I like politics as much as the next guy and more than most but some days... I have no idea why. I tweeted today:
It makes me very uncomfortable that so much time, chatter, and ink is spent ACCUSING our leaders of vile things. And I'm not just talking about party attack ads on each other. I hate that party's feel they must run negative ads... but they do... because they work... because it's where THE COMMON CANADIAN HAS DENIGRATED TO! I wish it was not so, but you've heard the slams around the office and read it on Facebook and Twitter. But Stephen Harper is no more a scary democracy-squasher, than Michael Ignatieff is a traitorous monster, than Jack Layton is a pinko commie.
If's fascinating to type things into Google to see what their "suggestions" are:
This is not good. We have slipped ignorantly into being gobbled up by a cultural monster of mistrust and dishonor. It's not OK that we speak like this about each other... especially to our leaders. All 3 are good, learned men who have chosen to attempt to serve the public using different plans and strategies. NONE of them are monsters. Just different concepts of getting to a very similar place.
So why do we do this? Why do we eat each other alive and fall into self-fulfilling prophesies of negativity? It's uncommon for me... but I'm going to give an easy Christian answer. The Devil. It's not a head-spinning, pea-soup spewing possession situation. It's far more subtle and casual than that. But the root is in Revelation 12:10 where "The Devil" is called something very interesting. The accuser of the brethren. Fascinating description. Actually the verse says,
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
It actually speaks of a PERSISTENT enemy who's schemes have been defeated by powerful Messiah who allows us to live forgiven, gracious and FREE! There is something so oppressive that happens when we accuse each other. It's weighty, maddening and icky. It's the opposite of what Christ came to free us into. Romans 14:10-12 says something interesting:
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God
Contempt is a word that has been thrown around a lot in this electoral period... followed by aggressive accusation all around. It's interesting that God looks at us to see if WE'RE treating others with contempt (The feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior). Contempt also means, "the wilful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law" and while we LOVE pointing this out in others (and our leaders) God's watching to see how WE will treat our leaders too. He's interested in how gracious and honorable we're being. He promises that each man will get his day in His high court.
We're ALL fallible. No leaders plan is 100% doable. Things will ALWAYS screw up somehow. Have grace... because we need it too.
Accusing others, who we are supposed to build up, is a promised temptation. It's in the character of the tempter. But the ability to NOT do it was won for us through Christ. I want to challenge all of us in this election season to find a way to honor those brave enough to throw their hat into the ring with ideas. Look past rhetoric to find what is being communicated. See if it matches with your values. Speak up about what you think, but our choice to be integral and bless whoever wins hopefully will begin to neutralize the mistrust and disrespect that has crept into our society.