Decision 2012: Jesus and American politics
What would Jesus do?
Would Jesus vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama for president?
Would he vote at all?
I am a Christian and a political conservative. Depending on your world view and approach to hermeneutics, you will either say those two go hand-in-hand...or they don't.
But here's the trouble I am wrestling with at the moment: Christianity and Patriotism. So many that occupy our camp have so intermingled the two that the message is more than simply saying one is the natural result of the other. The message is that the two are the same thing. To be a Christian, you have to be a patriot. To be a true patriot, you have to be a Christian.
Again, I ask, what would Jesus do? Would He simply ignore the fact that Mitt Romney's theological ties are to a cult-like religion, one that has perverted and revised the gospel, a religion that reduces Jesus Himself to a son of God, but not God the Son? Would he vote for Romney on the basis of a "common moral platform?" Or, would he vote for the one that claims to be an evangelical but coddles the religion that has persecuted His chosen people, spewed hatred and murder, and followed a false god?
For whom would Jesus vote? Would He vote at all?
Jesus' earthly journey was one of singular focus. To the dismay of a beleaguered Jewish nation in the grip of a tyrannical, corrupt, godless enemy, Jesus was not a political activist.
Those Jews thought Jesus might have come to lead a revolution., to free them from the iron clutch of Caesar.
Thus, we have Palm Sunday, remembering how they sang so hopefully and exuberantly, "Hosanna to the King." (This event has been labeled the "triumphal entry.")
But then we have Easter Sunday a week later to remind us how many of those voices were silenced while their owners shrank into the shadows. Others of them joined a new chorus...
John 18:38-40 tells the story of how these people turned on Jesus.
Disillusioned by His message of redemption (rather than revolution), they chose a radical, a corrupt political dissident named Barabbas over Jesus of Nazareth.
They wanted revolution, not the revelation of God's truth.
Before that event, however, when faced with the question of taxes, Jesus used a coin with the image of Caesar on it to teach a lesson.
"Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's."
That should serve as an insight into how Jesus viewed politics and government.
What I gather from the example and the teachings of Christ is that political involvement and activism are not in themselves inherently good or evil. Neither are they satisfactory substitutes for kingdom living.
I believe that, in a free society, Christians ought to exercise their freedom to stand up and speak up for truth. We ought to combat evil and shine the light on corruption. We ought to influence our nation because "blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord."
But we also ought to remember that there is a higher calling and a higher office than president of the United States. We ought to remember that Jesus has advised us to be wise as serpents, harmless as doves; that He has sent us out as sheep among wolves— Matthew 10:16 —; and that this world and its order are under the dark, sinister, deadly influence of the god of this world. — Ephesians 6:12
Is Romney-Ryan to be preferred over the current administration?
In my book, yes.
Are they the ticket to heal what ails us?
Jesus is the answer—and that is still the heart of the gospel and the message America and the world at large needs to hear.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5