Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Appropriate Candidate for President

Someone asked me on Sunday: “Are any of the people running for President candidates that we as Methodists could support?” I think I know what he meant but I’m not sure. To be honest, nobody ever asks my political opinion about anything, at least to the point of what candidate for anything that I support. And, if they did I would certainly have to give a non-answer. It’s just easier not to take sides in an election.

However, just yesterday I got a personal call from someone in Greenville inviting me to a pastor’s brunch for one of the candidates. He is a Christian and wants the support of the clergy, as if somehow that will ensure the support of the churches. I was flattered, I guess, to be invited to anybody’s brunch. My wife says that I have probably already seen him as close as I would get to him at the brunch.

This particular candidate was in SC for the last debate in Spartanburg, and we happened to be out the same night that he and his entourage came to eat. I got a good look at him, but he spoke to no one and went right to his book where he was pushed to the inside by his people. We could see him, but we couldn’t get close to him. So, my wife thought that was as close as we could get, even at a pastor’s brunch.

Politics is an interesting thing in this country. I am old enough to remember when John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon had the first debates on TV. My mother certainly had an opinion about which way to vote, but things have changed since then. We don’t just get debates but we get 24 hour coverage of these people and their families. Every word that’s spoken by them or anybody connected to them is recorded and played over and over. And, you ever made a mistake, well, it will be mentioned.

On top of all this is the length of the political presidential campaign. Not to mention, the money that is spent is incredible.

It’s not that I don’t have an opinion; it’s just that any opinion will upset someone. People seem to care more about protecting their particular political candidate than almost anything. And, after all everybody has an opinion about everything these days.

In spite of all this, our system is still the most open system in the world. I would say that we ought always to be concerned and informed as followers of Jesus Christ, and we ought always to vote. Voting is a privilege that we should never take for granted.

I would say that there is good in all of them, and that no one of them is all evil. Sometimes I do think that they have forgotten that they are working for the good of all people and not just for a particular PAC. That said, followers of Jesus Christ know something about humanity that everyone seems to forget. We are all sinners.

Leslie Whitehead used to say that we get all worked up to vote in one group and throw another group out of office. He said we must remember that we are just throwing out one group of sinners and putting in another.
Whoever our President is, whoever our leaders are, we, as followers of Jesus Christ believe that no one is the Messiah except Jesus Christ. So, we pray for them all- that God will give them the wisdom to make right decisions for the good of all. We pray that God’s will might be done.

So, think it over, learn as much as you can, pray, and then vote.

Dave Nichols

Comments on Lectionary - Sept. 1

That Jesus would be healing comes at no surprise to any of us. Nor, is it surprising that Jesus is healing on the Sabbath. So, when the re...