Evangelicals and the Election, Part 3 of 3
No matter who is voted into office tomorrow, Christians must unite behind our new President-elect, and prayerfully move forward together with him as we deal with the major issues and crises that currently face our nation.
We should thank God that we live in a free Republic, in which we are able to hold our political leaders accountable by way of the electoral process. We should celebrate that we are allowed to vote any way we choose. And, as this series has attempted to show, there are good reasons for people (even evangelicals!) to vote for each of the candidates.
We also should celebrate that we have the right to freely speak – we can criticize and/or celebrate what our leaders are doing. But this is where things need to change…
As Christian citizens of the United States, we should see ourselves as a part of a society where people of different ideologies, religions, and political parties must co-exist and even work together for the common good. If your candidate does not win tomorrow, you will have to get over it and commit to working with the candidate that did win. Politics, by its very nature, is a give-and-take; it is about forging compromises so that we can make decisions for the country as a whole.
Special Interests are not what run the government. An interest group just pushes for one thing, regardless of how it affects other issues and people, and without ever having to deal with the demands that other people raise. Paul Marshall writes in his must-read book God and the Constitution: Christianity and American Politics, “A genuinely democratic politics means that decisions should, in principle and in practice, be accountable to all the population: Greenpeacers and forestry workers, New Yorkers and Californians, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and atheists.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4). Evangelical Christians have mistakenly and haughtily believed that their current political interests are in the best interests of everyone else in the country. However, how many of the issues that we see evangelicals fighting for are actually more about protecting themselves from their perceived threats in a secular and/or pagan society? And, more telling, how can evangelicals be so pompous as to think that they have all the right answers? Our history has shown that we often get it wrong. A lot.
I am also sickened by how ugly our nation has become over politics. And what is even more sickening is how we evangelicals have been dragged down into the scum of it all. Radio talk show hosts and cable television talking heads spew the most hateful, disgusting, and slanderous lies, and instead of Christians separating themselves from such slander, some have embraced it and even emulated it. This should not be.
What I fear is that if Obama is elected, he will be demonized by the Religious Right, and if McCain is elected, he will be demonized by the Religious Left. This has got to stop. We need to quit buying what the hate-filled partisan sleaze machines are selling, and instead move above it, showing the character of Christ.
Partisan punditry not only hurts our Christian witness, it also hurts our country.
Read all three part of this series:
Part 1: Reasons Why Evangelicals Should Vote for MCCAIN
Part 2: Reasons Why Evangelicals Should Vote for OBAMA
Part 3: McCain or Obama ? - A Plea for Unity