Slaying the political idol

So last week I wrote about this thing called Election Day Communion, the brainchild of two Mennonite pastors — one in Indiana, the other in Virginia. Next thing I know, I’m helping out in my spare time.

Two Mennonites and an Episcopalian. We should start a moving company.

It’s too soon to tell whether this will end up being just a handful of churches or something bigger. There are hopeful signs, though, like this post from Kurt Willems. And this shout-out from Greg Boyd:

There are rumors of at least one denomination coming on board.

But the lure of partisan politics is strong. It will not be tamed easily. Idols don’t go down without a fight, especially in an election year.

The truth is, too many of us have been swept away by the 24-hour news cycle, the relentless pursuit of power, the increasing polarization of our society.

These are not just the sins of the Religious Right. They’re the sins of all of us who’ve ever put our faith in a political messiah to bring about the kind of kingdom we think our country needs.

Remember when “hope” was more than a political slogan?

It’s not that our world doesn’t desperately need hope. It’s that hope never comes in the form of a ballot, a Super PAC, or a gun. It doesn’t come when we amass enough votes to impose our will on those living on the other side of the “us” vs. “them” divide.

It comes when we start doing what Jesus told us to do. When we take up a cross. Serve. Love. Sacrifice. Turn the other cheek instead of fighting back.

It comes when we subvert injustice and proclaim freedom to the broken and the beaten down.

It comes when we refuse to play by the world’s rules anymore, when we opt out of the world’s zero-sum power game. It comes when we stop trying to build an empire for ourselves.

So what if, when Barack Obama offers us “change we can believe in,” we remember the real source of lasting change? Body and blood, bread and wine. The gifts of God for the people of God.

What if, when Mitt Romney tells us to “believe in America,” we remember that we are called to believe in something bigger?

What if we start living like the resurrection really does change everything?


2 thoughts on “Slaying the political idol

  1. I know of several Mennonite congregations already nationwide…and Marty Troyer at Houston Mennonite has noted that his effort is starting to take on an ecumenical look. I’ve tried to spread the word on my own blog.

    This is the start of something big and I hope that it doesn’t just stop with election day but is the start of an awareness in the North American churches of our calling to living out our citizenship in the Kingdom over and above any other citizenship we may have. Keep spreading the word!


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