An annoyance of mine is when people, and in my world, specifically Christians, judge others concerning how they vote, or their political preference. Where I came from you never consider voting Democrat. It was always about finding the best Republican, supporting them, and in the end voting for whoever is the Republican nominee since it’s certain they’re better than the Democratic one.
The church either right (conservative) or left (progressive) can be heavy handed in this, either explicitly or implicitly. And it can be a form of legalism where people are expected to tow the line or else. There are a number of problems with this.
I’ll start with the least important. First of all, when you weigh and compare the agendas of the two main parties, along with agendas from other parties, there are inevitably always pros and cons. For me it’s no clear cut choice at all. Even on the abortion issue there are significant pros and cons between the two parties. And even the so-called pro-life party, the Republicans, which I don’t view as any more pro-life than the Democrats, really has done precious little to reduce the number of abortions. They’ve used it as an issue to get votes, I’m afraid, sad to say. With some relatively minor exceptions. What is needed in this nation is a change of heart which makes abortion less and less desirable toward the day when it will be a thing of the past. There are so many other issues: helping the poor, the environment, the broken down criminal justice system, and I’m sure the list could go on and on.
But now to the most important point by far. We in Jesus as God’s church are the body politic in the world which shows the world the new way through God’s grace and kingdom come in King Jesus. Our political allegiance is to God’s kingdom come in Jesus. Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not. Caesar has some authority, and we’re to obey every ordinance of Caesar insofar as we can, for the Lord’s sake. But we must beware of giving to Caesar what belongs only to God. And I’m afraid both the religious left (which if anything is worse) and the religious right too often fail to see where our political allegiance should fully lie.
We can live with our differences, and vote on either side, regardless of what two candidates are representing the major two parties (or maybe some other candidate) on the November presidential ballot and for other government positions, or not vote at all. What we have to be united in is the gospel which itself is both implicitly and explicitly political in that we show how people are to live together with all that means under the authority of King Jesus, yes, in the church, through the sacramental and common life given to us from God in Jesus.
So let’s be careful not to judge each other in regard to how we think on the politics of this world, even while we may try to persuade others about this or that in it. Let’s be those whose politics are unmistakable, grounded solely in King Jesus and God’s grace and kingdom come in him. While perhaps just happening to be a Democrat, a Republican, something else, or like me, an Independent (ha). As we look to the one politic which will remain when all others have seen their day, and which is destined to take over the world when King Jesus returns.