Friday, February 20, 2004
Ashley commented on my political post that she felt Christians could bring about change through the political process: "I think Jesus would vote because that's how Christians can make a difference in the world. I definitely don't see him aligning himself with a political party that approves of and encourages abortion, homosexual practices, or other things the Bible speaks against. I think he'd probably be independent." She also mentioned Kevin Young's post on politics and Christianity - he's on my list to the right, and I hadn't seen the post during this busy week, but I went to his post on Jerusalem and Athens, and it's making me think, too.
What comes to mind first is that we tend to not think when it comes to politics, or to many other things for that matter. We tend to follow the crowd, or we scurry after the most charismatic leader/preacher, or we fall in step with the values that most closely align with where we are already in life. This isn't a reflection on Ashley's comment or Kevin's post, nor is it saying that either of them is wrong in any way. It's just that we tend to congregate around who we feel is right more than we try to gather around reality, truth, and God's perspective. We think WWJD? and then take a course of action according to our own predisposition and presupposition of the character of Christ.
But what if we're wrong? Where is there room for doubt? In political times, where is there room for a conservative to question the motives of our president? Where is there room for a liberal to doubt an entitlement mindset? More often than not, it's an Us vs. Them mindset that permeates both camps - when there might be more to this than just "two sides".
I'm not plugging a centrist/moderate attitude, because that's really just another point along the line, right? What I think I'm getting at is that there might be more to this than the line - that we've restricted the discussion to points along a line, when there might be more variation and creativity available somewhere off that line, or on another plane altogether. Brian McLaren mentions a "circle above the line" where God is sovereignly still at work (Joshua 5:13-14).
Here's my visual on the "circle above the line": If I wanted to cover you, I could throw a rope or a blanket. I can spend all my time getting the rope just right, but it still won't adequately cover anyone. But if I focus on the blanket, giving it just the right toss - you're covered.
I think that Christians can indeed make a difference in the world, and that voting might make some difference. But it's still just one vote among thousands or millions. What if we sell ourselves short, or sell the Kingdom short, in putting so many of our eggs into this political pasket in order to effect change? Why are we tossing ropes, when God might have a blanket at hand for us to throw on the fires of immorality, or to warm us against the chill of the challenges to family and life?
Gotta stop the rambling now...