I have to say, I have found this election and the state of our politics, the state of our nation, to be one of the most challenging things to try to suck the sweetness out of a lemon over. There really is no silver lining to this cloud, is there?
There is always a silver lining.
I am encouraged that people are actually thinking, engaging those little neurons in ways we have not had to before. There is a kind of kind of threshing going on here, separating the wheat from the chaff, forcing people to really ponder who we are and what we are going to stand for, what we believe as individuals and as a whole. That is always a good thing.
I have to say, I really appreciated Erick Erickson’s article here. Read the whole thing, but one thing he says is, “I have to admit that while I may view Hillary Clinton’s campaign as anti-American, I view Donald Trump’s campaign as un-American.”
He continues, “Clinton offers a tyranny of the minority and Trump offers a tyranny of the majority. Clinton offers neither safety nor freedom and Trump offers safety at the expense of freedom. While I see Clinton as having no virtue, I see Donald Trump corrupting the virtuous and fostering hatred, racism, and dangerous strains of nationalism.”
And then he proceeds to weigh politics and this election against its impact on the church by voicing this opinion, “A Clinton Administration may see the church besieged from the outside, but a Trump Administration will see the church poisoned from within.”
I’ve been running around for ten years trying to blow that whistle, trying to be a canary in the coal mine warning people of that very thing coming, so I found his words encouraging. But in my mind the flood gates have already opened, the horses have already escaped and it is too late to shut the barn door now. You cannot poison what already lurks within, you cannot soil the dirty laundry that has now been pulled out and exposed for the whole world to see.
He has some strong words for “the church,” as a whole, for our behavior during this election, concerns I share, things that I have seen that deeply trouble me. Today the election no longer matters to me, who is chosen no longer carries any weight. It is what lies on the hearts of Christians and the heart of the church that presses on me. The disrespect towards one another, the fear, the desperation, the attempts to put our faith in a human political savor worries me.
The wheat, the harvest season, the threshing and the spiritual sorting, I feel it, I sense it, and that’s not always a bad thing, it can be like a renewing of our own vows, a call to revival, a much-needed attitude adjustment for us as a church…. and us as a nation. A shaking from a loving Father.
Erick Erickson, like many other Christian brothers who have stood up for faith, who have tried to point us all back to the cross, has faced a lot of outrage, offense, and abuse. It has been a bit like watching the church eat its own, brother against brother, these violent feuds over politics that have grown so personal.
WND, Scott Morefield, wrote a powerful rebuttal against Erick Erickson, He says in part,
“Erick doubles down on the insanity as the column devolves into self-righteous Churchian Pharisaism while ultimately rejecting both of the choices God Himself has obviously put before us.”
Well, all in good humor here, but I think we should be very careful claiming God is the one who set these two candidates before us. I think we did that to ourselves and I think they are a symptom of what ails us, not the cure. Also, I am the first one to complain about “churchian pharisaism” but it is simply wrong to accuse Christians who are trying to follow their conscience of legalism, of pharisaism. Scott’s ending sentence is a far better example of churchian pharisaism when he says, “Hopefully, his is a voice that should and will fade over time as ordinary Americans, including Christians, refuse to listen…”
I don’t think so. The truth has a way of standing up and defending itself, always separating the wheat from the chaff. To wish for a brother’s voice to fade, for people to refuse to listen, is not an encouraging word for the free exchange of ideas, for our right to express ourselves, for our obligation to speak our conscience.