I’m not sure what happened to me last week, but somehow I got swept up into the political tidal wave I have, somehow, managed to avoid. I never listen to political talk radio (and last week I found myself listened to Dennis Miller in the car). I seldom post politically sensitive blog postings elsewhere (obviously here I do on occasion, but I don’t figure anyone will ever read this), but found myself posting (and angering) other blogs. What in the world is going on?
One of the reasons that I limit my voyages into the political world is, as I stated in previous blog posts) I tend to find myself on the opposing side as many of those I interact with – maybe even most of the people I interact with. Add that to the fact that I have realized that I am very opinionated – and strongly opinionated at that . . . all those factors seem to unite into something that is not very edifying or unifying. Therefore, I wrestle with the need for balance. On one hand, I don’t want to be the constant disjoint in the fabric of popular opinion. In conversations with church folks I see the need – very often, to bite my tongue and avoid a tedious, and probably mostly unprofitable discussion. However, I believe in the things I believe in and want strongly to bring that perspective to the discussion table often seeing it as a necessary corrective and “other side of the story” to what many are bringing.
So . . . for now, this is that avenue. If you read here and believe me to be strongly opinionated and over-the-top in my views, that is probably largely because I overstate the case here to help me from overflowing into more inappropriate places. So, in that thought, I’ll make a few comments about the following story that appeared in our paper today. If you don’t care to read it, it is about a group of Christian lawyers who are challenging the IRS’ insistence that churches leave politics out of their public agenda, basically setting out to allow churches (and any other non-for-profit to publicly support a candidate). Maybe you think this is a great idea, but from my experience in churches this would be a horrible disaster and allow yet another divisive area to become even more so in churches. Can you imagine the implications of having a pastor preach from the pulpit who they should vote for? Granted, many pastors essentially do that today – anyone unclear where James Dobson stands? but this would take it to another level. I can’t imagine this ever getting through, but the fact that this group is even pursuing it shows the bitter divide in Christianity over how we should go about impacting the world.
When our churches align with political parties we lose our prophetic voice. Jesus could have chosen political solutions, instead worked totally outside of the political system dying as a suffering lamb instead. I believe the book of Revelation has much to say to the church today in our political aspirations. In Revelation, the government is the dragon and monster and enemy of the work of Christ. Why are we so quick to join hands with them today?
On a much more serious note . . . Ohio State . . . huge game . . . will determine how next week goes for me . . . on top of that Browns – Steelers, by Monday, I may need a week off to recuperate.