"Today’s evangelical political activists seem to be unaware of how much their methodology parallels that of liberal Christians at the start of the twentieth century. Like those misguided idealists, contemporary evangelicals have become enamored with temporal issues at the expense of eternal values. Evangelical activists in essence are simply preaching a politically conservative version of the old social gospel, emphasizing social and cultural concerns above spiritual ones."
– Excerpt from Christians and Politics by John MacArthur
I looked over the election returns last night and this morning. I was more interested in the ballot issues than anything else. I have been a single issue voter for many years, but these recent years I have really been questioning whether I should be any kind of voter at all. Should I register? Should I register as an Independent? Should I stop reading current events? Is any time on the issues, time well spent?
Through a computer error and then a missed deadline, my husband couldn’t vote anywhere this year. I had a choice. He didn’t and he was miffed. He got caught between our old address and our new address, right at the wrong time. So, I took my "I Voted" sticker to Starbucks and got my free cup of coffee and gave it to him as a consolation. Yes, I know. That probably seems like a great sacrifice for some of you, but it wasn’t really. I
hate dislike coffee. Now, if I could have gotten a free hot chocolate, I doubt he would have even seen the cup.
Anyway, this morning I picked up Dietrich Bonhoffer again. I started reading it months ago and I’ve been too busy to read more than a paragraph at a time since then. But this morning I started reading the chapter about discipline and indulgence…dull prayer and a lack of passion for God’s word…resistance to hardship and a sense of jaded comfort. I have bought the belief that "doing" something about temporal issues is what it means to be a Christian in our culture. Should God’s people be fighting temporal battles with worldly methods? Although I currently have the privilege to vote and to speak openly about my views, those privileges could evaporate and I am wholly unprepared for being without those. My prayers are dull. My passion for God’s word ebbs and flows. I keep listening to those who say I’m not "doing" enough, when in actuality, all of the "doing" is stealing away my intimacy with God. It is that intimacy that is the source of all strength and power. Even all of the opportunities or demands for "doing" for the church can become too much, too many and overwhelming. The work of God is prayer, obeying God’s word and reaching the world with the gospel of Christ. There is no other work.
The article that I linked to above by John MacArthur talks about the history of the church and the lessons we can learn from it’s past times of political involvement. One of the things that I noticed and find very distressing is that whatever issue a Christian chooses to vote on, they will be slapped with whatever label is fashionable for the political party with which they associate. Have you read the blogs, articles and commentaries this morning? Which are you? Are you now considered a marxist or a racist? Which face is being used to represent who you are? Are you being seen as fluffy, empty and appeasing, or angry, and bitter and self-righteous? I want to be represented by Christ alone.
In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand