The US Presidential election of 2008 has become similar to the US Presidential election of 2000 in that there has been a sharp divide between “conservatives” and “liberals” over the single issue of abortion. This amidst the backdrop of the first ever black Presidential nominee and an American POW and there’s no doubt why there is so much intensity.
As a Christian, I don’t resonate with “conservatives” or “liberals” in the current political landscape. Both seem too polarized, too divided, too focused on “their” issues, unable to see beyond “their party” to have a desire to make any kind of significant difference in the world.
So before I offer the title of this entry, another perspective, I’d like to state these core beliefs…
- I believe that abortion is Biblically wrong.
- I believe that marriage is Biblically defined by one man and one women.
- Theses two beliefs are woven into my Christian faith.
Now for another perspective.
I think we as Christians get so wrapped up in “our issues” we selectively rank, order and even at times discard other issues. We have put aside specific things Christ talked about throughout His ministry; countless parables, lessons and actions. And I have to believe He did these things, because they were intrinsically important to His Father. He ministered to the poor, healed the sick, forgave the prostitute and picked a ragamuffin group of ministry-inexperienced fishermen to help change the world.
The consistent reaction I receive from Christians when I talk about issues of poverty, AIDS, the death penalty, genocide or countless other social issues in the states and abroad is a reaction of raised eyebrows, rolled eyes and large gasps.
“But what about abortion Danny?”, “What about gay marriage?”
And to that I ask, “What about everything else?”
Jesus’ ministry and his commands were as wide as they were deep. As a Christian my heart stirs for more than just “one issue”. I long for people to experience change, redemption, renewal and growth through the personal work of Jesus.
So as I have explored and researched the candidates this year, watched and read the political fodder, searched my heart and prayed for some clarity, I have found in fact, very little. One thing I am certain of however is this…
I believe my vote should be similar to the breadth and depth of the ministry of Christ.
Some within the Christian community might label this perspective as “emergent” and immediately categorize it as perspectives similar to Rob Bell, Tony Campolo or Shane Claiborne. I would say in response, “You’ve missed the point…again.”
I’m under no illusion that my perspective will change anyone’s vote or cause them to “abandon party lines” but that is not my purpose. My purpose is to offer another perspective so that after this election, when the yard signs are taken down, the news stations are covering something else and we resume our lives post-election, we can look at the world around us through the eyes of Christ. And do so, not with a narrow focus, but with eyes that see humanity, eyes that see compassion, love, forgiveness and justice beyond the tiny compartmentalized bubble we call “our life.” I hope we can begin to care far beyond our suburbs, $5 latte’s, and Saturday soccer games.
This year I will not vote on one or even two issues alone.
I welcome your thoughts and opinions.