Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Trump, Clinton, truth, Jesus and grace

One cannot read any social media these days without being inundated by information on the upcoming election, the demonization of one candidate or the other, charges, counter charges and some pretty hot feelings about what a Christian should do in the upcoming election.

There are Christ followers who believe they cannot vote for either candidate. There are others who insist that you cannot be an evangelical and vote for Trump. And there are those who say you cannot be a true evangelical and vote for Clinton. Enter theologians with PhD's who have proven to us their case (on both sides). They in turn have been vilified for taking the wrong side in this interesting election, which ever side they have taken.

A few observations.
Neither side respects women. Trump may lack tact and may well be guilty of what he has been painted as (per his own words). On the other hand if the unborn are truly human (and I believe they are) Clinton is certainly not respecting the right of those "girls" or "boys" to live. Both sides have lied significantly and both deny the obvious. Politics today is dirty - and any reading of American history even back to our founding father's shows that this is nothing new. Further, much of our politics is driven by our own fears - whatever they are: immigration; supreme court choices; character of our elected leaders (they have rarely if ever been saints); the economy; and whatever else our fears are. All of this has polarized the nation and Christ followers as well - sadly. My final observation is that Jesus does not carry a card of the independent party, the Republicans or the Democrats. He is above our party squabbles and He has His own concerns that are not directly mirrored by any political party.

Paul made a significant statement when he wrote that we see through a glass darkly. I certainly do on many issues. I think each of you do as well. Our truth on issues not clearly delineated in Scriptures is always partial truth. It is why on even theology, God fearing individuals can have differing interpretations. Convictions are great and I respect them. But in the political arena there is a lot of grey given the observations above. I can share my convictions and the reasons for them with others but I cannot expect all to agree with me if we see through a glass darkly.

Members of my own extended family most of whom love and follow Jesus will vote on different sides of this election for valid reasons. It would be wrong for me to judge their choice if they are doing so out of their own conscience. It is equally wrong for us to allow politics to divide us in the church. There are valid reasons to vote for both candidates even from the perspective of a Christ follower. And there are reasons for those who choose not to vote for any candidate in this election. Civic duty notwithstanding.

This is not the first election - and will not be the last where people believe that the fate of the nation is at stake. We hear that every four years. And the gospel is not dependent on who gets in the supreme court. Besides, if you notice, those who do get in often don't vote the way the president who chose them thought they would. And last I heard, Jesus stands above nations and rulers and accomplishes His will since He is sovereign and is bringing history to His intended conclusion. Daniel in the Old Testament fully understood that as he represented one of the most pagan kings of the ancient world.

So my commitment is to pray for the nation, for the candidates (and God is quite capable of using either one for his purposes) and to give others grace in their convictions knowing that I see things through a glass darkly and will until the vision is fully cleared in the presence of the God of complete truth and righteousness. Jesus expects grace from His people toward one another and toward those who don't follow Him. When we lack grace we are not representing Him no matter which candidate we intend to vote for (or none at all). Grace matters!


1 comment:

Kim Roman said...

There are more than just those two horrible choices.

For instance:

Gary Johnson is personally pro-life, but respects the laws that give a woman the right to choose. While governor of New Mexico he banned partial-birth abortion. He is on the ballot in all 50 states and DC.

Evan McMullin is definitely anti-abortion. He's on the ballot in at least 34 states and his name can be written in.

I haven't looked at Jill Stein's position.

My question is . . . are we Christians REALLY pro-life or just pro-birth? Do WE do enough to help women who are making these awful choices? Do we help them find adoptive homes? Do WE as a church help support them as they raise these children? Do WE make sure they have health and dental care and a good education so they can break the cycle of poverty? Do WE make sure they have access to birth control so they don't have to make the choice of having an abortion in the first place?