“To the Best of My Ability”, Part 1

Did you know that William Henry Harrison served the shortest term of any United States President? He died just one month into his term (March 4-April 4, 1841). His campaign slogan was ‘Tippecanoe and Tyler Too’, the Tyler being his V.P. running mate, John Tyler. I went to see the home of his grandson Benjamin Harrison last week in Indianapolis. Benjamin is the only presidential grandson to also serve as U.S. President.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a fan of U.S. Presidential history. I’ve always had great respect for the men who held the office, especially considering the enormous weight they carry each day. You can see that burden in pictures taken of them at the beginning and end of their presidencies. Some have filled the role better than others, but all have made their mark on U.S. history in one form or another.

2012 of course is another presidential election year. For the first time, however, I’m having a difficult time generating enthusiasm for either major party’s presumed candidate. But I think the roots of this lack of interest for me go back to 2008. At that time, many people thought that we truly had a landmark change coming and that this presidency was not going to look like politics as usual. I was skeptical even then and thought often of the psalmist’s line in Psalm 146:3 – “Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.” Do things in the nation’s capital really look all that different three-plus years later?

Last Sunday at the church I’ve been visiting, the pastor spoke about how much discussion of politics seem to be coming out of the pulpit these days. There seems to be a sense, especially in the evangelical community, that if we just get the right person in the White House, everything will magically change. The pastor countered that by saying that if we really look at the church’s great times of growth (particularly in the early chapters of Acts), these often came about when anything but the “right candidate” was in power. The gospel spread despite the opposition from those in secular authority.

The second half of this post will deal with worldviews and I hope to post this in the next day or so. In the meantime the question I have for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is this: If the “right candidate” does in fact get elected this fall, what do you envision happening?

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One thought on ““To the Best of My Ability”, Part 1

  1. “Right candidate”? Is there ever such a thing?
    If some right-wing evangelical Christian were elected (and there’s not one running so it’s not going to happen this go-round), Congress would make him a lame duck president or he would be assassinated. In the meantime, riots would ensue.

    I think there is a tremendous temptation to confuse the Gentile nations – of which the US is one – with the nation of Israel, and the dear “God and Country” Americans do seem to love to claim God’s covenant promises to Israel for herself. I think that smacks of incredible hubris and a misunderstanding of the covenants. We already have our King. I think it behooves us to act like it, and to take comfort – and fear – in Proverbs 21:1 and Colossians 1:15-17…and then go live like the Christian citizens of Rome were commanded to live.

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