Pondering the Polls

Posted: November 5, 2012 in Theology, Things of Faith
An election worker closely examines a Florida ...

An election worker closely examines a Florida punch card ballot from the 2000 US Presidential election for signs of a hanging chad. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is something coming, something dark and ominous. As I hear it, it is apocalyptic! No it’s not Frankenstorm, it’s really a “who.” And that “who” is whichever candidate you didn’t vote for who gets elected president of the United States. Honestly, I am growing weary to the point of tears as to the vitriolic verbiage that has been so loosely thrown around this year. What is even more disconcerting is that Christians are seemingly placing their (eschatological) hope for the future in the billion dollar political office of a professional politician. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of the political ideologies with all their promises and doom-saying. I just don’t buy any of it and I’m not sure why more followers of Jesus don’t get it.

First, I’m ever hesitant to make any political statement in any given context because often times my opinions differ from all sides. The problem with US democratic politics (other than the fact that they do not equate Jesus’ politics) is that they attempt to boil everything down to the least common denominator in order to make every issue an either or question. I’m not sure what world they’re living in but the life I’m experiencing is not that simple. In fact life seems to be a complex equation of variables which are fluid and often change inexplicably. The politics of the nation-state are issue based. And these issues have emerged from trying to live in an ever changing culture according to a document (constitution) written more than 200 years ago. The hermeneutical quandaries this alone raises is mind boggling. Yet the level of hyperbole surrounding the presidential politics remains unnerving.

Second, what I have discovered throughout these many weeks is the tremendous irony of how much North American Christians have drunk (an appropriate term) of this particular cool-aid. I have often railed against the empire and the modern and postmodern cultures of this continent, but to see the church itself divided along US political lines brings to mind the words of the “Lost in Space” robot: “Danger, danger Will Robinson!” Do we really believe that the God is so impotent to put the future of this world in the hands of a political evolutionary process dependent upon human beings? In the words of St. Paul, “May it never be!”

Finally, if we, Jesus followers, are truly concerned with the moral welfare of this nation, wouldn’t it be more effective to faithfully engage the world around us by means other than this political spectrum? It seems to me that the politics of Jesus require the disciple to love neighbors regardless of who they are. And love is a word that we spend a lot of time saying but too little time unpacking. Maybe we should spend more energy on learning to love others and then loving them than we do on propagating the political ideologies of the land. If I remember correctly, the main point of John’s Apocalypse was to exhort the believers to being co-conquerors with Christ through faithful living. Now that’s the apocalypse I’m looking for.

  1. Marla Abe says:

    Good stuff, Andy. I actually saw a post that said this election was more important than the war against good and evil in Revelation. This is not a contest between Satan and God. it is two fallen men from fallen parties who both have strengths and weaknesses.

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