Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Presidential People Problem

How important is picking a president? It all depends on who you are:

1. For some people, picking a president is a moral mission to get the right ethical enforcer in the White House. Because the president is right, the nation will be right.

2. For some people, it is a money matter. Their puppet for president is going to do things that will put more money in their pocket (and/or take less out through taxes).

3. For too many people, it is a tribal thing. Because my family/coworkers/church/neighbors vote elephant or donkey, so do I. How else do you explain the ubiquitous, mindless signs and bumper stickers? They seem to me to be tribal markings to keep people in line by saying, "Stick with the group!"

Followers of Jesus should not be found in any of these trance-like pack of zombies. We obey a King, and "our citizenship is in heaven." Our savior-king is coming from there, not from some November ballot (Philippians 2:20).

But here is what I lament: why do so many thoughtful, churched, trained Christians follow the pack instead of Jesus? There is only one explanation that makes sense to me anymore. It is this. Their thoughts, churches and training have been overrun by culture, and they no longer think the thoughts of the Holy One, nor do they read His Book. When they do, the god of this age has blinded their eyes from seeing what is so clearly written. How else do we explain how materialism has colonized church leaders and church priorities? How else do we explain moral superiority when the Good Book teaches us the humility and equalization of our sinful selves? "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"--we all need a savior.

If your hope is in keeping or changing Obama, you are an idolator. In the days of the Hebrew prophet Hosea, the people were pining for human solutions and visible answers and tangible gods they could trust in. Idolatry. That's what Hosea called it. Thats what it was. Thats what it is.

But God gave Hosea a crystal-ball picture of the solution to the plight of his countrymenand ours. There will come a time when we find ourselves leaderless and rudderless. But hear this. This is not a part of the problem. This is the beginning of God's solution (Hosea 3:4). Because, as a result of our disillusionment, we will turn our hearts again to our real homeland, and find our security and prosperity there: "In the last days they will turn in fear to the Lord, and he will bless them" (verse 5).

Our hope is in heaven alone. If Jesus doesn't show up, we are lost in space.

"There are Christians in Myanmar, they meet underground. In Syria, they're killed when they're found. And in Iran the Christians meet up in the hills because it's not safe in the town. So I ask you America where do you stand? Your people are starving, they're killed and their raped, and they're dying in jail cells, so what are your plans? I'm not talking to congress or you politicians, or SuperPacs, lobbyists, or Grover Norquist. I'm addressing this thought to the church" (adapted from Brother Larry)