November 21, 2017

Is CNN Giving You A Political Panic Attack?

Don Johnson

Have you heard the latest tweet from the president? Who can keep up? If you missed the tweets yesterday, there will be a new one today. And if you missed those, tune in to cable news, you will find the news readers all worked up about whatever the president had to say via tweet, off the cuff remark, or even a speech. We live in a mad media world, where every word is parsed to the nth degree; especially they come from that great enemy of the media, the president of the U. S. A.

Political goings on are the subject of the day in virtually every major news provider. Our Facebook feeds reflect it, as Christians and non-Christians share their triumphalist memes, their obsessive interests, their feelings of political anxiety and unease. It is as if all of life hinges on the success or failure of one man, to hear some people talk.

In this environment, I’d like to suggest a recent blog posting that provides some perspective.

The piece is from Dan Olinger, Chairman of the Department of Bible at Bob Jones University. In “The Great Sin of the Evangelical Right” he says:

Since the days of Jerry Falwell Sr.’s Moral Majority—and long before that—some Christians have listened to the siren song of political influence. They have chosen to position themselves publicly as the political enemies of the very people God has called them to reach, to draw into this inexplicably unified body. And for any number of reasons—fear of loss of earthly freedom or comforts, discomfort with or even disdain for people who are radically different from them, even perhaps the desire for power—they have devoted their energies to increasing the divide rather than tapping into the divine power that brings people together in one body, in Christ, despite those differences.

With all of our political anxiety, have we lost our focus? Are we succumbing to the “present-ism” and “this-worldly-ness” of our present age? Have we forgotten who we serve? Don’t we believe that the world will fall apart by times and will only be put right when its Rightful Ruler returns? Why are we so anxious about politics? Are we fulfilling our Christian mission?

Dr. Olinger continues:

May people in our community who are angry, embittered, frustrated, frightened, hopeless see in our church clear evidence that there is a power that unites us that is infinitely greater than the nonsense around us—that our hope for today and tomorrow, as well as for eternity, is not in a president or a Congress or a Supreme Court, or even in violent confrontation in the streets, but in the one in whom we live and move and have our being—in the one whose will is done just as certainly on earth as it is in heaven.

Read the whole thing. It may help your sense of equilibrium.

As an appendix, I should add that I am not advocating against political involvement nor am I arguing that we shouldn’t be concerned about politics. I don’t think Dr. Olinger is either. However, we do need to put things in perspective. We are citizens of a better kingdom, one in which we have no votes, only orders to follow. We can’t forget that, while at the same time noting that one of those orders is “Occupy until I come,” which must mean at least that we have worldly business that must occupy some time and attention while we wait for our king. But remember that the King’s business doesn’t necessarily coincide with the political concerns of today.


Don Johnson is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.

Comments

  1. Yes, contrary to popular opinion, the sky is not falling. Not sure? Then read read Habakkuk 3:17-19.

    Though the fig tree may not blossom,
    Nor fruit be on the vines;
    Though the labor of the olive may fail,
    And the fields yield no food;
    Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
    And there be no herd in the stalls—
    Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
    I will joy in the God of my salvation.
    The LORD God is my strength;
    He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
    And He will make me walk on my high hills.


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