Monday, May 2, 2016
Looking for Messiahs Where There are None to be Found
Call me jaded, but I have been well cognizant of politics since the 1984 presidential election. For decades I have listened to one presidential candidate after another make essentially the same laundry list of promises (appropriate to party, of course). Each claims to be the person or party that will make us better. 30+ years of we'll make health, education, infrastructure, and programs better. 35+ years of promising safety, welfare, and economic stability. 35+ year of making promises to unite us. 35 +long and painful years of steady failure.
I am sure each party and candidate believed what they were saying. I do not think they intentionally lied or that they did lie, first to themselves, and then have bought the lie, spread the lie. What is the lie? They were wannabe messiahs. Mere men and women who seek to move heaven and earth, to manipulate the very forces of nature themselves. They make promises that simply cannot be kept by anyone. They look for the power of THE Messiah and always fall short. This does not stop the gravy train of rampant hubris from the next crop of messiahs from rising up and playing the populace for fools.
In the same time frame, we have busied ourselves with deleting the actual Messiah from the public purview. Some actively have eliminated Him through endless lawsuits, harassment, and through good old fashioned demagoguery. Most have eliminated Him by apathy and chasing after favored sins. The new Messiahs promised what the old Messiah wouldn't: they promised wealth without work, choices without consequences, safety without wariness. These messiahs, though, want a high price: surrender integrity, dignity, freedom, and independence to receive their chest of gold. Of course, the chest of gold is appropriately filled with fool's gold every time. Despite the Who's singing "we won't get fooled again" we line up like Charlie Brown, convinced that the football won't get yanked away by Lucy again. So every election cycle? To quote the Peanuts strip, "Auuuughhhhhh, THUMP!"
So, now we have a new crop of wannabe messiahs. They promise vacuous things like free this or that, or he'll make America great again, or some other siren's song to get us to line up like lemmings to jump off the electoral cliff. Auuughhhhhh....THUMP! The dirty little truth is that there are consequences from which no earthly messiah can absolve us. There is no true security without the work, vigilance, or wisdom. The real Messiah tells us that. He doesn't absolve of consequence but gives a Gospel to steer us to consequences which will give peace and joy. This true Messiah doesn't tell us to sit on our kiester and wait for good, but to get off our kiester and get about the business of the Kingdom.
The difference between these poseurs for the throne and the actual Messiah, Jesus Christ? The poseurs see you as a cog in the machine, largely disposable, and to be cast aside once you have outlived your usefulness. The real Messiah sees you as worth surrendering His life for. False messiahs seek power. Jesus eschewed it, turning down the devil's temptation to rule over all earthly kingdoms if Jesus would but bow down to him. The false messiahs are motivated by what is in it for them; the true Messiah is selfless and empties himself. False messiahs shear and slay their flock; the true Messiah gives His life for the flock.
The antidote to this cancer? First, in politics: the president takes an oath of office. See what is in it and what is not. For the love of God, look at the Constitution and see what his duties are. Saving us is not in the constitutional job description. Can your candidate do this? Then vote for them. If not, then don't. Second, recognize that anyone who does get elected is going to be a mere human being. They do not always get it right. That said, please try to elect a person who is honest and will do the job outlined in our constitution. Third, we have got to start following the right Messiah again. If we don't, we will have more of the same or even worse. History shows that any entity that shoves the hand of God away from them become easy targets for the predators out there. We muct stop looking for messiahs where there are none to be found.