I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Great "Calling"

Across this great country we have seen numerous candidates who have been "called" to public service.  Many of these same individuals have worked in political circles their whole lives and made the leap into candidacy as a result of what they have said was/is a "calling from God."  Some, unfortunately, have mistaken indigestion to be a calling from the Creator, but it does make us wonder:

Does God call people to run for public office?

In the Scriptural sense, the only "calling" we see is to that of ministry.  And I suppose if we want to call elective office "ministry," then I suppose the hermeneutical gymnastics required are appropriate.  But that opens up a whole new set of problems, doesn't it?  If elective office is truly a "calling," then wouldn't it be safe to argue on some level that our government is, by default, theocratic in nature?  Wes Lane used to call himself the "Minister of Justice," but he then lost to David Prater...does that mean his "calling" to elective office was only temporary or was the calling less of a calling and more of a desire of personal vocation?  We also remember the legendary campaign of the televangelist, Pat Robertson - the one who was sure that parts of Florida would be destroyed because of the gay agenda.  Was he wrong and if so, what do to?  The questions are endless.

We know that the Apostles were "called" - but they were called into ministry, to service of the Church and the furtherance of the Gospel itself. Christ called each and every one of His disciples and even Paul had a "calling," but he continued to work as a tent-maker so as to not be a financial burden on the Church.  A friend of mine asked me recently whether or not a person could be called to elective office for the purpose of serving the Church.  That, my friends, is a spectacular question and one with a number of possible answers - the most obvious is that if someone feels as though the seat of government is a place of power for the Church, then, so be it.  (See Mt. 23

Yet, being "called to elective office" to "serve the Church" is almost an oxymoron, isn't it?  The Church has a very defined mission and that is to care for the widows and orphans in their time of need and to make disciples.  And if someone is using a vocation of elective office to accomplish those missions, is it then the role and responsibility of said government to care for the widows and the orphans and thereby take that responsibility away from the Church?  Or, has the government itself become the Church - or a religious institution in and of itself? 

Perplexing dilemmas this creates, doesn't it?

And what then if the person who believes he/she is "called" to that elective office faces an opponent who also believes it is a "calling" to the same elective office?  Is one a prophet and the other a false prophet for we certainly can't elect TWO people for the same office?  And what does the Scripture say we are to do with false prophets?  Dt. 13 is pretty clear, but pretty darned scary.  Dt. 18 is a little less scary, admonishing us not to fear such a knucklehead.  Of course, there will be the compulsory excuse, "God called me to RUN for this office, not to win it," put forth by the loser of the race, but we can see that one a mile away and call it what it truly is:  Balderdash.  Because God is efficacious in His calling(s) (see Romans 8:30), right?

So, this is quite the perplexing mess we find ourselves in, isn't it?  We have in more than one case, two candidates for elective office wherein both feel a "calling" to run for elective office.  Now, we will get to decide who has the real calling, and who has indigestion.