Gary Hemsely was running for some county political position — I've forgotten which one now. What I do remember is that he was a member of my church at time.
Sometimes a pastor can get between Rock of Ages and a politician without trying too hard. That seemed to be my predicament with Gary. In all things political, I have maintained one basic philosophy: Ask not what your country can do for you, just get out and vote.
I must admit, there are times when it is tempting to throw caution to wind, roll up my pant legs and wade into political arena. After all, Christians were first ones in arena in "good ole days." The problem, as I remember from history books, none of those early Christians ever came out of that arena.
If you think about it, there are some similarities between a preacher and a politician. Perhaps this is why some preachers dabble in politics.
The most obvious similarity would be in area of communications. Both make their living by giving speeches of some type. The preacher gives his weekly sermon while politician gives his political oration.
The only difference between a sermon and a political speech is wind velocity. A good politician can change his views on an issue in mid-sentence. Not many preachers have mastered that slight-of-tongue technique.
A good sermon has three points, somewhat related to each other, and progresses toward a conclusion. A good political speech is pointless and related to a raging Nor'easter.
Another important similarity between preacher and politician is in giving promises.
The man of cloth deals primarily with promises in Good Book. Someone has made claim that Bible contains more than 30,000 promises. I cannot verify that number.
I have never stopped to count them. I do know that there are promises for every aspect of life and these promises are available to us through gracious work of Lord Jesus Christ. The most important thing about promises in Bible is that they are not contingent on preacher's ability.
The man of campaign stump also makes promises. Unfortunately, nobody has ever tried to count these, as most count for nothing. These political promises range from anything to everything.
No politician would ever think of expressing his view on an issue without first checking latest poll on subject. The politician's goal is to tell people what he thinks they want to hear.
Someone once observed that if all people who sit through political speeches were lined up three feet apart, they could at least stretch and sleep more comfortably.
The successful politician is an expert in foul play. I can sum up most political promises nicely: A chicken in every pot and a potshot at every Turkey.
A third similarity between preacher and politician concerns money. Both have a lot to say about subject.
Behind pulpit, preacher talks about tithing. Unfortunately, tithing is one of those spiritual disciplines carelessly bantered about and abused.