How to Vote

So, we’ve spent the last five weeks talking about how as followers of Jesus we need to engage with politics in our culture. All along the way, I’ve been telling you that in this final installment in our conversation I would tell you how to vote. Well, in this message I’m going to tell you how to vote. I hope your ready for it…

How to Vote

In 1953 Democrat Lyndon Johnson was running for reelection to the Senate from the state of Texas. It was shaping up to be a landslide victory for the incumbent who had recently become the youngest Senator elected to the position of Minority Leader for the party. This was of no doubt great relief as his previous election in 1948 was razor thin and he only won by 87 votes when a box of uncounted ballots was “discovered” at the last minute in a small Texas town. Even though his margin of victory in 1954 was enormous (85-15), there were a number of pastors in the state who had been openly encouraging their members to vote for Republican Carlos Watson. Johnson wasn’t much known for being gracious in defeat or victory. Early on in his new term in the Senate he was able to pass a small update to the federal tax code for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations making it illegal for them to openly advocate for candidates for public office. This became known as the Johnson Amendment.

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Let’s Talk about the Issues

We’ve been talking for the last three weeks about how followers of Jesus should think about engaging with the politics of their culture wherever they happen to be. The short version is that our engagement should always be considered through the lens of the Gospel. But, how should we actually think about the various issues at stake in this or any election? That’s what we’re going to talk about today. Thanks for tuning in as we continue our series, Being Good Kingdom Citizens.

Let’s Talk about the Issues

We need to make this election about the issues! How many times have you heard a politician use that line before? Probably more times than you’d care to count! And when a politician says something like that, what is usually the furthest thing from his mind? The issues, right? If you’re like me and more than a little bit cynical about politicians and politics, you hear that phrase as a kind of code language. It’s a code for: I know I’ve got this gigantic personal or political scandal going on over here and which should probably totally disqualify me from running for office, much less actually be deserving of your vote, but I’m not willing to give up this chance for power, and so I’m raising the red herring of talking about issues on which I disagree markedly with my opponent in hopes that it will distract you from paying attention to the man behind the curtain and rile you up to vote for me anyway.

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On Being the Tallest Nail

For the past couple of weeks as we have started this conversation about Christians and politics called Being Good Kingdom Citizens, we have talked about the fact that Christians are different when it comes to politics. We must be because our first allegiance is to something other than a political party or leader. Being different, though, will make us stand out. This week we talk about how to handle this in ways that honor Christ. Thanks for tuning in.

On Being the Tallest Nail

Sometimes some of the most powerful films get the least amount of attention. Now, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that movies like anything Marvel puts out these days shouldn’t get the attention they do. As a dedicated fan of the superhero genre, I’m for all the attention they can get. There are some films, though, which fly under the radar, but which are truly terrific pieces of storytelling. One example from a few years ago is the movie The Good Lie starring Reese Witherspoon. Has anyone in the room seen The Good Lie? Has anyone heard of the movie, but hasn’t seen it? I figured that would be a pretty small group which just proves my point.

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Getting in Line

What do we do when we are facing leaders we don’t want to follow issuing orders we don’t want to keep? The response by most people throughout history has been either passive acceptance or else violent rebellion. As followers of Jesus, though, there is another option. As we continue our series, Being Good Kingdom Citizens, this week, thinking together about how we need to respond to the current political climate as followers of Jesus, we are going to join the apostle Paul as he lays out what this third way is. Thanks for being a part of the conversation.

Getting in Line

Have you ever been faced with a rule you didn’t want to follow? I suspect so. I remember when I was a sophomore in high school, and we took the standardized science tests for the state at the end of the year. I remember thinking the whole test was a joke in terms of covering ideas and topics we hadn’t touched on at all in the previous nine months, but the question that took the cake for me was this: Draw a picture of the universe and mark the approximate location of the earth. By this time, I was beyond frustrated with the content. We had never even come close to talking about the shape of the universe. I was a science geek and didn’t know the shape of the universe. Modern astrophysicists only have guesses about it (incredibly educated guess, yes, but guesses all the same). The rule was, though, that you had to answer all the questions. So, I sat there and for five continuous minutes put dots all over the page with my pencil, added a random X, and then moved on to the next question. I’ll confess that it was not one of my finer moments in academia.

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Which Side Are You On?

How should followers of Jesus think about politics and the election? This week we kicked off a brand-new teaching series in which we are going to talk about that very thing. From now to the Sunday before the election, we are going to dig into the Scriptures to understand better just what it means to be not just good citizens, but good kingdom citizens. Let’s start by understanding what that even means.

Which Side Are You On?

In the year 2,000, just before I graduated from high school, a new show premiered on CBS that has since become a cultural phenomenon. It doesn’t still carry quite the weight that it used to, but with season 41 waiting for COVID restrictions to finish filming and hit the airwaves, I think it’s safe to say that it’s still holding its own. The show really marked the beginning of a new era of television whose critics tend to be just as passionate as its fans. The genre is reality TV and the show is Survivor. Any Survivor fans in the room?

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