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Let’s Start Rethinking about Political Campaigns

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Years ago God gave me a task – show people how to rethink, in my case, about the Bible, its contents and especially the nature and goals of God himself. I’ve done that now ten years. Today, 9/2019, I am reaching over 30,000 people a month, always rethinking in every question especially in secular ones where there is just as much confusion as in theological.

People do not know how to think

Here is an example. Recently we voted in a nationally recognized, wildly expensive campaign for Congress, the 9th Congressional District of North Carolina. The campaign was carried out in public, on television, mostly ads and news stories that were often very biased, no matter who was speaking. Social media was awash with it as well since it was a special election and few others running at least locally.

Bad law comes out of emotion

The campaign was designed to prevent the voter from thinking, or to replace his thoughts with emotions upon which no decisions are usually very good – and certainly not in politics. There are already too many laws based on temporary emotions which can change over night.

The Democrat was a typical Republican candidate – a successful entrepreneur, a business owner/employer, clean cut family man with a pretty blonde wife and two kids, a military veteran who supports lower taxes, and who managed never to call his opponent names which is sign of a honorable politician. But he lost.

Why? Here is the problem to rethink. While he was the better candidate which his campaign demonstrated, he was not running for the office of campaigner; he was running for a seat in Congress. The voters did not want a Democrat representing them, no matter how clean cut or conservative in nature. The national party at the present time does not reflect the mind of the voters in this jurisdiction. Sometime in the future, that may change. But just not today.

The voters got it right

The voters knew this and acted accordingly. But the campaign process ignores this need. The voters got it right in spite of the advertising and blather all around the campaign, not to mention the multi-millions in funds which came from across the land, all intent on electing a Campaigner not a Congressman.

We choose representatives not candidates

There is something very wrong with a political system that presents candidates when what we want is representatives. The man who won will reflect the mind of the voter when he goes to Washington DC, no matter how flawed he might be personally. He was not young and vigorous; he did have a pretty wife but who cares about the wife anyway. We are not voting for her. And she is not representing us. This man’s policies, and that of the people he will join with in Washington, not his personality or all the beautiful color photographs mean anything as he assumes his post.

What we vote for must be based on reality

What the voter needs is the assurance that the person holding the office will be able to reflect the will of the people, not the platform of a party or a group of lobbyists somewhere, in this case, 500 miles away. How can we change the campaign process to make it radically less expensive and more in tune with what voters needs to know? Will this man or woman do in the office they hold what I expect of them and what they have promised? This is going to be a hard issue to solve.

Church campaigns have the same flaws

And as a theologian I can also say that church membership presentations are also often off point. Who God is and what he does as Jesus Christ in the world today is the core of Christianity but you would not necessarily know this from church services or their advertisements or television programs. Thankfully there are many varieties of them reaching diverse people. This is healthy.

We choose our religion based on personal needs

Individuals attach themselves to religious systems based on private needs. Some want family, friends and social acceptance; others seek inner peace and assurance. Others are concerned with the world and its dysfunctions and they view the church in its mission. My daughter-in-law wants a choir, with robes. I agree with her but so many of the modern churches do not have this anymore. Singles need church dinners and fellowship events. People in wheel chairs need to see no curbs or stairs; parents want good child care with honest teaching about the gospel and no Easter Rabbit theology where God is missing altogether.

The truth is offensive

Churches may meet all of these needs but still have no honest gospel to present, filled with compromise in order “not to offend anyone.” The gospel is offensive. Jesus said, Matthew 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Is Jesus picking a fight? Sounds like it.

But no, He is saying that we are happy when we are with people where we feel comfortable but the truth of God is ultimately in what God said in His word about our condition and his solutions. Confusing Church with Faith can lead us into a position of comfort that is not realistic. Real faith will cause us to be separated from some people, systems and places.

God is pro-active about us. We need to be proactive about Him. We need to be as careful about our vote for religion as we are for our representatives.

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