The Periodic Musings of Matt Davis

September 21, 2010

On Politics and the Church… Pt. 1

Filed under: American Church, Politics — Tags: — kcillini77 @ 9:07 pm

As you can see, I have disappeared into the quick posts of Facebook and failed to make a detailed point in about a gestation period.  That kind of fits in with having a new addition to the family, but I digress.  At any rate, there is something that I have been pondering, and I am going to attempt to start discussing it.  I don’t know how often I will get to it or exactly where it will go, but I want to get started and see.  Hopefully some of you will join along with me and we can have some degree of discussion.

I have no thesis at this point – I’m just shooting from the hip.  But the title gives you a little clue of where I’m headed.

I voted for Bush.  Twice.  I was convinced that the hope for America was conservatism – both financially and socially, and imagined everyone else to be, for lack of a better term, liberal heathen idiots.  I used to watch a lot of Fox News.  I had lots of opinions and was happy to share them. If the tea party bandwagon was revving up 4 years ago, I probably would have been on it.

In 2008, I voted for Barack Hussein Obama.  Screeeech.  What?  Did I hit my head in the voting booth?  No, at some point around that election, I moved from a passionate view of politics to a disenchantment with the us vs. them mentality.  I don’t know that I could have put it into words then, but what was most troubling to me was not the fact that America was divided politically.  Division is necessary for our two-party system to thrive.  It may be more heated now than it has been in my life, or maybe it just seems that way because of the media circus.  But that wasn’t really what led me to pull the lever for a liberal.

What troubled me the most on that day in 2008 and still continues to bother me is that as someone who identifies as an evangelical, the voices that seem to be equating or at least marrying the Gospel of Jesus with Republican Party platforms are way too loud and far, far, off base.  I heard so many statements from people that seemed to equate a vote for Obama with a vote for Satan that I just got to the point that I wanted to scream.  Most of these arguments centered on abortion and that it is a moral evil.  You can’t vote for someone who is in favor of support of a moral evil or you have sided with evil.  But the flip side of that is that no party has a corner on morality, and, even if they did, Jesus did not come to restore morality.  He came to restore immoral people to God.  We as evangelicals say our primary focus is to introduce people to Jesus.  That should be our purpose.  But instead we are trying to change the morals of people through politics, which to me is empty, hollow, and worthless.  So, my politics have veered not so much to a liberal slant as to an apathetic slant.  I don’t get too worked up about anything.  But I realize that if I’m going to call out evangelicals for abandoning the Gospel and substituting it for shallow politics, I need to immerse myself in the Gospel all the more.  So, I intend to spend some time thinking about the Gospel and how it does, and should, relate to the politics of the day.  Again, I don’t know how that will play itself out, but feel free to join me in the coming weeks.  Or maybe I’ll get apathetic again before that.  We’ll see.

Oh, to finish the story on what made me pull the lever for Obama.  I was listening to a local political talk show and a woman called in to the station.  She identified herself as a black woman and a McCain voter.  She said most of her friends and family considered her a traitor.  When asked why she was voting for McCain, she said it was because she had become a Christian and the people in her church had made it clear to her that there was a “Christian” way to vote and that was for John McCain.  The audacity of that statement made me determined to cancel out that vote and let everyone else decide the election.  See – apathy.

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