November 20, 2008
This week I saw a news article on CNN.com and headline read "Catholic Church calls For Catholics to repent for voting for Obama." I was so blown away by this. Repent for voting? How confused are we as a body of believers that we really feel as though our vote is so important that it has eternal consequence tied to it? Every Presidential election to which I have paid any attention has consisted of candidates who have campaigned on the back of "moral topics." For Example: How many decades will the republicans campaign against abortion and the democrats campaign for it? How many decades will nothing change?
All of this has made me think about whether or not we really think that voting is all we have to do as believers? The church is obviously saying that there are eternal implications tied to our vote and we all become moral activists when it comes to voting. How does this happen? Do we, as the body of Christ, really believe that our vote is the end all, be all, expression of our allegiance to Jesus? My pastor phrased it in a much more convicting way this past Sunday. He said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "an overwhelming amount of Christians will vote for a republican because said candidate opposes Abortion. But how many of those voting Christians would actually do more than just talk, vote, etc and actually do something about it?" It's really easy to vote for the guy that opposes abortion and it's really easy to protest outside of abortion clinics but what if we all gave those girls considering an abortion an option? What if we said "I hate abortion, and I hate that you are in this position, don't kill your baby, I'll adopt it."
You see, I don't think that Christians are really willing to get their hands dirty. I think we all talk a GREAT talk but we definitely don't walk that walk and we DEFINITELY do not take that cross with us. I'm one of them! Shane Claiborne said it best in his book "Irresistible Revolution" when talking about the wealthy in America. He said that most wealthy Christian people don't know how to help the poor. They don't understand poverty. They definitely do not want to get in the trenches and tear down walls and make connections and invest in the poor and destitute and this is why we have The Salvation Army and Goodwill and Soup Kitchens, Shelters, etc. The wealthy can write a check, send some clothes and food and that is ample care. Shane then goes on to say that when we get to heaven, he doesn't imagine Jesus will say, "when I was hungry, you gave food to the pantry to feed me. When I needed clothes, you sent them to the salvation army so they could clothe me. When I need a place to sleep you wrote a check to the local shelter so they could house me."
So how do we live intentionally? I think abortion is murder, but will I adopt a child? I think poverty, homelessness, starvation, etc are all atrocities but will I commit to redistributing wealth, will I live simply, will I open my home to house someone? Will I invest in another life and make sure their most basic needs are met? It's a tough thing picking up my cross. In fact, most days I would like to leave it in the garage. So how do we do it? I want to start doing it. - Mark LaFay (firstname.lastname@example.org)