Lisa and Will Samson wrote a great little book, Justice in the Burbs. Now, Lisa has posted a note on Facebook that she gave permission to share. Her thoughts intend to re-center those of us who follow Jesus and face a “what to do” come November 4 – Election Day. Here is her note,
God’s Will Be Done
A lot of my primary colored friends, both red and blue, are openly endorsing a presidential candidate. It’s their right . . . and . . . I can’t blame them. I’m the gal that seeks to be in a state of reconciliation with my brothers and sisters in Christ, so I normally try to concentrate on what we agree upon.
I’ve seen the political divide do more amputation in the body of Christ than anything else. Now is it true amputation? No. But in the minds of believers, they have, for all practical purposes, cut off brothers and sisters. I’m not willing to go there. Jesus’ last wish before his ascension was that we be one. Does that mean we have to agree on everything? No. But it does say to me, at the very least, I can’t tell you you’re not in Christ or even go so far as saying what one fellow believer said if you don’t vote for his candidate, “As a result, many Christians are no different than non-Christians in their worldviews and their actions.” NO different? Really?
This type of rhetoric is something I abhor. It is cowardly because it immediately says if you disagree, you are not Christlike, and there’s no reason, other than disobedience to God’s word, you could possibly feel that way so you’re not worth talking with. (The “you’re a dumb-dumb” if you don’t agree with me is another popular device but a bit off topic. Just had to get that out there.) Either way, I find no place for these sorts of line in good debate, but especially between Christians.
Because if we declare that those who do not vote with us are not good Christians, they have plenty on their side to support that you’re not either. Abortion, gay marriage are the crying card of the believers on the right side of the spectrum – poverty, war, the death penalty, on the left. If you’re Catholic like I am, you’re really in a twist here, because not only do you decry abortion, but both Pope Benedict XVI and John Paul II (man do I miss him!) declared the invasion of Iraq unjust. Both candidates favor embryonic stem cell research.
What’s a person to do?
Recently I started a group on facebook called “No Matter Who Wins” a call for prayer for whoever is the next President of the United States and, health permitting, fasting the day before and/or of election day. (Can I get an amen that day can’t come soon enough?) I know the wide variety of my friends on facebook, and to see who believes prayer matters, and how diametrically opposed they are to one another politically makes me chuckle warmly, because these days, there’s really only one place all Christians can join together, one posture–on our knees–where we are the same.
So I do not ask you to vote for one person or the other, (in good conscience I cannot vote for either), because by Nov. 5th, we’ll all know, if we believe this from Romans 13 that “there is no authority except that which God has established,” who God put into power. Does that mean everything that person does is God’s will from then on out? I don’t think so. But it can and does give us comfort that God is still in the kingmaking business and we can do what we can, but in the end, the choice is his.
So, instead of telling everyone who God wants, maybe it would be a better choice to say what you can only truthfully say, “This is who I want.” Because God may have reasons you cannot know when putting someone in office. It may be judgment, it may be for peace in a way you can’t now predict. (Hey, nobody expected the Messiah to be a wandering prophet from Nazareth!) And then rest in the fact that God’s will most definitely will be done, and while his choice may not have been yours, comfort yourself that you just tried to do the best you could with the knowledge you were given.
In all of this, let’s keep praying, and not only praying, but seeking each day to follow in the footsteps of our Master, to take his teaching and his example seriously, to love better, live holier, give lavishly, and learn how to be His Body in a way that will be the true healing of our nation.