In this season of political positioning, voters' guides, town hall meetings and baby kissing conferences and a concerted effort to "out-patriotize" the oppostion, a very strange version of "Christianity" appears. It does so every two years, at a minimum, during the election cycle.
As I research and meet candidates and see the promo pieces that fill my mailbox regularly, I cannot help but look for "buzzwords" or "keywords" that will help me determine which candidate to support.
The truth is that candidates know these keywords as well and often ensure they are visible and clearly stated based on the target audience and voter demographics.
Sometimes Candidates Just Say What You Want to Hear
Yes, I know this is hard to believe, but sometimes political candidates just say things that sound good and will help them get elected, while not actually believing it all. Who knew?
A Good "Christian" Organization
This reminds me of a meeting I was in recently, not regarding politics or candidates, but an organization that serves the local community. The organization is a "Christian" one (and yes, as I blogged previously, organizations really aren't Christian, only people are, but you understand what I mean, I'm sure.) The organization does a good work for the community. In fact, it's a truly good organization.
However, as I participated in the meeting it became clear that the Christianity promoted by this group was, at best, subtle. I heard one person lament that the group was "just Christian enough."
Let me translate that term for you. This non-profit receives funding from various sources such as businesses, charities, non-faith-based organizations, individuals and some churches. To be "Christian enough" works for fund-raising when churches are the target. To not be "too Christian" works well in the business world and what has often been termed the "secular" market.
It's a sad reality, but one that is often replicated in our culture.
Just because a business has a "Jesus fish" in its logo doesn't mean that all employees, or any for that matter, are followers of Christ or that the business practices are centered upon the truth of God's Word.
- Is a member in good standing
- Has been a member for long
- Believes the Gospel
- Lines up with the theology of the church
- Is truly a follower of Christ
It seems that often our candidates are just "Christian" enough to get votes.
Now, some will get upset at that revelation (which, in my estimation, should be obvious for anyone with just a little discernment) but it is true. I am not throwing everyone under the bus here. There truly are public servants who are honest, all-in, sold-out Christ followers seeking to honor God as they serve their communities. There are also organizations that truly seek to honor God in their business practices and leadership models.
What does this mean for you and me?
May our lives never be just "Christian" enough. In fact, I fear that if we live just on the edge of Christianity, we will find that we are not truly following Christ at all. Sounds a little too much like the type of people Timothy was warned to avoid.
"Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people." 2 Timothy 3:5 (ESV)
Oh, and don't believe everything you see in voter's guides, mailouts, business logos and television commercials.
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1 (ESV)