For followers of God, politics and religion have always been very closely connected. We are a people determined to see the hand of God move in the land of the living. We start to go astray when we remake God into a Republican or Democrat. We forget that we were made for so much more…namely love.
This morning, I woke up to news that Mark Mayfield committed suicide in Mississippi. Most probably didn’t or don’t know anything about him, but Mayfield was an attorney and leader of the Mississippi Tea Party. I didn’t know who Mark Mayfield was either until he was charged with conspiring to photograph Senator Thad Cochran’s wife Rose in her nursing home last month. The incident happened when Mayfield’s preferred candidate Chris McDaniel was running neck and neck with Senator Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Republican Primary. A little more than one month later, Chris McDaniel lost and Mark Mayfield took his own life a few days later.
The message of God calls us to love our neighbor as our self. Mark Mayfield confused the allure of politics with the calling of love. I think we do too. Throughout my ministry, I have said political things on social media and in person that were neither loving nor kind. Lately, I have become increasingly reconvicted that followers of God must live beyond the partisan nature of politics and into the life of love. With his wife and two kids, we mourn the loss of Mark Mayfield not because we agree with him politically…whether we do or not…but because we agree with God about love.
Tragedy strikes when we place party before people. I pray that we will commit ourselves anew to loving each other regardless of our political stances. Perhaps before that next partisan post or conversation confusing God and partisan politics we should remember Mark Mayfield.