Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4
This is the week that we observe Good Friday in remembrance of the crucifixion of Christ and Easter in celebration of His resurrection. But for the man (or woman) who walks in the power of the risen Lord, the resurrection is not something that is celebrated once a year. They do it every day. Their lives are a personification of dead to sin, alive to God.
And, so we come to today’s theme - political suicide.
As many of you know, this session I am working in the office of a freshman legislator. He is an interesting fellow. He actually says what he believes and does what he says. He is a humble man - quiet and unassuming, but tenacious and persistent. And, those characteristics have the rest of the people around here completely confounded.
Why would a freshman legislator cause a ruckus on the House floor during the debate on appropriations. He was credited with everything from grandstanding to trying to set up an unfavorable vote to be used in future elections. The truth was, he actually believed that we should not be funding the Commission on the Arts and corporate welfare programs when we were cutting funding to nursing homes by 40 percent. Nobody put him up to it. He actually (don’t laugh) read the Appropriations bill himself and found the anomalies.
Then last week, he had the audacity to request that a bill on a Local and Consent calendar be put on the General State calendar so that it could be properly debated. The bill grows government by 14.5 employees at a cost of $1.3 million. It could not be debated or amended on the local calendar and under the House rules probably should never have been placed there in the first place. It was the principle of the matter.
The author of the bill happened to be the chair of the Local and Consent calendar committee, a seasoned legislator who has the respect and fear of her peers. With the ability to kill a member’s bill by simply refusing to place it on a calendar, few members are willing to question anything done in the committee. Some love their legislation more than their principles.
So, what is it that motivates or even empowers a freshman legislator to commit political suicide? It is the understanding that it is not difficult to commit suicide when you are already a dead man. When you know that the Lord has brought you here for a time such as this, you play to the Audience of One. When you come to this place to serve God, not man, the decisions you make can be different. And when you love the Lord and your home, the threat that you may not be chosen to return to this den of iniquity is not a credible threat when the other option is regular business hours and time with your family.
The part of me that wants to protect this freshman legislator from political pitfalls battles with the part of me that rejoices in the answer to prayer that a principled legislator is. I count it a privilege to be able to watch it play out. In the words of one of my political hero’s, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.”
Lord, may Your hand of protection be upon those legislators You have brought here for a time such as this. Amen