12 mins ·
It is not my place as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA to endorse a specific candidate for President or to speak out negatively about others. For me, this is an extremely challenging test of patience. Trying to be objective and open to understanding God’s will in new ways is a constant challenge in a position where I regularly encounter faithful people who understand their positions in direct opposition to others.
What I CAN say is that we all need to test our thoughts about such matters as politics based on our Christian values. The following is obvious, but may need to be affirmed one more time.
Being faithful followers means we don’t speak “hate” while we stand up for what we believe is “right”. It means we find ways to focus our energies on what might be best for others, rather than just for us.
The separation of church and state should not apply to our personal decision-making relative to politics and how we vote.
In fact, to choose to separate our beliefs into various categories where our living a Christ- like life has bearing on some matters but not on others is in effect turning our back on God.
Sadly, too many of us – be we conservative or liberal in our religious orientation – are choosing to translate God’s Word in ways that make it convenient for us to follow a pattern we like or affirm even if it is in direct opposition to Christ’s teachings.
Let’s remember that loving our neighbor is not an optional commandment. Next to loving God it is the most important directive we were given by Christ. Love. Where do we see it being manifested in our complex world of politics?
May each of us apply the very familiar words of 1st Corinthians 13 to our personal as well as our political lives.
“Love is patient. It is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but it rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. ”
My friends, this is the Word of the Lord. Are we bold enough, unselfish enough, faithful enough to demand this from our leaders? Can we apply these words to our own behavior? Or do we think God’s Word is irrelevant to our politics – that such words are out of touch with reality? If the latter, may God forgive us.