for president.

So, it seems to me, in my feeble mind and humble opinion, that all of the talk about the economy, national security, and the failing social security system, while interesting and informative, does not give me the mandate I need as a Bible believing follower of Jesus to cast my vote. I often rant and rave (okay, that’s a lie. I never rant and rave) but I do often quietly comment that we have allowed the arguments about the direction of our nation to be moved to the wrong arena. We as Christian Americans should be saying after every political advertisement or rally, “But what does the Bible say?” We believe the Bible to be true and to hold all that we need “for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3 Therefore we must allow it to be the determining factor in our opinions, our convictions, and our actions.

It may appear naïve. It may lack the philosophical sophistication that we think is necessary. It may even be offensive. (Think of that, the Gospel offensive?) But it is an irrefutable logic. I believe the Bible is true and the Bible says I am to live this way. Now you may disagree with me about whether or not the Bible is the word of God. You may agree that it’s the word of God but differ from my interpretation. But you cannot deny the logic, the common sense that says, “If I believe this is God’s direction for all of life then I have to act (and vote) accordingly. In fact, to do anything else would be illogical.

If all of that I true, and it is, then what does the Bible say about the way I vote? Listen closely, this is as powerful and political as I am ever going to get. In fact, I’m surprising myself as I write this. Here are the mandates of the Holy Word of God for me when I head off to vote:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and Love your neighbor as yourself. That’s it. That’s as good as it gets. Do you want more? Don’t fuss at me. Fuss at my big, brother Jesus. He said all of the law and the prophets (and the constitutional amendments) were summed up in these. Love God. Love each other.

So as I vote this week I ask myself, which candidate, which party, which person or platform supports my ability to love and honor the God of the Bible. Is there a history or a record for either man that makes me believe he (or she) will do anything that will diminish the place of Jehovah God in an already frighteningly secular society? Hey, I am not voting for a candidate. I am voting for Jesus.

And secondly I ask which direction do I vote to honor and protect my neighbors? All of my neighbors. The ones who look like me and the ones who don’t. The ones who are in my general socio-economic class and the ones who aren’t (both poorer and richer.) The ones who can speak up for themselves and the ones who can’t. Especially if it is because they are yet unborn and have no voice.

To me, everything else is secondary. Hey, I want low taxes. I want free health care. I want my Cincinnati Reds to get back to the World Series. But more than that I want my grandkids to live in a country that honors God and respects life. I did. Maybe if I get more political they will too.                  Mike

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