All this talk about politics and elections and WWJVF has put me in a mind to make an observation or three.
A constant temptation for all us fallen adamchildren, but peculiarly for us Americans, who have such a stake in our own political future, is to view politics or the state as a messiah. The state becomes the vehicle for delivering a crass substitute for salvation — whether that salvation be conceived as economic self-realization, or unfettered liberty to indulge every whim, or “making the world safe for democracy,” or whatever.
I have come to the place, however, where I view the coming of the kingdom of Christ and the work of the Spirit through the church as being so powerful, so transformative, that thinking of politics as the real answer to our problems (be they civic or economic or personal or whatever) just doesn’t fit. It’s like grandma wearing stiletto heels. Sure, she can wear them, but man are they icky.
So here’s a thought: let’s vote (for we should vote if we will be responsible citizens of the city of man) for whoever is going to get the government out of the way the most, so that the church can more freely do what she is called to do — to transform the world into a meeting place of heaven and earth. It’s the table, not the legislative chamber. It’s the preached word, not the stump speech. It’s the body of Christ, not the electorate. And it’s the transformation of the world by the gospel, not the securing of a glorious future flush with cash for fat cat Americans.
At least since the 80s and the good reverend Falwell too many Christians have fallen into the temptation of worshipping the messianic state. Hitched the kingdom up to the sputtering Yugo of the Republican party. Began to consider the future of the country as being in the hands of the right kind of men with the right kind of legislative voting record. But the point is that men fail, even men with great power who are addressed as “Mr. President.” They must fail. They are all sinners. Yay indeed.
I say we have to guard against regarding our vote this November as holding more importance than it merits. Perhaps our attendance at the Lord’s table should be where we cast our vote. Perhaps those hours spent playing with our toddlers is the real battleground state. Perhaps the dining room table or the homeschool room or the garage or the prayer closet is the true electoral college.
I really do think America is going to hell in a handbasket. Give us Wilberforces and Kuypers, Lord. But, in spite of all, the bride of Christ will persist and conquer all. I think I’ll be busy romancing that beautiful gal on election night.
Update from Al: Well said David. If we cast our hope in the same place we cast our ballot, our hope will be in vain. Just try and follow the polls… al sends