Friday, December 7, 2012
How to Respond to the Election Results – Part 2
My last post began my exploration of how I should respond to the election results. Although my predictions were mostly correct, the election results were not what I wanted. My first thought is to withdraw from most political activities.
As stated in my last post, my main concern is not really for the United States of America, but for the kingdom of God. My first goal is to see that kingdom expanded and strengthened by helping to make more and better Christians. My first goal isn't to make the USA stronger by making better citizens.
Yet I have strong stands on issues, both social and financial issues. The debt Congress is piling up, with the Administration's encouragement and blessing, is simply unsustainable, and will eventually bring the generations of my children and grandchildren to their knees, or force them to repudiate the debt and sink to the status of a second-class republic. This to me is the key issue of the present time, not social issues. If I were going to spend time on politics, this would be the right place to spend it.
That's not to say that I don't have strong opinions on social issues. I hate abortion, the killing of innocent babies while still in their mother's womb. I will always vote against abortion. But abortion is legal, and has been legal long enough now that judges consider it "settled law." It isn't going away. We lost that battle over the last forty years. Lynda and I are beyond the child bearing years. But when we were still in them, having abortion legal made no difference in our choices. And it would make no difference today. Abortion would not have been an option. In this regard, how beautiful is the choice that Todd and Sarah Palin made not to abort their Down syndrome fetus, even though they legally could and even though some 90 percent of such fetuses are aborted. Their ethical, moral act shines like a beacon on a hill.
I am not in favor of the homosexual agenda, including such things as same-sex marriage. I will always vote against such measures. But, should it be legalized, how does it affect me? I will continue with the same moral stand I've always had. When questioned about my beliefs, I will give them without apology, and will always vote against such measures. But I won't be advocating concerning them.
This election we voted in Arkansas on whether to legalize medical marijuana. I voted against it, joining the 55 percent of the state who voted it down. But had it passed, how would that affect me? I suppose some potheads will fake illnesses and get it for non-medical purposes. They might even smoke and drive. The roads may become more dangerous. My chances of being killed or hurt in an auto accident may go up from one in a million to one in 990,000 (or whatever the right statistic is). But I'm not going to smoke an hallucinogenic substance, any more than I would drink liquor, just because it's legal. And I would think that not taking part in these legal activities because of an ethical stand would work in favor of influencing people for the kingdom of God.
What I'm trying to say is that to legislate a number of these social issues so that they align with the dominant evangelical Christian position is to make my commitments someone else's obligations. It is to force Christian behavior on someone. That doesn't strengthen the kingdom of God, in my opinion. It actually dilutes it. How much better it is to have Christians behaving in these moral and ethical ways, and to let those good deeds shine as lights in a dark world. The more evil the world, the more brightly will shine those deeds of righteousness and moral stands.
So my response to this election will be to return to having the kingdom of God as my main concern. I won't shed any political opinions, but if the USA wants to move into a post-Christian or anti-Christian era, knock themselves out. The church and the kingdom will be strengthened. I will not be diminished or moved.