Donald, Bernie, and Me

It’s election season and it’s wilder than I’ve ever seen it. We’ve had our wild times in my home state, where we elected Jesse Ventura, affectionately known as “Governor Turnbuckle” by a local radio host during those years. But this year nationally… whew!

There is anger and frustration and it’s spilling over into some wild antics in the primary races.

For me, it’s bittersweet. I’ve always loved talking politics. Even this year, with how upsetting things are with gutter politics at a lower level, I still have an affinity for the discussion. Yet, I am watching an all new low, and probably the ultimate demise of the Republican Party. What rises out of this mess is hard to tell.

The upside for me, though, is listening to people in our church banter about politics. THIS is what I love about our church. THIS is what I dream for in all churches. We have people who support a wide range of candidates. From Kasich or Carson to Clinton to Sanders, we have people talking about what they like and dislike in their positions and policies.

So, I can effectively tell the media and all other political organizations to respectfully… um… well… I won’t write that…

What I’m saying is this: for years pundits and even some organizations have talked about “evangelicals” as one monolithic voting block. I’ve even been treated that way. “Oh, you’re an evangelical, so you must be for _________________.”

In our church, it doesn’t hold true. My belief is that it shouldn’t hold true in ANY church. I think pastors should be able to serve communion to people who vote for “someone else.” Whoever I support politically, it is still my privilege as pastor to give communion to someone following Christ who may vote for someone else. We can disagree at another time. But at the Table, we come together.

I love my church. I love their ability to think and disagree, and still love each other as we wrestle with the issues.

I’m with Russell Moore in this issue of “evangelical” this year. Maybe I’ll take up the tag “gospel Christian” as well. I can’t be labeled. I won’t be labeled. And I won’t ask that of anyone in my church. We can think, we can vote, we can disagree, and in the end, we follow Christ.

Oh, and if Bernie Sanders is really looking for a better way to fund his education plan, tell him to give me a call. His method is deeply flawed. Mine will work. I’ll be waiting by my phone.

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