For the record, I hate talking about politics. Specifically, I hate how divided people become when talking about politicians and how they deal with the issues.
I know that ‘hate’ is a pretty strong word, and I rarely use it around here. But I feel like it’s important for people to understand that by sharing this, I am not trying to make a political endorsement or statement.
And like it or not Barack Obama is the leader of our great (and, yes it’s still great) nation, so what he says matters. Especially when he talks about the role of faith in impacting our country.
When I listened to what he had to say at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast recently, there were a couple of things that struck me as important ideas.
“Our goals should not be to declare our policies as Biblical… Instead it is our hope that people of goodwill can pursue their values and … common good as best they know how, with respect for each other.”
Interesting, huh? I’m not sure how you take this, but I take it to mean that there is a Higher Law that should guide me. It’s something that transcends any earthly law or policy.
I can wrap my head around this.
Furthermore, it resonates deeply with me as it relates to my stance on various issues. For example, I’m not a fan of the current abortion laws. At the same time I recognize that those laws don’t impact me directly. My wife and I simply don’t consider abortion an option.
But… we do see investing in people as being an important aspect of our faith-walk. I’d rather put my efforts into reaching people with the Love of Christ than to protest laws I don’t agree with. You might say that I’m dreaming, but I think that the best way to get rid of abortion is to minister to the hearts of the people who feel like there is no other way, and not by legislating my moral values to others with a different worldview.
I’m not trying to debate the abortion issue here. I want to focus on the idea that our faith-based values should rise above any governmental policies and laws. Obama continues on this theme by saying…
“I think we all understand that these values cannot truly find voice in our politics and our policies unless they find a place in our hearts. The Bible teaches us to be doers of the Word, and not merely hearers. We are required to have a living, breathing, active faith in our own lives. And each of us is called on to give something of ourselves for the betterment of others, and to live the Truth of our faith, not just with words, but with deeds.”
This is where I agree with Obama the most in his speech. I think we (the Church) too easily get wrapped up in trying to be right, legislating morality, and talking about how bad things are. The truth is that we should be putting more of our energy into being the Church and ministering to the needs of others. The problem is that we somehow feel like the later is much more difficult than the former.
I certainly felt like this speech was a great reminder that we (the Church) need to focus on the right things… and that’s people.
What do you think? Do you get the same challenges out of this speech? What else did you get out of it?