A Message to Christians

Normally I don’t post about politics on even this, my personal blog. However, after seeing some of the reactions from my conservative acquaintances and friends over the past 9-10 hours, I’m simply appalled. To those of you who disagree with me, I still wanna be friends ( :-) ). This is a chance for me to vent some frustration, so take it all in stride.

Barack Obama is the President-Elect of the United States of America. He has a job I would never want. Many Christians are up in arms over his election. “How could America do this?” or “See! Americans just want money, they don’t care about killing babies!” or any other number of things. So, first a disclaimer, then my thoughts. I voted for Barack Obama in this election. Not because I agree with every policy he has ever laid down, but because I agreed with more of what he said than I agreed with John Mccain’s view (the situation would have been completely reversed had Ron Paul won the Republican primaries).

1. Christians, who claim to read and believe the Bible is the Word of God, ought to remember that A) God decides who the “kings” are and B) Our citizenship isn’t here anyway. Nothing that John Mccain would have done, and nothing that Barack Obama will do will prevent us from carrying out the Jesus Creed–Love God, and Love Others (including Barack Obama and those who voted for him–and, conversely, John McCain and those who voted for him).

2. For those calling for God’s mercy–I agree, sorta. I hope he has mercy for all the truly horrible things America has done throughout the years as Bush has been in office, or Clinton before him, or any American President. Or that he has mercy on us for being greedy. Or that he has mercy on America for the far more gut-wrenching issue of our inaction regarding Darfur.

3. Ultimately, I understand that there is a lot of frustration and disappointment out there among John McCain supporters. That is fair and expected. However, Christians shouldn’t be making John Mccain vs. Barack Obama into an issue of morals, of us (the “true” Christians) vs. them (those evil pagans or liberal Christians).

At the end of the day, one guy won. It doesn’t make America better or worse, it makes it much the same as it always was. It doesn’t mean Christians need to point fingers with the rest of America. What we need to do is move through out disappointment (or excitement, as the case may be) and get on with loving God, loving others and doing our best to serve him.

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12 responses to “A Message to Christians

  1. I agree with what you said in section 1-B – “Our citizenship isn’t here anyway.” That is why I voted for John McCain. I know that no matter what, I had no hand in perpetuating the moral degradation of this beautiful country. This should be an issue of morals. Our eternal souls depend on our strength and ability to stand up for what is right and just. May Christ be with all of us, including the unborn innocent.

  2. Calvin, greetings from the other side of the fence. Not the theological fence – I’m sure we agree on most major doctrines. Not the ideological fence – I’m sure we agree on most major ideals. But the political fence – a divide only as crucial as the ideals we represent.

    First, I appreciate the heart of your post, and agree fully that God is in control and wants His followers to love Him and others with all their hearts, minds, and souls.

    Second, I do not share the bitterness of my conservative peers. Rather, last night and today have found me praying for our new president-elect and checking my attitude to be sure I have respect and love for my nation’s new leadership.

    Third, I am not your typical evangelical one-issue voter. I try to be holistic and thoughtful in my voting practices.

    That being said, how can you pull the switch for a president who will certainly appoint two to three Supreme Court justices who will in turn uphold Roe V. Wade for at least another generation? (You just knew I was going there, didn’t you!)

    Does not the blood of innocent victims cry out to God? Are the lives of innocent unborn children not worth our own life, let alone our measly vote?

    I’m amazed at how many of my Christ-loving peers voted your way, knowing full well the pro-choice consequences that go with it. How do you justify this moral disaster according to your holistic Christian worldview?

    I am not writing to condemn your choice or vote. I am asking for your help – help me understand how you as a Christian friend could vote the way you did. I want to understand your logic, your Scriptural support, anything to help me swallow this vast divergence between you and I.

  3. Everyone – Thanks for the kind comments.

    Nathan – You and I shall have to disagree on the issue of making this particular election a case of morals. It is my belief that both candidates have morals, just differing ways of expressing it.

    Justin – Thanks for your very thoughtful comment. I’m happy to go back and forth with you in a respectful manner. For the record, I filled in the dot for the President, but that’s neither here nor there ( ;-) ).

    What I’m about to say may be difficult for some to understand, but let’s talk it out. Let me first affirm that the taking of any life is a tragic action, and one that God despises. There are many reasons that I feel I can vote for a pro-choice candidate, and I can’t go into all of them here, but let me highlight the most important ones:

    1. I’m not convinced that life begins at conception. I know that many will point me to the Psalms, and I’ve read and studied all the normal suspects. But in the Torah, Israelites aren’t counted in the census til 1 month old. Other passages in the Bible talk about life being in the “breath.” In addition, the Psalms that speak to this don’t say “conception” with modern precision, but rather simply that life begins in the womb. For me, this simply means that I’m not convinced that life begins at conception, though I believe it begins sometime “in the womb.”

    2. I, personally, support a woman’s right to choose when the mother’s life is on the line. I don’t believe it is the governments job to decide that the baby’s life is more important than the mother’s.

    3. For me, the issues have become very complex. I agree that abortion is a moral issue. However, I also feel that taking care of the poor in the US is a moral issue. I also feel that proper education for the oppressed in our own country is a moral issue. I also feel that helping other countries in the world who do not have our economic vitality is a moral issue. I lean towards pacifism on Biblical grounds, though I’m not a true pacifist.

    So, those are the three headline issues that allow me to vote for a pro-choice candidate with a clear conscience. Let me elaborate on #3 for a moment–in my view, McCain did not have the “moral high ground” with many of those issues, so I might turn the question around and ask how conservatives could vote for McCain–but I understand, generally, the thinking there.

    Have I confused you? Do you grasp where I’m coming from? Questions?

  4. Calvin, I agree, great thoughts.

    Justin – I understand where you’re at because I was there once too. However, I’ve come to the opinion that pro-life is more than about believing in life for unborn children. I believe in life for the for those who are the target of genocide, life for those truly impoverished and starving, life for those suffering under oppression, life for civilians and soldiers alike who are caught up in the wars of nations…the list could go on.

    Being “anti-abortion,” to me, is only one facet of being “pro-life.” Neither Democrats nor Republicans embody in their “platforms” all the facets of pro-life. So, if I’m going choose to vote at all (which I did), for either major candidate, or even someone else, and if “pro-life” is going to be one of the many issues I consider, I must consider who will do the most for “life” in general. In this election, out of McCain and Obama, my opinion is that Obama wins that contest this time around.

    I must also consider that even after 8 years of Bush, squat has been done on this issue, pretty much in general, including for unborn children. I must consider that I agree with Obama on several other non “pro-life” issues that I think are important, though of course I don’t agree with everything. And I must consider that Obama, though he is politically pro-choice, has not made “pro-choice” a big part of his platform, and has also publically said that he is committed to helping to give real options to mothers so that they feel like they can bring their babies to term, as well as helping prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. Though I disagree with his pro-choice alignment, I agree with the latter half of his statements on the issue.

    Ultimately, I don’t believe that the government is going to fix this issue. Even if abortion became absolutely, completely illegal, it would just go underground, so the issue wouldn’t be solved. Much better to spend our time and energy reaching out to these would-be mothers in mercy and compassion rather than lobbying for government legislation that we hope will somehow magically erase the problem altogether.

    So there’s my take. Sorry Calvin this could have been a blog post in itself. :-)

  5. Calvin and Mandy, thanks for your thoughtful replies. There are many “next generation” Christians that follow your “all of life” pro-life stance, including many from Warren’s movement. I admire the heart of this movement and their attempts to be holistic. I just find the expression of this movement to produce counter-productive results.

    For instance – 8 years of Bush certainly have been less than desirable in many areas…but they have produced Alito and Roberts – two conservative constitutionalist supreme court justices…and they are young. I believe Obama will appoint 2-3 new justices during his presidency, and I fully expect them to be be liberal, reconstructionist, and young as well. This will put our highest court in the land squarely on track to re-affirm the poor moral (yes, moral) decisions of the last three decades.

    Government is not the solution – amen to that. It is up to us as Christians to produce the change we wish to see. Are we giving freely to the poor, the underprivileged, the outcasts? Are we fighting for all the Darfurs, laying down our lives for the Chinese and North Korean believers facing harrasment and death?

    However, unless our solution is holistic (personal action, charity, and government involvement), we fail in our aims to effectively reach our generation with the love of Christ. Despite many who object, I believe morality can be legislated! What laws are not moral?

    I truly believe that God can still bless faithful American churches while cursing our nation. Yet I wonder how many of our churches and Christians will remain faithful despite the culture.
    Watch out for the desire to be “new” and “different” – we all like to be counter-cultural and not toe the party line. But at the end of the day, we may realize that our “new” views really are recycled old liberalism with a shiny new package.

    I have been all over the place with this post, but let me end with this. Our president-elect says that we are our brother’s keeper – yet his half-brother sits in poverty in Kenya and his aunt sits in a public slum in Boston as an illegal immigrant. Actions speak much louder than words. I only can hope and pray that the love Obama professes will be the same love he begins to practice.

  6. I also don’t believe abortion should be legal, but most abortions are decided based on economic fears. I would expect fewer abortions under Obama’s leadership than under McCain’s.

  7. I’ve been reading up on Ron Paul and I must say that after reading your article above, I’m really convinced that we need a real change. It’s time we all stand up together for freedom.

    That’s why I am proud to say I voted for a third party candidate this year for the first time ever. It was Wes Upchurch, for Missouri’s Secretary of State.

    Next election everyone should do the same. We need people who are libertarians and Ron Paul republicans in office.

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