Posted by loswhit in Culture

Self Righteousness.
Anger.
Pride.

These are some of the things that the election brought out in me.

Instead of praying for a politician who is not a Christian, I belittled his religion.
Instead of ignoring people publicly bashing on me I retweeted them so that they could be eaten alive by those who believe like I do.

It was ugly and even though I had moments of holiness where God’s spirit took out my sin and replaced it with His love, most of my moments were filled with my humanity failing miserably.

I honestly believe that God Himself cried over the division of His bride and the sins that were brought out because of how closely our hearts are tied to politics and how little faith we have in His provision and protection.

So what do we do?
Love each other for 3 1/2 more years only to rip each other apart for 6 months after that?
No.
This can’t be the solution.
Here is what I suggest.

1. Start praying for your heart and the heart of the Christian community now. Pray that there is unity in Christ even when there is a difference of political opinion.
2. Realize that your blogs, tweets, or Facebook posts ARE PROBABLY NOT going to convince anyone to change their mind. So your thesis on your political opinion may be better used as kindling for your fire.
3. Find a friend who is passionately voting in the other direction, and have regular conversations with them to keep you balanced. My friend Esther was that for me. She loves Jesus. And she loves politics. The two can actually exist together. Politics are not bad. They actually can be used for good. Find someone who represents the “other side” well.
4. Replace the passion for a president for a passion for the lost.
This may be the most southern baptist statement I have ever written. I believe that the true change in our community will come when people come to know Jesus. Not when a certain political figure gets elected.  Presidents are important.  I voted.  But Jesus is SAVIOR.

So those are just some thoughts.
What are some things you have learned in the process about yourself and how can we be better next time?
Los

  • Lee Ellzey

    Shared similar thoughts with a friend just yesterday. Thanks for getting this message out to thousands!

  • Jesse

    My church participated in election day communion (electiondaycomunion.org). It was an amazing time of making sure we are centered on the cross and the call of Christ. It was a beautiful opportunity to remember Jesus and our true kingdom. We also spent time praying for President Obama and Governor Romney and their families. It was awesome.

    • http://www.house-of-stone.blogspot.com Jenn

      Love this!

  • http://www.littlephilz.com Phil

    I was quite amazed with how crazy my twitter feed became once Obama was re-elected… Mostly at the fact Christians quarrelling with each other. I am from the UK so couldn’t vote of course. But I would always vote for those who have the better biblical morals.

    Romney was gracious in defeat and told us we should pray for Obama… We should all be like this… No matter who might have been elected.

    At the end of the day The Lord knows what’s best so we cannot argue with that.

  • http://www.parenthoodexperiment.blogspot.com Auntie J

    I’ve had similar thoughts. I have long said that it never fails to amaze me how vicious Christians can be to each other.

    I made it a point to stay out of the political fray on my blog and on Facebook. It just doesn’t do any good. If I posted anything of even the slightest political nature, it’s been about my disgust with the whole political machine (and equally bashing both parties). It’s not worth the heartache, the headache, and the possible severe division in the family (I have relatives staunchly on both sides of the aisle) to engage in word battles about politicians and issues. It’s not worth my own personal disharmony.

    I run a free browser add-on for Facebook that allows me to filter out posts and put them in separate tabs. That way, if I feel like reading a political rant, I can go look. If not, I can ignore it. I can also hide the images that the filter misses. I “liked” very few political posts over the course of the last six months.

    For me, I’ll continue to do what I’ve done this year: pray, consider the evidence of historical records for candidates, determine in my heart who I think will best fill the elected position, and vote my heart. I’ll stay out of political rants that I know will do me no good. I will respectfully disagree with those who oppose me, and if it’s clear the respect will not be returned, I’ll extricate myself from the conversation. I have nothing against a good debate with someone whose views are different from mine; I just want us both to walk away respecting each other and not putting our friendship in danger. Generally, I’ll stay out of political discussions so that I don’t accidentally trip a verbal land mine. It’s just not worth it.

    And above all, I will remember the two most important things:

    1. No matter who gets elected where and to what, Jesus is King.
    2. “No matter who you vote for, you’re always going to wind up with a politician.” ~Will Rogers

  • Tim

    Also, producing better graphics could help.

  • Alicia

    I heard so much “Doomsday” hype from Christians that I spent one evening bawling my eyes out with fear and anxiety.

    A week later? I signed off Facebook for awhile and only check the news once a day. TO be sure, I am concerned and I am wondering what will happen next. But I need to step away from the hype. It fuels anger, rash words, and statements that give more people reason to think we are “crazy christians.” It’s not about putting my head in the sand. It’s about watching Jesus who, “for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.”

    No matter the President, no matter the Congress, no matter the journey ahead … Christians have a responsbility to love and to laugh and to hope – because there’s a irreplaceable joy ahead that cannot be shaken.

  • http://wkevingilbert.me/ Kevin Gilbert

    Wise words. Thanks for putting them out there. I know I don’t always agree with your position. I was not, nor am I now, an Obama supporter. (Well, I support him as he is the President of the United States, but I did not, nor would I, vote for him.) But, while I don’t always agree, I tend to give you the benefit of the doubt because you’ve shared enough, about your entire life, that I believe your heart is in the right place. I believe you share what you share because you truly want to make a difference, want to be a difference. You’ve challenged me, you’ve encouraged me, you’ve pissed me off, you’ve aggravated me…but at the end of the day, I want to know what you think because I value you. Your insight, your perspective…they’re different from mine. For me to grow and learn and be able to make and be a difference, I need people like you. Keep it up.

  • http://jonnmcdaniel.com Jonn McDaniel

    I love talking politics (and religion/theology). It is an important expression of our freedom. That being said, the level of vitriol spewed by people on both sides was tiring at the least. Post after post, Christians proclaimed if (fill in either candidate’s name) won the election, we were doomed as a nation and it was most likely to be the beginning of the apocalypse….

    Similarly, I have seen the same thing regarding posts about religion/theology. If someone believes (fill in any opposite theological/social beliefs) then they are on the slip-n-slide past Atheists to Hell….

    Both in politics and religion, all of us (regardless of where we are politically or theologically) must choose between a lifestyle of GRACE and a lifestyle of JUDGEMENT. We must choose to let go of that plank we don’t like in another person’s eye, let go of the stone in our hand, and we must choose to gift grace. It’s just that simple–I didn’t say it was “easy”–but simple.

    I suck at sharing grace far too often, but I have decided to make living a lifestyle of grace the main plot in my story. This plays out in anything I post, but intentionally in my political and religious/theological posts. To answer you question more specifically, let’s just refuse to post something if it’s not encouraging more grace to be gifted to each other.

  • Ana

    My husband and I are youth pastors and with that title there seems to be political “expectations”. Not that we care much :)
    Thank you for this…if only more pople focused on the fact that it’s ALL ABOUT JESUS. He IS and will ALWAYS be King, regardless of whether or not we have “holiness” in the White House. There are lost souls and “untouchables” wandering while we bicker about the elections.
    Loved this.

  • airlantiss

    As my pastor said yesterday being an American citizen is only my secondary citizenship. First and foremost I am a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. Presidents and politics come and go but God and His kingdom are forever. So, I will continue to pray and keep my eyes more on God and less on the world and endure whatever comes good or bad with knowledge that it is fleeting.

    • http://www.bobmiller.com Bob Miller

      Beautifully Said!

  • http://www.mysinglemomadventure.com Jennifer

    Awesome post and so very true! This is definitely something I should be working on.

    Whether or not I understand why this election turned out the way it did, I need to remember that God is in control. And, I need to pray for (instead of continually bash) those that are in leadership.

  • David

    My rule about political discussions is this: Only in person. It’s much more difficult to look someone in the eye and call them names / belittle them for their political beliefs. In my opinion, Facebook and other social media have driven huge divides in our country simply because it’s easy to run someone down from the relative safety of the internet.

  • http://www.thecityshouldbedifferent.com Paul Pettefer

    I voted. But Jesus is Savior!

    My insight this year comes from the Black minister friends I’ve been hanging out with more this year. I’ve discovered that apart from relationship, it’s really hard to do anything except exchange monologues when people have core, identity issues that are not the same.

    And that it’s nearly impossible to have a discussion on the internet about anything volatile, or where people get their feelings hurt easily.

    paul

  • Kimberly

    I discovered how I wrestle with God’s permissive will or what He allows and His sovereignty. When something happens, in this case, politicians, whose character, faith and decisions conflict with mine, get voted into office.

    I seem to forget that the end result – the politician is now elected – was a surprise to God. Really? Not really. He knew. My next question then is ~ What is God hoping I get from this? What is He saying to believers? Is He asking something of us?

    He clearly has something for us to do in our hearts. He’s not surprised by the results of the 2012 election.

    What do I do with His allowing the result? That’s my big takeaway

    • yankeegospelgirl

      Aslan says that things always work the way they are intended to. I think God simply chose not to intervene with the way the country is going because he allows fallen men to have free will. Our response should be one of courage, resolve, and willingness to be reviled for our beliefs. Above all, we must not despair.

  • http://jimmybraddock.wordpress.com/ Jimmy Braddock

    Thank you for sharing your heart and expressing the sentiment of the minority. Neither candidate has authored the next four years of my (and my families) life. God, who is still God and is still Soveriegn, was not surprised by the outcome. And, He will use this, as He does all things, to draw us closer to Him and bring Glory to Himself! Our common enemy, satan, is revelling in our discord and division. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments-Love God with everything we’ve got and love others! So, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

    • http://jimmybraddock.wordpress.com/ Jimmy Braddock

      Regardless of election results or any other choice we’ve ever made, the only choice that truly matters is that He chose us!

  • Jess

    I prayed. I prayed for both candidates. And my guy didn’t get voted into office…and I still prayed. I couldn’t agree with you more on #2. Do people believe they’re really going to change an opinion by attacking them on social media?! So what’s the point? It made me sad to see it all over twitter…and Facebook? Well I deactivated my account for just.that.reason.
    I loved your “praying backwards”. I pray we all remember that God IS INDEED in control ultimately, and if we’re following Him, we need to be the difference…the light…SHOW the world we are called to act differently. I (we) won’t always succeed in this, but we have to keep trying!

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Please forgive me if I unwittingly give offense here. But I have to be honest, and am trying not to be cruel or disrespectful. You deserve neither cruelty nor disrespect.

    I don’t believe in gods. Not big ones like Brahma, Zeus or Allah, not little ones like Cherubim or the winged ariel servants of Innana-Lamashtu.

    Having said that, there are some things I do believe in. Matthew 22:39-40 if not 35-38.

    Be kind. Worry more about your own failings than condemning others. Realise many good people do bad things, you yourself are imperfect. I’m a little too busy removing the contents of the lumberyard in my own eye to worry too much about splinters in others’.

    My experience with “christians” in the political sphere has not been a happy one.

    Self Righteousness.
    Anger.
    Pride.
    I’d add Ignorance too. Malice. Bigotry. Hyporcrisy.

    I have to be very careful not to tar Christians – without the scare quotes – with the same brush. To over-generalise. That would be… prejudice. And that would mean I’d be a hypocrite too if I fell into that trap, all too easy to do.

    I want to say Thanks for this post. It helps me remember that you’re not all like that, not all the time, and if you ever briefly are (I suspect you’re not as bad in others’ eyes as you are in your own), that’s just human fallibility, something I suffer from too. We all do.

    If we can forgive ourselves for our own failings, how much easier it is to forgive others!

    So please do as I do – try to be perfect, but as you’ll fail, please forgive yourself anyway. You deserve it.

  • http://me.trelawrence.com Tre Lawrence

    Well said… great food for thought.

  • yankeegospelgirl

    Since Los voted for Obama, I’m genuinely curious—could he maybe elaborate on some reasons why he felt Obama was the best choice? I really want to understand the psychology that goes into that choice.

    • http://www.ragamuffinsoul.com loswhit

      On a blog? You are crazy or intoxicated. Over coffee. All day. :)

      • yankeegospelgirl

        Okay. Pick one issue, then—say, abortion. Make it a multi-part post. :)

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