I responded to another blogger’s post a moment ago, and thought I would say the same thing on my own blog. Jim Thompson had a great post about politics and world government. Unfortunately, though we were at North Greenville at approximately the same time, I never took the chance to even speak to him, much less make friends; however, his blog always has some good things to say and the best part is that he is brief and to the point. So you should take time to check his blog out, if you don’t already.
God works THROUGH and AGAINST world politics. That is the biblical paradigm. I don’t feel as if many believers live like it is. Yes, render to Caesar what is Caesar’s [Mk 12]. Yes, submit to authority [Rom 13]. But please, don’t rush to the polls as if you are doing God a favor. We must be upstanding citizens, but we are strangers and aliens here [1 Pe 1 and 2] and our true citizenship is in heaven [Phil 3]. We have to live like that is true.
There are people on both sides (republican and democrat) acting as if their candidate and their platform are God’s chosen. It simply isn’t true. The success or failure of America’s economy/war on terror/revenue system/budget is simply a tool which God will use to further his kingdom.
I hear a lot of people saying we should try to figure out who Jesus would vote for and then they give reasons why Jesus would vote for McCain or Obama or Baldwin or Barr or Nader. I’m not yet convinced that Jesus would actually vote.
I’ll say that again, I AM NOT CONVINCED THAT JESUS WOULD VOTE.
He reluctantly paid his taxes. He, along with his early followers, seemed to have little concern for whomever was in political power. If anything, he made it clear that his purpose was not political… his kingdom was not of this earth.
But if he were to vote, he wouldn’t be interested in which candidate would be the most moral or which one would change the moral direction of the US, like so many people suggest. I think he would vote for whomever would allow for the greatest expansion of the kingdom of God, wittingly or unwittingly.
In other words, if a government making Christianity illegal would best foster the growth of the kingdom, I believe that’s what Jesus would do with his votes. If a government that was on a slippery slope to being a communist dictatorship were best for the kingdom, that’s who Jesus would vote for. I cannot say that with certainty, but his purpose was not to further the kingdom through political or governmental means. I think he would have the same bones to pick with James Dobson and Tony Campolo.
I think that seeking to further God’s kingdom or Christian morals, etc. through the government is the antithesis of the biblical model.
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” Samuel 8:4-9
The people wanted a government who would lead them to be a great nation, but God saw it as them rejecting him. This government set to rule over God’s chosen nation was a horrible failure. David was a good king. Then the kingdom split. Josiah was a decent king. The vast majority of them were horrible, evil kings. When we trust in government and politics to lead our country into being a “Christian” nation, we’re doing the same thing that these guys were doing. Do what you need to in your nation to keep it safe, to be sure that people are taken care of, lessen poverty, crime and disease. But don’t trust in it. Our citizenship is in the kingdom of God… the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is our king and our leader. Not an old prisoner of war. Not a young, charismatic community planner. Not a pitbull wearing lipstick.