Where Is Our Hope?

Where is our hope?” is the title of a recent posting on Scot McKnight’s blog, Jesus Creed, and it sums up pretty accurately my own preferred attitude toward the coming November elections. I try to make informed decisions when I vote. I try to listen to advocates for both sides and read different points of view. It often happens that the more I do this the less clear my choices seem to get. It’s especially difficult when I’m surrounded by so many people who believe the choices are clear. I marvel at, and sometimes envy, their certitude on the matter. Eventually I come to what I think is a reasonably confident decision according to my own conscience and, in the process, a hopefully respectful attitude toward those who disagree with it. I think it’s helpful to understand McKnight’s use of the theological term eschatology in the meaningful sense of what we view as being of ultimate importance, the means by which God fulfills his purpose for humankind. It’s important to me to remember that politics is not my faith, my ultimate source of hope. My faith informs my political choices but it is not identical with them. I sometimes wish I could split my vote and give different candidates a percentage. Maybe if we could do this it would relive the pressure that so many seem to feel in seeing their own, and everyones else’s, vote as an expression of 100% confidence in a candidate. We wouldn’t be so tempted to only listen to one side and disparage the other. But maybe the better solution is just to realize that we must often make difficult choices in this world, make them as responsibly as we can and live as best we can with the ambiguity and uncertainty knowing that our ultimate hopes lie above and beyond them.

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One Response to Where Is Our Hope?

  1. David Henne says:

    I resonate with our comments, Paul, especially about my vote being construed as accepting wholly what a candidate stands for. I cannot do that for either presidential ticket. I have even thought of voting for the Constitution candidate to register my dissatisfaction with either major candidate. I can’t agree with everything that party stands for either, but at least I would have registered my rejection of the way that both campaigns have distorted, ignored, exploited, falsified, and selectively cited various issues.

    And in it all, Ohio continues to occupy the limelight. The early start to the voting ought to alleviate some of the problems experienced there the last time around.

    David H.

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