People ask me all the time why I don’t really speak out for or against political candidates. Folks also ask me if I’m all that interested or involved in politics. The answer to the first question is…because I’m a pastor. The answer to the second question is yes and yes. I have discovered in today’s political climate that it is best for me to keep my mouth shut and just concentrate on telling people about Jesus Christ. The minute I pull for one candidate or the other…I forfeit my pastoral influence with half of Compass Point. Besides…to put emphasis on politics is to put undue hope on the leadership of politicians. God is in control…not Congress, the President, the Courts or any other elected official. To believe that our individual lives will be better because of the person we vote for as President just goes to prove our lack of trust in God…and our ignorance as voters.
On the other hand I do love the political process and am very active in communicating with my representatives on a city, county, state and federal level. The biggest misunderstanding about America is that we are a democracy…we are not. We are a republic…which means we as individual citizens don’t actually get a voice in politics…we elect people to speak for us. The only way they know what we want them to say…it to actually communicate with them…which I do fairly often. As a pastor I know better than to verbalize my political convictions with my flock…but I also understand that I have a civic duty to speak to those that speak for me.
On Monday I mailed two overnight envelopes…one to my Senator and one to my Congressman. They each contained a two page bullet-point letter explaining why I did not support the $700+ million bailout that is currently being argued over on “the Hill”. I won’t go into details about the contents of the letter…but the basic idea is that the bailout would mean that we’ve privatized gains…but socialized losses….with no consequences for the people that caused this mess. I knew they got the letters because I addressed each to their Chief Of Staff…which meant they had to sign for them. I then followed up the letters with a phone call yesterday to their offices. I was able to talk to their top people…made a few extra points that were not in my initial letter…and thanked them for their service. The coolest thing…I got an email message from my Congressman…and email updates every few hours about the process and progress of the bail out talks.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is…be involved in the political process…but don’t put your hope or faith in it. Don’t make you indentity that of a Republican or Democrat…make your indentity that of a follower of Christ. One last thing…Jesus Christ never voted…not sure He would have if He could. However, I’m pretty sure He’d never have spoken for or against a political party….because His eye was on the Father…and not man. Put that in your political pipe and smoke it. 🙂