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A guy with a chalkboard and the politics of fear

I think I’m like most of you: I vote, I’m engaged in my faith, and I’m tired of being manipulated. We are all a little weary of swimming around in the murky waters of our current political climate. It was with this attitude that I turned on the television the other evening and came across one of the more popular conservative “talking heads.” I stopped to listen for a moment because he was discussing the fact that the United Nations was gathering seeds from all over the world and storing them at some clandestine and well guarded fortress in Antarctica. Anyone who grew up watching X-Files would’ve sat down to pay attention. It was an interesting piece…but this particular pundit spent the rest of his time sketching the dire circumstances of the world’s financial condition with his trademark chalkboard.His outlook wasa little frightening.

As I thought about the tone of that monologue later, itcontinued tobother me. It left me with a sense of fear about the world we live in;but I think it was supposed to – fear is certainly an effective motivator, isn’t it?

I opened up my Bible that evening and was reminded that we follow a God who called us out of fear.

1 John 4:18 says that “perfect love drives out all fear.”

I’m not a former politician; in fact, I have just recently overcome my disdain for the tone of our politics with a spiritual realization of my deep responsibility to be politically engaged.

I am also not limiting my criticism tothis popular television host. Commentators from both political persuasions do a good job peddling trepidation.

He actually offered some practical advice about connecting with your community and staying out of debt. But I truly believe his tone was wrong – our motivation in life should not be fear.

Following Jesus means that we can walk boldly into our culture, bravely into the challenges of modern life… Why? Because we believe in Resurrection.

We believe there is no room for fear.

In the next thirteen months, political discourse will dominate our lives — from televisions, to dinner tables, to social media and around the water coolers. If we are truly to live out our call as active participants in the redemption of all of creation, we simply cannot act, choose or cast our vote out of fear. Our resurrected Jesus calls us to live our lives unafraid.

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