I don't get too controversial in the mustard sphere, but here's my take on the Presidential race, debates, politics and the like. You don't have to agree. In fact you won't likely agree with everything. That's ok. You're allowed to be wrong from time to time! :-)
1. Jesus was politically engaged. You don't come into the greatest empire of the day (The Roman Empire) and use language like 'kingdom' and 'king' without knowing you're making a statement. Jesus was making it clear. Rome was not Heaven and Caesar was not God. So political engagement is a right thing to pursue.
2. However, the American two party system is not where justice, change and peace are found. President Obama and Governor Romney, regardless of what they promise cannot save us, rescue us, provide justice, promote peace, or ensure freedom. No man or woman can. This kingdom called the United States will rise and fall...just like every other empire before her. So if your trust is in the right system to save you or rescue this country, you are being misled. Jesus is king. His kingdom does not end.
3. To be Christian, is not to be Democrat or Republican. People assume that God sides more with one side or the other. God has provided a third party that He wants to wake up and be the Church He has designed her to be. Those of you who suggest Christians should be one issue voters...standing up against abortion or against gay marriage or against war or against tax hikes or tax breaks or whatever issue you think God is most concerned about, think again. You want to see abortion go down by 50%? Encourage the people in the church who have abortions to stop having abortions? You want to see divorce rates go down by 50%? Have the people in your church stop getting divorced!
The Church is the political party I'm most aligned with. She is called to lead the way for justice...to stand up for those who are oppressed. To give voice to the voiceless. Government cannot hold up under the weight of our hope in it? It is a false god. When the Church wakes up and does what the Church is called to do, you will see many of these issues improve.
4. You can't legislate Christianity. Too many times we have assumed that the flag and the cross belong in bed together. They don't. And while government thinks it is for their benefit to keep the two separated, it is actually the church who benefits the most from this separation. Historically, when Church and State have merged their interests together, God is not honored. I'm not anti-government. I'm not anti-US. I'm pro-church. I love where I live and I am thankful I was born and raised here, but my hope is not in Obamacare. My hope is not in the private sector. My hope is in Jesus Christ. I'm not going to put the pressure of rescuing me on a man, a party or a set of ideals. They will all buckle under that kind of expectation. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' love and righteousness.
5. I realize the Church has not lived up to her billing. And it would do us well to repent of our short falls, our indifference, our stances AGAINST so many issues. God is FOR people. So much that He is WITH people. So much that He became ONE OF the people. If the Church would follow His lead, we'd see the changes this country and world so desperately need. Some trust is chariots...but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
So vote...Don't vote...I don't concern myself too much with that. But regardless...figure out what is right...what is near to the heart of God...and Be Changed and Be Change!
For example...Kids are close to the heart of God. So don't let them be stuck in fostercare, stuck in poverty, stuck dying of hunger, thirst or preventable disease. And don't wait for a piece of legislation to fix these things. Go be the Church.
My name is Ben Thompson. And I approve this message.