Politics - from the Latin: "poli-" meaning many, and "ticks" - blood sucking creatures.
The above definition was e-mailed to me several years ago and expresses the great loathing that most of us feel for all things political. Professional politicians often practice the "art of the possible" seemingly without regard for truth or morality, and so it is no wonder that we often regard those who hold these positions as amoral and spineless.
But politics, in and of itself, is not an evil thing. One of the oldest (serious) definitions of politics comes from Aristotle - "the deliberation of how we ought to order our lives together." When husband and wife decide that family dinner will be served at 5:30pm each night - they've engaged in politics. When a group of friends decide to join each other after church for Sunday dinner by getting 99¢ Whoppers at Burger King, they've engaged in politics. "How ought we to order our lives together?"
Two out of every three years, our church body engages in politics at varying levels. We ask ourselves "how ought we to order our lives together as a district?" every three years, and the year following district conventions, we ask ourselves "how ought we to order our lives together as a Synod?" For an entire week (noon on one Saturday to noon the following Saturday), the congregations of our Synod will send their delegates to meet at the national convention in Houston, TX. These are times when our prayers are particularly needed.
The church is constantly attacked by Satan with his subtle detractions. Many ideas presented sound good at the time, but can lead us away from looking first to the Word of God for our guidance. We must always be diligent that what we do does not run counter to what is spoken to us in God's Word.
As we prepare for our Synodical convention, a great deal of conversation is happening about how we structure ourselves as a Synod. Should we be able to change doctrine by a 2/3 vote of delegates without congregational input? Should we let larger congregations receive twice the representation as smaller congregations? Should we change the name of our Synod so those outside the church can better recognize we are a national church body with congregations outside of the state of Missouri?
These are some of the questions that face us in the coming years, and we will need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Please join me in praying for our Synod and that the holy process of politics - the deliberation of how we ought to order our lives together - may be completed in a manner pleasing to God, our heavenly Father.