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In this Election, Our Real Enemy is Fear

How many urgent campaign emails have you gotten in the last month? How many voices on television and social media have been telling you what a terrible situation we’re in? How many political marketers have been whispering in your ear: Be afraid. We have to fight. If their candidate wins, we will lose our country.

Regardless of our political affiliations, we are all being bathed in a sea of fear and fury. As a culture, we have been reduced to our most primal instincts – fight or flight. For years, they’ve told us that every political battle is a fight for the very survival of our family, our nation, our planet.

This propaganda is so seductive, because there is a lot of truth to it. We do live in a time of great danger for our nation, the international community, and the created order that sustains us all. There are a thousand reasons to be concerned.

The powers know this. They feed on it. We’re living in the midst of a huge, complex battle between political parties, corporations, think tanks, and marketers. They all use fear to push their agendas, because fear works. Fear sells.

We’re living in the midst of a global arms race, and fear is the weapon. The same marketers are working for both our friends and our enemies. They have terror and manipulation down to a science, and they’re throwing everything they’ve got at us. To win the election, to steer the debate, to take our country back. They will win this war, by any means necessary.

But this isn’t a war, this is a country. We’re not a battleground, we’re a community. And for quite some time now, our community and cultural institutions have been burning – ravaged by this scorched earth policy of the politics of fear.

This can’t continue forever. Fear is a limited resource, yet this extractive political industry is intent on draining it to the last drop – and beyond. All of these ideological forces – left, right, and center – are strip mining our shared consciousness. They’re sapping our strength and drowning us in a pool of fear. They can only scare us so many times before our adrenal glands dry up and we have nothing left but cynicism and despair.

The good news is that we don’t have to yield to this culture of terror. As followers of Jesus, we are given power to see through the deception. We have a solid rock to stand on, that endures beyond the froth of cable news and social media updates. He teaches us to feel the world’s pain and embrace our responsibility to participate in the healing process. The Spirit guides us in a life that is concerned, but not fearful; engaged, but not terrorized.

The future of our country doesn’t rely merely on who is elected this November, but rather on our own willingness to embody the love of God in the world. This is a question of both personal and collective responsibility as the people of God. Will we demonstrate an alternative reality to the destruction and terror that our nation and world is currently embracing?

In these times of cynicism, outrage, violence, and despair – who we will choose to be? How will we choose to respond to the fear, paranoia, hatred, and bitterness that is festering throughout our culture? How will we be peacemakers, justice-seekers, and lovers of our neighbors? Regardless of who captures political power, will we choose to live in the love and power of Jesus that casts out all fear?

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  • Randy Oftedahl

    Amen, Micah. This is so important. This election – any election – any politics, any movement, is not about an individual or two. It is about who we want to be as a people. And that is absolutely not dependent upon who wins an election.

  • charlesburchfield

    Micah I like your query:

    ‘Regardless of who captures political power, will we choose to live in the love and power of Jesus that casts out all fear?’
    How we will we be able to actually choose and have our choice be more than a wish or magical thinking? How do we enter this door where the love of Jesus is Manifest and available to us? This casting out of fear, how do we put it on & how does it feel once it’s on us?
    As you are probably aware I’m a recovering alcoholic. I literally have to follow a simple program that helps me turn my life and will over everyday in order to stay alive and sober. I’ve adapted the first three steps here to follow a train of thought that started to flow after I read this blog.

    We admitted we were powerless over [our fears, obsessions, addictions, the political process, existence, our family histories, how it all came down for us before we had a choice to exist Etc] & our lives had become
    unmanageable.
    2. We Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to or introduce us to sanity.
    3. One makes a decision to turn one’s will and life over over to the care of God as one becomes convinced of his existence and loving concern because, in my humble opinion, one becomes broken by one’s fears. life on lifes terms can cause a change of consciousness and awareness. One can become delivered of one’s fears becoming willing to Reach out to the void. one can be introduced to him by one’s desperate need. God can then replace fear with a certainty that God loves us and we can be partnered with him by way of the presence of the Holy Spirit to be inspired to improve our eistence that connects us to a creative community. Indeed, IMHO, one can become so convinced that one need never be afraid knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God. All Things fall into place when one has this convincement and one can relax and recover from a lifetime of fear. REGARDLESS of who captures political power, we’ll live in the love and power of Jesus that casts out all fear.