Campaign Season

I so enjoy the political season. I could watch CNN or MSNBC for hours listening to the pundits go back and forth over issues and candidates. The human interest part of the campaign season is fascinating to watch as one speech or campaign stop can make a huge difference in perception. One slip-up can change the course of the election.

However, I struggle with the political question. Should the church be involved in candidate backing? Should we as a body of believers endorse one candidate over another? I tend to come down on the side of neutrality (if that is a side and not just the middle). The church’s main message is the gospel of Jesus Christ. If by taking a political side, we lose the ability to minister to a group of people, then what good have we done? On the other hand, by remaining neutral, are we saying that the process is without merit and that we should not be involved? I can’t go there either.

Perhaps the answer is another approach altogether. The Old Testament lectionary text for the week is Isaiah 9:1-4. This is a passage that we typically read during the Advent season. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” I contend, for me personally, that this verse could be the best prayer emphasis we have during this election season. Praying for God’s light to be shined upon the process, the people, and the voters in such a way that God’s will is accomplished.

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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