The current presidential race has certainly stirred a lot of emotion for all kinds of people from all kinds of perspectives.
While I’m still unsure of where I "stand" in the midst of it all, I read a couple things lately that made a lot of sense to me, out of which I’ll make
four three statements that I think I can subscribe to.
A (somewhat) recent blog post from Halden Doerge made a strong point that the rhetoric of both candidates’ acceptance speeches was idolatrous to the core, in that they both put America, or American values in a place that only Christ can occupy. I would be interested to see if anyone can argue differently after reading the post.
A provocative quote from the comments: "I’m not going to choose Baal over Molech just because only one of them requires child sacrifice. Hmm…a surprisingly apt metaphor!"
The second post that caught my attention was one from Scot McKnight that made the basic points that:
- Whoever becomes President, it does not change my assignment as a Christian ("my task as a Christian is to follow Jesus by loving God and loving
others as well as I can. Changing Presidents won’t change that one bit.")
- Neither candidate will usher in the kingdom – only God does this ("my eschatology, or my hope, is not in who will be the next President. I
hope in the power of the gospel that flows from God’s good graces
toward us humans.")
Check out Scot’s subsequent posts on his thoughts on McCain, and his thoughts on Obama. They’re well-balanced and thoughtful, and will likely help you in your decision on who to vote for. One thing I really appreciate about Scot is his ability to facilitate civilized discussion on even the most hot-button topics. His blog is a great example of actual debate about issues that doesn’t descend into personal attacks and polarized hand-grenade throwing.
To summarize, then, I think I can agree with the following propositions:
- Both candidates use idolatrous language to bolster their campaigns.
- My assignment as a Christian is not to vote for a certain candidate, but to love God and neighbor well. Whoever becomes the next President of the United States doesn’t change this assignment at all.
- Neither candidate is as wonderful or horrible as the talking heads want us to think. Neither will usher in the kingdom of God. Neither will cause the end of the world. We will wake up November 5 and our assignment as Christians will remain the same: love God, love your neighbor, preach the gospel.
What do you think?
UPDATE (9/26): Scot wrote a post on Out of Ur that distills his position on this stuff.
Nathan Bubna says
I hadn’t caught either of their acceptance speeches. Disappointing, especially coming from Obama who professes faith in Christ.
Ben Sternke says
Good to hear from you Erin! Hope you guys are doing well.