Before We Head to the Polls

So, for the first time in a long time, the primary election in Indiana will have major implications in regards to the presidential race on both sides.

First, doesn’t the idea that two parties basically control the political influence in our nation disturb you?

This election, more than any other in my life time, seems to be highlighting the great political divide within our nation.

Conservatives are rallying behind Trump because he is different from the Republican establishment. Many establishment Republican leaders are trying to say that “no Republican wants Trump to be President.” This shows how out-of-touch with reality they truly are because Trump has been cruising to victories in the Republican primaries. Of course, the establishment doesn’t seem to want Cruz either. John Boehner came out the other day calling Ted Cruz a lunatic, “Lucifer in the flesh” and that “I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” And, that’s John Boehner!

Liberals are “feeling the Bern” because, even though he is a career politician, his platform is different from the Democrat establishment. Many establishment Democrats are trying to discredit Sanders because his platform disrupts their comfort.

Moderate voices, from any political party, are lost in the midst of this extremism.

These different and often polarizing voices are exposing what we already know…the average U.S. citizen is tired of our current system that seeks to protect the already powerful.

Too many Christians mistakenly confuse their political affiliation as part of their theological perspective. They have been convinced that to be an evangelical you have to vote Republican. They have been convinced that to be a progressive you have to vote Democrat.

And, in the midst of this political allegiance, which too often trumps our allegiance to Jesus, we fail to ask ourselves “where do we see the heart of Jesus?” We simply submit to blindly go the way of our political party.

As those of us in Indiana who confess “Christ as Lord” head to the polls, we need to be asking ourselves, “where do we see the heart of Jesus?”

We just might find that we don’t see the heart of Jesus in any of our options. Therefore, we will have to be honest and indicate that we are not voting based upon our faith values, but our political agenda.

“We vote every day for companies, for people, and we put money toward ‘campaigns.’ We need to think of the faces behind the scenes. Who are the masters and Caesars that we pledge allegiance to by the way we live and through the things we put our trust in? We vote every day with our feet, our hands, our lips, and our wallets. We are the vote for the poor. We are to vote for the peacemakers. We are to vote for the marginalized, the oppressed, the most vulnerable of our society. These are the ones Jesus voted for, those whom every empire had left behind, those whom no millionaire politician will represent.”  ― Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

“I have noticed a more drastic shift in the church world and especially in the evangelical church world during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Values of justice and compassion for the poor are now associated mainly with the liberal end of the Christian spectrum (if associated with Christianity at all), while evangelicals are known primarily for political conservatism.” ― Mike Slaughter, Hijacked: Responding to the Partisan Church Divide

“The kingdom of God is neither blue nor red, tea nor coffee! The church must stand in prophetic tension with Constantinian political systems and never underwrite or accommodate itself to a partisan political world order, including American democracy.”
― Mike Slaughter, Hijacked: Responding to the Partisan Church Divide

“We have been seduced by sound bites. It is difficult to imagine how we are going to have an intelligent conversation around complex theopolitical issues as long as the average news consumer in America is willing to be sound-bite driven. We face a sorry state of affairs in our culture when few people seem willing to take the time for nuanced discussion on the complicated challenges we face. Politicians of all parties have been willing to foster this sound-bite mentality because it has worked for them. Most Americans work hard and are faced with too little time and too many distractions to study the issues well enough to make an informed judgment on them. As long as news consumers are willing to be manipulated by sound bites and are unwilling to commit the time to understand the complexities, we will continue to see artificial and simplistic distinctions drive too much of our conversation, resulting in divisions and disagreements that rarely get at the substantive issues.” ― Charles E. Gutenson, Hijacked: Responding to the Partisan Church Divide

“Disagreement itself is not the problem, passionate disagreement is not the problem, rather the inability to put aside disagreement in nonessentials for the sake of Christian unity is the problem.” ― Charles E. Gutenson, Hijacked: Responding to the Partisan Church Divide

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