Editor's Note: Mark Schloneger is pastor of North Goshen Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana.
By Mark Schloneger, Special to CNN
It seems frivolous, even foolish.
On Tuesday, as the world turns its attention to who will occupy the most powerful office of the world’s most powerful nation, hundreds of churches will gather across the United States to worship a servant.
As votes are counted to elect a president, thousands of Christians will take the bread and the cup to remember their crucified Lord.
As winners are projected and the electoral map is updated, Christians of many denominations will sing their praises and proclaim their loyalty to Jesus.
It seems ridiculous, even silly.
After all, America is at a crossroads, and we are in the midst of one of the most critical presidential elections of our lifetimes. We know this because people have recited this same tired mantra before every presidential election.
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Our fears, our hopes, our worries and our struggles are the currency that buys our votes. And how do politicians and their supporters acquire this precious currency? They invest billions of dollars to foment fear, inspire hope, create worry and exploit our struggles.
It’s a power play. Some of us are pawns, and some of us are participants. But some of us are choosing a different part.
I initiated the Election Day Communion Campaign out of a concern that Christians in the United States are being shaped more by the tactics and ideologies of political parties than by our identity and unity in Christ. Out of this concern, a simple vision sparked the imaginations of congregations nationwide: the church being the church on Election Day, gathering at the Lord’s Table to remember, to give thanks for, and to proclaim its loyalty to Jesus.
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Gathering for Communion on Election Day seems fitting, for the practice of Communion is an inherently political act. It is both a pledge of allegiance to Jesus and a declaration of independence from all other powers making claims on our bodies, minds and souls.
Far too often, the church has abandoned its first love for the siren song of political parties promising protection, prosperity and peace. Far too many times, the church has ceded the practice of its faith to the spiritual and the private while leaving others to address matters of justice. And far too frequently, the church has attempted to speak truth to power while seeking and relying on that same power for protection.
The bread and the cup are God’s antidotes to our fickle memories. As we eat and drink together, we remember that all things fall under the lordship of Christ. We remember our sin and need to repent.
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We remember that God has lifted up the humble, filled the hungry with good things, and chosen to reveal God’s strength through our weakness.
We remember that the only Christian nation in this world is the church, the holy nation that transcends all human-made walls, boundaries and borders.
As we gather at the table, we remember that the power to redeem, to save, and to transform comes not from atop the seat of power but from within the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
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We will gather for Election Day Communion not because we think that the issues at stake in this election are unimportant or that our votes don’t really matter. No, we will gather for Communion because we think that the issues at stake in all elections are far too important to be relegated to our votes alone.
The Lord’s Supper reminds followers of Jesus to practice the politics of Jesus. To me, practicing the politics of Jesus means working to protect the sanctity of all human life, whether it is found in the womb, in prison, or in countries at war against us.
It means choosing the way of forgiveness and reconciliation rather than vengeance and violence. It means practicing an economy based on generosity and mutual aid.
It means offering care and compassion to suffering people regardless of their immigration status, economic class or religious practice.
It means being good stewards of God’s good creation. And, most of all, it means allowing God’s kingdom to break into the entirety of our lives, from the privacy of our homes to the politics we practice in public.
The bread and the cup keep calling me back to the table inscribed with memory. There, I remember God’s choice for the transfer of power. There, I remember where to go with my fears, my hopes, my worries and my struggles. At the table, with my sisters and brothers, I am in the presence of the Holy.
Though I’m interested in the outcome of the presidential election, I won’t be watching the projected results as they are announced. I’ve made a prior commitment. I intend to honor it.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Schloneger.
I be a fairy and I be a fruit!! I pack da fudge and like to recruit...all dem dudes that just wanna pump...bend em over right in da rump! I just wanna polish your tool...when I'm done I clean up da drool!! I always gonna be a flamin fairy...now u know that I want them hairy!!
Your a horrible poet. Kill yourself. Please spare us your terrible rhymes.
God is dead and so is Jesus
Hey Mike in CT. I be in your hood. We should hook up and play hide the pickle!! I be wanting some of that chubby rump!! I can fondle your sack while you get pounded by our buddy Flounder!! Let's get the train a rollin'!! All our our pillow-bitin pals can join da fun!!
The bottom line is that although I be a hard core Christian...I still like to pack that fudge!! I been pumpin da plump rump of some chumps for years!! I be ready to schlob your knob for a dolla!! Pound dat hole...smoke dat pole!!! Yeah, boyeeee!!
"IN GREED WE TRUST"
Marc Wolpow, a former Bain partner who worked with Romney on many deals, said the discussion at buyout companies typically does not focus on whether jobs will be created. “It’s the opposite—what jobs we can cut,” Wolpow said. “Because you had to document how you were going to create value. Eliminating redundancy, or the elimination of people, is a very valid way."
Wow what a stupid article. Vote Gary Johnson and make a difference for a change.
DID YOU KNOW?
During his presidency, James Madison vetoed two bills that he believed would violate the separation of church and state. He also came to oppose the long-established practice of employing chaplains at public expense in the House of Representatives and Senate on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state and the principles of religious freedom**. Starting from their anger over deadly feuding between Christian sects in their home state, until the end of their lives, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were fierce promoters of the separation of church and state.
Who was James Madison? He was the 4th President of the United States and the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution.
** Library of Congress – James Madison Papers – Detached memorandum, ca. 1823.
I be yo favorite jig-a-booo...jig-a-booo...jig-a-booo! We all luv dem nig-a-boooz....nig-a-boooz....nig-a-booooz!!! Let all hug a cooon today!! Yeahhhh boyeeeeee!! What up??
Very funny stealing my handle (and why a handle with a link? whatever it is I wouldn't trust it). That's OK, you are not the first. It seems some are really bothered by the fact that we live in a country with a very firm, secular government based on freedom and not religion.
I'd rather vote for an atheist.
I want to vote for logic, reason, truth and proof. None of these things can be found as the basis or cornerstone of any religion. these in fact religion is built on blind faith, wild myth fairy tales, Not a shred of empirical proof to back up any of the claims, and followers check books. Its a fvcking scam, plain and simple.
Proof - eyewitness and testimony
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
(Luke 1:1-4 ESV)
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
(1 Corinthians 15:3-6 ESV)
Logic and Reason - Order and design does not come from randomness
Let me appeal to you. I don’t want to make light of what happened to you in your past that you use to justify your rebellion against God. I do want to push you in one area. Do you know what got lost in all of that, “They’re hypocrites. . .they hurt people. . .they’re in it for money or power”? Your shortcomings, your hypocrisy, your power play and your love for this world. So if you would bear the same judgment on your own heart that you judged on the church, you will find yourself just as lacking if not more. let me just say this for what happened in the past if it was around the church and was sinful. I’m sorry. There are imperfect, broken men and women (I am one of them) leading the bride of Christ. Part of that is the glory of God that He would use idiots like us. We make mistakes, and we say the wrong thing at the wrong time. As much as we study, as much as we pray, we still make mistakes. There are olves out there. There are those who are in pulpits who are about money, about power and about taking advantage of, as the Bible tells us, from weak-willed women to ignorant men. So if this is a legitimate wound, I’m sorry. Here’s the good news of the gospel. Jesus will, by His cross, forgive them like He has you or He will rightfully and justly judge them. So take the anger out of your heart. Vengeance is the Lord’s. If you’ve pledged allegiance to Christ and you’ve pledged allegiance to the world, you’ll be miserable in both places. Come home. Don’t you know Luke 15? Don’t you know the story of the prodigal? The father runs, throws the robe over his son, puts the ring on his finger and celebrates that the wayward son came home. Quit running. Don’t let your life blow up to the point where there is serious collateral damage around your surrender to the Lord. Come home.
Here's what I'll tell you. I don't believe in any way that our faith is a blind faith, and I find nowhere in Scripture that God has asked us to detach our minds from how he reveals himself to be. But here's also where I press on you. Don't pretend like you're not living in a grid of faith right now. Well, no. My reality is defined by science. Science has a great deal of faith involved in it. Now if you want to talk about boiling water, no. But if you want to talk about why we're here, where we came from, it's… The word in science for faith is theory. That's faith in science: theory. "We can't prove it, but we think this is how it works." That's faith, so let's just… We can be friends. Let's just not pretend that I'm a man of faith and you're not
That's how it works itself out religiously, but man's gospel also works itself out irreligiously. So maybe you're an atheist or an agnostic. Here's what I'd contend to you. You are just as religious as the religious people who bother you. You have dogma, you have doctrine, and you have faith, maybe even more faith than we have. What you do is you say, "Here is heaven, and there's not a real God. So here's what the purpose of life is. It's my own joy. It's happiness. It's comfort. Now here I am today. These are the things I have to do to get to this." Maybe it's a simple as you don't want to be the bum that your old man was, or maybe it's more complex than that. Man's gospel, irreligiously works itself out in the control and manipulation of others, or just a licentiousness that says, "I'm going to do whatever makes me happy regardless of the wake of destruction I leave behind me." That's man's gospel. "This is what I do to get where I want to get." Paul says, "The gospel I preached to you wasn't like that at all. In fact, the gospel I preached to you was so christocentric as to make your role in any of it passive.
Now here is how I would encourage you. I think even those type of people need to be walked with for a season. I try to very lovingly point out some of their own hypocrisy because the reality is if you're an atheist, you have a ton of faith. You have a belief system, a grid, a doctrine. Most often what happens is the accusation comes on the Christian that we are arrogant and closed-minded. I just want to put reality on the table. So I'm arrogant for putting my trust in thousands of years of history and thought, and you're not arrogant for being uppermost in your own intellect? I'm the arrogant one because I look at history and teachingacross every continent in the world and say, "I'm going to get underneath that," but you're not arrogant for saying what I believe rooted in nothing but my understanding today is supreme? I'm the arrogant one?
Now here is how I would encourage you. I try to very lovingly point out some of their own hypocrisy because the reality is if you're an atheist, you have a ton of faith. You have a belief system, a grid, a doctrine. Most often what happens is the accusation comes on the Christian that we are arrogant and closed-minded. I just want to put reality on the table. So I'm arrogant for putting my trust in thousands of years of history and thought, and you're not arrogant for being uppermost in your own intellect? I'm the arrogant one because I look at history and teaching across every continent in the world and say, "I'm going to get underneath that," but you're not arrogant for saying what I believe rooted in nothing but my understanding today is supreme? I'm the arrogant one?
Haaaaa. All of that is hearsay and would be dismissed in a court of law. The bible is a book of religion not proof of any of its asinine claims. Grow up Mike. Besides Paul of Taurus who you vigorously quote was a fraud. Deal with it.
I'm sorry, "dock your dong with dudes", but the concept of "truth" is in fact claimed to be the cornerstone of many religions.
However, your statement "religion is built on blind faith, wild myth fairy tales, Not a shred of empirical proof to back up any of the claims, and followers check books" is in fact correct.
Mark from CT, that's quite the long post you made, but I'd take a different approach myself than arguing about very old history that is virtually impossible to prove.
Here's my take: why is it that a deity as powerful as the Christian one is claimed to be cannot simply make his presence known in a clear, modern, and indisputable way? As other posters here have asked, where is god's own website, and why can't he use modern media to present his message, especially with instant messaging and twitter so readily available and easy to use? A creature as wise and fair as the Christian god is so often claimed to be should only expect that reasoning people will harbor strong doubts as to his existence otherwise. I sure do.
So there's my take. Until I get that tweet from god, I'll assume that there's no god there to tweet and all the twitter by Christians about god is just, well, twitter without substance.
Though the courts may call it hearsay... what it actually is is first hand knowledge – which is how I came to believe, by witnessing it myself. There's nothing that carries more weight in your life that what you witness yourself. Of course that carries no weight with others – but using court terminology to say witnessing something with your own eyes is somehow not credible is not sound reasoning.
Typical, someone calls for rationality and then some "Believer" responds with a book of Fairy Tales, or at least one very long post, off topic and missing the point entirely.
"First hand" accounts are just anecdotal evidence. The Letters of Paul are not even first hand accounts. Nor are any of the so-called gospels since not one was written until years after the events they are supposed to recount and not by people who were actually present, This is NOT good history, it is not even good newspaper reporting. At the best, it is just "He said, She said."
xnothin..., exactly what did you "witness", and why were others not presented with it? And no Secret Decoder Ring fallacies, please.
For once I'd like to see the electorate demand a president who works exclusively in facts and not one that has to certify his believe in sky god worship. Only by dealing with reality will real problems get solved. Fairies do not exist and should have no bearing on the elections of leaders.
Shhhhh, be vewy vewy quiet, I'm huntin atheists, huhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhh.
"Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
"Salvatore" degenerates to:
"Douglas" degenerates to:
"truth be told" degenerates to:
"Thinker23" degenerates to:
"Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
"another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
"Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
"tina" degenerates to:
"captain america" degenerates to:
"Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
"Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
"just sayin" degenerates to:
"ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
"Kindness" degenerates to:
"Chad" degenerates to
"Bob" degenerates to
"nope" degenerates to:
"2357" degenerates to:
"WOW" degenerates to:
"fred" degenerates to:
"!" degenerates to:
This troll is not a christian.
You're obviously a fake because you can't find atheists by being quiet! You've got to be as loud and obnoxious as they are and they'll come running in schools!
Your shot stinks, AH...and you're shooting blanks
Obama is selling this county out to Jihadist! Wake up people. Vote Romney before you're all sent to FEMA camps.
More tea bagger lies. Seriously – is there anything you ignoraant fundiot nutters won't lie about?
Then what is he preparing FEMA for? Check is out before you defend it!
Atheist Hunter is false, and ridiculous.
Why do fucking nutters like the "atheist hunter" troll post this bullshit?
I hope all your fellow religious nutters take note of your extensive lies. Your god must be so pleased.
Bible thumpers...bible thumpers...most of them like it in da rumper! The catholic priests be playin with saks...with your lil boyz now this be wack!! A lot of these pervs be all into god but they just hiding behind their gaaay bod!! Freak-os
Fool, Jesus is not running for president. Go to your church and do what they tell you in PRIVATE and leave it there.
The World is God's and everything in it. Therefore the government is also God's.
Wrong AH, the world belongs to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Don't believe me? I have just as much proof as you do.
I'm sorry, Atheist Hunter, but God is a mythical figure. There has never been any credible evidence that such an entity exists, therefore your assertion regarding control by such a figure is unfounded.
BU2B, no no you don't, who walked with FSM for 3 years and said this man is without sin. Who took down the account " Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us"
Hal if you are going to make the statement
"I'm sorry, Atheist Hunter, but God is a mythical figure. " then you have to provide evidence. Yes I know you don't like that fact and you will say you have no responsibility in the world because you can't prove a negative, even though you can and do every day. If you don't believe the evidence provided has not been enough then say you don't believe but once you make an as.sertion of a mythical figure the responsibility lies with you alone.
Mike, yes I do have as much proof of the FSM as you do of your god. A book, that is all we have. If we use a book, which our religion is based upon, to prove our religion, that is called circular referencing. If this blog was Microsoft Excel, it would nicely point it out for you with blue lines.
Jesus said "my kingdom is no part of this world". He ran away from the persuit of politics. The people tried to make him king at least three times he refused. AND this world and all the kingdoms in it were what were offered to Jesus, if he would bow down in an act of worship to the Devil. Hence believe it or not Satan is calling the shots on earth right now he's controlling the powers that be, otherwise he couldn't have made the offer he did. Kind of explains a lot doesn't it. But there's a plan in place to rid the earth of the devil and his rulership. If those who are so mad at the world and how bad it is just looked at the facts then they'd realize that the things going on in the world that don't make any sense, if you believe that God is in control of it. The fact is he isn't. Satan is. But if you lose faith that there is a God because of this fact then your gonna miss out on the greatest REVELATION in the universes history. Might wanna give it a read. Oh and by the way Revelations is meant to be understood.
Atheist Hunter “The World is God's and everything in it. Therefore the government is also God's.”
Please provide proof of ownership
Also please provide proof of existence
I'm sorry, "Mike from CT", but a proof is not needed to show that God is a myth. The reason for this is simple. First, p[lease note that I did not say that God did not exist. The Bible itself, and its believers are the assertion that such a God exists, and has had contact with human beings. To date, there has been no credible proof that such a god exists, nor that there has ever been any contact by humans with a higher being. The belief exists, the credible evidence to support the belief is absent. These are the characteristics of a myth.
BU2B don't be afraid of circular logic, you have to encounter it. What do you believe is the highest form of authority? Rationalism good, prove it without rational. empirical evidence, good, prove it without appealing to experience
Who should I vote for president tomorrow?
The candidate who best expresses your vision for the future of America.
Romney, the lesser of two evils.
For some reason there's no reply button on your comment athiesthunter so maybe you'll see this. I didn't say he didn't own it, nor did I say he had no control whatsoever. What I said was satan is in control of human governments. The war laid out in revelation pretty clearly indicates that it will be a war between God and human governments which are under Satans control. Then satan will be abyssed. I'm not gonna read the entire book to you again. Just go back and take a look. Oh, and you might want to go back and take a look at Daniel 2:44 and the surrounding context.
Again, what is this bizarre need to have your candidate "out Jesus" the other candidate? Our constîtution states that no religious test can be used for any elected or appointed office or trust.
If you want your god to be king of your country – move. In my country we have a secular office of President. We do not have a Pastor in Chief.
No matter who we vote in, God is in control. The president only controls what God allows. You'll never escape that fact!
You have no facts .. Since you cannot even prove to anyone that your "god" is any more real than Zeus, your point is moot. And before you spout off, your little book of fables (aka bible) is not evidence, it's what the courts call hearsay, as you cannot verify its source.
"The president only controls what God allows. You'll never escape that fact!"
That's why the last president lied and invaded a country killing thousands of innocent people. Wow, your god is a jerk.
Mirosal...........I don't have to verify it. It has verified itself for thousands of years now. You're just too blind and selfish to want truth! Prove it wrong if you know so much! Take you history books and prove it! YOU CAN'T. History verifies biblical accuracy. You don't want to hear it because if the historical part is true then Hell is true and that mess up your little party called life.
"History verifies biblical accuracy"
The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).
It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.
LOL!....Pay attention! Like I said the president controls what God allows him to control. Presidents make choices just like atheists, and there's he ll to pay.
'..Pay attention! Like I said the president controls what God allows him to control. Presidents make choices just like atheists, and there's he ll to pay."
No, that's called making up excuses.
I'm sorry, Atheist Hunter, but God is a mythical figure. There has never been any credible evidence that such an entity exists, therefore your assertion regarding control by such a figure is unfounded.
Smithsonian...........There not one ounce of fact in your jibberish, just opinion. You just cut and paste a whole lot of noise that says absolutely nothing!
Poor brainwashed fools.
The fools will be revealed. Most on this blog will be shocked. Followers of Jesus Christ are far from fools!
" Followers of Jesus Christ are far from fools!"
That's why they lost millions in the stock market and caused the crash of this economy, proving they are fools.
If you base your life, morality or political stance on ancient fairy tales instead of using your own conscience, logic, and common sense... you're a fool.
praise lord Xenu and his prophet L Ron (pbuh)
It is sinful to equate Jesus with the Republican agenda! I am pro life! Romney & company are ANTIABORTION! That means they want the birth of the child protected at all times, but once born, they could care less if the child has health care, education or even food. What a tragic distortion to equate financial megalomaniacs with the person of Jesus Christ! May God have mercy on the disengenuous who use his name to promote their money, power and control!
I say get rid of medicaid, all health care crap, education (a joke) and anything else weighing us down to balancing our budget. Give it to the private sector and then things will be built better; way better then the government could ever do.
Becuase the Reaganite policy of deregulation has done such wonders for the US banking and airline industries?
Republicans are also deluded if they think any president they elect will ever actually get rid of abortion rights. It's just too useful a tool for getting the base fired up to ever get rid of.
Thank you, Mark.
The holidays are here. Enjoy this great holiday came starring Jesus.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.