Final Election Year Post

Yes, I promise this is my last post this year to do with the election and politics.

Today I was watching an interview with Perry Noble on TonyMorganLive.com. His thoughts on the election and post-election Christian attitude are worth discussing.

Gods Man

God's Man

This is what Perry had to say in a nutshell:  “It’s amazing how many Christians say they believe in the sovereignty of God until their party loses the election.”

Nail on the head.  As Perry points out the Bible instructs us to lift up our leaders in prayer.  It does not instruct us or give any example of a time we should tear them down.  I think some Christians take the idea that we should be politically involved and since our system tends to be full of vitriolic diatribe they just jump right in.   That’s wrong.

I was in a conversation with someone this week who in a slip of the tongue said the name “Obama” instead of “McCain.”  The ensuing fit made me think she had uttered “He Who Must Not Be Named.”

The thing is regardless of who you voted for God is still sovereign (in charge).  In the Bible God used both good and evil kings for His glory (and not I’m not suggesting Obama is evil, I’m just making a point.)  Of course we should feel the freedom to be heard if we have a disagreement no matter who is president.  But there is a difference between being a part of the process and acting out of a bad spirit and unkind heart.

So I’ve made a decision.  Hopefully it’s not too combative or argument-inducing.  I’m going to start referring to Obama as “God’s man for the White House.”  Because he is, or he wouldn’t be headed there.

I will also pray for him and encourage others to do the same.  According to the Bible we should pray for “all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2)

Because God doesn’t need Obama, McCain, or the United States to do his work.  God didn’t stay up all night waiting for exit polls to come in.  God chooses to let us be a part of His plan, and President-elect Obama is a part of it.

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Thou Shalt Not Be Ridiculous

The Ten Commandments of Talking (or blogging) Politics

One of the more excellent things I’ve read this election year.  The first commandment is:

1. Do not worship political theories or parties.(You shall have no other gods before me.)  Do not worship ideas or theories instead of God. Not your stance on global warming or Capitalism or deregulation or education or abortion or gay marriage or health care or international trade or war. Do not put your hopes in a political stance or party line or economic theory. Those things are important, but they should not distract us from our unity in Christ Jesus.

As Christians, we have definitely got to get a grip on how we deal with political issues.

Unique Mission

Yesterday I talked about our responsibility as Christians.

Responsibility to what?

We have to decide, as Christians, who we are beholden to politically.  Our leader is supposed to be Christ.  Our guide should be the Bible and prayer.

The Bible is pretty clear on what we, as Christians, are responsible to do.   We are to connect people with a life in Christ  (Matt 28:10). We are to be a force for the forgotten: the widow, the orphan, the alien; love our neighbors (Deut 10). We are to serve and use our gifts, our station in life, what power we may have for others in whatever way we can; be a shining city on a hill.  When ever possible God calls us to set right what has gone wrong in the world to the best of our ability.

When we begin to champion other things, we lose our uniqueness.  We lose our focus and become drawn into opinions, arguments, and politicized debate.  In a great interview with Catalyst recently, Gov. Mike Huckabee discussed his concern for Christian groups and organizations that start to broaden their focus to match a party or campaign.

Our calling is to support God’s work wherever we see it.  We should influence those in power where we can and fan the flames of God’s love and justice when we find it.

When we support the conservative or liberal agenda, we lose our authority and become just another voting bloc.  When we influence culture positively with our lives and, when appropriate, with our vote, we are unique.

The Political Quiz

Continuing this weeks political discussion, here is a timely quiz from Christianity Today. Read about it here and take it here.

The quiz is in two parts which you then use to graph yourself into one of four quadrants, those being: Thumpin Theocrat, Quiet Critic, Radical Reformer, and Private Patriot.

This reminds me of a quiz a took a couple of years ago. It did the same thing but placed you in one of four quadrants based on political & social views. I came out politically conservative but socially liberal. I was going to post that quiz as well but can’t find it. If anyone comes across it, let me know.

With this current quiz, I landed dead on the vertical line, and then a little to the “prophetic” side of the horizontal line. The way I read that is that, depending on the time, situation, and issue I may land on the side of Radical Reformer or of Quiet Critic. Fairly appropriate for me

Where do you land?

Swing and a miss

So the Democratic party convention is this week. I’m sure it used to be a more momentous occasion but let’s face it, this election has been going on for a year and a half already. Nevertheless, everyone is talking about politics now whether they like it or not.
I’ve heard lots of discussion recently about the role of Christians in politics.
One thing I’ve heard more of and that I agree with is that Christians should be the ultimate swing vote.  There is no one party that represents the character and values, so to simply vote with a party is foolish.  We should be influencers, not followers.
What if Christians said, “You’ve got to earn my vote, you’re not just going to get it by default because of your party. And if I vote for you, I will be keeping tabs on you.”
I’m no expert, but I’d like to spark some conversation this week about how a Christian reconcile what they believe with the world of politics.
It should be interesting.

Dobson v. Obama Pt2

Part One

So now I’ve had a chance to read through the transcript of the Dobson/Minnery discussion as well as read most of Obama’s speech.

Do I agree with everything Barack Obama has to say? No. Dr James Dobson? No. There’s not time to dig through every phrase on both sides of this issue. For the sake of this blog, I’m going to pick on Dr. Dobson.

It seems to me that he really parses Obama’s words in an unfair manner that doesn’t really reflect the tone of his speech. Dr. Dobson seems to feel that Obama is mounting a subversive attack on Christianity. While Obama may not be entirely clear or accurate in all he says, I don’t believe his intent is to be offensive. Dr. Dobson also characterizes the mention of his name in the speech as coming “under fire.” If you listen to the entire speech, I think that is a very inaccurate statement.

To be honest, I think Dobson’s reaction has more to do with his preconceived feelings towards Obama than the actual text of the speech. That gets into a whole other discussion on Evangelicals being “owned” by the Republican party, but that’s another blog.

The point is while Obama’s speech came across as searching for a proper way to balance faith and politics (whether or not you agree with his assumptions), the Dobson/Minnery discussion came across as the more unfriendly, unloving between the two. Which gets back to the conclusion of my previous post. Are we as Christians influencing culture by being salt and light, or by being offended and getting angry?

Just my thoughts. You can decide for yourself though.

Dobson v Obama Pt1

I almost didn’t post about this.  You may have read or heard about the upcoming segment that Dr. James Dobson will be broadcasting disagreeing with some statements from Barack Obama.  The media pile-on has begun.  Here’s a snippet:

Dobson and Minnery accused Obama of wrongly equating Old Testament texts and dietary codes that no longer apply to Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament.

“I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology,” Dobson said.

“… He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”

Read the full article here.

Do you feel like this is going to do much good, or will it just exacerbate the belief that all Christians are overly involved in politics?  It seems to me that the tone of the article reflected that belief.

Should we be so harsh on politicians, who are not ministers, about their theology?  Would we act this way towards a fellow Christian in our private life with whom we disagreed?  Obviously being a public figure makes words and beliefs more powerful, and one could even argue that Focus on the Family’s audience is Christians so this is just discussion within that community.  Except for the fact that they took the time to pre-release this statement to the Associated Press.

Is this what it means to be salt and light?

Give me your thoughts.  I’ll read the full statement from Dobson after it’s public for part two.