Now that all of the hype from the election has gone down, I think it’s safe for me to talk about politics without being pummeled into submission (maybe). I just hope nobody comes to burn my house down after reading this blog, that wouldn’t be very courteous towards my roommates.
So anyways, unless you live under a rock, you know that President Obama has been reelected to be the leader of the free world for the next 4 years. At the end of the election results, some were ecstatic and others were sincerely worried about the future of our country. I’ll admit that I was one of the latter, but since then I’ve reflected a lot on what this means and how God wants us to respond.
The night before the election, I was carpooling with friends back to my apartment when we saw some people holding up lights that spelled out “Do More Than Vote”. It was really cool and all, but I was kind of skeptical on what the meaning behind it was. I mean, what if it meant something terrible, like, “Do more than vote, trip a grandma in the middle of the road” or, “Do more than vote, go set a house on fire”?
Well, when I got home I googled it and, from what I understand, it’s a campaign that encourages you to do things like write protest songs, protest at your congressperson’s office at least once a month and refuse to pay war taxes (http://www.cripcommentary.com/DoMoreT.html). It’s a little extreme, but it got me thinking about how people try to influence others’ ideas of politics and how we as Christians should respond to politics, even when it’s not election time.
Unity Among the Nations
“I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
What we were shown in this last election is that our country is extremely divided on almost every major issue. In the end, Obama got more votes than Romney, so technically he “won” the election. But did he really? The election was really close, which means that half of the country disagrees enough with what he is doing that they voted for somebody else. Even though Obama won a second term, he has yet to change the minds of a lot of his opponents.
So what does this mean for us Christians? Well, it means that there we have to chance to change the hearts and minds of those who may not understand why we believe what we believe. I know some will disagree with me on this, but as Christians, we should not support gay marriage (Leviticus 20:13, Lev 18:22, Rom 1:26 -27, 1 Cor 6:9,10, 1 Tim 1:10, Jude 7) and we should not be pro-choice (Jeremiah 1:5, Isaiah 49:1-5, Psalm 139:13-16).
Gay marriage is not biblical, and allowing gay marriage violates sacred holy matrimony. Abortion is the murder of an innocent life, and it is something that we should definitely not be indifferent towards. I know these subjects are a little taboo, but in order to become unified as Christ has called us to be, these are the things we should be talking about.
The fact of the matter is that politics don’t change the way that we think. We, the people, are the change, not the government. Politics are merely an afterthought. So you want to change politics? You have to start with changing people’s minds.
Stop Being So Childish
Think of it like being a child. Sometimes, you don’t understand why your parents make you do the things they do, like making a rule not to eat too much candy. They know that you shouldn’t eat too much candy because it’ll give you a stomachache and rot your teeth off, but as a child, you don’t understand that, so you eat all the candy while your parents aren’t looking.
The same concept can be seen in politics. Yes, we can change public policy to force people to follow our Christian beliefs, but if we don’t change the way people see the world, if they don’t understand why certain political “candy” is bad for them, and then all of our efforts will be futile.
There’s a reason why God has called us to be against abortion. Abortion is terrible for our society as a whole. It allows that the mistakes of one person to take the life of an innocent baby. Many disagree with making abortion illegal by using the argument, “If you don’t like abortion, then don’t get an abortion”; but that’s the same as saying, “If you don’t like slavery, then don’t own slaves.” As Christians, if we see a person doing something being done that’s wrong, we shouldn’t idly stand by; we should try and change that person’s heart so he doesn’t continue to hurt himself.
Likewise, there is a reason why God forbade the marriage of two homosexuals. The purpose of marriage is to have children. God created Eve to complement Adam so they could “…be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” Because homosexual relationships can’t produce children, a homosexual marriage isn’t valid in the eyes of God.
In terms of what it means for society, legalizing gay marriage will affect future generations in that no children will be born from this kind of marriage. This means there will be less people to work, pay taxes and contribute to the growth of society as a whole. Do we really want to encourage the world’s decreasing birth rate (http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=xx&v=25)?
There are a lot of other issues in which we can turn to the Bible for guidance. There’s a reason our all-knowing God gives us the “rules” to follow. He created this world, so I would figure He knows what’s best for it.
God Will Always Be Victorious
If I lived in country that suppressed free speech, I wouldn’t be able to express my thoughts like this. We are so very blessed to live in a country where we can freely express our beliefs, so express them! People have died for us to have this right, and a lot of citizens in countries around the world want so desperately to have their voice heard by their government. As Americans we are enormously blessed and should exercise our rights every chance we get.
And, after all is said and done, remember that God has always been and will always be in control. We might not understand why He does the things He does, why evil is in the world, why those we don’t agree with are elected into power or even why we stubbed our toe on the coffee table this morning. We may even be angry with God when things don’t turn out the way that we wanted. But God knows what He’s doing and all we can do is go along with His perfect plan.
As with all things, showing God’s love should be our main goal. All everybody wants is what’s best for our country, it’s just the way we approach it that’s different. Yelling and screaming at each other won’t get us anywhere; it only makes us more hostile towards the other side’s opinion. Texas won’t win by seceding (although I must admit I thought it was kind of a cool idea). At the same time, we have to show the world why we believe the things we believe.
We can’t rely on politicians to be the change in this world, because depending on worldly things will only end in disappointment. We have to be the change. We have to show God’s love to the world. We have to speak up for what we believe in. Don’t be scared of what people will think of you. This world will hate us for what we believe, but this world wasn’t made for us. Our kingdom is the kingdom of Heaven.
So please say a quick prayer for the future of our country, that God may transform the hearts and minds of our people, so that one day there would be no more divisions among us.
Laurelin Ontai is a media intern for Campus Renewal Ministries. She is currently a junior at the University of Texas at Austin and active in her ministry at the University Catholic Center. If you have any questions or comments, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org