God bless America

I’m going to mention a lil bit of politics. As I delve into that sensitive subject, keep one thing in mind. As a valued friend of mine pointed out during the semi-editing of this post, we all have our own individual view of morality. There’s a sticky debate between what’s wrong, what’s right, and what’s just shady enough to vacay in the gray. So I can only share my personal morality, and it just happens to come from my perception of Jesus. For the sake of this not turning into a book, ride the assumptions till the end and shoot me a message if you have questions about my views, political or otherwise :).

The more I pay attention to the media and political atmosphere of our century, the more I want to speak up. I want to say something, do something – even if that something is scream and cry for a solid three hours. Fortunately, I’m learning to think more than I speak – I’m learning the vitality of listening, and taking in information without making snap judgements.

In this political journey of mine, I’ve looked everywhere for the answer to how I should respond as a follower of Christ. Questions fill my head everytime – should I even approach politics? What if I misrepresent the God I Love? Is it even worth it?

So I’ve settled on a single, defining question – a question long since asked. What would Jesus do? Or more specifically, what would Jesus look like in the political arena of today?

Here are my current conclusions:

• He wouldn’t be silent – when has Jesus ever been silent in the face of injustice?

• He would be kind – he would know the time to have righteous anger and when to shut up (Jesus didn’t fight God’s battles, and we don’t need to try either)

• Love would be the message, and he wouldn’t take sides except against things that are sinful and evil. If you’re staying away from commenting on real political and social issues because you don’t want to add another angry voice to the scene, then there’s a chance your refusal isn’t righteous. It isn’t passive, or loving. It’s simply an excuse to prevent others from seeing the anger or hate you’re burying – and that’s a heart issue, not a political one (and one I definitely struggle with).

The thing is, you control your voice. You. You, yourself, and hey! You! Not the person in the comment section of a CNN or Fox News article. Not the family member at Thanksgiving. Not the President and his Twitter account. And the world is always changing. Society is always changing – social change is a part of existing as a human being. My question to my fellow believers is simply, what voice do you want heard? Injustice, or Jesus? (Yeah, I know it’s not that easy, but effort is totally biblical).

There’s a difference between being stuck in the dream of idealism and being willing to speak on the issues we seem too petrified to step near – we have to emphasize that difference. As a specific example, nobody on this Earth is perfect, and I know that. That’s clear to me simply through my own faults, and anyone else in my life that I’ve seen fail me or others. If it helps, sing some Hannah Montana till it sticks.

But we still have a duty as fellow human beings to hold politicians to moral standards, right? We shouldn’t, for example, allow them to get away with embezzlement – anymore than we should allow them to get away with making friendship bracelets with morally questionable governments for the sake of America’s wealth addiction. Right?

The moment we as the church became willing to barter our moral compass for the protection of our religious “freedom” is the moment we began pushing aside responsibility in the hopes that “loving” passiveness would save both them and ourselves from eternal damnation. Love is possible in the light of fighting against the injustices of both political and social issues, and the longer we act as if it isn’t, the further we get from the Great Commission served to us by the Jesus we claim to act like.

Basically, moral responsibility is a thing we need to hold ourselves & our leadership to, and I’m personally willing to do that no matter what persecution or lack of freedom that awards me. Let me know if I’m alone in that, because if not, I’d love to chat Kingdom thoughts over a cup of tea :). (If I am, I’d love to chat anyway. I’ll buy you tea!)

In light of all of that, and putting tea aside but not too far from reach, I really don’t want to exchange encouragement for change; I want to abide in the coexistence of the two. I get really, really caught up in criticizing politicians, pastors, and any number of leadership examples. I’m in that cool stage of life where I’m beginning to figure out I don’t and will never have all the answers, but I often get caught up in thinking or hoping I do. Go figure. But I promise, I don’t want to lose sight of Grace in my sometimes frustrated critique of all this mess.

Because, it’s still a beautiful mess. Just like me. Just like you. Just like every single stubborn, fantastic human being on this breathtaking planet. I disagree with countless politicians, presidents, and pastors. All the Ps, man. But I Love them a lot. I think at times, they really do their best, and I appreciate that effort where it needs appreciation. Just as I would like someone to do for me when I retweet the VPs tweet passive aggressively in a moment of annoyance (Sorry, Dad. ILY).

So my challenge is this. Let’s love really, really well. But let’s love with conviction for justice. Let’s love with Jesus morality on our tongues rather than a misconstrued idea that the church & America are synonymous. Because this is simply Babylon – our Home is far more lovely. 💖

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