To Christians Who Believe One Political Party Will Bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth

Imagine this.

There’s a relay race. Runners try to pass a baton from one to another. The goal? Cross the finish line. But this isn’t a normal baton – on it are words like “justice” and “poverty alleviation” and “equality.” The race is a long one.

Imagine this.

Some of the runners stand on the sideline. Instead of running the race, they stand there cheering for the runner who will run the final leg of the race – even though that runner hasn’t even received the baton yet. Then those runners on the sideline – who should be contributing to the race – start screaming at each other about who should run that final leg. The baton falters and is dropped, yet those idle runners continue to argue.

It’s kind of ridiculous.

* * * * *

Politicians play an important role in our society. They stand at the finish line and wait for the baton. Most of the race is run at a relational level, bringing change and justice and giving a voice to the oppressed. The race is run by individuals who work hard.

The race was the Underground Railroad.

The race was the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The race was the Freedom or Death speech.

These people run the race. They do the work. They change people’s hearts. Then they arrive at the finish line, where politicians take the baton and ratify the laws and sign the amendments and walk across the finish line.

Do not let the current power-grabbing in our country disillusion you to this fact. When you elect a politician, when you select a party, you are choosing the person best equipped to walk that cause over the finish line – you are rarely choosing the person who will run the race. This is a representative government – politicians who bring about change not asked for by the majority do not get reelected, thus powerful and radical change is not one of their well-worn paths.

I am not saying that politics is meaningless. I’m saying that if you want change, run the race. I’m not saying you should lose all concern with those who will run the baton over the finish line. I’m saying don’t let that be your only concern.

I’m looking at you, Christians who are acting like one political party is going to bring the kingdom of the heavens to earth.

Run the race.

* * * * *

Is my metaphor totally screwy? Do you have a better one to offer?

* * * * *

This post is part of the Faith and Politics Synchroblog over at Andi Cumbo’s place. To see the other participants, click HERE.

12 Replies to “To Christians Who Believe One Political Party Will Bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth”

  1. I really like this metaphor, Shawn, because it allows for the importance of the legal and governmental change we sometimes need but also stresses how vital all of our work is for change to take place. Thank you.

  2. Lets try this.. Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Amazing right? But he certainly did not take himself there, wake up one morning and say, “I’m going to get mankind to the moon and I’ll do it myself, who’s with me?”. No, the effort was made by many talented and passionate people with the same crazy dream, Neil was chosen for the job because was just crazy enough to listen and say.. “I’ll be your guy! You can strap me to a ridiculously huge 6,000,000 pound, 360 ft tall tube that’s 95% filled with High Explosives.. ahem propellent.”

    You’d have to be crazy to do that.

    Much in the same way, you’d have to be equally as crazy to run for president, strap yourself to the oval office chair and hope you actually get to the place the majority point you toward. A LOT of people want to see you crash and Burn.

    1. You could say the moon is the vision, the rocket is the party, the astronaut is the president and the fuel is the American people. The election is the launch button.

      1. Not to say your metaphor doesn’t work.. I just like things that go boom. I feel like in a relay power over the end result is equally spread over the runners.. but I feel like our government operates in a less equally spread out relay. It would be more like Usan Bolt runs the first leg, Pistorius (double amputee) takes the 2nd, a regular guy like myself takes the 3rd and a the old people in the Seinfeld scooters race to the finish. lol.

        1. Of course I just might not understand you metaphor at all. I’m on a lot of Sudafed, Tylenol and Caffeine right now. ha! My reading comprehension skills might be a bit compromised, so I sort of feel like I am missing the point.

  3. I salivate at the use of metaphors. It’s part of what drives my blog.
    In your case, if you can morph the political process into something I can see in my head and it presents a good case, it’s all the better.

  4. Andy Stanley has a podcast with a series called “Recovery Road.” He discusses something similar to this… saying that if our country is going to change, it has to start with us… as individuals. Not one party or the other.

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