Today, I read a thread on a forum regarding political issues about why Barak Obama isn’t a Christian. It was pointed out that the word "Christian" in our culture has more of a connotation of being ‘nice’ or being’ an ‘American’. I hadn’t thought about that very in depth before now. When I read the title of the thread, it made me cringe a little because of the connotation that everyone places on the word "Christian". What most people in the country hear when they hear the word "Christian" is often altogether different than "believer" or "believer in Christ" or "follower of Christ" or "disciple". I think that the reason people are offended when you say they aren’t a Christian, is because it’s the equivalent of saying that they don’t LOVE GOD.
"Love" in this culture is such a wishy-washy term and at this point and so is "God". In reality, God is the definer of those terms, but in listening to those who have access to cameras and a microphone, both "God" and "love" are defined by whoever talks the loudest and most often. Consequently, a person’s religious label evokes such silly emotionalism because those terms have become wishy-washy as well, due to the hammering through all the political discourse. For example, I heard Michael Moore on TV last week, getting all choked up over Colin Powell defending Obama’s religious status. Michael Moore said something along the lines of "I don’t agree with many of Colin Powell’s political views but I was so moved when he said ‘hey! what’s wrong with being a muslim in this country?" Well, since our culture is in the process of obliterating the true meaning of terms, and replacing the meaning with mere fashion, then of course there’s nothing wrong with being anything, if you wear it like an accessory. But if we want to really talk about whether or not the president of our country should be muslim, then some very uncomfortable things are going to need to be discussed.
However, as countrymen, there are many that are no longer talking about things in a meaningful way. There is no meat, but only heartfelt…what? We don’t really know, but whatever it is, it was heartfelt. Politicians in our current cultural climate need to be a master of the heartfelt, soundbite. Speeches don’t get noticed, but soundbites and headlines are what make people react. Those who have reacted to titles without reading the text or watching the videos have demonstrated what is a problem for all of us anymore. Why react without investigating or trying to understand first? It’s why the media has lost the confidence of many people. They play on this weakness.
So, this makes me ask, how should we react to things that happen in our culture? What should we look like as followers of Christ? What would the apostle Paul be saying to the church in America? If God is in control of all governing authorities, what is our place and what should we say and do?
I recently posted the following on this blog :
"Here then is my charge: First, supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings should be made on behalf of all men: for kings and rulers in positions of responsibility, so that our common life may be lived in peace and quiet, with a proper sense of God and of our responsibility to him for what we do with our lives."
I have not followed this command in scripture throughout this election season. In my life there has been more politics than prayer and more griping than gratitude. Where does our responsibility lie? It lies with God. We have a responsibility to him. The more I am talking and debating and worrying, the less I am blessing the name of the Lord.