The Sad Story Of A Boy Who Used To Love Politics
Why I Learned To Hate Politics
I use to love politics. When I was in High School I had the opportunity to attend state legislative events and even submit testimony on a topic of my concern. I put up signs for a local candidate. I studied – which in and of itself was miraculous back in those days. I loved the process. But now I hate politics.
Maybe it would be more precise to say that I hate what politics has become to the masses. The processes are still the same (and as corrupt as ever) but the cultural climate that surrounds political issues are so decisive that it has become absurd. People abandon their standards just so they can "win." Sadly, this has caused most of us to simpy lose. Politics have made me feel...icky.
This Election Hasn't Helped
The race between Donal Trump and Hillary Clinton has revealed much about the American soul. If these two candidates are a reflection of our collective tive internal conscience , this public confession is shameful.
Evangelicals on the right have abandoned their morals (and the Scriptures they swear to live their life by) to defend the heinous actions and unbiblical philosophy of their chosen representative. Why? Simply because he was selected to represent the Republican party and mostly because he is not a Democrat.
Those who occupy the left are backing a woman who is political corruption personified. Aren't the democrats still seathing over the politcal overreach of George W. Bush's presidency? And yet Mrs. Clinton - a capable politician, for sure - is the answer? She tamed the FBI. Is there anyone to reign her in?
I guess we have shorter memories than I thought. Of course the explosion of the 24-hour news cycle and the freedom of the internet has further separated the nation into micro-niche political pockets. This keeps us "in the moment" by feeding us our thoughts with out requiring much independent thought on our part. To the left and the right there is a voice for every degree of extremism. The far left/right has been supplanted by the far, far, far of political dexterity. In the land where ratings and clicks are king the more extreme you are the more your voice stands out and the more money you get. But the unintended consequences is that its pulling the nation apart!
The Curtain is Lifting
While I am saddened by the 2016 election, I am also thankful for it. I haven't been this engaged in politics since I left High School. For the first time in 15 years, this matters to me. It matters to me that Americans are finally getting a look at their personal alter egos.
Like our candidates, we worship money, power, control, and the freedom to do whatever we want regardless of who it may hurt or how it may shape the future. Men are free to grab lady gardens (but only if you are white and famous enough) and women are paid to kill babies because sex is just too awesome to be tied down with responsibility. And depending on who you talk to these things are equally ok.
This is us, America. But this is our confession, right? We have looked at the world and said loudly "This is who we are!" Maybe that is enough of a confession to stave off any more denial that we have about who we "think" we are. Still, I'm glad I have a deul-citizenship and that this may be where I dwell, but it is not my home.
Why I'm Learning To Love The Kingdom Of God
As we talked about the politics in episode #ec1dot06 the political parties of the disciples Simon and Matthew was on display. The government worker and the over-thrower wannabe walked side-by-side because they became unified by following Jesus. Jesus and the Kingdom of God became bigger than a job (in Matthew’s case) and bigger than political upheaval (in Simon’s case). It became a new way of seeing and living and being.
The Kingdom of God goes beyond what we see with our natural eyes. Sometimes it is upside down and does not make sense. It risks temporary safety for eternal transformation. It is daily dying in order to truly live. It is giving up all and truly becoming rich. And I am learning to love it even though it does not always make sense.
It may be a shock to read this but: The kingdom of God is not an American exclusive. The kingdom of God was global long before the economy was. It is active in every government of every nation. The United States has a rhetoric that declares that Jesus' wounds poured forth red, white, and blue, but this is an absurd thought for the God who created the universe.
This philosophy gets us into trouble and can make Christians look foolish. When look at the kingdom of God through the lenses of American culture we get Christians we cheer when the government affirms the parts of scripture that they enjoy. However, it becomes problematic when the government affirms the parts of Scripture that some refuse to acknowledge and Christians are caught in the trap of inconsistency.
Still, I long for the Kingdom, my home, to be ever more realized.
A place for exploring the Church in the American context. Issues may get political, cultural, and philosophical — but it’s always personal.