Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Dutch ballot

Image via Wikipedia

Elections are funny things, especially elections here in the States. Obviously there are the winners, the losers, and their supporters who are either really happy or not, the day after the election, depending on whether their issue or candidate won.

Except for the mudslinging, most elections are pretty drab affairs. And, never more so than on the local level. But, here in my little backwater, the supervisorial races have been anything but drab this year.

They’ve been full of mudslinging, rumor and more than a little backroom insinuation about the moral fiber of at least one or two of the candidates. This is pretty unusual for the area, since most everybody has to run into each other at the grocery store at some time or another after the election is over.

Yet, one particular race caught my attention for its drama. Of course, that all ended last night, but up until the final vote count in which the winner ended up about 400 votes over his opponent, watching it has been a pretty jaw dropping affair.

When people run for office there’s just some basic politicking that goes along with the race. Debates should be attended and participated in pretty much no matter who the sponsor is, after all you’re there for the people not the sponsors, and common courtesy should be extended to everyone whether they’re going to vote for you or not.

Not so in this race, the ultimate winner ended up not showing up at one debate, and choosing not to participate in another after it had begun at which time he wanted to change the rules set forth by the sponsor because he thought they weren’t impartial. Not only that, he only wanted to interact with those who were going to vote in his district, seeming to forget that when you are elected to a 5-person board that makes decisions for the whole county that you are answerable to the people from the entire county.

His opponent has a sketchy moral fiber, with rumor mongering swirling around him and how he does business that makes the tornadoes in the Mid-west look positively calm.

Not living in the district, I was kind of surprised that anyone voted at all because between the two of them neither seemed like they would benefit the county for the next 4 years.

The funny thing about that though, is even though neither would benefit it, in the larger picture, having either of them in office – the one who saw conspiracies behind every tree and the one whose backroom dealings are less than stellar – wouldn’t make much difference to the county in the long run.


Because the county is in such bad shape that neither would have any way to effect substantive change that would make anything  better or worse. Whether the people of the county like it or not, that’s something they need to do for themselves.

That’s something we all have to do isn’t it? We look to others to do something for us that we need to do for ourselves. We faithfully attend church every Sunday so we can hear what the pastor has to say about the Word and to have him, or her, pray for us, instead of just getting in the Word ourselves, along with bowing down before Christ and having Him intercede with the father for us like it says He does in Hebrews.

Elections will always be both positive and negative and so will those who run for office, but the basic reality is that in the Kingdom of God we do not live in a Representative Republic. We stand clothed in Christ before God somehow before Him and in Him at the same time, and no one else can do the work of getting to know Him but our own selves in partnership with Him.

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

Galatians 3:26-27


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The inner workings of the human heart are bizarre to say the least. If we were to actually take a journey into our hearts I often think we would end up in a place where the roads and pathways turn in on themselves, or just stop in the middle of nowhere.

I picture it being a little like the ancient Byzantine Empire with its beautiful buildings and expansive borders encompassing a multitude of cultures and societies and worshiping first this god, then that god depending on who was ruling that day.

Any empire that lasts as long as that ancient one, almost by necessity has a huge amount of political intrigue with most of it not being  of the warm and fuzzy variety. It’s more like factions growing and attacking other factions typically through the use of extreme cunning, deceit and trickery, to gain what they want.

It’s like living a life on shifting sand always looking which way the wind is blowing, which way the sand is falling away under your feet and adjusting your position accordingly. Of course  they wanted very much the same thing that our politicians want today, power to do what they want.

Sound a little familiar?

Maybe not. Most of us don’t relate well to politicians, or at least we don’t think we do. But, it has been my experience with many of those who go into elected public service, that they go into it for the service part of it. They are hard-working, usually intelligent people who want to make the world a better place, and they have the idea’s to do it. The problem is unless those idea’s are based on what God says would help the human heart, namely Himself, they will end up freeing some and shackling others.

If we’re honest with ourselves, which can be a rare thing indeed, we’ll admit that we often play politics in our own hearts. While we are traveling along the road, we very often decide to turn from the way that God wants us to go and choose instead to do something else because it will help make the world a better place.  We start out with a good idea that we know will help others, and possibly ourselves in the process. And, we don’t feel the need to talk to God about it because He couldn’t possibly disagree with it if it’s a really good thing that will benefit people, or so we think.

The next thing you know, you’re deeply embedded in what you’re doing for the benefit of others. But, you haven’t talked to God in a while, you haven’t looked at His Word and you definitely haven’t asked His opinion about anything because you know what you’re doing, right? What could He possibly add to it?

In the Byzantine Empire, as with the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the other empires of old, no matter what power grabbing plans the different factions cooked up, they knew that the ultimate authority and power rested with the one who ruled the empire. And they were always mindful of who that ruler was and how their plans fit or didn’t fit, with his.

As followers of the only living God, if only our hearts would be continually reminded of the same.

“When this happens, be careful that you don’t become arrogant and forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in Egypt.”

Deuteronomy 8:14

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