Sunday, October 21, 2012

What This Election is Really About

In assessing this current presidential election, many of you have suggested we as Christians should cast our vote based on abortion, gay marriage, and the economy. Those are serious issues, but something far more serious is at stake.

As to abortion and gay marriage – we lost the abortion battle in the 70s and 80s when we opted to support elected officials who only gave lip service to the issue. And we lost our position on marriage when (contrary to Jesus’ teaching) the Church found a way to accommodate serial divorce and remarriage. Now, divorce rates are the same for the Church as for society at large, reflecting society’s value of marriage rather than that of Scripture. And not even conservative justices or politicians are willing to risk their appointments or elected careers to un-do Roe v. Wade. Time and the human context have moved on. The day for addressing those issues has passed.

Today, America stands at a precarious moment, and the question we face, both as a nation and as the Church, is, "Will you care for the poor, treat the immigrants among you (legal or illegal) as you treat yourselves, and care for the sick?" This is the question Jesus described in Matthew 25:31ff, the answer to which defines what it means to be a member of the Kingdom of God – a Christian. Those who care for the poor, the stranger, the sick, the imprisoned, are in. Those who don’t, are out. How we as Christians answer politically on those issues determines how we define America and ourselves. The stakes couldn't be higher.

We're at a turning point in history - the turning point. One way - defining America in terms of conservative economic policy and consumerism (idolatry), turns us toward Babylon and the end (Revelation 17ff). The other, defining America as a country of compassion for the poor, sick, and foreign (Matthew 25:31ff) allows the moment to pass and human history to continue. That's what this election is about.

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