For those Americans feeling that the way we discuss politics and current presidential candidates is disheartening at best– especially Christian dialogues on the matter– You are not alone.
I try my best to stay out of such discussions because it appears to bring out the very worst in people I would otherwise consider my friends. However, whenever someone brings God into their argument, my ears prick up and my heart starts to swell…Discuss your politics at will, they are your own. But to ascribe a Divine quality to your personal viewpoint? Not if I’m around!
If only we could acknowledge that human ideas of power and control are not the same as God’s (Isaiah 55:8, John 16:7-11). We’ve fallen so far from God’s desire for us that what we are left with is but an instrument of redemption. Our impending physical deaths are such an instrument of redemption– it cannot be holy apart from Christ. And, neither can political strivings! They may be our reality, but they are a necessary evil, if you will. Necessary for those who still oppose Christ, but not for those who are for Him (Luke 11:23, Romans 2:7-8).
So, who am I voting for?
I have no idea. God has yet to reveal His will for me in this matter. And I’m not going to make up my own mind apart from His guidance!
This much I know– God is not affiliated with any one political party or idealogy. How do I know this?
“For God shows no partiality.”
Romans 2:11 (NRSV)
Did you see that one coming? I hope so. It’s a hard truth to swallow! God’s fundamental impartiality threatens our human propensity for playing favorites and making enemies.
But, don’t feel bad if you are still toeing a party line. God can reveal this Truth to you as well, whenever you are ready to embrace it.
In the meantime…
Here is a fitting passage relating to Christians and their relationship with other human beings. It was authored by 20th century theologian and Christian martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and taken from chapter 18 of his book, The Cost of Discipleship.
Bonhoeffer’s application of Matthew 7:1-12:
“Discipleship betokened the separation of the disciples from all their old ties, and an exclusive adherence to Jesus Christ (…) Does their separation from the rest of society confer on them special rights and privileges? Do Christians enjoy power, gifts and standards of judgment which qualify them to exert a peculiar authority over others? How easy it would have been for the disciples to adopt a superior attitude, to pass unqualified condemnation on the rest of the world, and to persuade themselves it was of God! That is why Jesus has to make it clear beyond all doubt that such misunderstandings would seriously imperil their discipleship. The disciples are not to judge. If they do, they will be judged by God (…) Instead of cutting themselves off from their brother as the just from unjust, they find themselves cut off from Jesus.
Why should this be so? The source of the disciple’s life lies exclusively in his fellowship with Jesus Christ. He possesses his righteousness only within that association, never outside of it. That is why his righteousness can never become an objective criterion to be applied at will. He is a disciple not because he possesses such a new standard, but only because of Jesus Christ, the Mediator and very Son of God (…) It is not an approved standard of righteous living that separates a follower of Christ from the unbeliever, but it is Christ who stands between them. Christians always see other men as brethren to whom Christ comes; they meet them only by going to them with Jesus. Disciple and non-disciple can never encounter each other as free men, directly exchanging their views and judging one another by objective criteria. (…) Discipleship does not afford us a point of vantage from which to attack others; we come to them with an unconditional offer of fellowship, with the single-mindedness of the love of Jesus.”
(From “The Disciple and Unbelievers”, The Cost of Discipleship, italics/boldface mine)