I guess I’m on a controversial writer’s kick. While in the airport on my way to Peru a few months ago, I bought a book by Dan Merchant. I knew it would be interesting because of the title, Lord Save Us From Your Followers. Luckily I am a sucker for a good book whether I agree with everything they say or not.
This book was different; not in a bad way, just different.
It was essentially about us, as believers, listening to each other and not getting hung up on our personal agendas. Believe me, we all have them.
Don’t believe me? Look at this election…Palin is adored by us southerners because she stands for all of the right things: she’s against abortion and gay marriage. As soon as we heard that we were happy.
Before you go crazy, the reverse is true as well. There are people here in the south and else where who will vote for Obama because he is against the war, not caring that he is pro-abortion and for gay marriage, even though they are personally against it.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is something to be said for letting your morals determine your candidate, but we tend to get hung up on things and ignore stuff that is just as important.
This book talks about some really hard stuff. It is a book of interviews: interviews with people on the street, interviews with famous people, interviews with controversial people. One of the interviews is with a transvestite nun.
I found this book fascinating because even though the writer is a believer, rarely does he give his opinion. He conducts interviews and expects us readers to make up our own minds about how to process the information we just read.
Here in the south it seems, at times, that you can beat your wife and kids, not pay taxes and shoot someone, and as long as you are against abortion and gay marriage then you’re fine. I am exaggerating, but not by much. We tend to lose focus on all of the other ‘sins’ that are committed by people. We prioritize sin; and as long as it isn’t one of the two biggies then hey, it will work out.
Lord Save Us From Your Followers was a book that forced me to reevaluate how I look at certain things. Am I caught up in the right vs wrong (republican vs democrat) mentality? The left coast seems to be convinced that Republicans are racist, backwards, uneducated, money-hungry, step on poor people, wife-beaters. All of us in the south assume Democrats are liberal, trees-are-more-important-than-people, baby killing, free sex for all, there is no such thing as sin, weirdos. And I’m talking about inside the church.
True story. Eight years ago, when Bush was running against Gore, I saw a car that had two bumper stickers on it, “Bush/Cheney” and “God is My Co-Pilot”. In the front yard, where the car was, was a Bush/Cheney sign. I talked with the lady next door, who had a Gore/Lieberman sign out front, and she said, “no self-respecting Methodist would ever vote for a Republican.”
Now explain to me how two “Christians,” who I assume are strong believers, can be so diametrically opposed to each other when it comes to politics? I understand a believer and non-believer being on opposite ends. But what makes the terms Republican and Democrat send people over the edge. Bible believing, God-fearing people.
Shouldn’t we as “Christians” be above that mess? Do all Methodists vote for Democrats only? If so, why? Do all Baptists vote Republican? Again, if so, why?
This actually leads me to another Book I have been asked to review. It is called How Would Jesus Vote and will be out soon, if it isn’t already. I can’t wait to read it and get their perspective on all of this.
My fascination this election isn’t with Obama vs McCain, but with the Democratic Christian vs the Republican Christian. Who will win?
As for the book, I would recommend it. It is both thought-provoking and infuriating at times. Read it, like the last one I talked about, with an open mind. Open to understanding how someone thinks and why.
As for the Christian vs Christian battle: I guess we’ll see in November.