The Evangelical Wrong and Setting Things Right

The title of this blog post sounds more like a research paper than a blog entry. I understand that, and I perceive our patience for this kind of thing is running out especially since the election is over. (When I initially wrote this it said: since we are weeks away from an election where a good chunk of the population will be watching). At this point I’m not sure our patience has run out.

If you can’t tell by the title I’d like to address a point of time: maybe it started during the Zionist movement, maybe it started during the rise of the Moral Majority, maybe it started as far back as the birth of the nation, and to some maybe it started when the realization dawned on people that a lot of Evangelicals would vote Republican if they had a literal donkey running for office.

Much better articles than this have addressed how we got here, waiting in the aftermath of an election, that surprised and infuriated many. Others have already written persuasively about who you should vote for and why you shouldn’t have voted for a specific candidate. My conscience allowed me to vote 3rd party. There are likely even articles addressing the mistake I would like to briefly address here, which is this:

We or at the very least a significant portion of the Body (that is the Church, the Bride, the Beloved redeemed of God) in America got caught up by a leavening agent called the political system and put far too much hope in it. And if the Church put too much hope in it, one can only imagine how much hope others have put in it.
But here is the thing about leaven. Leaven makes things rise, it makes things boil over and in some cases, it ferments. Leaven has the potential to make us drunk, no longer sober to reality, while becoming un-empathetic to the plight of actual human beings, breathing around us, who are just like us, sinful. We got caught up so bad that some Christians thought the Spirit of God was and is so limited in scope that God could only change the heart of only one of the two choices likely to be president of  a nation. Believing that is wrong. It’s a lie. God was and is still bigger than both/all candidates. Furthermore, God is far better than them. Maybe you know that. Or maybe you doubt His existence. I voted for neither candidate, yet still believe that.
Now before I get accused of advocating for indifference or wasting my voting privilege (since this is a blog written by an actual person) can I tell you some secrets about me that aren’t very scandalous? Well, if not, I’m going too anyway:
I have stood in front of the Capital building and abortion clinics with life tape on my mouth praying for the right to life. I probably still would do it if I was a part of a community that was passionate about that sort of thing. Why? Because, I literally believe that everyone, if they can live, should live and that God would sustain those who need help raising or in some cases choosing to give the care of their child over to someone else. I believe the reward outweighs the risk, it is a faith issue and a mercy issue.
I have also been a part of a very odd business casual attire prayer meeting with as many as 3 senators with countless other politicians and advisors in Washington DC, 7 or so years ago, that was broadcast live on the internet with commercial breaks. I’ll be honest I didn’t understand it, but I was there and would probably go again. While there, I experienced moments of great emotion in prayer that seemed like it made some impact, but I mostly left the meeting, suspicious of why many of the politicians were there.
Can I be honest about one more thing? I have never regretted praying for the nation in which I live, the politicians that govern it, the right to life, or the sanctity of marriage. I have regretted most conversations I’ve ever had about politics being the difference or deciding factor for our lives, or trying to convince someone it’s more of a life issue than a choice issue. I even have some regrets over conversations agreeing to stand beside the LGBT community in regards to full rights regarding civil unions with the compromise not to demonize the Church in regards to their stance on the institution of marriage.

Why do I regret it?  Because certain battles were never meant to be waged with physical wars, words or legislation.

There is one battle, however, that the apostles were convinced should be waged with words. They themselves called it foolishness. The foolish words they spoke of entailed the proclamation of the gospel, more specifically, the message of Jesus resurrected from the dead, defeating death so humanity could forever live with Him, which ironically used to embody what it meant to be Evangelical. Evangelicals should be and were inclined to talk about the good news that reconciliation through Jesus Christ has offered to the world not the proposed legislation we wish to subject the world to, in order to make them act like a law abiding citizen. Legislating right living, ironically, is linked to the other leavening agent Jesus warns of:  religious fanaticism, a performance based salvation. Because that’s the thing about leaven, leaven has the potential to make us drunk, no longer sober to reality, becoming un-empathetic to the plight of actual human beings, breathing around us, who are just like us, sinful.
The gospel however, when in fact good news is distributed liberally (excuse the term) because Jesus sees our plight, became an actual human being, breathing around us, and felt we were too valuable to lose all the while knowing He, sinless, was our only hope.
I pray for courage, that Christians would be foolish enough to proclaim the gospel, a gospel that the apostle Paul himself called the foolishness of God. God chose to let His son, who happened to be God, die, then raise to life, as His plan to rescue mankind from our own foolishness, choosing the slavery that is sin/evil/hatred/darkness/rejection/apathy, whichever word you prefer. I pray for a message so simple and clear that children will receive, yet so overwhelmingly saturated with love that it flows from our lips, even if it makes us send like we know nothing about the political system or the climate of the country.
Beware of the leaven of politics
Beware of the leaven of fanatics
We want a love for Jesus
Not Theatrics
(Paraphrased from Mark 8:15)

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