23 October 2012

Of Politics and Parables

Consider a new born baby. How many of you, with your arguing, finger pointing, yelling, facts, and perfect doctrine can turn this baby into a world class pianist? But if you love this baby and the child, teen, and adult they grow into, get to know the person they are and are becoming, honor who they are, see them as God does, look for God's image in them, you may well help them become who they were truly mean to be. And their destiny is world class, whether pianist. president, plumber, or pastor.

This is true of all people, not just babies-- including the people some of us vilify-- tax collectors, hookers, politicians, our fellow drivers, or preachers who focus on garbage (from condemning people to a prosperity gospel.


On a related note, the country, indeed, the world, is hotly divided over political issues, and the discussions and debates have devolved into verbal (or worse) firefights, leaving wounded victims (if only emotionally) strewn across the landscape like so many broken wildflowers.

When we, as the Church, the Bride of Christ, the body of Christ, engage in this way, we fail God, ourselves, and everyone around us.

When we apply religious (or, if you prefer, Biblical, but I think we often confuse these) litmus tests, and demand that candidates, parties or voters line up with what we think God thinks on every topic, and indeed, demand "Godly rule", we make a similar, and equally onerous and dangerous mistake to that made by those seeking to eliminate religion from politics.

Additionally, it gives those who disagree with us a reason to fight back, and in fact provokes them. If you provoke someone, why are you surprised when they come after you? Where is your legitimate objection?

By all means, our faith must drive our discourse. But it is foolishness to expect all your brothers and sisters to agree with you on every point, and madness to expect those who don't know Christ to.

Israel wanted a king. They got it and regretted it. The disciples wanted a king. They got one, but not the type they expected. We have a King. Don't demand another one in the Oval Office (or anywhere else).

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