Faith and Politics... Part of the Continuing Journey
|As you know, I spend about half my year serving in Mexico. As such, there are times of the year when it is literally impossible for me to blog, or comment much on current events, and the politics of the day.|
But that does not mean I stop thinking about how our lives and faith can and do intersect as we go about our day to day existence.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about this passage. You might recognize it. It comes from Paul's Epistle to the Philippians.
"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
I particularly like where he says "...in humility consider others better than yourselves." Unless I have misread the passage, nowhere does Paul say that we are to do this when others do so towards us. It is just a straightforward admonition, for us to do it!
Likewise, when he tells us to look to the interests of others, it is to be understood in light of the statement that we are to consider others better than us.
These are tough teachings. Because they call us to think, not of ourselves, but of others. To think not quite so highly of who we are, but rather, of someone else.
So here come the 64 thousand dollar questions.
How does that happen in politics? For those of us who call ourselves Christians, how is it that we choose to not heed these teachings on our blogs?
How is it that there are radio hosts who claim to follow the teachings of God in one breath, but ridicule another man in the next?
How is it that in our zeal to defend our particular political hero, we cast aside a biblical call to civility, claim Christ, and then fire away?
Terms like libturds, nazis, commies, dolts, idiots, and the list goes on, should have no place if we are serious about what we believe.
It is one thing if we are not claiming a place in the Christian faith. But if we are, in the words of that esteemed Cuban Bandleader Ricky Ricardo, "we got some 'splainin' to do."
Randall Balmer, and Episcopalian priest, has posted on the topic of civility in political discourse recently on Sojourners. It is a good read.