Let’s Talk

To my kids first; I expect you to be the more giving person. You’ve seen so much, you care so much, and you are capable of so much in your life. Do not spend your early adulthood nursing resentment and anger towards your grownups for their refusal or inability to see things from your perspective. To my grownups; let’s make no mistake about it, we must be the more giving person. After all we have said and taught to our children over the last 20 plus years or more let’s not be willing to show a lack of restraint and inability to control our emotions when our kids refuse to see things from our perspective. For either side we prove the other side correct when we seek to control and manipulate as well as refusing to listen and engage with what we are being challenged by.

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Some of you all are actually saying your children may not actually be Christians because they are voting for a democrat. Is your God that small? Is Jesus’ redemptive work so restricted that only those who are exactly like you are saved? Let’s be honest, this is a shame and blame method that Jesus would have nothing to do with and just might take a whip to us for employing it.

You kids aren’t off the hook here. Some of you are doubting that your parents are Christians because they refuse to acknowledge and address the grievances of their political party. Is your God that small? Is Jesus’ redemptive work so restricted that only those who are as inclusive as you can be saved? Let’s be honest, this is the same legalism as above; just employed from your perspective. It may have been the former prostitute standing at the cross with Jesus, but don’t forget that it was the Pharisee who buried him.

Let’s talk for a minute about the donkey – the sticking point – in the room. Good old facts. Both groups say that the other refuses to acknowledge facts. Not true at all. The reality is that we each choose to give various weight to each of the facts that are brought forward. 2 + 2 does equal 4 but we’re not dealing with simple math. At best this is algebra. Algebra is a place where powers and parentheses carry the same weight, if not more, than the numbers; and yet they never looked like that to me. For this reason, I stink at algebra. For this reason, we stink in discussing and disagreeing about politics. We are not truthfully acknowledging the ways that we are weighting and valuing things. Let’s talk about a few of those things.

Abortion. Immigration. Healthcare. Non-discriminatory policies. Those are some of the numbers. Taxes. Retirement. Criminal justice reform. Labor reform. Those are some of the powers and the parentheses. Here’s the moment: some of you think the stuff in the first group should be in the second group. Others of you believe it should be the opposite, and you probably would argue that I left far too many out – or included too many.

Some of you who argue that we should always vote republican would not be so adamant if their party tax structure were different. Many that vociferously push democrat votes might not be so forceful if their platform wasn’t as pro-labor as it is.

If you’re still reading hang in there, we’re about to wreck this train. Remember the kingdom we’re called to live in is a kingdom that’s not of this world. In other words, it’s a kingdom not measured by might, accumulation, or intimidation. It’s a subversive kingdom. It’s a kingdom made up of service. A kingdom where the least are greatest and we value the humble more than the powerful. A kingdom where the right hand doesn’t know how much the left hand has given away. A kingdom where we wake up every day and have to subvert ourselves all over again, because in our idleness our selfish personhood is seeking to make it about us all over again. A kingdom where a candle signifies its ability and power.

So parents, if you look at your kids and all you see is a vote; you’re missing it. Kids, the same. Before you allow your absolute desire to be right to divide you all take a moment; serve together, worship together, and if you still want to duke it out; be silent together.

After all, it was a silent night that ushered our Savior into the world. Peace on earth, good will to all men.

Addendum

  1. Read David Platt’s Before You Vote. It’s a quick read and the opening essay which deals with Platt’s response to then-president Trump’s request to be publicly prayed for at the conclusion of one of his church services, and the subsequent firestorm that followed, is a wakeup call for how much we have to grow in grace towards others. Especially others who think and believe differently than we do. Given by Tim Harding. It’s a book that he has read and highly recommends. After reading it, I would certainly recommend investing the few hours into reading it for yourself. You won’t agree with everything, or maybe anything that Platt says, but you’ll have spent a few hours not fuming over your family member.
  • If you can’t apply the behaviors of 1 Corinthians 13 to your discussion, then we have a problem, and we should hit the pause button on political discussions in our personal lives. Especially if it is a family member that we are willing to treat without love for the sake of being correct. If we can’t do it with love, as a believer, especially with those close to us, then we must address ourselves. Given by David Lee, although I may have reworded it a little stronger. The gist of David’s statement was frustration with those who seem to think that there are certain conversations that can be held; devoid of love, and we still expect God to choose or reward our side or our viewpoint.
  • There are no apples to apples comparisons in politics, but many of you violated the firmly held beliefs and convictions of your parents and grandparents many years ago when you began to vote. I’ll not argue over the importance of any vote or election but there is yet to be an election in my lifetime that was not more important than all of the previous elections. Remember this when you think your children are betraying some sort of sacred trust. Given by Will Stewart. This is a direct reference to the fact that prior to Ronald Reagan the South was primarily Democrat. Many parents and grandparents felt their children were betraying a sacred trust by choosing to align themselves with the enemy. Politics really can be complicated.  

Published by Daniel M Harding

Husband, father, associate pastor.

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