Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I want to lead people towards Christ.

In this blog post, we will read a little bit about politics, and a little bit about religion...two of my favorite things. I think this post has been settling in my bones for weeks now, and it has finally come to the point (in the heat of the second presidential debate), that I want to make myself clear to many people. All of these people might not read my blog, but maybe they do.

I want to be clear by stating that I am solely focused on leading people to Christ. Many people want to know who I am voting for in the upcoming election. If you are a close friend of mine, then I have probably told you. But as a church worker, I have made the decision to withhold my presidential choice from public display for three reasons.

First (and foremost) - Again, I want to lead people to Christ, and not to any man or woman.

Secondly - I do not want to cause anyone to not determine themselves who they want to vote for. I am not trying to be prideful, but I am honored that many people respect the (measley) things I have to say, and I wouldn't want any of those people who are influenced by my words when it comes to spiritual matters, to be affected by things I say when it comes to political matters. Because I think people reeeeally need to start thinking for themselves when it comes to politics. So many of you out there might think that I am voting for Obama because of the things that I say on facebook...but maybe I am just trying to get you to think a little bit more. 

Thirdly - Political debates can take up a lot of time within people's lives, and I already have my select friends and acquaintances that I discuss politics with. I have received many comments on my facebook etc.; comments which I believe are made without proper thought going into them, and I would like to avoid those kinds of comments at all costs.

Now, people have said to me - "If you support a candidate, why not shout it from the rooftops?" Well, that is a great question, and I would like to answer it here on my blog.

I am going to start with a little background...

After I decided I didn't want to be a nurse when I was 19 years old (I am 25 now), I went back to school to finish up my general education. At this point, I had just become a Christian, started getting into "Social Justice" things, and was taking an amaaazing Political Science class with a professor named Mrs. Pieri. Pieri was awesome. She was this perky blond woman who had kids and a husband. She was a passionate democrat, and I always enjoyed her stories about her father-in-law who was a strict conservative (Christian) Republican. Her favorite thing in the world was CNN and Bush-bashing. It was enlightening. Not only did her class open up my eyes to the glories of politics, but she also opened up my eyes to the fact that knowledge was power, and I wanted to attain as much knowledge as I possibly could.

I looked up to Pieri, and wanted to be just like her. I decided to major in Political Science (and History), and took all the Poli Sci classes I could (I almost had a minor...). All the schools I was looking at were Poli Sci schools. I had attained straight A's, and had all the recommendations filled out and ready to go from Pieri. But somewhere down the line, I had a massive realization.

Politics are a dead end....for me.

I would never say politics are a dead end for all Christians, no no no, but for me, I realized that this was not God's calling on my life. Going into politics, I wanted to teach at the college level, so I knew I would need to attain my PhD (of which I wanted to write my dissertation on the changes of the American political party system throughout American history...or something similar to that...) or go to law school. Both of which I wasn't opposed. Another goal of mine was to be elected into public office. Maybe started out as a mayor, then congresswoman, then senator, and then it probably would have been time to retire. But the more I thought about doing these things, the more depressed I became because I realized that a majority of my life would not be focused on things that mattered in eternity (like people's souls), but on things that mattered on this earth.

Again, things that matter on this earth ARE indeed important, but it just wasn't what God was calling me to do. So I changed my plan, and decided to major in Biblical Studies at Biola University. Pieri still filled out my recommendation for that program (with flying colors), though I think she thought I was totally crazy. Mrs. Pieri, if you are for some random reason reading this blog - thank you so much for your influence upon my life. I would not be here without your confidence in me.

Anyway, moving on now, when it comes to politics and all the "good" that I probably wouldn't end up doing, I just don't want to waste my entire life getting one or two bills passed. Well, I would probably work harder than that, but you know what I mean. What it comes down is the fact that I feel like God has called me, to make the majority of the work I do here on earth, have more of an eternally based outcome, than a earthly based outcome.

I taught in women's ministry last Friday, and my message was about suffering in the midst of persecution. What I loved about this message was that one of the other clear points that cannot be denied is that God is sovereign through all political matters. Lets take a look...

Acts 4:23 - 31
"On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. 'Sovereign Lord,' they said, 'you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

'Why do nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.'

Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.' After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly."

While we read this passage of scripture, we come across a quotation from Psalm 2. When we look at the context of Psalm 2, I believe we can get a better understanding of what the believers were thinking about when quoting the passage. 

Psalm 2: 1 - 6
"Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. 'Let us break their chains,' they say, 'and throw off their feters.' The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 'I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.'"

As we put this all together, we get this amazing picture of God's sovereignty. David tells us in the Psalm that God is in heaven laughing at the rulers of earth for thinking that they have all the power. God has made those rulers of the earth and sustains them only by HIS choice. 

In the same way, the book of Acts is telling us that again, the rulers of the earth are thinking that they have the freedom to make all choices, even when Herod and Pontius Pilate were a part of crucifying Jesus. But the believers remind us that GOD is the One who had planned for that to happen. Herod and Pontius Pilate had no control over that situation, though they thought they did. 

This passage is used often to encourage those who are under intense persecution (for their belief in Christ) from government officials. This passage reminds them that the governments of this world aren't in charge, but God is in charge, because He is sovereign. 

I think that this passage can also speak to us during election season. I love politics. They are so much fun to get excited about, and I do consider it a "hobby" of mine to follow political things closely. But when it comes down to it, I need to rest in the fact that God is sovereign. I can get all worried and crazed about who is going to get elected, but God is just basically laughing at me because He already knows...He has already chosen...He has already planned it. He is the one who sits on the throne and is the ultimate ruler over ALL the earth. And this is why I chose to offer up my entire life, my entire being, the serve the cause for HIS KINGDOM, and no one else's. 

I want to lead people towards Christ. His name is the only name I will ever shout from any rooftop. 


Bethany Pee said...

i love political science, i just wish my brain would soak up and hold more of the goodness from it

Anonymous said...

Wow Carrie, I didn't know you had a love affair with political science...that's so cool! I love it too. Anyway, I think this is all very good, especially the part from your women's ministry lesson, but I can't help but wonder. If you are doing this so people will stop trying to get you to tell them who you are voting for, I am thinking maybe this blog has set it up as some fantastic unattainable mystery. I wouldn't be surprised if people bug you even MORE to tell them your decision! ;) Just something to think about...humble thoughts from a faithful blog reader.

Love Jessie