Culture At Large

Our Only Hope?

Michael Geertsma

Greetings! Just in case you can't get enough of these introductions, here's another one. I'm Michael Geertsma, a producer at Back to God, and I'll be occasionally contributing to Think Christian. Currently, I work on two other projects—Spotlight, a radio program for people around the world who speak English as a second language, and Walk the Way, a daily radio spot and video blog that challenges Christians to actively engage their faith and “walk out” the way of Jesus. I'm really excited to have Think Christian become part of what we're doing, and I look forward to all the conversations we'll be having here!

Well, today is election day, and while it may seem a bit cliché, many would argue that this presidential election is more significant than any in the recent past.  Journalists and pundits have written that this is the most important election of our lifetime. Personally, I have been bombarded with email forwards, Facebook group invitations, TV ads, phone calls, yard signs and heated discussions that all seem to suggest that one candidate or the other is truly our “only hope” for the future.

And given the current political climate, the volatile economy, the war in Iraq and the overall state of the Union, it is easy to see why people are putting so much weight on the result of today's vote. Admittedly, I have fallen prey to the hysteria, and I often find myself thinking about how terrible it might be if one candidate gets elected—or how wonderful if the other is elected.

But as Christians, should we believe the hype? Is a presidential candidate really our only hope? According to Focus on the Family's “Letter from 2012 in Obama's America,” yes.

This letter is a sad commentary on the current state of the relationship between Christianity and politics. Thankfully, dozens of Christian bloggers, writers, thinkers and pastors have spoken out loudly against this type of political fear-mongering. (Read Jim Wallis' letter to James Dobson, a beliefnet post on the backlash). Because the truth is, as Steven wrote on Monday, the church is much bigger than the United States of America. And we are called to do things that are much more significant than throwing our collective weight behind a presidential candidate.

We are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in a broken world. Sure, voting and getting involved in the political process can be a small part of that—but we can't use politics to abdicate ourselves of our responsibility to be loving, to fight injustice, to feed the hungry, to heal the sick and to constantly look to God's word for his guidance about the important issues we face every day. When we limit ourselves to slandering or blindly following politicians, we fall far short of the plan God has for us in this world. When we put trust in a politician as our “only hope,” we are forgetting where our real hope lies.

I am reminded of Third Day's song “My Hope is You,” where Mac Powell writes:
You are, O God, my salvationGuard my life and rescue meMy broken spirit shoutsMy mended heart cries out...

<p>My hope is youShow me your waysGuide me in TruthIn all my daysMy hope is you

On this election day, the “most important of our lifetime,” I hope that we can find some truth and comfort in those words. Yes, voting is important. I believe that it is one of the most important things we can do in our role as citizens of a democratic society. I plan to vote today, and I hope most of you plan to as well. But as you do, remember that our real source of hope, comfort, inspiration and truth transcends politics.


Topics: Culture At Large, News & Politics, Social Trends, North America