Monday, November 20, 2006

Politics And Guarding The Heart

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I became politically active in 1964, when Barry Goldwater ran against Lyndon Johnson. I was only 14 years old.

I've campaigned, planted signs, made phone-bank calls, done door-to-door flyers, attended rallies, written speeches.

In the late 60's, while half the country was going Left and anarchic, I went Right and Republican. I attended anti-communist John Birch Society meetings, led by Fred and Ethel [not their real names], a husband and wife who became my good friends.

But politics can't satisfy the heart, and I was lost as lost could be, until 1976, when God reached down and opened my heart to Jesus Christ.

As a new believer, I still took an active interest in political happenings, but the rabid hand-wringing and fighting ceased. I began to see the sovereignty of God in everything. I saw that the history that was unfolding was God's history, and that He was raising up and bringing down men and nations at will.

I began attending a wonderful church in 1976, and lo and behold, there were my friends Fred and Ethel, Christians who had told me about the Lord, but not with the enthusiasm they had for fighting the Communist Conspiracy.We became friends again, but Fred was always distraught about "the state of the Government and the World".

I was now engaged in ministry, and politics took a seat way in the back by comparison. Fred would have none of it. He seemed to truly love the Lord, but his crusade was a political one, seeking to save the world by politics, and it drove him over the edge. In the early 80's, Ethel went home one day and found Fred dead, hanging from a rope.

Devoid of understanding the sovereignty of God in nations, and not understanding that the Kingdom of God is not of this world, Fred thought things had gotten out of God's hand.

He couldn't have been more wrong.

"Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness..." That's what's of primary importance to us. And that means that we not only witness of our Lord Jesus Christ, it means we rest in Him and His sovereignty, even while we support our candidates according to our consciences.

And it means that our faith should work itself out in love (Gal. 5:6) . . . Love for Republicans, and Democrats, and political opponents, and other ethnic groups, and immigrants (legal and otherwise), and Muslims, and even terrorists (though the Government doesn't bear the sword for nothing -- Rom. 13:4).

Otherwise, we're just clanging cymbals (1 Cor. 13:1), and our politics has become our God in practice.

3 comments:

Todd said...

poignant.

Only Look said...

powerful as well Todd. This is a heart issued that can be found in so many areas of life I think.

bot1 said...

Terry,

Just read this for the first time. Great article and very encouraging.

Also, I realized we're the same age (two things we have in common) 8^)

May the Lord continue to bless.
-Art