This is a continuation of the conversation I was having in the comments section of my last post. Particularly, I wanted to address the statement “Barack Obama gives people hope.” Please understand, I don’t want to diminish the hope that he may give someone who may finally have, as Janey put it, “hope in a system that has wronged them or left them out.” I think it’s great that people (like my friend Janey) see the failures of the current system and have hope in change, whether or not that change is delivered by Obama or someone else. But, I guess this is an attempt to explain why my hope in Barack Obama or ANY political figure is extremely tempered, if not entirely absent.
I probably won’t vote in this years election. “What? Why?” they say, looking at me dumbfounded… well, because I just really don’t care that much. Even if I tried, I couldn’t get excited about either candidate and I can’t get fired up about any topic of debate among conservatives and liberals (except maybe for the conversation I had with Phil the other day about why I think supply-side economics is entirely bogus). “But people in other countries don’t have the opportunity to vote, so you should!” Still, can’t buy the rationale that ‘you should do this because other people can’t.’
You ever have thoughts about something that you can’t entirely articulate yourself? This is sort of one of those things for me. Luckily, I came across this post by Greg Boyd. Minus the comment that Barack’s speech was “the most brilliantly crafted and powerfully delivered speech I’ve ever heard,” (because I just didn’t get that same impression) I will throw my full endorsement behind this post by Greg Boyd. This is why I probably won’t vote and why both Barack Obama and John McCain do not give me hope.
Please read it all, but here are my favorite quotes:
I’m a citizen of a different empire (Phil 1:27; 3:20) and therefore a foreigner in this one (Heb. 11:13; 1 Pet 1:17; 2:11). I’m only here as an ambassador and soldier sent to defend and advance the interests of my own homeland while being careful not to get too involved in civilian affairs (2 Cor 5:20; 2 Tim. 2:4). Given this, I don’t feel I need to try to decide how much of Obama’s speech last night was rooted in reality and how much of it was empty rhetoric, as some allege.
Whatever good Obama, McCain or any other politician may or may not be able to accomplish, the ultimate hope and allegiance of all Kingdom citizens must remain in Jesus Christ and in the mustard seed Kingdom he established. Our call as ambassadors of Christ is to individually and corporately look like Jesus in how we love and serve people, including the poor, the marginalized, the judged — and women with unwanted pregnancies. And our call is to trust that God will use the foolishness of this humble, servant activity to advance his Kingdom and ultimately transform the world.