So, I had the pleasure of attending the Art-Music-Justice Tour Concert last Tuesday at our church. If you missed it, Art-Music-Justice is a production of 5 (Christian) artists--Charlie Peacock, Sara Groves, Brandon Heath, Sandra McKracken and Derek Webb.
Overall, it was fantastic...but then I am deeply biased because I really love Charlie Peacock's music. The only way to have made it better was to let Charlie P play some more. For my money the other guys could have taken the night off...but no one asked me. :) There was precious little of his music and while I get that the 5 artists were sharing the stage...I was so hoping for a little bit of "Don't Be Afraid" or "Cheer Up Church" or "The Way of Love". I got the feeling that most people thought it was Sara Groves head-lining the tour...not in my book. :)
As an aside, a few years ago my brother Andy happened to be in town on the evening of a concert of the abundant artists from our church, including Charlie Peacock (and a dozen or so more). In my exuberant description of the concert's value, I told Andy "and of course, Charlie Peacock--he's the best".
Andy says "Who is that?"
Break my heart.
I listed off some songs.
He didn't recognize any of them.
How can you not know "Big Man's Hat"?
Then I remembered, Andy is 14 years younger than me. That's a generational difference in music love, right?
So I said "He produced Switchfoot."
That he got.
Anyway, back to the present.
Tuesday was a night of good music and call to action for the church regarding human trafficking and abuse of human rights, as being tackled by International Justice Mission and several other service organizations. And then there's Derek Webb.
If you know anything at all about Derek Webb, you know he's kindof radical, maybe even off the wall at times. He has activist tendencies and seems to take it as his calling to call the church on the carpet as he is led. Usually, he does it pretty well and I have no problem with it. Pot-stirring suits some people.
But, Tuesday night he decided to speak for just a couple of minutes about the election and he pretty much said that if you look at the candidates and you don't see someone who holds up the truths that you believe in and then you look at your Bible and try to find a mandate for voting for "the lesser of two evils", you won't find it. So maybe you shouldn't vote. Sit it out. Basically, his idea is that since there is no biblical mandate to vote, Christians who were of a mind should sit this one out.
I was glad he only had a few minutes to speak. Honestly, his words made me want to throw something at him...bean him in the noggin with a Blackberry or something...but I need my phone...so I refrained. But it wasn't easy.
My heart overflows easily lately. I don't tolerate dissonance and lack of patriotism very well. Because of the freshness of the price Andy and others like him have paid for our country, I take patriotism v-e-r-y seriously and my patriotism is wound tightly inside my faith.
I am deeply biased...I freely admit that.
I think every single American should be held accountable for their participation in their own government. "Of, by and for" is not just a catchy slogan...it's a mandate. The right to vote was bought with a price by our forefathers and is protected by many...how dare we devalue that price by blowing it off like it doesn't matter? There are people around this globe who give their lives for the right to be counted in an election--to participate in the democratic processes...and we think it's OK to sit on our collective bums and choose not to vote? How is that acceptable?
So, if this question --how can a Christian participate in this election process when the candidates may or may not be believers in Christ and when they may or may not be believers in the Christian faith--was posed to you, how would you respond? Is it biblical to vote for someone who is less than an appropriate keeper of the faith? Is it better to not vote at all, than to vote for what you consider to be the lesser offensive? Is sitting out this election because the candidates do not represent the faith position very well acceptable or is it kinda like when a child stomps his foot and says "play my way or I'm taking my toy and going home"?
Yes, no, what say you?
Who are you and what have you done with this blog?
For what it's worth, here's what Chuck Colson has to say on the topic.
EDIT to ADD: Found a YouTube of Derek's comments of a similar nature, at a different concert on the tour.
"At liberty to not vote."