For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36
I hate politics, but not for the usual reasons. I’m not a Democrat who despises all things Republican, nor a Republican who chokes on all things from the left. I dislike politics because I believe it is in a very subtle way hijacking the cause of Christ and his church.
Now, don’t shut me down just yet. Let me explain.
No, I don’t buy into the idea that faith and politics are separate entities. If someone has a thriving faith, that faith can’t help but influence every part of that person’s life, including political leanings. My worry is that the church has bought into the idea that a certain political ideology has the power to do what only Christ can do; furthermore, there seems to be a palpable fear that all will be lost depending upon the outcome of an election.
That line of thinking – that all is over if my guy doesn’t win – is what I take issue with. Suppose with me that your candidate wins this November’s election. What will you gain? A better tax code? Expanded healthcare? The Defense of Marriage Act? Extended unemployment benefits? Depending on which side you stand, some of these would be the end of the world, and for others it would be the beginning.
Let’s assume, though, that after pouring your soul into your guy’s campaign, he wins, and you gain everything he promised you (the world, right!). But I ask you, what have you lost along the way? Your compassion for people? An ability to see the world through the eyes of Christ? The desire to be all things to all people and at peace with all men as far as it is up to you? What about the world’s ability to see Jesus in you?
These are not small things. They are matters of the soul.
My dear brothers and sisters, we cannot afford to gain the world and in the process lose the soul of our calling. If people cannot see Christ in us, then indeed all is lost.
So what am I asking? I’m asking that you vote your political conscience as led by the Holy Spirit of God. In the process of exercising your political conviction, however, please… please, remember that no earthly power is worthy of undying allegiance. That type of commitment belongs to someone far better equipped to keep his promises. He is the one we must uphold above all else and at all costs.
Quite interesting. Faith and politics are intertwined. Faith, of one type or another, is woven with…well, with everything.
S. Thomas Summers (teacher)
Author of Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the American Civil War