Today the Jacobsen family is celebrating Thanksgiving. Our kids and grandkids went elsewhere yesterday to other celebrations, so they are all coming over today for turkey and hanging out. Sara and I have so much to be thankful for this year and we are overwhelmed with gratitude at all that God has done in our lives. We love him and each other more each day.
So while I take a break and most others re out shopping today, let me tie up these loose ends from the recent election discussion on this blog. Though I still like some of the language our new President-elect is using about working together and getting rid of government programs that don’t work, I’m still concerned about a cabinet he is appointing that is recycled Clinton-era politicians. He has some outside that box, but not near enough for me. I’ll be interested to see how all of this pans out.
The reason I posted a bit of my political thinking on this blog was in hopes of doing the very thing these two letters I received recently indicate. I hope it produced this kind of fruit in others as well. And please don’t jump to the conclusion that all of those who voted for McCain did it out of irrational fears, but that’s not my point of view or the writers of these letters. They simply illustrate our tell our political positions might be.
I meant to write last week & congratulate you on your bravery in saying publicly that you voted for Obama! I’m not very political, but I was glad he won – he seemed to be the one with more compassion, inclusiveness, and a larger view of the world & America’s place in it. I know the world has unreasonable expectations for him. I’m just hoping he can begin to move our country in a better direction.
I have a very dear friend, who is a conservative Republican Christian. She tried to get me into political discussions before the election, assuming that I would agree with her. I sidestepped the discussions because I didn’t agree and I knew it could potentially cause a rift in our relationship due to her extreme views & certainty that hers was the proper Christian position. I had hoped that with the election over, she would turn her attention to other things. I was surprised to find that since the election, she has posted many times on her blog (which I read just to keep up with her life) what has to be called rants against Obama. She has expressed her great fear in many different ways, all of them very condemning and extreme. We normally get together every week or two for coffee, but I’m not sorry that we have been unable to the last few weeks. It really makes it hard to have a conversation when the other person is so steeped in their own viewpoint they can’t see or hear the reasons for yours.
I find it interesting that she is so afraid. The Christian right has really whipped up the emotions this time around. It sort of reminds me of the days of George Wallace, when many ‘good Christian people’ were rabidly racial, or the early days of this country when ‘good Christian people’ felt that African-Americans were less than human. I think it’s another instance of the “church”‘s stance being off the mark. The amount of fear makes me think of the scripture “Perfect love casts out fear”.
In thinking about the required conformity within the institutions, I think that a large part of the issue is control. Without being told how to think, vote, dress, etc., a lot of people feel out of control. It’s just too much freedom, and they are too afraid of messing up & getting zapped by their angry god. That carries over into politics as well – they want to be in control, to have everyone agree with them. If you don’t, you must be unGodly.
I also think that many of those in control of the institutions, whether they are aware of it or not, use that fear to keep control of their congregations. Fear is a powerful motivator. For me, the reaction that the Christian right is having to Mr. Obama is telling. It isn’t rational, or spiritual, it’s totally emotional and fear-fed, which doesn’t speak well for where it is coming from at all.
Anyway, I mostly just wanted to say thanks for being open & honest & unafraid!
And then this:
Isn’t it amazing how loving, godly, holy, and peace-loving saints can throw down the gloves and become raving lunatics when it comes to politics? I respect you for your courage and honesty, in sharing your convictions. You probably knew that some would react adversely to your decision and you shared your opinion anyway. I felt that you were very gracious in how you presented your opinions. You know voting a canditate from the “D” party is as close one can come to denying Christ without actually denying him.
I voted for John McCain. Yet, I respect your right to vote for whom you choose. In fact based upon the authority of the scriptures, you did not lose your salvation and I am at liberty to call you brother and enjoy fellowship with you. I have the fortune or misfortune of living in one of the bastions of Evangelical Christianity–Virgina Beach, Virginia. I work with a good number of professing believers. I notice that leading up to the election that many brethren seemed to despair over the idea of a Barack Obama presidency. The only thing holding him back from revealing himself as the Anti-Christ was that the rapture had not taken place(said tongue-in-cheek). You know what I am talking about. My thoughts were even if Barack Obama were elected as president, God is still on the throne.
Well, God has spoken and Barack Obama will be President of the United States on January 20, 2009. Because of the fear that seems to be resonating amongst many believers, I decide to start a discussion thread at a Christian website. My topic was “Could a Barack Obama Presidency be a Blessing in Disguise for American Evangelicals?”. Needless to say it had 116 replies over the course of about a week. I premised it with the fact that I was supporting John Mcain and that I felt that many brethren were getting caught up in the political mess. They were losing sight of the fact that Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour transcends any worldly election. He who loves us more than we can truly imagine is in control of the universe. If He is able to fulfill his will with men such as Nebuchanezzar, the Pharoahs, the Caesars, and the many ungodly men who have ruled nations through out history. He can accomplish his will with Messiah Obama (again, only kidding).
Accept my feeble attempt at encouraging you and keep up the good work as the Apostle to the relationaly challenged. I of course am speaking for myself.