Campaign Season

I love the season right before presidential elections.  I start to get some of the funniest/saddest forwards in my email inbox.  The most recent I saw was a comparison shot of McCain and Obama in their “younger years.”  McCain is sitting by a fighter jet, looking very patriotic,  while Obama is dressed in what looks to be a traditional African man’s dress, with a head wrap that screams “I am a muslim.”

Here’s the thing.  You could find pictures of me in my “younger years” with all of the following:

  • a mohawk
  • an afro
  • wearing a tacky suit I bought for $1.50
  • wearing a traditional Saudi Arabian headwrap in front of a Saudi flag
  • holding the flag of Turkmenistan, Sweden, or Korea
  • standing outside a Mosque in Turkey
  • standing outside of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome (might have even caught a shot of me kneeling and praying there or at the mosque)

My point being that according to pictures from my past, I am a punk, a hippie, a televangelist, a friend of terrorists, not loyal to my country, a Muslim, and a Roman Catholic.  Ripping pictures from their context is helpful for crafting a story according to your agenda, but it is hardly helpful at all in discovering the truth.

I’m not making an endorsement either way in this election, primarily because I think it will not help the cause of Christ on campus to pick a side.  Jesus died for Democrats, Republicans, Communists, Socialists, Libertarians and Nazis(among others).  But I am calling for all folks, no matter which side of the aisle we lean toward, to argue the issues, not the pictures.

“The Most Important Issues in the 2008 Election”

John Piper offers three things to consider as we contemplate the upcoming elections.

Obama and McCain

Fear often helps us reveal our idols.  If I am inordinately afraid, it is often because an idol of mine is being threatened.  If the thought of Obama winning scares me, it because an idol of mine (free-market capitalism? lower taxes for the wealthy?  smaller government? defense against terrorism?) is being threatened.  Likewise, if the thought of McCain winning scares me,  it is because and idol of mine (the environment? a regulated economy? affordable healthcare? saving face internationally?) is being threatened.

So, as we all sit and watch the election results roll in (and it looks like it’s going to be a landslide for Obama!), we need to ask the question “why am I nervous when it looks like “my candidate” isn’t winning?”  And in answering that question, we will find our idols.

And the thing to do with idols is to turn from them to the only God who can actually save us.  Repent, Americans.  Obama can’t save you.  Jesus can.