International Church Leader Reveals How Christians Should Vote--and Hillary and Trump are Furious!
(We'll tell you what they said when confronted with the news--and you won't believe it!)
First, let me confess that I've gotten a little obsessed with the reality show the election has become this year. I actually watched most of all three presidential debates--a first for me--and I'm continually checking the news and the polls to see how the campaigns are progressing. It's a little bit like driving by a terrible traffic accident. You know you shouldn't, but you just can't help slowing down to gawk at how bad the damage is. Then last week, Jocelyn in the office--knowing that I'm a huge C.S. Lewis fan--showed the following quote from the Screwtape Letters. (If you know the book, you know it's a senior devil writing advice to his nephew on the best way to tempt a new Christian.)
"My Dear Wormwood,
Be sure that the patient remains completely fixated on politics. Arguments, political gossip, and obsessing on the faults of people they have never met serves as an excellent distraction from advancing in personal virtue, character, and the things the patient can control. Make sure to keep the patient in a constant state of angst, frustration and general disdain towards the rest of the human race in order to avoid any kind of charity or inner peace from further developing. Ensure that the patient continues to believe that the problem is "out there" in the "broken system" rather than recognizing there is a problem with himself."
Don't get me wrong--I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't be involved in the political life of our nation. Jesus taught that the Kingdom of Heaven was like yeast--making an entire loaf of bread rise. As citizens of that Kingdom, I believe we are called to be agents of that transformation--laced throughout our culture in the same way that yeast is thoroughly mixed with dough. It is our duty to be informed about the issues of the day, to diligently seek the truth, and to pray and work for the best leadership possible. And this year, the stakes appear to be very high, judging by the stark contrast between the candidates. I would point out, however, that when Lewis wrote Screwtape, the stakes could hardly have been higher--England was in the midst of a world war with Nazi Germany. So his advice--that a political fixation can be a distraction from personal charity and peace--still rings true.
So here's the sermon I'm trying to preach to myself: Faced with political disagreement, it's important to wear the collar of a pastor before you pick up the staff of a prophet. Yes--like a prophet--you must always speak truth to power. But you must also ask: Is what I am about to say true? Have I actually done any research to determine its veracity? Is what I am about to say helpful? Will it uplift or tear down the person I'm speaking to? Am I focused on loving, or am I focused on winning? The answers to those questions will determine whether I am an instrument of peace or just another relay station for gossip and vitriol.
And now for the actual content promised by the histrionic headline at the top of the blog. (Like all good ranting commentators on the internet, I've buried it at the bottom of my comments.) The international church leader in question is C.S. Lewis, of course, and his advice on how to vote: with a foundation of personal spiritual introspection and a commitment to Christian charity and peace. As for Trump and Hillary being furious--well, I'm sure they are from time to time, just not about Lewis's comments. And what did they say when confronted with the news? Amazingly, they both declared: "Go see the Friends of the Groom's Christmas show!" See--I told you, you wouldn't believe it.