Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm Just So Tired Of It...

The election that is! I can’t wait for Tuesday to come and go… If I don’t hear another scathing political ad for the rest of my life, it would still be too soon!

I am a conservative Christian and yet, I am so tired of hearing the “hate speech” about the other “non-conservative” side…it’s bitter, angry and just plain hateful. I’m tired of Christians speaking out against each other with hostile, judgmental, self-righteous statements like, “I don’t know how you can be a Christian and support ‘x’.” I hear that from both sides…I’ve heard Christian Republicans say it about Christian Democrats and vice versa…

The Bible tells us to guard the unity of the body of Christ… to live in harmony with one another… we need to watch what we say and how we say it! The unity of the body of Christ is FAR more important than who our next President is! The unity of the body has the potential to impact lives for eternity…our next President only has the power to impact our lives on earth…the temporal!

I know STRONG, godly Christians who are supporting McCain and equally STRONG, godly Christians who are supporting Obama!

Christians who support McCain inevitably talk about the issues of abortion and homosexual marriages, the desire to protect the family… Christians who support Obama inevitably speak of social justice and mercy, they demonstrate a tremendous compassion for “the least of these,” as Jesus Himself referred to them.

Why is it that we can’t have respectful, gracious dialogue on both sides and challenge each other, in love, to become more Christ-like?

I’ve had an on-going dialogue with a dear friend of mine for several weeks now. We haven’t changed each other’s intent to vote, but God has used my friend to educate me and to grow my heart for mercy… I clearly see the Christ-likeness of her desires and I have been deeply convicted by my lack of compassion in some areas. We don’t agree on how to address the issues, but maybe the point isn’t so much the ‘how’ as it is the heart.

And, I would challenge anyone to be as informed on the issues as my friend is…she is careful before she speaks, you don’t hear her regurgitating sound-bytes and she seeks out the source of everything, seeking to discover its original context. She approaches the issues with an open mind and she examines them from both sides of the aisle. I can’t always claim that… I am a more educated voter now because of my friend…if I want to talk to her, I better be able to back up what I say…what I heard on R*ush or Fo*x News just isn’t going to cut it!

But let me say this…as passionate as she is, she has NEVER once crossed the line of being disrespectful! She listens to my thoughts, she turns them over, tries them on and researches the points that I bring to the table… I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone so intent on discovering God’s will for her vote…her heart’s desire is to please Him, not the rest of the world, or even her friends… And for that, I have the utmost respect…

This past week in CBS, I had the week off and our Assistant Teaching Director gave a wonderful lecture. We are studying 1 Peter and we were talking about being persecuted and suffering for the name of Jesus, and she said something that I can’t stop thinking about.

She drew the distinction between suffering for the name of Jesus and suffering for other reasons…ie, political candidates, causes, etc. and she asked the question… Who, or what, are you holding out (to the world)? Jesus or your cause, your political party, etc.?

When the members of the church turn on each other over a political candidate, a cause, etc., then we are NOT holding out the name of Christ…we are doing NOTHING to reflect His grace and mercy…we are harming the name of Christ, we are not, in any way, shape or form, glorifying it.

Let’s get to the bottom line here…Daniel 2:21 says that “God sets up kings and deposes them…” Romans 13:1 says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Even Jesus said to Pilate, before he was handed over to be crucified, ““You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” John 19:11

Ultimately, God is the one who is in control…He ALONE is Sovereign…Government is for His purpose, not ours! I believe that with all of my heart and I will trust Him, no matter who wins on Tuesday. If God is going to use what is happening in our country to destroy some of our idols of materialism, immorality, etc. and draw us closer to Him…then fine…it might not be fun, in fact, it might be painful…but every day, I will pray for the strength to live with my eyes set on eternity…to hold out His name in a dark world.

If, as Christians, we truly believe that God is good…that He is faithful and just and sovereign…why would the thought of either candidate ‘scare’ us? As Christians, it’s time that we start considering how our rhetoric is reflecting on our heavenly Father…it’s time for this election to be over! But here’s the thing…when the election is over, we still need to remember who we represent…it’s not the Republican or Democratic party, or even America…First and foremost…it’s the King of Kings…God most High…I wonder how pleased He is with our representation right now?

7 comments:

Shannon Seibert said...

I feel the same way! Thank you for saying it so well. What a blessing to have a friend to truly search and explore issues honestly with....without tearing each other apart! I'd love to hear more about y'alls discussions.

Leslie said...

OK, Sharla, I could not have said it any better! AMEN! I would LOVE to reference this on my blog as I am working on an upcoming post about the talk versus the WALK, specifically about the life issue and how it relates to adoption (imho). If I ever get the post finished, I'll email it to you and see if you are OK with me linking to this post. This is just so well said. I am also still *thinking* on the blog idea and have you ever thought about co-authoring a book? ;)

April Isaacs said...

AMEN!!

Go Palin...rrrr, I mean may the best man win! rrrr...

I couldn't resist!

Julia said...

Sharla I love this post, it's so well written and thought out and I couldn't agree more with everything you've said so well!

momto4girls said...

WOW! Although I am pretty set on who I am going to vote for, your post really put into words a lot of what I have been struggling with. Thanks.It is a shame there is not news reported withthe same fairness as your post.

Patientlywaiting said...

I agree completely with you Sharla. It is too bad more people don't research the candidates for themselves instead of buying into what the media is spoon feeding them. Hubby and I have already voted. Tuesday can't come soon enough for us. Praying for a clear cut winner so we don't have to relive 4 years ago :)

Hugs,
Robin

Mike and Barb said...

Wow, this post gets me out of "lurkdom" :-))
Thank you so much for writing this - I have been feeling the same way, but you put it into words beautifully!
Barb