Who Knew The Small Catechism Would Be So Relevant?

I do not think I will watch commercial television until the day after Election Day.  As the blizzard of negative attack ads swirls around us, I think to quote from Luther’s Small Catechism.  (Who knew the Small Catechism would be so relevant?)

This is for Misters Obama and Romney and Allen and Kaine and for the Democratic and Republican National Committees.

“The Eighth Commandment: ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’

“What is this?

“We are to fear and love God, so that we do not tell lies about our neighbors, betray or slander them or destroy their reputations.  Instead we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything they do in the best possible light.”

How sad it is to know that, if any candidate actually did follow this commandment, s/he would lose.  (Ads that attack opponents with negative half truths/lies are undeniably effective.)

But — what if, what if? 

What if political campaigns were waged among opponents who would not tell lies about their opponents, betray or slander them or destroy their reputations?  What if political opponents would speak well of each other, and interpret everything their opponents did in the best possible light?

Indeed — what if our elected leaders would actually govern that way?

We continue to pray: “your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”

About Pastor Andy Ballentine

Pastor Any Ballentine loves being a parish pastor! Pastor Ballentine took his BA degree from the University of Virginia (with a major in sociology) and earned the Master of Divinity degree at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He earned the Master of Sacred Theology degree at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (thesis topic: How Benedictine Monastic Spirituality Nourishes Parish Ministry). He has completed the program of Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. In the Virginia Synod, Pastor Ballentine is Dean of the Peninsula Conference. He has served as chaplain to the candidates in the Virginia Synod’s Candidacy process, those on the way to being approved for ordained and professional ministries in the church. He has staffed many, many Virginia Synod youth events!