Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why I Don't Engage in Political Banter...


Both sides of the political aisle to take sides during this hotly debated political season have prodded me to ante up, and I have refused. One of my ministry colleagues even implied that I was less than a Christian if I didn’t support their candidate. While I am in favor of rendering “unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,”  I want to be clear, I will not engage in public political arguments because my focus is on the Kingdom of God, and not another campaign. The reasons I won’t enter the political banter is because I believe people are more important that politics; relationships are more important than rhetoric; and God’s sovereignty trumps human selection.

I believe in people more that politics. I believe that God has a plan, path, and purpose for every human on earth. While I believe the political process in vitally important, and I never miss the opportunity to exercise my right to vote, you will never hear me lobby for a candidate, put a sign in my yard, or filibuster for or against somebody brave enough to run for office. The way I see it, my calling transcends my political preferences. Were I to make my choices known and attempt to leverage my spiritual influence for political expediency, I could well offend half of the people in this community that I am called to be in relationship with and to represent Christ to. My calling is to share Christ, not to campaign. Like the apostle Paul I seek to “know only Christ, and Him crucified.”

I also refuse to harm relationships with rhetoric. Already I have seen such condescending and severe personal comments about both political parties, their candidates, and their supporters that my heart hurts at the rift these comments cause in relationships. Dehumanizing, name-calling remarks abound. Nowhere is anyone talking about how both sides are comprised of people who were created in the image of God. Blistering rhetoric has replaced mutual respect. I refuse to allow political rhetoric to interfere with the importance of the relationships I have worked so hard to build in this community.

Lastly, I believe at the end of the day, God is in control. Apostle Paul, again, writes that the “powers of this world” are “appointed by God.” Participation in the process is important. As a matter of fact, don’t bother to espouse your views if you aren’t willing to exercise your right to vote, but once the vote is cast, leave the results up to God, that is if you really believe that God is in control. I do.

So, while I will advocate for the poor in resources and the poor in spirit, I will not champion a candidate or wave your political flag. I will feed hungry children, support orphans here and around the world, volunteer to help people learn to read, provide assistance to help those who are in distress, and host classes to teach financial accountability, but I won’t make my political views known online or in my church. As a matter of fact, it has always been my goal that no one who listens to my teaching will be able to determine my political preferences. No matter what, I will strive to love you regardless of which side you are on, and I ask you to join me and strive to follow Jesus’ mandate to “love your neighbor, as yourself,” even if you don’t agree with them. I remain:

Consumed by the Call,
Marty

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