24 October, 2008

"You Can't Be a Christian All the Time"

Back in the time before time (or so it feels) when my wife and I were in college we both worked for an agency in Tennessee where we managed a group home for mentally adults. (Don't you hate political correctness? Back then we simply said, mental retardation, and no one was being offensive. Oh well, I digress.) Anyway... at this home, we had many duties and tasks in running this group home, and one of them was making sure our clients received their medications.

One Monday evening, when we came back on duty after having the weekend off, we discovered that our weekend relief had failed to pick up a medication refill for one of our residents and she was now out of her medicine. We called our supervisor at the main offices and reported that we had no medicine and that the count of pills was off. These medications had to be strictly monitored and logged, as mandated by federal law, and this could lead to serious problems. Our supervisor told us to take medication from another client and give it to this person and to log it into the log book that the medication had already been refilled and that the next day we could get the prescriptions filled and put the pills back in the other persons bottle.
I could not believe my ears. First of all... this man was a Christian. In fact, he was widely recognized as a strong Christian leader in our community. Just a month or two before this, there was a feature article written about this man in our denominations international publication which heaped praise on this man for his Christian stand in the business world. Now I was on the phone with this same man and he was telling me, not only to lie, but to commit numerous federal crimes by illegally distributing medicine, falsifying legal documents and a host of other violations. I refused. After some rather heated words, he ordered me to do it. I again refused, and I told him that I was stunned that he, as a Christian, would ask me to do this. His words still ring in my mind, after more than 20 years. He said, "Darrell, you are going to have to come to understand that if you are going to be a success in the business world, you have to learn when to take your Christian coat off and do what you have to do to get the job done." I told him that he was wrong, and that as a man who was a Christian, I would not compromise my stand, not even if I was ordered to. He said to me, "You and Libby need to realize that you can't be a Christian all the time." He said that we would never get anywhere in this life until we realized that being a Christian and doing business are two separate things and we needed to check our Christianity at the door when we were on the clock. We quit our jobs on the spot, remaining there only long enough for them to get someone there to watch our clients.

OK... that in itself might make a good post; but I share this today for a reason. First, obviously we not only CAN be a Christian all the time... WE MUST BE A CHRISTIAN ALL THE TIME!

Now, consider where we are today as a nation; just a few days before one of the most crucial elections our nation has ever faced. I will openly say, this election scares me a bit. BOTH of these candidates scare me on many points. I feel that rather than having a clear candidate that I support, I feel like we have to choose which candidate we will settle for... not a position I relish. But as a Christian, I feel I must stand for the candidate that does not support anti-Christian agendas. Sadly, many Christians will take off their "Christian coat" as they walk into the voting booth. I am reminded of a conversation that I had with some members of the church I pastored back in 1992. We were having a discussion on the issues and stands of the Presidential candidates in that election and a young man who was going to be voting in his first election said, "While I like many of the stands of Bill Clinton, I cannot vote for him because he supports abortion." That young man's father (who was an elder in our church) was standing there and he told his son that he could not be a Christian when it came to voting. He said, "I'd vote for Satan if he put a dollar in my pocket." He was dead serious!

People scare me when it comes to politics. There are some who will vote for Barak Obama because he is black. There are some who will vote against him because he is black. How shallow can we be? The color of a man's skin has nothing to do with any of this!
There are people who will vote for John McCain because he is a Republican and there are folks who will vote for Obama because he is a Democrat. Can we forget political parties and get race out of our heads and hearts and look at issues for a change? Truth be told... while many will say I am throwing away my vote, I am looking very seriously at voting for the American Independent candidate for President... Alan Keyes or the Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr. Neither one stands a realistic chance to win, but I feel the stand of either one of these guys lines up better with my core beliefs, especially Alan Keyes.

Let me close this and get off of my soap box with this challenge. I ask each one of you to answer theses questions to yourself:
1)Why are you going to vote for the man you will vote for? Be honest.
2) How does that decision line up with your Christian beliefs?

You CAN be a Christian all the time.

1 comment:

Casablanca Fan said...

I came across your blog just now, and found your post interesting. I too am voting for Keyes, and for the same reason. I think it comes down to trust. If God is in control, then all I can do is vote my conscience. I don't consider it a throw away anymore than if I were to vote for one of the major candidates and they happened to lose. Take care, and keep fighting.