The ‘What’s Happenin’

The update on truegrit’s world:

My ‘Liberal ‘ Cousin is here, as well as my two of my older sons, who are a good bit more conservative than I… and we had a once-over-easy general political discussion before I swept my Cousin off to lunch at a local eatery/bakery. Yum! And how diplomatic of me;)

Not really. (We just had planned on this outing and I wanted to get there earlier rather than later.) I think the up close exposure to someone truly different in view is good experience. Plus, it’s family.

And isn’t that what family really is? Learning to get along with OTHERS? ‘Others’ highlighted to emphasize that we really are separate entities. In families you can take the boundaries for granted. Maybe that is part of the problem in Church communities: presumption that we are supposed to all be on the same page. Same page sometimes means finding our place… and sometimes it means going at a different pace to make sure we are getting the message.

The discussions I personally have with my cousin are probably a little disconcerting to him, it does make me realize how ambivalent I have become on many fronts. Take the war in Iraq ( please…). Little joke there, but seriously, I have a hard time saying more than “I don’t really know”. I don’t like the war, but is it supportable to say it was an avoidable war? Isn’t that hindsight speaking? And if you say war is immoral, are you rationally drawing the line or arbitrarily drawing a line? Do you disallow war in all its forms, and if not, is there a consistant criteria to work from?

Besides all this in my homelife, I am trying to get on top of the various obligations. I could blame all the many pulls and distractions for my present ambivalence, but I think it goes deeper than that.

To penetrate a matter with right thinking demands time and work, the life that many of us lives is too busy and distracted for that, so we get sloppy and jump at buzz words. We slap on superficial emotive views that mascarade as analyses, but really are the easy way to express our favored image of ourselves and how we think the world should be.

Not that we could expect it works in the real world.

What brought me to that view was the idea that we often compromise with evil. My cousin and I were talking about the reasons people vote the political platform that they do. My contention is that people choose what is most important to them and then vote in line with that, regardless of some of the lesser or greater evils on the same platform. Some people make the abortion issues their litmus test, some make the Iraq policy, and some are only interested in the economics outlook. But one thing or another is usually pre-eminent.

In a way, it is like making an alliance with your worst enemy at times…just to accomplish the greater good. The ends-means model.

Which -of course- I do not subscribe to, but it is what we end up with in politics, isn’t it? None of us really opts out for the sake of the highest ideals. Because then it would often mean we are not voting at all, so if I really follow this line of thinking through I would have to say that no Christian will ever accomplish the “Kingdom Come” through political means as a primary focus.

That may be a tough pill to swallow for those who rode the Christian conservative tide of the nineties (which was the pendulum swing to the “Silent Majority”). The Silent Majority decided to get active and speak, but many Christians which had been part of that majority placed too much investment in political means.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a priviledge to have a vote in a free society. It is a duty to use it for accomplishing the highest good that you can.

I just think that it should be seen in proper perspective.

When Jesus said His Kingdom was not of this world, He meant just that; and no amount of revising is going to change how God accomplishes His will in the earth. No matter who is in charge of the country , our main business is to live our faith and pray always. I think Daniel is a prototype of this. No matter how many regimes he lived through, or where his place was in any of those, he maintained a stable and constant faith in God.

This isn’t set in concrete in my mind…which explains why I use the word ‘ambivalent’. I just don’t set so much confidence in the passions of men’s opinions and ambitions. And lend my own more cautiously than ever before.

Circumspection is the call of the day. Careful circumspection….