The campaign is in full swing. Political rhetoric and mudslinging abounds. In just a couple of short months the American people are going to vote for a new President. How should the subjects of God’s Kingdom respond?
We have to remember where our true citizenship lies, as Paul outlines in Philippians 3:20.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ… ESV
There are only two kinds of people in the world: those who are subject to the King and those who are not. For those of us who live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God must be our first priority in all things (Matthew 6:33). This even includes our politics.
The Hardest Thing
I will never forget the time the Lord led me to vote contrary to my normal political leanings during a provincial election. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. What made it even more difficult was the fact I really didn’t like the guy I felt the Lord telling me to vote for! Augh! Yet, as I stood in the voting booth, I felt compelled to place my mark beside his name. I obeyed.
As I sought the Lord as to why I had to do this, His reason was made very clear. He indicated to me that the incumbent candidate had grown very comfortable in his position, and the Lord was wanting to send him a message. And that is exactly what happened. While the incumbent did win, it wasn’t by the majority he had grown used to. It really shook him up. Through this I learned a lesson on the importance of cooperating with the Lord in how I vote in an election.
Does It Really Matter?
Here is something else to think about. Does it really matter who gets voted into office? While it may make a difference to the growth and prosperity of the country, state, or province, does it really influence the agenda of God’s Kingdom? While one government or another may make it easier, or more difficult, to carry out God’s plan, it can never stop it. The Church has always continued to flourish in the face of the most staunch opposition. Read the Book of Acts. Read church history. Even in the most dire circumstances persecution was never able to extinguish the light of Christ. Besides that, God once used a completely pagan king to accomplish His agenda for His people (Isaiah 45:1 – 6, 2nd Chronicles 36:22 – 23). Obviously the Lord is not dependent on a “Christian government” to get His work done.
Here’s Another Thought
Whoever said the future of a nation was in the hands of the government? The way I read it, Kingdom citizens are supposed to go forth and disciple the nations (Matthew 28:19 – 20). While I am well aware that this passage refers to every ethnic group, my point remains the same. Think about it. What if we would put more time and effort into discipling people to do life in the Kingdom than we did making converts whose “Christianity” seldom makes it past the parking lot of the church? What if 90% of the Christians in a city would actually live the Sermon on the Mount? Would they make a difference? Absolutely! Now think about what would happen if 90% of the Christians in a nation lived that way. They would have more impact than any government could ever hope too. Instead of holding rallies to “call our nation back to God,” maybe we should go back to the basics and convert our Christians to a lifestyle of truly living under God’s Reign.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am certainly not telling you that you should not vote. It is actually a privilege as a citizen to be able to have a say in one’s secular government. All I am doing is asking you to consider why you are voting and who is directing your vote. I believe it is high time our politics is directed by our living in the Reign.
PS For a more comprehensive study on this topic, go here to check out Greg Boyd’s essay on Christians and politics. While I may not necessarily agree with everything Brother Greg teaches, he certainly knocks the ball out of the park in this article. Enjoy!