I hate the death penalty.
I think it’s one of the things I despise most about America.
I love America, and I’m thankful for the freedoms we have here. I’m grateful for the many that have sacrificed to allow for these freedoms.
But, we have a long way to go.
I lament the fact that we today, in 2017, we still execute humans with finality. There’s absolutely no reason for this.
We haven’t always executed the right people, and we can’t go back and make those situations right again.
And even when the person DID do the crime, it sends a message to the rest of humanity that some people, if they do enough bad, can actually get to a place where their life isn’t worth anything anymore; that they are beyond redemption. You cannot tell me that is the Gospel.
We lose part of our humanity when we sign off on this. Every Christ-follower needs to take a hard look at this because it’s not really about the policy and legislation, it’s about how you view the image of God, redemption, and ultimately the Good News that Jesus unveiled.
The values I hold are in stark difference to the values of #45. His rhetoric and language disgusts me. His words hurt people that I love. And his policies further oppress the poor. But I also understand this: he is my president. I will still pay my taxes at the end of this year, and I will continue to honor the office he holds. Truthfully, in the last year I have done a sucky job praying for him. In fact, I’ve spent more time hoping he would somehow be removed from office than actually praying for him and his well-being. But that’s not the way of Jesus and it pains me today to admit that.
The truth of the matter is, my faith and trust in Jesus has only strengthened since the election. It’s lifted my eyes from a false security in the empire to a more sure footing on the security found only in my Savior.
While these may seem merely random thoughts, they could be loosely tied together with the lyrics of this song.
Ultimately I serve another King, the only King that lasts forever. The King that was never created and will never go away, the King that cannot be elected and will never be impeached.
May we go to church this weekend exalting our King higher than our flag, our Jesus greater than our Pledge, and the Spirit more fully than our freedoms.
And just as importantly, may we love and respect those worshipping on either side of us with very different viewpoints.