Why Prominent Christians Should Skip Endorsing

1412621043000-endorsement-16x9Another well-known and popular Christian personality just spoke out against one of the presidential candidates. She has a heart-wrenching story in her past that makes her criticisms and lack of support perhaps warranted. Other famous Christians have chosen to do the same on one side or another and they’re, as far as I know, not committing a crime by taking a stand.

But in my opinion they are unwise and don’t help the outcome of the election or the cause of Christ. Let me suggest several reasons why.

Too many people think that famous Christians are always right. These people in their minds might just as well have been one of the original twelve (well, not Judas Isacriot) and speak words equal to that of Holy Scripture. So when they go public, millions listen and I would guess are swayed toward feeling the same way. And whether it’s not voting for a certain candidate (or not listening to a particular rock band or whatever), their loyalists will often follow blindly.

Secondly, they often come across to some and better known as arrogant know-it-alls  rather than the Christian leader they’ve been for decades.  Of course, their adherents don’t feel that way but many others do and that’s unfortunate. Because instead of having the potential to have even more learn or be impacted by them, those same people often walk the other way.

Thirdly, while they may clearly express their opinion about a person or group, they rarely have solutions or better answers. For example, in an election if people are told one candidate is bad, then that seems to imply they are for the other. But are they really? What if the other candidate is worse? Or are they saying they won’t vote at all? What’s the better alternative? Few ever go there, they just vent.

So what should famous people do with politics, religious debates and responding to others in the public arena? Well, excuse my bluntness but to famous Christians I say . . . Keep your mouth shut, at least publicly. Express your personal views the way the rest of us do. We vote. We try to change the people and culture around us. Some will run for office themselves and try to be part of the solution, as they say, rather than the problem. There are lots of ways to still take a strong stand if you so desire.

Use your platform, famous ones, for positive change, modeling truth and inspiration in the middle of tough times. Am I suggesting Christians shouldn’t be bold or face tough opposition? Of course not. But Jesus had multiple opportunities to use his greatness, being equal with God and power to dominate, coerce and even supernaturally change everyone’s point of view and yet he was often silent, subdued and distant. But He still changed the world.

We can too. But we don’t have to influence millions at a time. We might just impact more the other, slower way.

The Lost Art and Discipline of Waiting

wait-1

Had to wait for anything lately? Your food at the restaurant, the light to turn green at the intersection, a baby to be born, a needed check to arrive, a potential employer to call or critical test results to emerge from the doctor’s office or hospital?

We’re not much of a waiting culture anymore are we? People sit for days outside of the Apple Store, yes waiting, but only because they won’t be able to stand not getting the latest phone or pad one day after it’s available. Young couples get married but often take on huge debt because they don’t want to wait for the big house, fancy car and rooms full of possessions that others already have.

We used to wait for our pictures to be developed but new technology allows us to see them immediately (and I’m glad for that). During the upcoming election we will get results and nearly-always-right predictions of state decisions within seconds of the polls closing. Only rarely is there any waiting involved after that.

And of course there is nothing inherently wrong with some things happening quickly minus the lag time of an unnecessary delay. But sometimes waiting has a purpose or two both in the everyday world and the spiritual realm. Waiting is a common practice in the Psalms.

Psalm 130:5-6, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning . . . . ”

But there are at least three reasons why we should embrace some of the waiting we must still do in this life and not try to merely speed everything up.

One, we will learn to trust God for the ultimate timing of events and answers to our concerns. Waiting is a form of a fast where we let go of our trying to control everything and give the controls back to God at least on that issue.

Two, we can better remember where our hope and satisfaction come from. Getting everything right away can become like a fix for our addiction to our own pleasure and satisfaction. Parents are wise when they don’t always give kids the newest, latest and coolest even though everyone else seems to have it. Couples are wise when they don’t spend all they have on bigger and better. God is our only hope, our only water for the thirst that is deep within us for more. Waiting reminds us of that.

Three, we slow down, appreciate and see things in the world that we would miss otherwise. When we don’t wait, we don’t stop or even back off our personal gas pedal. When we are willing to wait, we have time to think, meditate, ponder and be thankful for what we do have. When we wait, we focus more on the things that matter and less on the ones that just our longings for a bit longer.

So let me end with a pun of sorts. Learn to watch your wait. And if you’re waiting for something that you really think you must have now, don’t run faster, move slower for a change. You just might enjoy the time and have it take the wait off your shoulders.!