Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A few thoughts... off the cuff

I'm just going to type. I'm not going to edit and I'm not going to try to be politically correct. I'm just going to type what's on my heart. I'm typing as a person, not a pastor's wife, ok? Ok.

Congratulations to Barack Obama and all who supported him. He has a hard road ahead and I pray - sincerely pray - for this man and his family.

I am so proud of John McCain. He is a true American hero in so many ways. His speech made me proud. He had a hard job to step out from President Bush's shadow. He may be old and may not be the great debater or the wonderful orator that his challenger is but he has served this country for more years than I've been alive and I thank him.

Now, here is what troubles me: In my mind, the Christian community (as I see it) has had a wake-up call in the past week. Why? Because here are some of the statements I've heard from people:

"I've never been more excited about anything in my life"

"There is hope in the world now"

"I've never been more proud to be an American"

There are more statements, but I think you get my point. How sad is it that people are more excited about an election than they are about the God of the universe? Pretty sad and pretty sobering.

I'm not disputing that there is reason to celebrate if you were one of the millions who supported Obama throughout this campaign. But when people begin to hang their hopes and general happiness on one man and that man is not Jesus Christ, that - to me - says more about the ineffectiveness of evangelical Christianity than anything. We are worried about foreign missions (and when I say "we" I say "me" because yes, I am passionate about it) and yet our brothers and sisters next door have to wait on a presidential election to be more excited than they've ever been in their lives.

Christianity has gotten a bad name of late, and I think we've earned it. To be a Christian is to be a Christ-follower and I'm not seeing a whole lot of evidence that the vast majority of people who call themselves a Christian know Christ well enough to pull that off. For too long, we've relied on occasional church attendance and an icthus sticker on the back of our car to change the world.

It ain't working.

And as far as the abortion issue goes, let me be clear: Overturning Roe vs. Wade is not going to save the unborn. I won't go into it any further than that right now because I have a little munchkin pulling on me to "come cuddle", but there is more to say. Well, ok, I WILL say that as a pastor (of sorts), I have "counseled" and prayed with people devastated and torn apart by the pain and regret of abortion. I've yet to run across ONE person who does not painfully regret the decision to abort.

Do you understand that? Legislation is not the hope of the world. Barack Obama and John McCain and Sarah Palin are not the hope of the world. Jesus Christ is the one true hope of the world. I believe that with all of my heart.

And let me just touch on the issue of homosexuality. The hatred and fear that Christians are purporting towards the gay community is not working for us. Sorry. It sure isn't drawing anyone to Christ. I'm gonna say something that is going to make a lot of my Christian friends very uncomfortable: I love my gay friends. I do. They know where I stand and what I believe - but they also know that I love them. I'm more interested in them KNOWING Jesus Christ than I am in exiling them. Because you know what? He's worth knowing.

And as far as the economy - man, I really don't want to be a socialist nation. I used to be a fierce democrat because I was such a blindly compassionate person. Then, one day my friends John and Lorna Pyka said "yeah, that's great to give money to the poor from all o these programs, but where is the money coming from?" "Why, from the government, of course!" was my reply. Ha! It comes from the working Americans. Ok, ok - according to biblical principals, we SHOULD be feeding and clothing the poor. But I believe it should come from the church and from individuals. I don't want the suits in Washington deciding who and where my money goes to, ok? I want to be led by the Spirit of God about that. I want to have enough of my paycheck (whenever I start making money again, ha ha) left over to be able to bless people as the Lord leads. I agree wholeheartedly with my husband that a legitimate third party needs to emerge, because neither one of the 2 main ones is cutting it for me right now. If you work, you should be able to keep most of your money. The church needs to do it's job but it can't if no one is able to give to the church because the government has all of the people's money. Make sense?

Here's the way I see it now. I have an opportunity and it's a golden one. Instead of relying on legislature and a leader who doesn't even know I exist to make decisions on my behalf, I can wake up and start making a difference right where I am. The ripple that my life creates right here will become a gnarly wave elsewhere. When I walk in LOVE and walk in the Spirit, I can be a salve to a hurting heart.

So, I am not downcast - I am encouraged. God's Word will not return void. He will do what He said He would do. I can either be a part of it or I can complain and moan. I can either be a part of it or I can look to a man-made leader to legislate my beliefs.

I encourage anyone and everyone to read my husband's blog:
It's wonderfully written and he's really smart. :-)

I love you all. I really do. We may not all agree on every issue, but that's ok.

God bless.

I just realized I left out something very important. Other comments that troubled me, but on the other side of the coin:

"We are all screwed"
"Life is over as we all know it"
"The sky is falling"

Yeah, those aren't helpful, either!


Maci said...

two thumbs up! You are an amazing writer that writes from the heart, not to impress people but to get your word across, whether people like it or not. Not every christian will agree with every other christian, but some don't speak their minds like you did in this blog. bravo my friend, bravo.

P.S. I like my gay friends too! hehe

Mary said...

Well put Beth. I agree totally. I am often amazed by the ignorance of people who claim to have the mind of Christ. When you get a minute check out Owen's blog... then click on Owen.

We have so much much to look forward to. We have a God who knows when we chip our nails and enough resources to keep us well without healthcare reform.