Churches & Politics
Jesus & The People Of "Agenda"
Clearing The Air
The last few weeks, we've been innundated with the usual pandering that goes out to the voters whenever an election is coming up. From the constant and annoying commercials, wherein the candidates always drift to the lowest equation with their mudslinging, mostly-fabricated-lies-about-their-competition tactics; to the pathetic sympathetic/family ploys of having their 80-something year old mothers appealing to you to cast your vote for their kid because "He's such a good boy!"
Then there is the onslaught of junk mail we have to put up with at our homes, as well as unrequested, solicitations and recorded messages coming in on private home and cell phones from groups that most of us have no direct affiliation with; even from the opposing party ("parties" if you don't belong to the two main ones); as well as online solicitations to private email boxes. It has even stepped up and gravitated onto facebook and other social networks.
It's absolutely ridiculous! Is nothing restricted? Is nothing private any more? Don't we have the right as private citizens, to choose whether or not we want to receive this sort of pandering for personal gain? Isn't it enough when we have to be confronted with this nonsense in the external world? Do we have to get it "not-so-subtlely" thrown at us from the pulpit too? Didn't Jesus kick out merchandisers from the temple?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall God ever telling any of the prophets to tell the people who to "vote" into office as their king. They stupidly demanded a king even though they had God. After that, they were either directly anointed by the prophet per God's choice, or subsequently appointed by the king prior to his death; or, they were choosen by the people or via a hostile takeover; yet in this day and time, look what is happening in the church. The prophets never told the people who to choose, or who he was "voting" for.
Yet, even in the house of God, we have to get "nailed" with this garbage. Now, for the record, I'm not angry because I have any political preference for either of the two main groups. I went independent for that very reason; because I'm not in favor of one over the other. Both have positives and negatives, and I tend to vote according to what I see in each candidate regardless of their party, and I don't make my choice based on only two issues.
The problem, in part, is having to be subjected to this both inside and outside the church. My pastor says that he cannot tell us who to vote for, but he can tell us who he's voting for. This is disturbing for several reasons. The main one is that his purpose in that position is not supposed to be political pandering for any candidate.
Some of you may not like me on this one, but I think this sort of thing is totally improper, annoying and sickening, and I wonder what God thinks of this behavior in His house; because I see no person that God annointed and appointed for any political office. Therefore, I see no person that any man/woman of God in a leadership position, should be promoting within God's house except Christ.
What my pastor, and maybe several have done, is misuse his position and authority for his own personal reasons, under the auspices of "leading the flock" towards the candidates that he feels best line up with God's word. In my mind, that is inappropriate. It's not gonna make me leave my church, as no church nor pastor is perfect, but it makes me question the agenda and motivation behind this blatant political campaigning from the pulpit every time there is an election.
I have no issue with the leaders encouraging people to vote, particularly to pray and seek God on the decision. However, when you know that you have a position of influence, particularly when you serve in a spiritual capacity; I don't think anyone is "called" to utilize their spiritual position and influence in a political arena to garnish a particular vote from their followers.
Frankly, I cannot stand it when I see people who are supposed to represent God, walk with an agenda like this. It's such a turnoff. And the thing is, we had just gone through several weeks of messages on topics like, "Is it us?" about our hypocracy and misbehavior as people of God, and the reasons why so many people are not interested in church or God. Clearly, some introspection is needed.
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What amazes me even more, is the behavior from the leaders in the church after an election. Last election, the alleged political "right" didn't get what they wanted. One would have thought Pearl Harbor had just happened. The shock and dismay; then, the subsequent outrage was so disproportionate, that to say it was ridiculous would be asinine. Talk about temper tantrums? Individuals of the so-called "right" group were making a lot of threats both verbal and physical against people in the alleged "wrong" or other group. What's wrong with this picture?
I thought the "right" was supposed to represent the church? If that is the case, what the heck is wrong with the church? How does behavior such as this represent God? The church is called to love so how could anyone even think to claim that such behavior is justifiable? My thought? "Are you serious?" Yet many who call themselves "Christian" were not only outraged, but raging. What example does that set for those who don't claim Christ? Let me assure you, that is not His style, nor behavior.
Now, with this latest election, check the difference. First of all, what I have noted and noticed, is that every time the "right" wants to take (steal) an election; suddenly, there are problems at polling sites, problems with the votes, the counting, the absentee ballots, the hanging chads and so on. People are blocked, and prevented from voting. I mean, honestly...what impression does that leave with the alleged "wrong" that the real Christians are supposed to be impressing for Christ?
Why is it that the "right" see nothing wrong with this? Why is it that right after the vote that doesn't roll the way the leaders in the pulpit want, we the "sheep" have to be subjected to looks of dispair, and solemn, frustrated and insincere requests that we pray for our leaders because that's what God calls us to do? After a vote that doesn't role the way the leaders in the pulpit want, why do we have to be inundated with end times messages right before the next vote? But, when the vote roles the way the church leaders want, it's jubilee time in the pulpit?
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Conflicts In Purpose
Another thing that is so troublesome in this whole mess, is that the "right-wingers" have been saying, "We want our country back!" Really? What country is that? Is it the country that for decades has been run, at least 75% of the time by the Republican party, who's greed has brought us to this current state of ruin? Remember that the current President inherited this mess from a Republican President...the one voted in, at that time, by the "right."
Is it the country who supports no health care reform, because it's more profitable to keep going in circles about it so that people stay sick? Is it the country who supports the food industry machine that puts chemical additives in our food to make us and keep us sick? The same country that supports the sickness and death machine of wealthy doctors, the FDA, the pharmaceutical companies, medical supply companies, and the insurance companies who lobby their wealthy counterparts/owners/investors in these businesses, in the government, so that they can continue to profit at the expense of the poor?
Is that the same country that, under this same "right" leadership, ravage other countries for profit, and claim that what they're doing is protecting our interests? The only interests they protect are their rights to profit at the expense of others. Is it the same country that then initiates wars with these foreign interests, and sends our sons and daughters, not their own, to be slaughtered for their gain; while telling us we should be proud of their sacrifice? Really?
Is it the same country, who's mantra to the world, is to
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Really? Yet this same country has been run by "entities" that have the goal of enslavement via credit companies also owned, operated or invested in by it's leaders. Wasn't this the country who claimed God, who claimed to be "Christian?" Yet prior to the current administration, this same "right-wing" sect, did nothing "Christian" in their structuring of our economic system. Their sole purpose has been to alter the original intent of our founding fathers, to their benefit and profit, setting up a system of consumption that enslaves and ensnaring the masses via lies and fear. But they have the nerve to say, "We want our country back?"
What country? This is not a unified country. This is a nation divided, and thus, it will fall because the powers that be; the same ones demanding their country back, think that the wants of the few should outweight the needs of the many. Yet so many of them were outraged when the President said we are no longer a "Christian" nation. No kidding. We haven't been a "Christian" nation in a long time. It seems that the "right" has forgotten that Christ calls us to put others before ourselves.