I read a book over the weekend. Actually, it was a booklet. Very rarely do I actually finish a book. All too often, I get distracted and am off to the next interesting title. Honestly, I think most books could easily be a fraction in their length.
I’ve been told that publishers like to sell books that are close to an inch wide at the binding. That way you can see the title when on a shelf. Skinny books don’t get seen; and if they aren’t seen, they don’t sell.
I guess that makes sense to me, except it also means that authors fill up a lot of empty pages with fluff. Too often, that fluff starts before midpoint. Is it any wonder that I don’t finish?
This booklet was “Before you Vote” by David Platt. I like Platt. I’ve watched a lot of his sermons and found him to be a no-nonsense guy who goes strictly by what the bible says. If it’s not in there specifically or can’t be supported soundly by biblical principles that are, then it’s not worth talking about.
This book is his response to an unexpected event this summer in which President Trump simply showed up at church asking that he be prayed over. With little or no time to consider his options, Platt accepted and prayed over the president on stage at the very end of the service.
How cool is that! Getting to pray for the president in a way that you choose, fully honoring and acknowledging Jesus! But, it wasn’t so cool, or at least not everyone thought so. Many feared that it was or could be interpreted as a political stunt. Others worried how the media might negatively spin it. Still others simply did not like Trump, didn’t vote for him, and have no intention of doing so this time around.
Platt was dumbfounded by this. Still, he sought to understand, and I think he did a good job doing it. Bottom line, there is a difference in opinion upon which bible-believing Christians vote.
Take abortion, for example. That seems to be the topic evangelicals use to negate the Democratic ticket. It certainly is for me. But as Platt explains, some pro-life, anti-abortion people might still vote Democrat. Why? Because they feel that even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, the issue will be pushed down to the states and nothing will change.
Therefore, they feel that there are other social issues that might be better served by the Democratic ticket. Depending on how everything weights out in their own mind, it is possible that a pro-life, anti-abortion evangelical might vote Democrat.
This is especially true for black Christian voters. Phil Vischer of VeggieTales fame had an eye-opening explanation of this in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4eS2E-PoGo&t=30s
Another pastor I have a great deal of respect for, John MacArthur, doesn’t agree. He feels a Democrat vote is not an option for Christians. This clip is worth your time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1AAJYOW2vI&feature=youtu.be
Back to Platt. One chapter was especially interesting to me and that concerned issues we vote for. Do we indeed vote all of our biblical priorities or just the ones that suit us? In my vote, am I truly concerned about the welfare of my neighbor, of orphans and widows, of unjust social systems, AND of the sojourner (immigrant) as we see that Jesus is? Solid, valid points here.
All this brings into sharp, sharp focus just how incredibly destructive the two-party system is. It ties our hands and forces us into opposing camps that eventually hate each other to their very core. Who wants to be part of that type of system? Not me.
Look, pro-lifers are accused and have the reputation in the eyes of many to care more about the unborn than the born. That’s simply an accusation that cannot be brushed aside and dismissed. We’ve lost the right to enter into the debate in their eyes. Is it a fair assessment? It doesn’t matter. They have closed the door on us. Perhaps it’s time to go way overboard and show the Left just how much we do care for the oppressed, including single mothers and their fatherless children. James 2:17.
At the same time, we characterize Democrats as butchers who think nothing of dismembering babies in the delivery room. I’ll bet that lots of Democrats are just as horrified by this procedure as we are. They just don’t see a place for them on the other side of the aisle.
Maybe it’s time to have face-to-face conversations with our “enemies.” In love. To hear. Slow to talk. And always with kindness and seasoned with salt. I’ll bet there is more in common with the American people than the two-party system will have us believe.
Father, guide us in these difficult times. We don’t want to be doing this on our own. Amen.