Photos: Getty Images & ShutterStock , Illustration: Dillen Phelps
Do you remember the days of getting on that roller coaster ride and as it started to crank you up, up, up… You know that feeling you get in your stomach as the old wooden roller coaster clicks you up and the people below seem to be shrinking in size? You began to think and maybe even said out loud… “Get me off this thing!!” Well, that describes this political season we find ourselves in as Americans. That moment you think, “can it get any worse”?…. And, sadly, it somehow does continue to grow worse. And, unfortunately, I fully expect the worst is yet to come. :-)
I watched, I mean, I endured the Presidential debate last night. I must like self punishment because I watched the majority of all three of the debates. (Full disclosure – Debate was on the TV and I watched the Cub playoff game on the computer. Cubs won 10-2!) If you didn’t watch the debate, you have my respect.
Three debates….. Now that it is all over I have these thoughts.
- I know of no one, not one who is excited about the person they are voting for. Clinton, Trump, 3rd Party, and those who have decided they will not vote…. I am sure there are those who are excited about their candidate, I just have not met that person.
- There are no winners in this race. Yes either Clinton or Trump will eventually win the Presidency, but I do believe that we Americans will lose.
- There was nothing new and nothing informative about the debate. What do you remember from the debate? What did you learn? How are you more informed about either candidate’s policies that will help you in the voting booth? It is true that this last debate had more policy questions, but did you actually walk away better informed?
- We have reached a new “low” in Presidential debates, politics, and in our political process. This election season seemed to have the feel of a reality TV show where all the candidates will eventually get voted off the Island. Join us on November 8th to see who will be the last man / woman standing.
- Is anyone on either side of the political aisle inspired by their candidate? Or, for the most part, is everyone thinking…. “get me off this ride?”
It is also interesting to see the division this candidacy has created among God fearing, Bible loving, Christians. Since the Republican party has sought to be the party that “courts” the Evangelical vote, sought to be a party of historical Christian morality, pro-life, etc…., it is concerning to see the vitriol of positions.
- Some say: “I could never vote for Donald Trump.” And a long list of immoral behaviors and spoken words are expressed to support that opinion.
- Others say: “I would rather not vote for Trump, but I will because in doing so I want my vote to count for the unborn and the future Supreme Court Justices.”
- Some say, “I just can’t vote for any of the candidates”
- Some will vote for a 3rd party candidate so that that party will emerge and be heard in the future.
- I say: “Please get me off this ride!”
Now, I do have an opinion on the above, but I am not convinced blogs and Facebook posts or the like are an effective means to share that opinion. Perhaps a mutually respectful chat over coffee in which views are allowed and accepted would be a better option.
(I had one such discussion with a brother in the Lord, just yesterday. We disagreed on how we will approach election day, but that made absolutely NO difference in our friendship, respect for each other, and the one thing that matters most = the Gospel!)
So, yes, I do have an opinion but, more importantly I have an important reminder for the Christian. Yes, we ALL probably want off of this ride, but once that roller coaster pulls away and begins to ascend there is no getting off! Sorry!
Therefore, I think it might be best to remind us of a few things as November 8th draws near:
- We can hold different opinions without being divided!
The Christian is united in Christ. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. This means we should pray and seek God and have a conviction. Do what you do based on that conviction. We are all seeking to be lead by the Lord. And that may mean we have different opinions, but that must NEVER mean we are divided. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a greater unifier than politics are a divider.
Ask yourself: Is this political season dividing you from brothers and sisters? If so, you have functionally made the gospel smaller than politics and that needs to change immediately.
How big is your gospel?
- This is not your home! Eventually this ride will end and we will have a new president of the United States. Yes, I live in the USA. I am grateful, I am thankful for those who have served and are serving our country! I love America, BUT…this is not your home. Christian, we are just passing through this world.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
(Philippians 3:20-21 ESV)
- We belong to another Kingdom!
- Called out of the darkness that surrounds us by the mercy of God, we now belong to him.
- Yes, I am a citizens of America, but even more so, I (and most of you reading this blog) are citizens of God’s kingdom.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
(1 Peter 2:9-12 ESV)
- This is a great day for Gospel advancement!
- It was from prison that Paul joyfully penned the letter to the Philippians. PRISON! I find Paul’s perspective from prison stirs my faith. Think about it: Difficult times were the catalyst for gospel advancement.
- And so I / we must pray: “God, thank you for this roller coaster ride, help me to see it with eyes of faith. Help me to burn with a passion to see the lost come to know you. Help me to know you are Sovereign in it all!
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
(Philippians 1:12-14 ESV)
- God is still God – He is Sovereign!
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
(Proverbs 21:1 ESV)