Feb 28, 2008

what is an evangelical to do?

It would seem like most Christians these days don't know what to do in the upcoming election.

On one hand, the Republican lead John McCain has received critique and blacklisting from conservative folks (like James Dobson, for instance) for his pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion stance. Mike Huckabee would have been a more ideal choice, but yet remains down in the polls comparatively. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are the more heated to watch these days. What initially may have been a shut out has quickly closed the gap... ironically, because many Christians seem to be pulling for Barack over Clinton.

I have to admit, this is surprising to me.

I find it odd that a growing swell of "church people" like Obama. Not because the man doesn't have something to say, but because there has been such a clear dividing line in the past for Christians who felt that "Jesus would have voted Republican, so you should, too."

Yet in every Christian magazine from Christianity Today to Relevant Magazine, fans of Obama are doing their best not to drool over the guy (or at least they keep wiping their mouth so we won't notice). Facebook is littered with "fans of Obama" from people I would never have guessed. In fact, in most cases people who normally would keep their vote a private matter have gone public on their blogs with surprising support.

And it's honestly a bit curious for me... the shift in all of this seems a bit reactive.

Why so many former Repubs turning Demo? Maybe "no one likes Bush, and so let's do the anti-Bush thing." Or it could be that in a time of feeling backward as a country people just assume a change is what's needed. Maybe... maybe not.

Meanwhile, I often chat with someone who believes Obama is the anti-Christ. Literally... and Oprah is his "beast" who will deceive the nations. Obama's alleged ambiguous ideals (i.e. "Is He Christian or Muslim or both?"), "shady name" (poor guy), and so on coupled with "The Oprah" and an audience who deifies her can seem like a slice out of Left Behind for some.

Funny, eh?

And yet... for those who follow popular Lahaye/Jenkins theology I wonder if Obama is just the kind of personality to fill those shoes in the minds of premillenial millenials.

Politics to me aren't about winning or losing... they're about making the right decision in a society of bluffers. I know God gave us a mind to make decisions, but I'm going to spend more time away from the TV ads to make space for more prayer on this one. For me, voting is less about what I think or have voted in the past and more about my prayer life... and something tells me I'm going to need some serious time on my knees.

I'm Tony Myles, an Ohio voter, and I approved this message.


heather said...

I have to tell ya, I'm really stuck here.
I took one of those tests that's supposed to help you recognize who you line up with.
I came out with Huckabee and Obama matched exactly.
What's a girl to do? I'd love to not vote, but my husband would stop talking to me.
And I wouldn't be able to complain later. Who wants to give up their right to complain?

Tony Myles said...

That's great! "Who wants to give up their right to complain?"

Now that's something all Americans could agree with (unfortunately).

Terrace Crawford said...

I think the party lines are going to get even more blurred as time goes on. This election is the start of it!

Ed G. said...

well Tony, I am definitely an Obamaniac. As a pro-life democrat, i voted for Justice Roberts (Bush) last time around. This time I'm voting for love -- just get the feeling this is a once-in a lifetime opportunity for the whole county to move in a 'love-your-neighbor' direction... and I can't wait.

Anonymous said...

And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. (LUKE 21:8)

Barbara said...

Well said, Tony. I am confused too and like Heather am tempted to just not vote! I'll be praying till November.

Tony Myles said...

I'm curious - what does that verse mean anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Check out this article by Jim Wallis on Obama's faith:

Defending the Facts on Obama's Faith:


Anonymous said...

it's pure charisma in a time people are frustrated.

derek bethay said...

What are Christians suppose to do if McCain picks Huckabee as his running mate???

That would be quite a conundrum for the whole "Vote for Jesus" block of the Evangelical community now wouldn't it?

Tony Myles said...

That's great, dude. WWDD? ("What Would Dobson Do?")

stephanie said...

I thought my decision was just reactionary at first, too. I thought long and hard before making the decision to support Obama and ultimately, I looked at the issues that mattered most to me before deciding. I looked at the issues that I just didn't think would ever change in my lifetime and realized to hinge my vote on those issues wouldn't be best at this point. So that why I arrived where I did.

I doubt that he's the best person for the job, but it seems he's the best one running. He cares about what I care about, and he wants to work with the Republicans to get things done. That's more than a lot of other people in Washington are willing to do.

If people who support him are behaving in a reactionary manner, that's just not good. But I think what most of us feel is ill-equipped to decide who should be president. It can be overwhelming looking at all the information given to you.

derek bethay said...

I seem to remember that Dubya ran as a "Compassionate Conservative" & that he wanted to work with Democrats in Washington just like he had done as Gov. of Texas.

Yeah... that happened!

The reality is that Washington is such a pissing contest (pardon my French) that it is nearly impossible for anything meaningful to get accomplished due to all the partisanship.

My advice this election... exercise your right to vote & vote Third Party! I may not agree with Ralph Nadar's political and moral views but since he has no chance at winning I can vote for him with a clear conscience. I'm not voting for Nadar per se, but rather for my belief that a strong Third Party would do more to facilitate change in Washington than the current two party, status quo, quagmire that we have to settle for.