I found these two cardboard guys at the Mall of America a few weeks ago. At this point, I was mega-confused about which cardboard guy to choose. Well it's a day before election day. Thankfully, I've made up my mind since that day and I already voted absentee. It feels really good to know I don't have to wait in those ginormous lines forming in Florida (sorry guys!!!). Anyway, we'll find out tomorrow (maybe!) which one of the two cardboard guys gets to sit at the Oval Office for the next four years. We shall see.
There's something about politics that's extremely disturbing to me as a Christian. And that is the extreme involvement of the Church with politics that has led to division in our own churches, division in the country, and barriers to the spreading of the Gospel. The Casting Crowns song "Jesus, Friend of Sinners" comes to mind. One of the lines of their song says,
"Nobody knows what we're for, only what we're against when we judge the wounded. What if we put down our signs, crossed over the lines and loved like You did?"
It pains me when students at my University want nothing to do with Christianity because of the Church's increasing involvement with political issues. It outrages me that people don't have a problem with Jesus, but they never get to Him, because politics is the wall that divides the two. It frustrates me when I see politicians say that if you don't vote a certain way you will face eternal consequences. Seriously? The Church needs to return to Christ and look at His example for guidance. Jesus was not involved with politics. He was concerned about saving souls. “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s." [Matthew 22:21] Church and state are two separate entities not to be mingled. More so, Jesus did not seek the government's approval or agreement in order to radically change the world around Him. He performed miracles, healed the sick, and transformed the lives of everyone who met Him all in the midst of an unbelieving Roman government that ended up sanctioning His death. And the final reason why politics & I just can't be good friends is this: Jesus commission to us as His disciples is to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." [Matthew 28:19-20] Our mission on this earth is not to make known what Christians are against and try to enact laws to reflect Christian principles all while judging and hurting those who practice the very things we want outlawed. Our job is to reach over this thick line that has divided us for so long and blur it out with love.
This isn't meant to be a criticism of the Republican Party; it hasn't always been this way. I like Republicans! I think their economics makes a whole lot of sense and that's why I lean heavily in that direction! But it is a statement of the frustrations I have with the ultra-conservative religious Right whose rhetoric implies they want Church and state to be one. I tried really hard to look at this objectively and vote my conscious and I feel at peace with my vote. I voted for what I felt the country needs the most which is to pick itself up economically. I believe one candidate is better suited to complete that job. I believe they are both good guys who want the best for our country. They just don't share the same method to getting there. The more I get involved politically, the more disillusioned I get, and the more I yearn for a home outside of this planet. This world simply cannot satisfy. My hope is not in Obama; my hope is not in Romney. My hope is in Jesus and He's the only one who will make this mess right.