PREPARING OUR HEARTS FOR THE ELECTION
October 15, 2020
Dear MPCS Family:
It is hard to believe we are already through the first quarter of the school year and running head-first into the holiday season! Before we know it, Christmas break will be upon us. God has been good, and in spite of a few quarantines, we have been able to avoid any full-scale shutdown of the school. I believe this is a big win for our children and for our families. I hope you agree.
Today, I write after having had the privilege of speaking to our middle and high school students in chapel about “One Guy’s Perspective on the Election.” Those of you who know me well, know I am not one who is highly engaged in or even that interested in politics. I find it to be divisive, and, over the years, I have grown weary of the vitriol surrounding most elections, the parties, and the candidates. For some, this may seem ignorant or short-sighted. I understand your perspective. However, I hope you also seek to understand mine, too.
My perspective is rooted in my deeply-held beliefs that my job as the head of a Christian school calls me to unify and build community and relationships. Getting political about most issues tends, however, to render me incapable of doing so. And, thus, I choose to stay neutral and seek ways to bring a diverse community together around ideals I believe are of importance within and to our community. This does not mean I do not have opinions on such issues as abortion (I believe it is wrong) and fighting poverty (I believe it is a very specific calling of the church and of Christians, specifically). However, getting involved in a political debate about parties and platforms is not the manner in which I choose to lead.
To that end, my call to all of us during this time – this election season – is to come together, to find common ground in the person and saving grace of Jesus Christ, and to not allow our political opinions and positions on the candidates and parties to divide us. As a Christian community, this is what we have been called to do.
Paul in Ephesians 4:1-7 states the following:
"I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift."
I know on November 4 (or whatever day a presidential winner is determined), there will be pain within our community. I know there will be pain within our nation, as approximately 50 percent of our neighbors, brothers and sisters, and colleagues will be hurting from the loss of their candidate or candidates/parties. As I told our students in chapel, I have no idea who will win and what the long-term ramifications will be. What I do know is that one presidential candidate will lose and one will win. This will certainly cause great angst within our nation and potentially within the student body and families of MPCS.
So, how do we deal with this as a corporate body of believers who hold numerous opinions that may not mesh with one another? What do we do when we have board members, faculty and staff, parents, and students who hold diverging opinions on politics and political issues? Here is what I told your children at chapel, using James, chapter 1 to support my position:
1.) Be willing to see your trials as joy. While this may not be a “happy joy”, we can rest in God’s perfect will and plan for our lives. For those on the losing side of the election, this will be difficult. (v. 2)
2.) Seek God’s wisdom in how to love, live, and serve your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and members of this community – especially someone who voted differently than you or your parents. (v. 5)
3.) Persevere. Just as Jesus did, we are called to endure in times of trouble. (v. 12)
4.) Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. No matter who wins or loses. (v. 19)
5.) Be doers of the Word, not just hearers. (v. 22) Support your brothers and sisters who are in pain. There will be some in our community, no matter the winners and losers on November 4. Walk with them, love them, serve them. Listen.
Parents, I am hopeful about the days to come. Not because of the results of the election (God is sovereign – Daniel 2 tells us that God sets kings up and takes them down. Before the beginning of time, He knew exactly who would be president on January 20, 2021 – and he ordained it!), but because we are a special community built upon the grace and love of Jesus Christ. My hope is specifically rooted in how we will deal with one another, how we will love one another, and how we will serve one another in the days leading up to and following the election. If we truly seek to be one community, unified by the Spirit in the bond of peace, as St. Paul teaches, then what better time to demonstrate to the world around us that we are different because we are believers! In spite of our differences — because of our differences — let us lead the way and demonstrate to a hurting world how one community can come together after this election.
I love Mount Paran Christian School, and I am blessed to be a part of this community. I will be praying for you and for our school in the days leading up to and following the election. I hope you will join me in doing so.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Timothy P. Wiens, Ed.D.
THANK YOU for taking a few minutes to visit the Mount Paran Christian School website. MPCS is a special place, as I am sure you will see throughout the pages of this site. Founded in 1976, Mount Paran Christian School serves families from the greater Atlanta area, seeking to develop servant-leaders who will honor God, love others, and walk in Truth.
As you will learn, MPCS stands out in several ways:
- We are distinctly Christian and pleased to partner with families and churches in the development of the minds and hearts of students.
- Our students are spectacular! They are scholars. They are athletes. They are artists. Driven to succeed inside and outside of the classroom, our graduates have become college professors, Major League Baseball players, and Broadway performers. They are also committed fathers, mothers, and Christians. They are influencing countless sectors throughout the world.
- Our faculty are the heart of all we do. They are committed intellectuals, researchers, and practitioners. Above all, they love students, their subject matter, and God and are committed to the success of every student.
- Our programs – academic, athletic, and artistic – prepare students to flourish and to excel in college and the workplace, for a lifetime of impact for all of eternity.
- Our campus and facilities are unparalleled. MPCS is home to world-class academic, arts, and athletic facilities.
I encourage you to come for a visit, arrange a tour, and witness all the exciting things happening on campus and within the lives of our students. We look forward to serving you and toward the possibility of you joining the MPCS family!
WingTips is an MPCS blog presented by Dr. Tim Wiens. Read "Why Independent School," as well as other Christian educational thought-leadership in recent articles, guest student posts, and blog series.