this election year

This is election year, and it has never been more contentious in my lifetime than this time around. I have good friends who regularly share on the specifics of this, and I have to some extent, as well. I still am open to sharing input which I think might be helpful. And I’m now thinking particularly of one book, soon to be released, in helping us think through and respond well to the seeming madness and hysteria which is fomenting around us. Entitled, Public Faith in Action: How to Think Carefully, Engage Wisely, and Vote with Integrity, by Miroslav Volf and Ryan McAnnally-Linz.

I am not at all saying that those on either side are necessarily at all mad or hysterical. People have strong, and in some cases well thought out reasons why they’re voting on either side, or perhaps not voting at all. And whatever concerns we have, and I have some serious concerns myself, there should never be a litmus test in the church based on how one votes. Unfortunately I’ve run across that with a few Christian leaders, who at least make it clear how one can’t vote and remain in their eyes anyhow, a faithful Christian.

I will continue to read articles shared by friends, and may respond on their sites. But by and large I would like to be involved in listening to others think through this entire matter, and participate in what good I can glean out of that.

They say the best teaching helps students not simply regurgitate what is taught, but rather, catch on to the dynamic in play, so that the goal of the teaching is somehow realized. And the outcome of that will necessarily look different from one person to the next, because we all have our unique perspectives and gifts. The differences can contribute to the whole, in ways we often can’t see in God’s working and will. And I would include in that, potentially differences in how people do vote and why.

We do the best by learning to listen well and listen some more, speak well (probably softly), with the goal of speaking the truth in love. And for us in Christ, with the goal of likeness to Christ, and as a light, God’s grace and kingdom come in him.

What I’m choosing to do right now is not what anyone else ought to do. Everyone is different for sure, with different giftedness and calling, along with each unique life journey. What is most important is that we don’t leave our faith at the door, but bring it into all that we do, including our interactions with others up to the time of the election, and beyond. As through it all we remain one in Jesus and his witnesses through the gospel.

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