Living Beneath Our Calling
A troubling season in our nation’s history for sure. No doubt we are at a critical juncture in the life of our country. We have at the helm of the major political parties the most disliked candidates for president anyone can remember. There has been more consternation and doubt in the minds of voters than I can ever recall. For some, the choices are clear but for others, not so much.
That which troubles me most is the ease, the comfort even, with which many of my Christ-following brothers have been able to lay aside the fruit of the spirit for the sake of winning an election. Not for all, but for many, it seems that defeating Hillary Clinton is so important that we can join hands with dark spirits in order to accomplish this “noble” task.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
I speak of the strident tones, the accusation and finger pointing, and yes, the bullying of those who are not surfing the same wave as the “majority” of the evangelical movement; the willingness; No, the eagerness to post on my Facebook or Twitter account any and every report of nefarious dealings of opposing candidates, regardless of how silly or trivial and whether actually verified as true or not is at the very heart of it – disheartening. These are, or at least ought to be, actions beneath those of us who are called to follow Christ.
My hope would be that those of us who follow Christ could resist the temptation to click on the “share” button of any juicy tidbit until a reliable and truthful source (if any such thing actually still exists) has verified the facts of the matter.
I support neither major candidate. I have written clearly of my opposition to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump early on in the Primary. I believe I was straightforward and without ambiguity. Since then, however tempting, I have endeavored (not always with success) to restrain my(sinful)self from the constant flow of mudslinging, name calling, and most egregious of all – the castigation and denigration of those who have a different opinion than mine. For Christ followers this SHOULD BE a no-brainer.
I think Hillary Clinton has a heart as dark as any I have ever encountered, particularly with regard to the unborn. I would oppose her candidacy on this matter alone. I don’t trust Donald Trump to keep all of the promises he has made. I consider that he is far more interested in winning an election than in leading the country. I am positive it is not humanly possible, nor am I convinced that he is truly interested in keeping the high boasts he has made, beyond getting elected. These are my opinions. You are not required to agree, and I am not offended if you don’t.
However, to engage in the political process with the same rancor as those outside of faith; for a Christian to clap his hands with unbridled glee at every new revelation of wrongdoing or moral failure of either candidate, for a Christ follower to leap upon every opportunity to uncover a new indiscretion in the life of a sinner (how remarkable is that! ), to point out every time Hillary doesn’t wear a flag pin, to make a world shaking event out of the potty mouth of a man who has NEVER had a filter on his lips – – all of this somehow strikes a discordant note with the spirit of Christ. I confess that because of my sinful flesh, I am not completely innocent in this. I am flesh, I care about the critical matters of this election as much as any man. But, I must keep reminding myself that my heart must first be to honor Christ with my words, my attitudes, and certainly with my public proclamations.
I have witnessed brothers and sisters in Christ post article after article of trash, verified or unverified, doing everything we can do to destroy another human being. I haven’t seen a single – not one – post exhorting Christ-followers to pray for Hillary Clinton’s soul. No one is crying out for her salvation, that her heart would be changed, that she would be redeemed from the despicable person she has shown herself to be. How can we claim to ride upon the high ground of morality and spirituality while we hope for, with panting heart, the destruction or failure of any human being, regardless of how wicked they might be? We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. We ought to be, but I am sure that we are not.
There is a dear lady in my church who absolutely detests the man Barack Obama and all he stands for. She faithfully attends a weekly prayer meeting at our church and faithfully prays for his salvation. She prays for his wife and their daughters; that they would come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, that God would spare them from the horrors of hell. To be honest, most of us are a lot more like Jonah, sitting under a bush waiting for fire to fall from Heaven and consume her – and mad because it doesn’t come.
Brothers and sisters: VOTE Vote for whomever you will. Rally, pray, advocate, appeal, cheer, and vote. MY appeal us all, is that we do it without sacrificing our Christian character and nature.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
Before posting the above verse, I searched carefully in the text. I cross-referenced, I referred to the original language and I consulted the great commentators and have discovered no provision for the suspension of these matters of Christian character until after the election.
Be a good American – engage and vote. But please, let us not lose sight of the fact that we have another citizenship which is in Heaven and we have a King to whom we owe a greater allegiance than to any political party or to any candidate for office. If the atheist, agnostics, the humanists, and the doubters of this world do not witness the church rising above the ugliness of common human endeavor, why would they think to join us? If we elect our candidate upon the sacrifices of our godly character we win nothing.