38.4 million, 37 million, 38.9 million, those are the numbers of people who tuned into Barak Obama’s, Sarah Palin’s, and John McCain’s nomination acceptance speeches. Obviously a bit of interest in the political arena this year. For some it’s politics; for others it’s just entertainment. For some it’s a life and death, good vs. evil, battle; for others it’s a rhetorical farce, that always promises more than it can deliver.
I go back and forth, one day the political process seems really important. The next it seems more like a sit-com. Now hear me on this, in my heart of hearts, I believe that Jesus-followers should be involved in every area of life, including politics. I love what Abraham Kuyper (the theologian/politician — yes that is a potential combination!) once said, “In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign,does not declare,’That is mine!’” Through the years God has used people like Kuyper and Wilberforce to do great good through the political process.
Buuuut… as Jon Ortberg suggests… for a moment, imagine with me a scenario where in one election we elected all the “correct” people (not right because sometimes people on the right are not the correct people) to every office in the land. President, Congress, governors, all the way down to city council and Penn State trustee board. Let’s imagine that all those people put into place all the best possible policies, from tax codes to zoning and immigration laws, from crime bills to economic policies. In one term, we got 100% good government.
Would that usher in the good life?
Would the hearts of the parents be turned toward their children?
Would all marriages be models of faithful love and the divorce rates plummet?
Would greed be legislated out of existence?
Would all athletes become models of character?
Would internet porn go broke?
Would you finally become the woman or man you know you ought to be?
In case you don’t know the correct answer…it’s no. It will take a different administration to see that happen. That’s what Jesus meant when he said — again and again — Good News! The Kingdom of God is at hand. Ultimately it’s neither “Country First” nor the hope that “We Can Do It” that will change a life. It’s the good news of a nearby administration called the Kingdom of God.
So get involved in the political process, from the left or the right. At the very least pray. But here’s my take-away — in the process don’t take yourself, or your party, or your candidate so seriously. But take God very seriously.