Christians are just like everyone else, we are all wondering how to vote. Should we vote Republican, Democrat, a Third party, or should we just skip the lesser of two evils and not vote at all? How do we make Our decision as Christians?
An unfortunate thing about how our government is set up is that our candidates are a reflection of our people’s morality. In order to get elected in this country you have to follow the lead of the people, not lead the people. If you do something that is against the will of the people, even if that thing is just, then you will not get elected. We elect people who say what the majority want to hear. The danger of this is that the majority is often a mob. This seems the great danger in a democracy. Leaders can’t lead until they get elected, and they really can’t after they get elected because they have to run for reelection.
This is what makes the Kingdom of God that Jesus enacted so appealing to me and so different from the American way. When we pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done” we are literally praying “Thy government come, Thy politics be done”. For Kingdom people, our allegiance is not to a party or a candidate. We don’t vote for what God’s will is going to be because God doesn’t rule based on votes. We submit as Abraham did with Isaac, like Daniel before the lions, like Jesus at the cross. Our pledge of allegiance is “Jesus is Lord, Caesar is not”.
This is why it’s so hard for believers to vote our beliefs at the ballot box. Our beliefs usually aren’t on the ballot. When Jesus calls us, he bids us to lay down our rights and to come and die. In contrast, our culture is all about elevating want to the level of need and needs to the level of rights…and nothing is more sacred to Americans than our rights.
So as we head to the end of this election cycle remember, no matter who you vote for, no matter who wins this election, no matter what laws are passed, and no matter what rights the nation says we have, as Christians our God may be leading us someplace different.
Our Leader actually leads and doesn’t change commands based on our votes. Our Leader will not tolerate lies, sexual harassment, violence, racism, greed, misogyny, narcissism, or any of the other thousands of ways that we break the Ten Commandments.
Our Leader holds us to a different standard. Our bill of rights is the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Our pledge of Allegiance is the Apostle’s Creed. Our call to action is given to us in prayers like these given to us by St Francis:
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy,
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.