Thursday, September 25, 2008

And God's Vote Goes To...

God isn't Democrat, Republican, or even Independent. He doesn't support McCain, Obama, or any one politician's agenda. He's isn't swayed by Biden's Catholic background or excited about Palin's conservative credentials. God simply hasn't blessed any political party or agenda with His stamp of approval.

Despite that fact, many Christians seem to have sworn allegiance to one political party or another and, sadly, often turn on fellow believers who sympathize with or (God forbid) support the opposing party. I'm not sure how or when these battle lines were drawn. Perhaps it's rooted in the "culture wars" between "conservatives" and "liberals". Perhaps it's fueled by differing personal convictions or political priorities. Frankly, I don't care much what your reason is — there simply isn't a valid excuse to cannibalize the body of Christ. Christians are to be known by their love for one another, are they not? Surely a civil dialogue is possible. And surely Christ's followers possess the wisdom and humility to participate in politics that transcends partisanship. No one is perfect, yet grace is sufficient for all. Amen? By all means, please participate in politics. But your Savior is not a Republican or a Democrat, and He will not rise from, or descend on, Capitol Hill.

That said, God isn't necessarily neutral on the issues. But His priorities are clear. Jesus never singled out abortion or gay marriage as "fundamental issues". Is God pro-life? Absolutely — in a far broader sense than the best of us. Does God call homosexuality a sin? Yes, He does — but it's just one sin among many. In fact, as far as we know, Jesus never mentioned abortion or homosexuality during his ministry on earth. But he did make it a point to rip the self-righteous hypocrites a new one and come down hard on consumerism (also, Mark 10) and self-interest. When directly asked to name the fundamental issues he replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...[and] Love your neighbor as yourself." Then he showed the world how it's done by dedicating his time on earth to caring for the sick, the poor, the outcasts, and sinners. Stop right now and read Matthew 25:31-46. That's how Jesus says individuals will be judged — not by whether they voted Republican or Democrat, but by whether they cared enough to act on behalf of the least of these. James 1:27 explains that religion God accepts as pure and faultless is "to look after orphans and widows in their distress". Are these the issues and causes that get us fired up? Are we humble? Selfless? Loving? Giving? I'm not saying abortion and gay marriage don't matter; I'm just pointing out that, even from a purely Biblical viewpoint, they aren't the only issues to consider when casting your vote — nor are they even the most important.

Blind loyalty to a political party isn't an option for Christians. Nor is one- or two-issue voting. As election day approaches, do your research with open eyes and a critical mind.

Faithful citizenship doesn't hinge on allegiance to a political party. God's not impressed by "American values" or "conservative" political views — He's righteous, not right-wing. So let not the American citizen boast in his citizenship, or the Christian voter boast in his vote, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows the God who isn't partisan, who judges all men, and rules every nation, tribe, and tongue. Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him.


Ira Williams said...

Thanks for your timely and thoughtful posting. I've been struck by the willingness of so many people to, frankly, abdicate their responsibility to think and pray about the nuances of a candidate's political stance.

Sure, it's much easier to say "Which one goes to my church?" And then go pull the lever. But I'm not sure that really is what a Christ follower should do.

Your reference to Micah 6:8 was also appreciated, as I'm of the opinion that humility is an underappreciated virtue. For many being humble and meek is a sign of weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth...or the Word.

I could go on and on...and in fact I have. I wrote a book on humility entitled "Speak Softly...". If you're interested in reading an excerpt, please get it here:

Thanks again.
Ira Williams

Michael Colletto said...

Ira, pardon my tardiness, but I've been meaning to thank you for your comment and for directing me to your manifesto on ChangeThis. I greatly respect what you're doing. God bless! 1 Peter 4:10-11.