Every time an election comes around, candidate yard signs pop up like mushrooms, and I’m almost entirely delighted. I’ve spent enough time outside of America, and I’ve spent enough time with my father (a career Marine who fought in two wars to preserve the freedoms we enjoy in America) that I know I’m a bit of a patriot. When we first landed in the states with my adopted son, and he looked out the window and yelled “Look Mom! The American Flag!” Jodie and I both started to cry. I love this land that God has given us to live in. I cherish the things that make America great. I truly try to be mindful of our blessings, and honor God for the freedom to worship, the freedom to express ourselves, and the freedom to choose our leaders through the electoral process. As a pastor, I want to encourage all citizens to be informed, to vote their conscience, and to serve/volunteer in your community to make your nation stronger.
By the way, OCC is one of several churches on the Eastside participating in a Community Serve Day on August 21, 2010, (mostly in public elementary schools) and I’d LOVE to encourage you to join us!
But here is what my pulpit is not for…it is not for this pastor to tell you how to vote. Overlake is a politics- free zone. I’m not called to use my pulpit to back a specific candidate, nor am I called to back a specific political philosophy. Jesus calls us to something higher and holier. We, who are followers of Jesus, have a dual-citizenship.
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. Philippians 3:20
I love America, but I love Jesus more. And Heaven will not be a capitalistic democracy. It will be a benevolent dictatorship. And we will rejoice under the unrivaled reign of our perfect, glorious King. In the meantime, since we, the people, are invited to construct our own government, I’m all FOR it! I want passionate, intelligent Christians to engage the issues while honoring God. Please go hard after Jesus first, and bring that passion to whatever political philosophy you embrace.
Remember, nobody loves the poor like Jesus. Nobody loves the rich like Jesus. Nobody loves the immigrant like Jesus. Nobody loves the citizen like Jesus. Nobody loves the unborn like Jesus. Nobody loves the elderly like Jesus.
Jesus loves both environment AND humanity in a perfect balance, the way I’ve yet to see modeled by a political philosophy. Jesus loves righteousness and unrighteous humans in a way I’ve yet to see modeled by a political philosophy. When it comes to foreign policy, nobody knows the history of injustice like Jesus, and nobody understands forgiveness like Jesus.
Since all political stripes fall short, my encouragement to those who are interested is this: get involved in your brand of choice, and revise it to be more like Jesus. Use your voice to make things better, kinder…in short, to be a blessing. Honor Jesus with your specific political voice.
FINALLY: If you see any yard signs on Overlake Christian Church property, you can safely assume two things: 1. They were placed there without permission from the church, and 2. I haven’t seen them yet. When I see them, I will take them down. Because I want you to know, no matter what your personal political leanings, that you are welcome in God’s House. You don’t have to vote a certain way or have certain political bumper stickers on your car to be welcome at my church. Everyone is invited, and everyone is loved. It’s a politics-free zone, remember?