Megachurch pastor Andy Stanley has told members of his Atlanta church, who, apparently are particularly fired up about this presidential election, to cool it because they're frightening their children.
And he has a point because it appears that many Christians invest so much meaning in elections that they forget what's most important: God is in control and when you believe in Christ, You have the certainty that God is with you always and that You belong to God for all eternity. With their mouths, such Christians, Democrat and Republican, confess Jesus as Lord, but with their actions they convey the notion that we're all by ourselves and that we need to elect a new god every four years. NOT!
Watch what Stanley had to say in this short clip from his sermon this past Sunday...
This kind of commentary on the behaviors of people who claim to believe in Christ is essential! It isn't political. He's not taking a stand on political issues or candidates. He's even encouraging people to be engaged in politics and civic matters.
But he's exhorting Christians not to engage in what Bruce Cockburn once called "idolatry of ideology."
For too many Christians, Jesus and the Gospel have become fused with their politics, their party, their ideology, their candidate.
They've turned Jesus into a prop to support their own preferences.
Frankly, I think that people who do this will have a lot to answer for when it comes to facing God. "What part of 'you shall have no other gods' do you not understand?" I imagine God asking.
Or, he might ask, "How ambiguous do you find Philippians 4:6, in the Bible, the book you claim to believe is my Word: 'Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.'"
But even now, as Stanley rightly says, such Christians, who view an election campaign as Armageddon, display a complete lack of faith in the God we know in Christ.
Their vision of how things should be is one of their gods.
Stanley's right, Christians of both the left and the right need to cool it!
If your preferred candidate fails to win, it won't be the end of the Kingdom of God. You have nothing to fear. So, quit scaring others. Instead, share Jesus with them by word and deed. Especially the kids.