And I wondered what is the purpose of a debate? Regardless of who "wins" or "loses" a debate, people are going to continue to support their candidate. A debate is not going to change the mind of people who are already decided. People want their candidate to win; they want to be on the winning team and be the ones to have power.
As I was thinking about this last night, I wondered how many people put so much time, effort, and energy and belief into his or her candidate. It often seems as if people are so afraid that if the other person wins, the entire world will fall apart, and only the "right" candidate can save everything.
What concerns me more than the world falling apart (because I think it will, at some point, regardless of what we do) is that so many of my fellow Christians seem to put so much trust into a political candidate (either one) and into our system of government. Do we have a great system? Sure. But it is not perfect, and we should not be confusing it with nor elevating it above the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said in John 18:36 that his kingdom is not of this world. And we know that is true, because some (all?) of the ways in which his kingdom is run is counter to what we actually do. And he doesn't mean just someday when we die and get our butts into heaven, but right now. These are some of the ways that Jesus' kingdom works:
- love your enemies (Mt 5:44)
- pray for those who persecute you (Mt 5:44)
- comes slowly without people seeing how it works (Mt 13:31-33)
- the humble are the greatest (Mt 18:4)
Of course, those are only a few examples, and I think that most Christians know that Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of Heaven a lot.
I see how passionate people are for their candidate, and I love passion. But I would hope that all Christians understand that in the big scheme of things, in God's Kingdom, the winner of the U.S. Presidency is not of the utmost importance. We need to make sure that as Christians, we do not make political candidates, parties, or policies our idols.
Can we really understand that? Do we want to understand it? What does it mean to follow Jesus in a political climate such as we have here?