This is one of the most concise, yet profound articles I’ve read in a while as it relates to an authentic Christian worldview on politics and specifically on voting –
It resonates with me in ways that are embarrassing to admit. My political care-o-meter has all but tanked in the last 5 years. LOL. I mean, I’m not sure my concern for the political sphere could tunnel any further to the bottom of the barrel.
Okay, okay, “I voted”, but keep reading……
However, I encouraged myself this morning. At least enough to pull myself out of bed at 6:30am when my local voting location opened. Unenthusiastically I pulled myself from my car, into a long line and out into the cold. Maybe I’ve just become spoiled, I told myself. C’mon, this is a great privilege that you even have a choice in the matter. As is typical with me, the thirty minutes standing in line was a heated debate between me, myself and I. The guy (me) whispering over my right shoulder (please don’t read into “right”, I could’ve just as easily picked “left” – HaHa!) was adamantly defending my need to feel more concern for the state of the world around me. “You’re the worst”, he told me. “Why did you wait to study candidates on your cell phone twenty minutes before you enter the voting booth. Who does that?” Meanwhile, the guy pontificating over my left shoulder (me) was in the midst of a convincing argument that it was okay to be indifferent to some degree. “Take pride in your right to vote”, he said. “People before you died for the right, but don’t let that define you.” I shook my head at his last comment. “Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel, but it’s not easy to live in that skin.” That estranged identity that’s more rooted in Christ than in culture (pop, ethnic, or socioeconomic, or political). If you’ve ever been there it can feel like the life of a nomad. A sojourner. Someone passing through, but not really bonding with those native to the territory.
I went ahead and did my civic duty. As my ballot slid into that machine a lady handed me the I voted sticker. I placed the sticker immediately in my back pocket. Not out of spite or cynicism. Putting it on just doesn’t appeal to me like it used to. It just wasn’t the same. I didn’t walk out non-verbally declaring to the crowd that I had proudly cast my vote, my opinion. Instead, I paced back to my car quietly, feeling out of place, impartial.
Later on the Holy Spirit dropped the following scripture in my heart as I continued to ponder what my problem was ;-):
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Once again we face the following biblical dichotomy (not really, speaking figuratively). Engage the culture as we’re commanded, especially with the gospel, and the good news of Jesus Christ, all the while setting our hearts toward things above. It’s a tough balancing act. My internal restlessness should be expected. The debate forged in my mind while in line to vote was somewhat natural. The war between the desires of the spirit within and this world are consistently contentious.
2 Corinthians 5
5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
I blame that lonely feeling within me on my passion for the things of God and my love for the Word. The more I read it, the more I can relate to Paul’s words above. Torn in two directions – living here in the present, but oddly feeling more welcome in my second home that I have yet to see. Knowing that I should vote to fulfill my civic duty here, while accepting that there will only ever be one worthy form of government here on earth. Too often, American Evangelicals, frequently make an idol out of imperfect Democracy the Constitution and other depraved man-made entities. They hate to acknowledge or admit the following…….
That the only true form of government ordained by the bible is not one where people celebrate their right to vote on moral and ethical issues. Let that sink in for a moment. It’s actually a dictatorship, where one king rules and reigns in sovereignty. The only one capable of ruling with absolute moral and perfect justice. The only one who could rule on the thrown and bring about world peace. His name is Jesus, and he’ll serve approx. 250 consecutive terms, just to prove that nobody else could have done it. I look forward to that day.
Until then I’ve decided not to vote, at least not in the same way I always have. From now on my prayer is that I’ll vote with my heart in hopes that my mind will follow it’s greater affections.