The Vagabond of Sidonia: an allegory

You … are … Rather Dashing, servant of the King of Sidonia. For a time you have been sent on business in a somewhat uncouth place known as the Strait of Dire. It is not a fun job but you willingly endure because you have the best King by far of any around.

Even so, you end up living there longer than expected and there comes a time when someone asks you to play Scabbers and you say “No, Sidonians don’t play Scabbers because our laws don’t allow us to pick at scabs and because, really, they just can’t heal that way.” Well, that unfortunately sets off a firestorm of accusations, not the least of which being “Scabaphobe!” and eventually you become imprisoned and let me tell you they have rough sentencing for Sidonians in Dire. You could possibly get the death sentence!

Now you know that ultimately it will be up to your king whether you live or die, but there’s also a crazy law in Dire where you are allowed to have a say in who the arbiter is for your case.

Now for your particular trial there are only two viable options. There are conflicting opinions on them but generally speaking, by Sidonians standards, they both stink out the wazoo. In fact, their reputations are such that you kind of hate to pick either of them. However, you’ve learned that one seems to be the more calculating and evil of the two. With her you’re almost sure to get the hung from your email server until dead penalty. And then she might string up your friends by Ethernet cable if she’s feeling particularly nasty. The other arbiter is less consistent. Some like him, some hate him. It sort of depends on his temperament of the day. You might get off with a huge warning or maybe, quite possibly, the death sentence but whatever it is it’s going to be big deal. Ask anybody.

As an added stress, some people are telling you that as soon as you pick one, there are those who will say you’re pals with the arbiter you pick. Of course, you don’t have to pick one. It could be picked for you.

So, Rather Dashing, the choice is yours. What do you do?


The Biggest Problem this Election is that We are Acting as Bad as the Candidates

Current social media political attitudes among Christians:

Hopeless Christian: my candidate is gone and everyone left is horrible so I’m going to stay at the compound and watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show on Election Day and pretend this isn’t happening.

Begrudged Christian: I’ve finally resigned myself to voting for a candidate but you can’t make me like it and I’m not going to tell you for fear of being told I’ve lost my salvation. Now I feel like taking a shower.

Outraged Christian: depravity! Hillary is Satan incarnate and Trump is a wolf in an ass’s clothing, and anyone who dares vote for either is headed toward HELLFIRE!! Ayieeee!!

Impractical Christian: vote for (insert unknown moral person here) who wasn’t in the primaries and won’t win but at least we will show the world we failed with dignity and didn’t play their game and we aren’t really a part of this world anyway so even so come Lord Jesus.

Trump Christian: GO TRUMP!

Hillary Christian: (whispered) go hillary.

I make some fun of each camp only because I can’t help but find humor in things and to illustrate that, in short, it’s messy. And I hate to say it, but we’re making it messier. I’m getting uncomfortable. Not by the depravity of candidates but by the degradation of Christians by other Christians either through blatant attacks or subtle hints. We’re putting cracks in our unity because we’re promoting a worldly election above its proper place. We don’t need to unify behind a candidate. In some ways we need to have the attitude “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.” Put things in perspective. Let your unity be in the Spirit of God, not the banner of our favorite cutting meme.

Don’t get me wrong. Speak your mind! But separate your mind from God’s will when you do it. And by all means speak God’s word! But not as a means to promote your will.

So some people want to vote for the lesser of two evils. Okay. So others say voting for anyone is against their conscience. Alright. Some say even Hillary is better than letting Trump win. Ok then.

At the risk of sounding sappy, I’m going to love you whatever type of Christian you are this election. And if I disagree with you, that’s okay. Because, like I said, this is messy and this is hard.

Let me just end by giving you some bad news and some good news. Bad: somebody much less than ideal is going to be elected as president. Good: Somebody greater than all is on His throne.

Habakkuk asked God “How could you use such a vile heathen nation to attack and punish your chosen people!?” to which God said “The just shall live by faith.”

So how can God let these be our candidates!? The just shall live by faith.