Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, October 15, 2015

How Would Jesus Vote?

I voted early this election because I’ll be away on Election Day. I admit, I am too lazy to follow politics as much as I should in order to vote really wisely. And I rely on the opinions of others I respect far too much. I’m easily swayed by one person’s argument, until the opposite side is presented. Did you know the Bible talks about this in Proverbs 18:17? “…the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.”

So I hardly qualify to answer the question, “How would Jesus vote and why?” Instead, I put the query on one of my ever-so-scientific Facebook polls. I asked people to comment in 25 words or less, expecting a rush of viewpoints from which I could write an intriguing column. To my surprise, few responded. Is everyone else too chicken? 

Maybe it’s just as well no one presumes to know the mind of Christ. It’s a good question, though, isn’t it? If you claim to follow Jesus, it ought to be your first concern when it comes to voting. And if you don’t like what Jesus represents, knowing the answer to that question is equally useful so you can cast your ballot in a different direction.

But how does one answer it? My friend Shane made the point that, “a king doesn’t have to vote.” Fair enough. But I do. And knowing Jesus’ choice candidate would help me immensely.

My friend Jon answered, “Green Party. Protect God’s creation and shelter his people.” Good point. After God created the earth, he charged man with caring for it, although I haven’t found any record of Jesus himself mentioning the environment per se. Clearly, he cared about a lot of other things, though, like the poor and children and mercy and justice. 

Which brings me to Vicki, who said Jesus would vote NDP since they’re all about social reform. Valid argument. But for the life of me, I can’t reconcile Jesus’ compassion for children with the party’s insistence that parents should have the freedom to kill their children before they’re born.

My friend Jan answered, “Me!” By that, I suppose she meant God is on her side and has chosen her. A biblical principle to be sure, but your name does not appear on my ballot, Jan, so your answer is not particularly helpful. 

Barb said Jesus would not affiliate himself with any party, but would weigh the hearts of each individual candidate—a trick I have yet to master.

When Jesus walked the earth, he didn’t have the privilege of voting. Israel suffered under tyrannical Roman rulers who made life miserable for his countrymen and nailed him to a cross after a sham of a trial.

But I do get to vote. In fact, it’s my duty. I’ve heard people comment that voting is choosing the least lousy of several lousy options. What if we looked at it a different way? What if we chose to believe that all the options held validity? That each candidate cares about our country and its people as much as we do, that each truly desires to uphold the values he or she holds dear? What if the worst name you could call a candidate is “misguided?” Not evil. Not stupid. Not crooked.

I happen to think they do care, or they wouldn’t put themselves out there. I think they are decent, smart people with worthwhile goals and gifts to bring to the table. The challenge is not choosing who will do the least damage, but whose values best match your own. Perhaps seeing it in that light will make voting feel like the honor it is. 

And if you truly can’t find one redemptive quality in any party or candidate, perhaps you should consider running yourself. And if you don’t vote, for Heaven’s sake, don’t you dare complain! Do what millions of people on this planet are dying to do. Vote.

1 comment:

  1. May I add one more point? We shouldn't base our vote on who we think has the best chance of winning either. Living in the USA in the days we live in now, there's not much chance of my choice winning. Yet I am still responsible for voting my conscience for God's glory.