Just a Catch Up
Updated: Jan 4
I hope you’re all doing well this holiday season! I know that I am usually posting a Christmas giveaway around this time, but I will be skipping this year. A part of it is due to the fact that I have been inactive on my social media, and this blog for a while. As I’ve last updated everyone, I am now happily married :D and working a full-time contract position along with managing my own business. It has definitely been a trying few months, though these trials have all been joyful, they do take a lot of my time. And the other part of why I won’t be hosting a giveaway this year is because of current events.
In October, I was at an event where there was a Christian politician sharing her platform on having parents be involved with education - I love that platform, and I truly believe that parents who are able to get involved with their children’s education are setting their children up for success. I wanted to get to know more about how she felt the county could assist families where parent(s) were unable to be involved due to socioeconomic situations that would bar them from being more involved. I personally believe that most parents would want to be involved with their children’s education, but has historically been an unattainable reality for single-parent households and/or low-income households. With prices going up and wages not quite catching up to inflation, a lot of parents are now working longer hours to make ends meet, and taking a day off to chaperone field trips, or even re-teaching school material after dinner, is not really an option. I did not get to speak directly to the candidate regarding this, but was a bit sad to find that their assistant didn’t have a lot to say in terms of help or programs she hoped to implement either. However, I do understand that even if the candidate did have a vision, it may be too soon to speak on promises that would still be pending other legislative and judicial counterparts.
What I was more put off by was the fact that her assistant told me rather blatantly that as a Christian, I must vote for a Republican, because only Republicans upheld the Word of God. I told him that I do not stand by Republicans or Democrats, rather I looked at policies and platforms, and whether or not it aligned with my beliefs and values. He told me that if I really looked hard at the Republicans versus Democrats, I would see it actually God versus Evil. He continued to elaborate that the Democrats had an evil leftist agenda, and would stop at nothing to destroy everything. We debated for a while regarding evil intentions, and what it means to be in a fallen world, grace, economics, Black Lives Matter, abortions, and more. We ended the conversation on terms that we both believed in Christ, but very blatantly disagree on human nature and politics. **I do not know whether or not this assistant’s beliefs reflect the beliefs of the candidate, other than that their political affiliation is “Republican”.
I’ve thought about that conversation at length, and mulled over the Genesis, the Gospels, Acts, and Romans in reflection of creation, free will, and what it means to be Christian in a secular world where there is division of Church and State. Over the past two months, I have continually prayed for wisdom and guidance when it comes to politics - I believe that as a Christian in this world, we have the responsibility to vote for what is right, and represent Christ in our daily lives. I think I have a better grasp of what I believe to be truth, and why I think it is important to have a personal relationship with God, rather than follow a what seems to represent God. At the end of the day, Scripture says:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. - Matthew 7:15
It was a reminder to not just listen to who is saying they are doing things for the name of God, cloaking their own selfish desires. I think it can speak for both, and any, political party - we are not called to trust the words of man, but to listen for the Good Shepherd's guidance:
I am the Good Shepherd... My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. - John 10:14, 27.
It makes me wonder, though, how much we can sometimes idolize a representation of God - whether it’s wearing a crucifix necklace around or neck, listening to worship songs, reading the Bible, or voting “Republican”, all of these things do not make us Christian. Crucifix necklaces were once just a thing of fashion, worship songs can be sung without faith, the Bible can be read through the lens of a secular document, and “Republicans” are simply the opposing political party to “Democrats”.
And to address the elephant in the room: It doesn’t make us a better Christian to stand on the side of Israel, simply because the Bible states that Israel is His chosen people, and they are the Jews of the Old Testament. It doesn’t make us mature Christians to point fingers at extremist groups and say “They started it” as an excuse to attack innocent lives. It makes us a better Christian to look objectively at what sins were committed and pray for both the sinners and the victims - on both sides. Jesus did not condemn the woman at the well, and His parable of the Good Samaritan is a reminder that He is not looking at a person based on what the world labels them by. We do not cut away sin by staying in a “Christian bubble” and feeling self righteous for following bullet points on conservative forums. That’s makes us the brother of the prodigal son who felt righteous to condemn his brother's actions while his father rejoiced in his return. That makes us Pharisees. We cut away sin by remembering Jesus’ grace for us, and knowing that we are still sinners who need to repent and undergo sanctification. We don’t reflect Christ by judging non-believers and viewing them as evil less-thans, we reflect Christ through forgiving others because we are also sinners, empathizing and sympathizing with their humanity and struggles, and praying for them.
Though joyous in anticipation of celebrating Christmas, this Christmas is also somber in knowing what is happening on a global level. I know that hosting a giveaway is usually my way of sharing about God’s ultimate gift to us - Christ’s birth. While I do think it is important to spread the joy and share about Jesus' birth as a gift during Christmas, I think it would be particularly tone-deaf to do so this year. Instead, I would like if my subscribers can lift up a prayer for what's been going on in the world, pray for wisdom for world leaders, prayer for the upcoming elections, and if you feel so led to give, please give to a cause this holiday season to help those in need!