Friday, October 03, 2008

Politics And Other Dirty Words

Hello All,

In all my time as a blogger (..."a part-time blogger..." Thank you Stevie Wonder!) I have managed to skirt the issue of politics. Unfortunately, we are in an election season, and there is no way to avoid it. In fact, I have been questioned more than ever recently about my political beliefs and practices. Eventually, at the end of this blog, I will bring this back to what I think that God thinks about politics. But before I do that, I need to explain and get off of my chest once and for all, my thoughts about politics.

I will go ahead and acknowledge right at the start, just how much I disdain the political arena. This extends not just to the Republican/Democrat/Independant arena, but politics in the broad sense. Thank you, for the following definition:
to deal with people in an opportunistic, manipulative, or devious way, as for job advancement. I have seen office politics, city politics, school board politics and so on. It truly turns my stomach.

On the national front, I used to believe that there was one party that was more godly than another, especially since most from that party seemed to back family values and the support of Israel. It seems that several of them even had a relationship with Jesus, or at the least, believed Him to be a "great influence" in their lives.

The problem for me is the necessary duality that a politician needs to exist in. He needs to appeal to everyone and make them believe that he is one of them. His smooth, speeches endear audiences to his platform and before you know it, a vote has been secured, based on promises that have been made. But just as soon as the promise is made, it is broken and trust is destroyed.

I won't completely fault these politicians. They promise and act as though they have the autonomous power to fulfill every word. We seem to believe them and elect them based on their rhetoric. Unfortunately, most of these men enter office and realize that Washington is not run by the people that elected them, but by special interests, power brokers and other politicians with agendas of their own. Then, as if that was enough, that man has to deal with the balancing act power play that exists between the Congress and the House. Before you know it, this guy who had made you believe enough to vote for him, has turned into a figurehead that just seems out of touch with where you live and powerless to truly act on his previous promises. He becomes another person, intentionally or not.

Politicians bring answers based on the lives that they lead, not the ones that we lead. They don't dress like us, live like us or think like us. It's folly to believe that they represent my interests in any conceivable way.

Now, I think that for the most part, I am preaching to the choir. I have yet to see anyone with a long term of experience, be enthused about the subject of politics or politicians. And, it may be disheartening for you to read just how anti-political that I am. It probably leads you to some questions.

Am I registered? I thought I was...I need to correct this this week...Long story, but I did this at the DMV when I renewed my license, but never received anything for our state election last year.

Do I vote? Every time, sans the last state election.

As a Pastor, do I encourage others to vote. Without question!

Do I read the issues and the ballot measures? Every single time!

Do I vote my conscience before Christ and gather consensus between my wife and myself, so that our votes don't cancel each other out? Definitely!

Do I get excited over politics? NEVER, especially during the primaries when all the hopeful goons are out! I'll wait until the two major candidates emerge.

Do I want to endorse any candidate? Why? There seems to be very little difference, my opinion you understand. Officially as a Pastor, I am unable to endorse a candidate publically. Even if I could, I would not, simply because I never want to be in a place of endorsing a candidate who is the most susceptible to moral failure due to the extensive media scrutiny that he will inevitably face in office.

The most important thing for me to communicate to you about this issue is this: Don't define yourself by your party or your views. Don't limit yourself to a stance or a candidate. And more than anything, don't fool yourself into thinking that any one of these guys is the savior of our society!

Now, if any of you have made it this far through my diatribe, I want to say a few things that God desires out of my heart and yours. The first and most obvious is that we are to bring these men before the Lord in sincere prayer, that they would be led to and by the Lord. I Timothy 2:1-4 says this:

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

At no time do I pray that these men will be the saviors of our world, but that they would be willingly used of the Lord to bring about His will on this planet.

The second thing that I believe God would have us espouse, is the priestly function that believers, not politicians, have to represent God's heart to the people. This pertains to employing our vote toward the man whose career efforts are least in conflict with the Lord's values. No man will have a perfect record, but his record will speak of his values. Do they line up with the Lord's more than the other guy? Then that guy gets my vote.

Same thing goes with the ballot initiatives. Does the ballot initiative seek to reverse a clearly stated biblical mandate? My "yes" or "no" vote will reflect the Lord's heart on the issue.

In many ways, though I am not a eschatological enthusiast, I do believe, strongly, that believers are the salt of the earth and the ones through whom the Spirit of God expresses a protective covering of society. (Read II Thessalonians 2:5-8)

Third, I believe that we need to pray that God would surround these politicians with born again Christians, who are completely faithful to the Lord. The fact that God has done this throughout human history is well attested to in the Word. Where would Pharoah be without Joseph in the last several chapters of Genesis? Esther was the Queen to Ahasueras, Nehemiah was the cupbearer to Artaxerxes and Daniel was a wise man in the court of both the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and the Persian Emperors Darius and Belshazzar. These men were key to each of these men's administrations. We need to pray that these type of influential people have a voice near the ears of these political people.

Finally, and I truly believe, most importantly, God wants us to trust in Him no matter the outcome of these elections. I love the way King David says this in the Psalms:

"Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven With the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God."
Psalm 20:7

No matter the outcome, whether there is a Democrat or a Republican in office, whether our propositions come out, I will trust in the Lord to accomplish His will on Earth. My family and I will vote our conscience and rest assured that the outcome will serve God's purpose best.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez


Mama C said...

What you wrote really helps put things into perspective. I loathe politics but what you have said here rings true. It's comforting to remember that no matter who "wins", God is in control & his purposes will be accomplished.

Aimee: said...

Well said, Frank. Maybe you should run for office! ;)