Sermon: The Whole Truth

Micah 5:2-4 and 6:1-8
Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 9, 2014
First Christian Church
Mahtomedi, MN

 Listen to the Sermon.

Our long national nightmare is over.

2014-midterm-electionsI’m talking about the conclusion of the 2014 midterm elections.  For several months we have seen endless commercials on television, our mailboxes stuffed with campaign mailings, our email inboxes filled with several emails a day and so on.  Our own mailbox here at church was filled with mailers from a close fought Minnesota House race.  Now, we don’t have to deal with that anymore…until 2016.

As much as I detest all the spam that seems to come into my life, I like to watch the returns come in on election night.  I remember watching the election returns in 1980 as Ronald Reagan defeated sitting president Jimmy Carter.  I remember my first election in 1988 and watching Vice President George Bush become president and I saw the votes come in 1992 as Bill Clinton became president.

I tend to watch the returns of midterms as well.  In the fall of 1990, I was in a ballroom in Lansing, Michigan waiting for the returns to decide who would be the next governor of my home state of Michigan.  I was covering the event for a number of radio stations in the state.  And no one can forget watching in either joy or terror in 1998 as Jesse Ventura became Governor of Minnesota.

Politics can be an exciting thing to take part in.  But I’m learning that it also has a darkside.  Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein wrote in his blog in late September about how ideology is splitting America apart.  Sunstein noted the findings of a test which asked people how people would feel if you child or friend married someone of the opposite political party.  In 1960, 5 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats would be uneasy.  Fifty years later, in 2010, the number is now 49 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats who would have a problem.  Political prejudice is now greater than racial prejudice.

Sunstein writes that modern political campaigns are partly to blame for the increase in party distrust and that distrust is starting to spill into other aspects of life- such as marrying someone of a different political persuasion.

And this “partyism” is seeping into the church.  In many cases, we have “red churches” mostly evangelical congregations and “blue churches” mostly mainline congregations.  Some churches have gone in such an ideological direction that people of the other persuasion now feel unwelcome at church.

Continue reading “Sermon: The Whole Truth”

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