Try as we might, we can’t seem to hide from this year’s Presidential election. I work in politics so I can hide even less but besides that it’s taking up our Facebook feed, Twitter feed, and many conversations at home and at work. But that isn’t new for an election year.
What is new is the general feeling about the whole thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen or heard “How did we end up with these two people as our candidates?” While you may be fiercely loyal to Clinton or Trump it seems a good number of people are also conflicted because of the candidate’s less-than-shining reputations. I know many people who say they just aren’t going to vote at all. While the thought may have crossed my mind I quickly remembered all the people around the world who are not given the right to vote for their nation’s leaders, and it’s a responsibility I will not take lightly.
However, I’m still left wondering how to both exercise my right to vote, and also make the best decision. It reminds me of those times I used to wear WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets religiously in middle school and wondering the same for this year’s election. Would would Jesus do? Who would Jesus vote for?
During Jesus’ life politics were far simpler. Worse for sure, but simpler. Caesar made the laws. The people obeyed the laws. Nowadays we have so many more options. We’re given options on how we will allow government to affect everything from our wallets to our bedrooms.
We’re also given options to really think about how our faith affects government and our morals affect laws.
While I believe a majority of Christians align themselves with the Republican party, they also tend to believe that if Jesus were still on the earth today, he’d be a Republican too. I happen to be a Conservative Christian and mostly because yes, I think what I learn in the Bible lines up with the Republican platform more. That and I don’t like paying taxes.
Since God talks about forming us in the womb and that all life is precious, I believe strongly in the pro-life movement and protecting the unborn. I believe He created marriage between Adam and Eve and therefore between a man and a woman. I also believe the Bible teaches about being responsible and working for your bread.
However, I also believe a lot of Democratic policies come from a compassionate heart that the Republican party either lacks or fails to show. A heart for the poor, the downtrodden, the minority, the single parent, the woman who had an abortion. I know Jesus loved them all too and teaches us to love them in ways we often fail to.
While Christians on both the right and left may like to think Jesus would choose their political party, the truth probably lies somewhere more in the middle. Jesus had a heart for the downtrodden but he also taught about personal responsibility. He admonished people to give all their money to the poor but while also saying that if you don’t work, you don’t eat. He also believed all lives mattered – from an unborn child to an African American male targeted by police.
Quite frankly, it sounds like Jesus might not have fit in with either political party, or Presidential candidate for that matter. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar and God what is God’s” was his response to the chief priests who asked such an earthly question as to whether they had to pay taxes or not. To me Jesus’ response says, “My mind is on more important matters.”
In Romans 13 Paul says,”Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
The Bible teaches us that we are to respect authority and our political leaders because they are put in place by God. We are to obey rules, we are to follow the laws. We are even to pray for our leaders – whether we like them or not!
But as for Jesus, he didn’t seem to want any part of the political world Himself.
In fact, after Jesus performed miracles crowds would go after him and try to make him King. Can you imagine a person who didn’t seek office being sought after by the whole country to be our President? And he or she not wanting it? Personally, that is the kind of leader I want.
“Jesus, knowing they were about to come and seize him to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain all alone.” John 6:15
His kingdom was not here; His Kingdom was in heaven. Apart from respecting authority, giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s and following laws, Jesus had way more important things to think about. His gaze was constantly forward and upward.
So how would Jesus vote? Making an educated guess, I’m not sure Jesus would have voted at all – regardless of the candidates. But as I go to the ballot box I am going to draw closer to the words in Matthew that state “seek ye first the kingdom of God and all this shall be added to you.” As I seek the kingdom first I will also seek to vote for the candidate that best aligns with my values and morals, while also knowing that my hope is in Christ and not whoever is elected the next President.