Today I share an excerpt of a post from a pastor that deals with our different opinions over non-essentials for Christian life. He begins by sharing his great health report even though he has a diet that includes bacon most mornings. Faith, like the medical world, may have differences over which practices lead to the desired outcomes. The key is how we treat one another in the midst of our differences.
There were two different views of America offered throughout the campaign, and like all the doctors advocating different views of heart health, both sides wanted the same thing – they want an America that’s productive, creative, safe, where people can pursue their dreams. Both sides believe that their ways will bring about fiscal health. Both sides believe in their way, because their way worked for them.
And that’s why we need to give each other grace just now… rather than shouting that the end of America has begun and unfriending people who voted differently than us. We hold our political beliefs because of conviction yes, but can we surely realize that no single party represents the heart of Christ perfectly? I don’t remember the Prince of Peace advocating for unrestricted access to assault rifles. Nor would he favor late term abortion, or at the very least, any abortion of convenience. I don’t know that he’d be cheering unilateral drone strikes by executive order. Nor would he be too pleased with the notion that the super wealthy get exemption from some laws by virtue of their wealth and power. So neither party represents Jesus perfectly. When, then, we say that our vote is theological, while that may be true, it’s theologically selective.
1. If you’re adopted… you might place a huge value on pro-life politics, and vote that way.
2. If you run a small business… you might place a huge value on freedom to structure your business however you like, and pay your employees as much as you like or as little as the market will bear.
3. If you’re an auto worker… you might place a huge value on the government’s intervention to help stave off the loss of your company and your job. That would seem charitable to you, and you’d vote accordingly.
4. If you love Jesus, and you’re gay, and you’ve prayed, counseled, and sought deliverance, before finally coming to a sense that perhaps this is actually the way you are, you’ll vote for those who view you charitably.
I could go on, but perhaps you get the point? I eat the way I do because it works. You can challenge me, tell me I’m wrong, tell me I’ll die early – even point to studies. I’ll smile, and, because of the chart above, have another slice of bacon.
I won’t go into the details of every concern I have about Obama or Romney, Gay Marriage or legalized Weed. If I did, I’d run the risk of helping you miss the point, because the point isn’t what I think. The point is that in this big complex world, each of us who follow Christ must seek to make God’s good reign visible in lots of ways, including being good citizens and voting. That one disciple votes one way, and another disciple votes another doesn’t inherently mean the other is deviant, blind, stupid, or hard hearted. It may simply mean that their faith in Christ has different issues on the front burner than yours, having been shaped by their own collision of faith and life experience. So I say, with Mitt Romney, let’s pray for our leader, give him grace, and work together to make our nation a place of safety, blessing, and opportunity.
Whether we like bacon or not.
-Richard DahlstromRead the full article here.