Dear Brothers -
I have to assume that one someone sends me an email that he or she expects me to read it. So I have read this, and I am once again challenged with my own sin, and with the fact that we all fall short of the glory of God. I am also challenged as to whether or not I faithfully pray for leadership in government - whether I agree with them or not.
Paul writes to Titus: “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”
Paul writes to Timothy: “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness opposing those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil. Having been held captive by him to do his will.”
I have come to anticipate that every election year will be a challenging year for professing Christians, especially years with national elections; I anticipate this because these seem to be years when professing Christians forget the fact that God is sovereign and that the Bible teaches us that God is in control of the affairs of men (check out Daniel Chapters 1 – 5 for a refresher course).
Paul reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven, (Philippians 3:20).
The Great Commission Christ gave us is to bring others to Him, not to convince others concerning a political or economic agenda. The Great Commandment He gave us is to love Him with all that we are and to love others as ourselves. Anything that pulls us away from our central mission is a distraction – when the world hears a keynote other than Jesus from the professing church there is a problem.
I don’t know anyone who can be as sarcastic as I can be; my capacity for sarcasm exceeds anyone I’ve ever met or heard or read – and that scares me when I read the Bible – I am convicted of my sin and I realize that when I engage in vitriol and cutting sarcasm that I am not drinking of the cup of my Lord Jesus, but rather from the cup of the enemy.
Comments such as (in the email sent to us): “Electing Hillary Clinton president would be like granting Satan absolution and giving him the keys to heaven!” are simply not helpful and obscure meaningful discussion about issues. Plus, I am not aware that this statement has a Biblical basis.
While I certainly don’t endorse much of Mr. Clinton’s behavior when he was president, I also know that the professing-church is promiscuous in that we have many lovers other than our Lord Jesus. And while I don’t endorse people in political power leveraging that power for financial gain, I know that I have not shared my own resources the way I should have over the course of my life – and I know that we as a professing church have not done so either (2 Corinthians Chapters 8 – 9 for a refresher course). I also know that we can likely find unethical behavior in all political administrations.
Then there is this from the email: “Please pass this on. Our way of life may depend on it!” This lacks such detail that I’m not certain what “way of life” the author is writing about. My Way of Life is Jesus Christ, and I hope He is your way of life – thank God our Way of Life in Jesus Christ cannot be affected by politics – unless it challenges us to be more like Jesus.
While in legal terms “liable” and “slander” occur when something untrue is written or said, this is not the case in Biblical thinking. In Biblical thinking the devil is a slanderer not because what he says about us is untrue in terms of our sins, but because what he says about us is untrue in the light of Jesus Christ dying for our sins. Mr. and Mrs. Clinton are no different than we are: Jesus Christ loves them just as much, and if we know ourselves outside of Jesus Christ then we all know that they don’t have anything on us in terms of sins – would we want our lives put up on a projector?
If we insist on talking about people rather than ideas, then let’s talk about Jesus.
Jesus is not only the Reason for the Season, He is the Reason for Life – including life in an election year.