People, Politics, and Prayer
I have a few thoughts in my brain from the last couple of weeks that I haven’t been able to collect into a post until today. I’m still working on it, so bear with me. I want to touch on a few different topics that have been floating around and grabbing at my attention. I realize that many people will not share my views, and that’s okay… that’s the beauty of living in a free country.
I heard someone this week say, “Can Republicans and Democrats truly be friends. Remember the Bible warns us against walking in darkness.” Keep in mind the person posting this was a Republican. This statement lit a fire inside me that was not easily put out. I was so furious when I read this statement. To assume that someone who doesn’t vote Republican is “walking in darkness” is so ignorant. I am not just saying this because I choose to be more liberal-minded. I am saying this because this is the kind of small-minded statement that gives Christians a bad name to unbelievers across the globe. These are also the kinds of statements that build such establishments as Westboro Baptist Church, and fuel hatred of all kinds. I was beyond disappointed to read this statement from a pastor’s wife…
A few week ago I wrote a couple posts on prayer, and what happens when God says no. Since then I have heard several people say that they believe that God doesn’t say no. I have heard people say that they believe that prayers aren’t answered because you are “saying it” instead of “praying it.” I just don’t think that I agree with either of these things. Hear me out. Sometimes in our lives we get to a point where we don’t know the words to say. In life, we have those close to us that understand what we need when words fail us. In our spiritual life, we have a God that understands us when words fail and we have a Holy Spirit that “intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Romans 8:26)” when words fail.
I understand the idea that if we are just “saying it” then we aren’t praying with our heart, but I believe that sometimes our words just fail. All we can say is “God, I just need this” and God knows that, he hears our heart. Now, about the other thing… God says no.. a lot. He just does. As parents we say no to our children all the time, because we know what the bigger picture is. God says no to us because He knows what the bigger picture is. Plain, simple, easy. Sometimes the answer is just no.
Love bears all things. A friend loves at all times. Love one another. All great sayings that teach us to love. Many people in their quest to find “something” in life, whatever that may be, forget to love one another. Whether you are a Christian or not, you have the ability and calling to love one another. I have relationships in my life that are contingent upon one thing or another. With these people I have to say certain things, do certain things, act a certain way. I have to mind my “p’s” and “q’s” and walk a straight line. I am unable to show all the truth that is myself… the good, the bad, and the ugly, so to speak. With other relationships, I have the freedom to be who I really am. I don’t have to put on a filter. These are true friendships. These are the people who love me, regardless of and in-spite of the scuffs, dings, and rust. These are the people who, knowing the core of my beliefs, love me even if we differ. This is true, unconditional love… the kind of love that Jesus calls us to give. I challenge my readers to offer this kind of love. There is a concept with this kind of love that so many fail to see and understand. Love can differ, love can disagree, but love still loves.
Okay, this is a touchy subject for so many people. This is the topic that splits families, divides countries, and causes great men to fail at simple things. Many people forget, when talking politics, that the world isn’t black and white. Grey clouds the corners of our lives at every turn. I am not a person that votes strictly on party, I, personally, think that this is a very unwise decision. I am also not a person that votes on religious preference. I am, however, a person that seeks God in all I do. I pray… a lot. I believe that many of the matters that have become such hot button issues such as abortion, gay rights, etc., are simply civil rights issues and do not have a place in the middle of debates. These are not the issues that should be determining who we vote for on election day. They are, simply, civil rights issues and denying these rights is to deny someone a civil liberty. Do I agree with abortion? No, personally, however I know many women who have endured the pain of abortion. These women face a pain, daily, that I will never in my life understand. This is a pain beyond losing a child. I do not have to agree with abortion to know that a woman has the right to do with her own body what she chooses. I do not have to be gay to understand that a gay person has as much right as I do to find love. Christians will say that homosexuality is a sin… is it a sin different from any other sin in someone’s life? NO! If you believe what the Bible says then you know that ALL SIN IS EQUAL.
But here’s the facts: these are civil rights issues. Plain and simple. In 50 years these will be no different from the history we read on segregation by skin color. 50 years ago, black people were murdered, beaten, and publicly degraded because someone decided it was a sin to be black and fought to keep people of this race from having a civil right to equality.
A few weeks ago I posted on my Facebook page “I heart Bill Clinton”… I do. Regardless of his moral convictions and mis-steps, he did great things for our country. He was a good president. Does this make me immoral? Does this mean that I devalue women? Does this mean that I devalue myself? No. Never.
Personally, I believe that we should abolish the party system in our country. I believe that candidates should run on the issues, their past voting records, and truth. 🙂
So, that’s about it. My thoughts. I know that in this part of the country, I am greatly in the minority. But, I also know that the Jesus that I serve, loves me just as much as he love the Bible-thumping, scripture-screaming, finger-pointing, Christian down the road. I also know that Jesus knows my bleeding-liberal-peace-and-love-tree-hugging heart, and loves me not just in-spite of that, but he loves me BECAUSE of that.
I welcome your thoughts and comments.