Taking sides?

Oh yeah, everyone’s doing it! Politics is in its full swing for the next eighty days, and we skid toward the end of another presidential election. You’ve probably heard pundits analyzing every play, counting the insults and tactics. What details you’ve heard depends, of course, on where you get your news.

The advantage of politics, like sports, is that now and then we get to call a winner. That event gives everyone a chance to go back in their locker rooms for a day, and wonder what to do differently next time. But most of us will still be on the same sides after the game is over. Most of us had already decided what side we were on before the candidates lined up, before the primaries. Most of us have been on our various sides for a long time. The reason is not that we are persistently foolish. It is that we believe our values matter, and most of our values were established sometime in high school or earlier. And our values differ.

It would be interesting to see how we would vote if we could simply choose between abstract values, instead of dealing with messy personality and stories. How would you choose between education and national security? Between jobs and the environment? This particular election, like the last few, have asked us to choose between two different views of America: it’s getting better, or it’s getting worse. The past was better, or the future is better. Diversity is a path to peace, or a path to destruction. We need to be tough, or we need to be prudent. These differences are profound, reaching into our deep experience and personality. We can’t possibly make rational decisions about such sweeping choices, because our souls resonate with one or the other, and that’s all there is to it.

Starting this week, we start a new series of messages about arguments–six profound, soul-stirring arguments that got to the heart of people long ago, and still haven’t left us alone. We’ll be kicking back into our sermon discussion time following worship, in the conference room. We’ll be taking sides, and identifying where our souls come down among so many choices. Come for the conversation!


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