Faith And Politics

Contributed by Gordon Fletcher Jr. 

Facebook… Perhaps the blessing or bane of our existence, especially in this election cycle. Oh Facebook you have somehow simultaneously become a tool and a curse. Through this medium, we can grow and erode friendships. We gain knowledge and are mislead. We fight and we make peace; we laugh and we swear. At this point Facebook is probably where many individual’s world views are formed.

I’ve not written a political piece for this publication simply because I fancy myself ill-equipped for such a daunting task. I do not think of myself to be politically savvy. I do my best to have sober judgment when it comes to politics. Granted this does not mean I am without opinion. I’ve got plenty of those. Opinions are like noses and well you know.

One thing however I am familiar with is faith. I am a man of faith and have been for 35 years. Everything I do in my sphere of influence is driven by what I believe, and in whom I place my trust. Each of us exercise faith on a daily basis. We have faith that our alarm clock will wake us up in the morning. We have faith that our car will start and get us to work on time. We have faith that our employers will compensate us for our labor every two weeks. Without recognizing it, we all are people of faith.

Faith in the political process is no different. Every few years we place our faith in people to represent us at all levels - local, state and federal. We cast our vote with hope. Hope that these individuals will have courage, character and fealty to the causes of their campaign platforms. We cast our votes, “in good faith”.

For me however it appears our choices at the national level are slim at best. Not a single person I have spoken to is very confident in the direction of this country - now or after the election. I count myself as one of these. This is where faith takes on a different characteristic though. While my previous statements have us placing our faith in inanimate objects or human beings, faith can transcend these temporal things.

I posted a comment on a friend's Facebook page as part of a discussion involving this election, and thought it worth sharing on my own page as a gentle reminder of where we should be placing our trust and hope.

“Keep this in mind my dear friends; be involved in the political process. Exercise your right to debate. Flesh out the hard moral predicaments and be learned and wise in casting your vote. But also remember, Psalms 20:7 "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God." 

Ultimately if we are hinging our hope in one person, we have made an idol of them. Let us follow the example of the three children of Israel, and not bow our hearts before the golden image of any man. Let us not allow our focus to fall from the one in whom we place our hope and find our peace. And perhaps the incidents tarnishing Trump and Clinton’s already flawed images can be a reminder to us that only God is perfect and therefore deserves our trust and admiration. I am glad my future isn't in the hands of any man or woman no matter the outcome of the election. My hope transcends all of the moral quagmire because my hope is in Christ.”

This ideal does not make me better than anyone. I have no moral high ground because there is none to be had. I too am flawed, imperfect and in need of a stronger moral compass than my own. That is why I am delighted to place my trust in someone who is flawless. 

And while you may be reading this thinking how flawed my thinking may be consider this: Even if I am wrong in placing my trust in what some may call an imaginary fairytale, is it wrong to believe I should live a moral life? It is a wrong mindset in being beholden to a moral code encouraging love rather than hate, peace rather than violence, honesty rather than lies or life over death? If we are honest and objective, we would chose the highest law of love any day merely on the basis of being right.

I dare not delve into morality or moral law, even the existence of a moral law-giver; these are conversations for another day.

My only hope is that while some may be offended, most might be encouraged in the fact that our trust and peace isn’t found in the election of any man or woman. It is simply found in God alone.