There's Nothing in the Election Coverage About This...

Although I'm never very involved beyond voting, I enjoy paying attention to politics. Of course there are things that greatly annoy me about listening to candidates or people in office, and one is how high a degree of confidence they usually ask us to have in them to accomplish incredible things. The reality is that there are things politicians can and should accomplish and other things that simply aren't in their domain or range of possibilities to see come to pass. Every election includes numerous candidates talking about "cleaning house" in Washington, fighting for the people, making our futures more secure and generally giving us good lives. As he always is, Dallas Willard is the master of offering a different perspective:

"We must at some point stop looking for new information or social arrangements or religious experiences that will draw off the evil in the world at large, abolish war, hunger, oppression, and so forth, while letting us continue to be and to live as we have since Adam... The monstrous evils we deplore are in fact the strict causal consequences of the spirit and behavior of 'normal' human beings following generally acceptable patterns of life. They are not the result of strange flukes, accidental circumstances, or certain especially mad or bad individuals." (From The Spirit of the Disciplines, p. 234)

As much as politicians talk about social arrangements and things like war, hunger, and opression, they rarely say anything about solutions that actually have the potential of a deeper answer to our problems: people changing their lifestyles, both individually and in mass, to allow more room for God to change us and our world. I don't expect candidates to talk much about these things, and honestly that's okay. It is primarily the responsibility of the Christian church (you and me) to put this to the test, and once reliable ways are found (or better, rediscovered) of living the life that is truly life, we should invite others to join us. So, church, the entire world is waiting on our progress in discipleship.