Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Another Election Post

Dan and I are currently reading Children of the Living God by Sinclair Ferguson for our Spiritual and Ministry Formations Class at Covenant. I am really enjoying it. I don’t have any specific reflections on the text, but I feel like it might have been sparking some other reflections I have been making lately.

On the Presidential Elections: Ya’ll, I am EXCITED about this election. This is strange, because I also understand and empathize with everyone else who feels fearful, disgusted, or annoyed by it all. Let me explain:

1. Last week I heard a news report on NPR. A woman was interviewing people from other countries, including some kind of farmer/herder person from the Middle East somewhere. The man told the woman that (despite the fact that he didn’t know too much about American politics) if Obama was elected, it would go a long way for him in believing America when it claimed to be a land of equality.

2. Anthony Bradley wrote a blog post for the St. Louis dispatch Civil Religion blog on The McCain/Obama Messiah Complex: "Americans strangely have messianic visions about the office of president in these tough times: "He will heal our land and make us prosperous.” Too many of us have been drinking from the weird Kool-Aid again. Don’t believe the hype! Neither candidate can deliver their messianic promises to fix the world. There’s a three-ring circus called Congress that will serve as the reality check on the candidate worship many Americans have been duped into practicing lately."

So here is how I see it: I am probably going to vote for McCain. I also think he will probably lose. But when I am sitting on my couch and watching the election coverage the night of November 4th I am only going to be proud and hopeful no matter who has won. Why? Because Jesus is Lord, not the next president of America. And because God is going about this business of advancing his kingdom either way. The President has power over our future, yes. But I have no fear of this! I am freed from my fear because I know that God is the one who provides for me (even when “my” candidate wins.) And God is not up for election.

So I am left with excitement. Because this is a big decision for our country. It matters who is elected. But since I know God provides for me, I am free from the insane anxiety of the negative consequences of electing either candidate. I am free to eagerly anticipate the good that could come.

I seriously want McCain to win. I generally think Republican policies are much wiser for our country. But I am also totally weirded out at how excited I would be to have Obama as president and the possible peace and reconciliation that could promote in the world.

I understand why Americans are fearful of whom to elect. They believe the world-view that this is the single person who has maybe the most sweeping power over their lives (which is probably even false from a secular perspective). But if you are in Christ you must not succumb to this way of thinking. You know that this is false. And you also know that God is your heavenly father whose affection and love for you exceeds your conceptual ability. It gives you stability in an unstable world.

(I couldn't find the exact NPR report I heard, but this one is similar.)


schupack said...

hey, good thoughts. It is the job of the media, and in this case especially the out-of-mainstream media, to freak us out about the possibility of the wrong guy getting elected. But IT IS OKAY. It will be okay.
i'm not voting, incidentally. too hard.

thomas said...

"God is not up for election." Good thought. The messiah complex involved in this election is really weird - I'm not old enough to have experienced a lot of elections, but that's definitely been a bizarre thing about this one.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you're excited for this election. It seems like everyone else is terrified (and I am mildly amused by this). Hooray for the glass being half full :)

keely steger said...

of course i'll mail it if you win! thanks for playing along!

schupack said...

how come you don't blog more often and force me to comment twice on the same post?

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