Friday, February 17, 2012

A plea, part II

Part I

Eventually, though, you start to get a little tired, and a little hungry.  It occurs to you that perhaps you should change the sheets, even.  And for the first time since you stumbled into the bedroom that night, you start to look around.  You notice that Politics seems to be little more than a high-maintenance mistress.  All around you are the discarded remnants of Money, Alcohol, and Sex - the three things you'll need to survive a long-term relationship with her. 

And make no mistake about it, you're in it for the long haul.  Because you're in it for the right reasons.  For "the poor" or "God's creation" or "preborn babies" or whatever it is that stirs your heart and passions.  And Politics promised you the keys to the kingdom.  All that needs to be accomplished, you can do with her.  "Don't worry about the bottles on the floor, baby," she purrs.  "Come back to bed..."

From far away, you hear a quiet voice: "Follow me."  What is that?  Did someone leave the TV on?  The walls in this apartment are so thin.

And so you close your eyes to mess on the floor, and snuggle in again.  But what you don't know is that you, the one invested in the relationship for all the right reasons, are the only one committed to it.  Politics, she's one sexy babe, but she's got the commitment skills of a 16-year-old male.  You see, when the Money, Alcohol, Sex, or - worst of all - Votes - dry up, she's out the door.

The kingdoms you were promised?  Well, kid, sometimes things just don't work out.  It's not you, it's me. (Remember that - it's the one true thing she's ever said, and you'll need it now.)   What about the poor?  Or creation? Or babies?  Or anything else?  All the dreams you dreamed and hopes you hoped together?  You had plans - together, the two of you could do anything!  You were going to take on the world!

So she starts to tell you all the reasons it'll never work, at least not the way you planned it.  She needs her space, a little more freedom.  Can't you see it has to be this way?  She doesn't want to leave you, per se, it's just, we can't keep going on like this.  You listen, and you desperately want to believe her.  But she's done this before.  She'll probably do it again.  And slowly it starts to dawn on you.  She never loved you.

In fact, that voice that once had the power to seduce you, now sounds like an annoying clanging cymbal.

And from far away, underneath her shrill tones demanding that you'll do it her way or not at all, you hear that quiet voice again.  You've heard it before.  You know it from somewhere.  Or seems, somehow, to know you? 

Please, my fellow "Christian public leaders", listen to that voice.  I know - yes, I know - how hard it is not to walk out with Lady Politics.  Believe me.  I know "sexy" when I see it, and it's darn hard to resist.  But the world has already been conquered.  You already have the keys to the Kingdom.  And you've got a job to do.

1 Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD, my soul.
2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD.


felicitouschick said...

Amen, lady, amen!

Clayton Forrester said...

While I generally agree that generally the church shouldn't get into the political business, there are a couple of things we all need to be aware of.

First, we are probably living the most politized culture in recent history. The church, the people of God, live every day in this culture. Congregations are already reflecting this in their makeup with certain churches being "left" and others being "right". The question we face now is how to bring the two sides together to accomplish the work of Christ. That can't be done by simply ignoring politics because, at this time, it's so ingrained in the culture.

Lastly, what about those church leaders who have already taken the plunge into politics. For example, how do you get ELCA leaders to see that being a "public church" is dividing us to the point of schism.

I don't know if any of this got to the point of what you were talking about, but these where just some things that came up in my head while reading your post.

Elizabeth of Hungary said...

Clayton -

Good points. I have more to add here (been planning a 3rd part), I just haven't had time to get to it yet! Hopefully in the next couple of days, because my intent isn't to say that any interaction in the public square is bad - far from it. Only to say that when politics becomes the Church's savior, it's just not gonna work...

Anonymous said...

But remember that thru politics you do meet some pretty awesome Godly people every so often. :) People like Elizabeth of Hungary. :)

Miss you!!

Elizabeth of Hungary said...

Yes, Mary, you do! Miss you too! :)

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