Eric Dishongh, PhD
Connecting others to Jesus and His church as a husband, dad, minister, counselor, professor and friend
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In November 1992, just a few weeks after Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton had been elected to become the 42nd President of the United States, my family travelled to Batesville, Arkansas to spend Thanksgiving with my Grandma Zadine. Since Grandma didn’t want to cook for all of us, she decided to treat us to a "fancy" Thanksgiving lunch at the local restaurant.
After looking at the menu for a couple of minutes, Grandma looked up and asked the waitress, “Ma’am, do y’all have turkey today?” Without a moment’s hesitation, the waitress replied, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we just shipped the last one to Washington D.C.!”
Everyone at the table was laughing with the exception of Grandma! She took offense at someone making fun of the man she had just voted for to become the next president of the United States!
Here’s one thing that’s always perplexed me: How can Christians think so similarly when it comes to faith and values yet think so differently when it comes to politics?
Recently, I conducted two Google searches. The first search was “Christian Republican.” In addition to the numerous things said against abortion and homosexuality, one “Christian Republican” wrote:
“In short, when it comes to the way goods are created and distributed within a society, we ought to err on the side of those entities that are not given coercive authority by God: business, social services, the Church and a variety of other existing bodies. They aren’t perfect, and never will be. But for all the deception and sin that goes on within them, they lack the authority to coerce—and that is an important limitation...
"Genuine liberty entails the responsibility of each to not only pursue his own welfare, but to recognize and respond to the needs of his neighbor, without the state having to tap him on the shoulder. My concern is simply that when the government becomes the solution to the erosion of our virtues, it will crowd out businesses that provide jobs and charities that provide both spiritual and material support. And in doing so, the remedy will prove more devastating than the disease.” (1)
Like it or not, understand it or not, there are Republican Christians in the United States, and there are most likely Republican Christians in your local congregation.
Then, I decided to Google “Christian Democrat.” I learned about an organization called Christian Democrats of America. Their tagline is “What are your values?” And, here’s a quote from their website:
“Christian Democrats of America is an organization committed to reforming social injustices, being a voice for those without a voice, a community to those without a community, and changing the perception of Christian values in action worldwide- join us.” (2)
Like it or not, understand it or not, there are Christian Democrats in the United States, and there are most likely Christian Democrats in your local congregation.
Although these political realities often result in frustration and confusion, let’s remember what the Bible says:
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” -- Romans 13:1-7
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” -- I Timothy 2:1-4
When it comes to elections and voting, we need to do our part to always pray to the Lord, always obey His commands, and never compromise our faith and values.
But, we can all rest peacefully tonight knowing that whether it’s the Republicans or Democrats or the Turkey, the Lord our God is the One who is ultimately always in control!
My life purpose is to connect others to Jesus and His church by providing a Christian example and by reaching out on spiritual, relational, academic, and community levels.
(1) “Christian Republican”… http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/current-events/op-ed-blog/28192-why-i-am-a-christian-republican
(2) “Christian Democrat”… http://www.christiandemocratsofamerica.org/