Intermission:A Pastor's Perspective
I feel the need, as I get feedback, to clarify a couple things. First, this little series isn't an argument that God told Christians to not vote, while I think we have often traded looking like Jesus for something more notorious and politically charged, pushing a button with a name next to it isn't the problem.
Second, my decision to cast an empty ballot is not a political move. I'm not calling anyone to a political protest, third party, or I'm frustrated and don't care vote. Intentionally casting an empty ballot has given me a new perspective on how the political process affects faith. I would like to maintain that perspective. It also helps keep the conversational focus not on who I did or didn't vote for but on how we were meant to live the other 364 1/4 days of the year.
But I digress....
As I thought through what I would cover this week a friend came to mind who had gone through this sort of political related turmoil as a pastor. I emailed him a few questions about it and asked if he would be willing to do an interview, which he declined. I have readership in several states and he didn't want the risk of someone recognizing details and flaring up controversy in his area, but he did say I could recount a bit of the story.
The short of it was that someone in the congregation heard that this man had decided to vote for Obama. Several months later this man found himself grilled by a group of people claiming he was pro-abortion, and against absolute truth. Half of the group ended up leaving the church, even after he stated his biblical position on life and marriage as fairly conservative.
He had a conversation with one of the men who stayed at the church a few months later and asked him what that hooplah was about. The mans response? "Glenn Beck." Those who ended up leaving were big time Beck followers and were in a frenzy about identifying who is in and who is out. This man who chose to stay at the church had bought into it when the first drop of blood hit the water. The irony is that they separated themselves from a pastor on the advice of someone who believes that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers. Irony.
I'll close with a couple words of advice for Jesus followers who involve themselves in the political process:
1) "The older I get, the harder time I have seeing how someone devoted to following Jesus can enter into politics, because they are, by representing their constituency, by default obligating themselves to man."
2) "When you vote. You have to understand that your politician will let you down. They are not trying to reflect the life of Jesus, and they will play politics. Lower your expectations of what voting is and what it can do."