A gracEmail reader writes, “I am so discouraged by the shenanigans of our national politicians in both parties. But it seems to me the strongest ‘Christian’ voices are often overly simplistic and sometimes extreme in their views as well. What are we to do?”
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The best we can, my friend. The best we can. Measured by God’s standard, no human act or agenda, platform or program is totally pure. And some sinful people — at every strata of society — will abuse any system we have, proportionately to their power and opportunity. If we look closely at either political party, any illusions of moral innocence quickly drown in a sea of self-interested supporters, official lobbyists and tainted contributions. Only the most naive can fail to recognize this reality.
Most political issues are far more complex than partisans on either side usually indicate. Consider the abortion controversy. Where is the “pro-life” position which also includes practical proposals for quality life after birth? Why, on the other hand, does “pro-choice” rhetoric not address moral choices which result in conception? One party talks much about personal morality (holiness), while the other publicizes its commitment to social morality (justice) in the form of concern for the powerless and needy. Why must we choose between the two? The biblical prophets consistently demand both. Yet Scripture does not describe how government is to advance or to accomplish either.
Amidst the ambiguities, it is comforting to remember the certainties. The Bible assures us that God ultimately presides over all the nations. Earthly rulers govern at his pleasure and finally are accountable to him. Unlike most of the human race throughout history, God has given us the freedom to participate in selecting our leaders. As Christians, let us pray diligently for all those in office. Let us remember that God does not belong to any political party. God’s kingdom does not depend on a majority in any legislative body, either for its agenda or its final success.