I generally enjoy reading World Magazine, the weekly cultural and political standard from a fairly Biblical and conservative point of view. But the boring small mindedness of their political endorsements is regularly annoying. Admittedly, it fits hand and glove with the timid defeatism of American voters in general. I also cringe at the sputtering, red faced invocations to vote. One Southern Baptist writer wrings his hands pleading with his fellow churchmen to register to vote. Less than half of the denomination are apparently registered. He pleads with the masses. He pleads. But I hum loudly and stop my ears. Not that I don’t think people should vote. Go ahead, do the deed. In fact, I think a Christian ought to. But I will not plead with you. I will not wring my hands. I will not stammer or beg. As a good friend once said, voting is like taking out the trash: it certainly needs to be done, but there are more important things to do. But this handwringing is not a little unlike someone being really concerned about a tree with poisonous apples. If we all pitch in, he says, and pick an apple, they’ll all be gone and the tree will be safe. Someone ought to explain to the man how trees and fruit work. And likewise politics. Civil and familial governement are two of the trees that grow out of the soil of the Church. Economics, arts, and entertainment are other such trees. These trees ought to grow, but certain kinds of soil produce certain kinds of trees with certain kinds of fruit. And until this baptist brother and all our friends realize that the fruit is inevitable unless the soil is changed, the tree will go on producing lethal products. No amount of voting, legislating, or campaigning will change the fact that the American Church is the problem. We are the cause, we are the infection, we are the target that God is aiming at. If the Secularists were really on their toes, they’d start deporting Christians. We are the Jonahs that are causing this storm. We have run from God by offering our children to the idols of our nation often killing them in their mothers’ wombs. We have bought and sold forgiveness like a comodity, we have stolen the tithe, and dishonored His day. We have not only put up with immorality, but we have condoned it by ordaining bishops and clergymen who share pasttimes with such infamous characters as Michael Jackson.
And another thing: Why do we insist on playing the media’s stupid games. Why do we buy their two party system? Why do we even play by their rules? Why don’t we just stop paying attention to their little gimmicks and not settle for anything less than good. We operate, as Christians, in an entirely compromised way. We are so sure of defeat, that our sole motivation is based on ‘the lesser of two evils’. We do our politics on the basis of who we don’t want in office. And this is usually based entirely on selfish motivations. If I have a choice between someone hitting me with a two by four and mace, which do I chose? But politics just isn’t like that. We are first responsible for our vote before God. He sees our hearts, our intentions, and our faith. If we vote out of fear, worry, bitterness, or simple cowardice then we are not voting in faith. But if God is our God, then we cannot be shaken. We must vote for who we believe would actually rule in righteousness. Righteousness. Not half-hearted, plastic smiling righteousness. Real God-fearing, greed-hating righteousness. We as country do not deserve such a leader. We deserve the sadistic triumverate of Stalin, Hitler, and Nero turned lose and ticked off, nukes at their disposal. That’s what we deserve, but we ought to vote in faith, praying for mercy. And if there is no worthy candidate, it’s still legal to write a name in.
But for all this I’ve written, I assure you that I’m smiling. We are ants. We are gnats. We are warring tribes of bees buzzing in a passioned frenzy. And I smile. I smile and play frizbee. I go bowling, and I occasionally pass the time with a good popsicle. I really like grape. We must see our sin, and we must confess and forsake it. But forgiveness is real, and the huff and puff of the world is an ice cube on the sidewalk.