How would an allegiance to Christ affect my values? Let’s throw out there a few thoughts. Take the area of politics.
I watched a film recently ‘Ides of March’. A film looking at people on the campaign trail. The governor has sex with the intern (definitely a big ‘no’ in the film). That raised a big question for me about marriage. The wife of the governor was alongside him at all points. Did she know about the affair? Did it not matter too much, after all being the wife of a governor running for president has a big pay-back in terms of social position.
However, the areas that were far more challenging though were to do with the ethics of winning votes. One example were meetings with fellow politicians to gain their endorsement. Making a deal so that votes could be guaranteed – in return a position in the forthcoming government.
I thought ‘that’s how politics works’ but I also thought – ‘and for a follower of Jesus?’
I respect politicians, public servants who give themselves to society. I am certainly not one offering myself in that arena. Yet there is a narrow line between serving (and when power / position is involved) and self-promotion.
I have written elsewhere of the unelectability for a follower of Jesus. How about a politician who does not spread rumours about their opponent?, or even corrects a rumour that is being spread about their opponent? I respected John McCain when he insisted that Obama was not a Muslim when he could have kept quiet. Politics aside, he went up in my estimation enormously. At the same time, by contrast, I met someone in church pastoral work who said that the rumour that Obama was a Muslim was useful and served them well!! I thought truth was a value, not the pleasure at benefitting from a lie.
A new politics
How about a politician who says that their opponent has some great policies, and ones we could all learn from? How about a politician who would say that they might not do any better, the situation is tough, but that succeed or fail they commit to giving their best?
Sadly, I am not sure such a politician is very electable. Yet again I think maybe this is what is really wanted by many.
I would love two words to become naturally fused together. ‘Honest’ and ‘politician’.
In my short and limited life there has been a number of occasions when I had to make a clear choice that I could not be bought. Pretty easy when it is a small life… but equally important when running for public office. We have been bought with a price, and any other ‘purchase’ is a denial of that. If you do that then I will do this for you, is not based on giving, on sowing.
I think we are at a turning point in politics in the West. Money plays a huge part, swinging the media one way or the other can determine the outcome of an election.
It is time for an unelectable politics to emerge. I think it is beginning to happen. I am watching that space.