In spite of countless attempts, I can honestly say that I have learned absolutely nothing from the current ideological wrestling match we find ourselves in. Like most of you my capacity for retaining political commentary has reached critical mass, and if I have to ingest one more article I am likely to spew my true feelings all over the dining room table. And yes, I recognize that I am adding to the noise with this blog, but my desire is to show that although the music has been briefly amplified, it’s still the same song that has been playing for generations.
The things we have “learned” are things we should all already know. People are flawed, and to put our hope in a person is to water the gardens of anxiety. I already knew that moral relativism doesn’t work, and as soon as you tell a moral relativist that their ideas are flawed they become crybullies. We know that the Christian majority is not very Christian much of the time. We know that the false prosperity gospel has made many forget about our command to help out the poor, the orphaned and the widowed.
I did not need an article from TIME magazine to tell me how to think or respond, or an editorial from Wall Street Journal to speculate on how we got here. For anyone who wishes to see, the patterns of human depravity and desperation have been laid bare for thousands of years. We are all familiar with the phrase, “history repeats itself,” but we seem to doubt it’s authenticity. What we are seeing is what we should always see. Once again we are exposed to the frailty of the human social contract and the strength of our cognitive dissonance. But all of this is told to us and about us in God's word. It should be about as new and shocking as winter in December.
I would suggest that instead of teaching us new things, this whole monstrosity should simply refresh our memory of the old things we once knew. Surely we all knew at some point that governments lean towards power and corruption. We all knew that the media often has it's own agenda. We know that the promises made are usually broken. Even though we know these things we get caught up in the drama. I am guilty myself of having moments of being totally stupefied by the circus and even moments of slight panic, but my favorite verse always comes to me at those moments. Micah 6:8 is a beautiful poem part of which reads;
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
I don’t need an election to remind me how bad things can get and how different we can all be. You and I are already aware of the great potential for divisiveness that lies just under the surface of our frail human egos. But much like the history found in scripture, God uses moments like this to draw us out of our comfort and to draw us closer to him. As the same song keeps playing in the background I pray you are comforted knowing that even though it often sounds like a sad song, it always crescendos with the beautiful message of the gospel.
Caleb is lead pastor at Logos Church and enjoys writing about pop culture, Star Wars, Jesus and what effective ministry might look like in Tulsa.