Dan at Cerulean Sanctum as a thought provoking post on the election. Go read it for an interesting take on how the Obama victory was a victory for truth, just not the truth that most white Christians were focused on. He’s dead on there.
But I want to focus on these nuggets:

The Republican Party has done next to nothing for born-again Christians…
…yet we continue to mindlessly suck at its teat.
… the devotion to the GOP continues to not only bite us but show us as not all that dedicated to our principles.
… We look like sheep in the end. And not the Lord’s sheep, but GOP sheep. Baa on all of us. It’s the old case of fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

I voted republican for a variety of reasons. The big reason I didn’t seriously consider Obama was his stand on abortion. It’s a deal breaker issue, and rightfully so. If we will not stand up for those with, literally, no voice, who will?
But as I watched the campaign unfold and I saw Obama motivate folks that usually don’t participate, as I saw him speak decisively of hope in tough times (much like Reagan did in 1980) and I watched the McCain campaign focus on why Obama is bad and draw lines in the sand with good on one side and evil (and Obama) on the other, I wondered if I was on the right team.
I’ve never been a partisan cheerleader, but I’ve voted Republican nearly every election. I’ve seen many Christians look down on those who’d pull any other lever than the one with the R next to it. (Frankly, I saw the same in a few Obama supporting Christians this time too.) But the Republicans are not Jesus, in fact, I see a lot of Jesus in the Democrats, maybe more than the Republicans.
Are evangelicals willing to step back and see that their marriage to the Republican party has benefited the party much, much more than the cause of Christ (if it was benefited at all)? Will the supporters of Obama learn that lesson and not plant Christ’s flag next to his?
Dan goes on to say this:

The only “Change We Can Believe In” is Jesus Christ. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats offer real change. Anything or anyone else that gets billed as change is a lie.
If want to to see our land healed, then we do what Jesus Christ told us to do in the Great Commission: We make disciples.
Because a nation right with God only comes about through the transformation of human lives by Jesus Christ. And that happens when you and I do the one thing so few of us care to do.
Politics is easy. It takes very little to put up a sign in our yard announcing our choice in candidates.
Evangelizing the world is much tougher, especially in a post-Christian West that has been inoculated against the Gospel by Christians who talk a good faith but who live it haphazardly. Heart change only comes, though, when Christians stop talking about evangelism and actually start doing it. It’s when our walk matches our talk. When our rhetoric matches the Bible and is lived out before the world, then people might sit up and take notice. We have to stop dedicating so much time to erecting our individual kingdoms and spend more time working with the Lord to build His Kingdom His way.

That is absolutely the truth and truth that I often fail at. Championing your favorite candidate may improve the nation a bit or make it worse. It’s not insignificant, but it will not transform the lives of your neighbors or coworkers. We forget that Jesus’ plan was never to bring salvation through systematic change in governance or organizations. Instead he planned that each of us would have the power to transform lives through our submission, obediance, example and witness.
Obama or McCain can not enhance or hinder that. It is of God, effective regardless of the circumstance or power structure. It worked in Christian hostile Rome, it works in the underground churches of China and it works in the USA.
Do we believe that?

11 thoughts on “Real Change

  1. Not that I relish this kind of thing, but once again I find myself agreeing with some of the conclusion without agreeing with the premeses.
    It is about following Jesus. Jesus did not espouse a political solution to anything.
    In regards to the premeses, let’s just say that voters of all ethnicities elected Obama. Turning the election into a racial issue is unfortunate. Further stating that his election is somehow the absolution of racial issues in America is downright embarassing.
    Still, the GOP, the Neo-Cons, and other brands of conservatives have done very little for the Religious Right. Don’t look to Dems to do much more.

  2. You know Pink, if you keep coming around here not agreeing with me 100%, I’m going to keep learning stuff, so keep at it.
    I thought his racial point was valid, but you’re right, the conclusions were far too broad. More than blacks voted for him, absolutely, and most blacks voted for him for more reasons than his skin color (just as few whites refused him for the same reasons) and it’s not the end of the racial struggle.
    Still, I think it’s true that whites may not really understand what this means to blacks. It’s not the end of the struggle, but it’s at least a plateau near the top.

  3. My point is, we don’t necessarily know why anyone of any ethnicity voted for either candidate.
    We could assume that McCain took an estimated 55% of the white vote because white people vote for white candidates. However, that assumes a lot.
    I would like to believe that other factors were involved such as concerns about wealth distribution, support of historical positions McCain held, support of his tax plan, support for the IDEA Act, etc.
    If he gained more than half the white vote simply because of race, I would say that race relations in this country have a long, LONG, *LONG* way to go.
    Substitute black for white and Obama for McCain and I think you’ll get my point. 🙂

  4. I thought about posting on your article re: your daughter’s Most Excellent Remark, but I was disagreeing with the song and didn’t want to take anything away from your daughter.
    (I believe stewardship teaches that we need to save the trees *and* the unborn, so the words would have been, “That save the trees *but* kill the children.”)
    Tying partisanship to discipleship requires a serious amount of picking and choosing and some really strange bedfellows (as Dan implies). We pick dubya because he’s pro-choice (just go along for argument’s sake if that didn’t enter into it for you). We end up killing a bunch of folks in Iraq. Then it gets more twisty, since getting rid of Hussein probably saved a bunch of lives. Except that Hussein was likely VERY anti-abortion and who knows where we’re going to take that country. If, in 50 years, they’ve used their new-found freedom to legalize abortion, isn’t that at least partially dubya’s fault?
    Once a candidate has shown himself willing to lie, everything he says is out the window. For all we *really* know, McCain may be “pro-choice” personally and hasn’t found it expedient to express such. Likewise, I’ve seen indications that Bill Clinton is, or at least was, “pro-life” personally.
    No, pink’s right – following Jesus seems completely orthogonal to politics. Any time they go in the same direction, it’s probably just a coincidence. 🙁
    Ya know – I kinda *liked* the on-the-fly preview thing you used to have… 🙂

  5. Pink – no worries on the double comment. Out of curiosity, how’d it happen? I’ve had issues in the past with the AJAX commenting in this theme on other sites where it looks like your comment didn’t post so you do it again and then it’s there twice.

  6. Mark – Yeah, I miss the preview too, and the formatting buttons. I put a lot of work into that.
    I’m leaning more and more into scrapping this theme, though I like the look, because the commenting thing just isn’t working right. It seems a bunch more complicated for little added benefit.

  7. It takes about 5 seconds for a comment to appear. I apparently couldn’t settle for anything less than instant gratification. 🙂
    I do like the reply to comment feature, though.

  8. Doug,
    A few things:
    1. I am not an Obama supporter. The point of my post was to highlight the hypocrisy of some Christian voters.
    2. I am strongly anti-abortion and always have been. I can’t ever support a candidate of any party who is pro-abortion.

  9. I do not wish to offend. This is the nicest way I know to put this:
    Doug is agreeing with you.
    From the article, you made it quite clear that you are not an Obama supporter and that you cannot vote for anyone (or party) that is anti-abortion.
    I say this because it seems odd to restate what is obvious. Maybe I missed something because I know Doug. Maybe his words give some subtle implication that I missed. If so, I will ask Doug to delete this comment.

  10. Thanks Pink, you’re absolutely right. Re-reading the beginning of my post, however, I can see how it might be construed to imply that Dan supported Obama and was happy about the outcome of the election overall. Of course, that would assume that one didn’t go read Dan’s post and only read mine and made assumptions about Dan based only on what I wrote.
    I find it interesting that the comments here have been more about what I didn’t actually write much about (the role of race in the election and interpreting the outcome) and a bit ironic that, after a post about putting too much value on politics, Dan’s main point in commenting here was about making sure his politics were not misunderstood.
    Not sure what that means, maybe nothing.

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