Wednesday, April 2, 2008

For vs. Against

Here we are in a presidential campaign year. For more than six months we have been listening to candidates tell us how great they are. Well, that's not exactly true, is it. Candidates don't often talk about their good qualities or positions, they tell us how bad their opponents are. Muckraking, mudslinging and negative campaigning are at an all-time high. And there are still seven months until the election.

And Christian people are no different. In fact, they are probably worse. We support candidates or causes not because of what we, or they, are for, but what they are against. We are against immigration. We are against gay marriage. We are against abortion. Over and over it happens. We surround ourselves with negativity and try to hold onto a little corner of the past. We want to remember and return to the 'good old days' before all this bad stuff came up.

My own denomination is a perfect example. In a few weeks the General Conference of the United Methodist Church will be meeting in Texas. At that assembly delegates will make decisions on various issues and church policies. Most of the campaigning that is happening (campaigning in a church is a scary thought) is against the evils that seek to destroy.

How sad it is that the good news is overshadowed by complaints against someone else and their position.

It is time to make a change. I suggest a different approach for political candidates, churches, denominations, organizations and individuals. Let's focus on what we are for.
  • I am for affordable, quality education for all people.
  • I am for affordable, quality health care for all people.
  • I am for supporting all people with the love of Jesus.
  • I am for conversations and dialogue to deal with our disagreements.
  • I am for a standard of living that will allow everyone to have a measure of dignity.
  • I am for telling everyone I know about the difference that a life in Christ can make for them.
  • I am for supporting families.

I am going to do my best to be for things from now on. Maybe you would like to join me.

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