As the election neared I sat through sermons where from the pulpit it was preached, how to vote biblically. The translation of how to vote biblically meant voting republican. The arguments for this position centered around sanctity of life and around religious freedom.
In my mind’s eye voting biblically also meant consideration of the poor, the immigrant, the widow and the orphan as well as caring for the environment as God’s creation. I read a book a long time ago by Lisa Sharon Harper called Evangelical does not equal Republican or Democrat, the book centers around the rising conflation of the Christian faith with republican politics. But the title is what has stuck with me all these years.
In this time, if we relegate God to either political party, then our God is too small. We have put God in a box of our own making, making God fit into an agenda too short sighted for the kingdom of God.
The reality is that God’s kingdom is not a democracy, it is not a two party system, in fact most often it is described as a mustard seed or like yeast. God’s kingdom is about the lost finding a home, the dejected finding acceptance and even the most forgotten being loved.
I fear that in America, there is a seeking of power as a means of “returning the nation back to God”. This idea that if we just brought prayer back into schools, or that if abortion was outlawed then we would somehow be a Christian nation. We forget that even when Christians have been in power there was segregation and genocide and that Christianity has been used as a weapon of oppression.
As Christians it seems that there is a fear of losing power in an environment of secular humanism, that Christians in America will experience persecution.
I believe that Christianity was never about power in the first place, Jesus taught us a lot about what it meant to live under oppression, to challenge religious institutions, to cross lines of race and gender and to love each other in spite of a lack of power. It seems that the disciples and others in Jesus’ time had wanted him to rule an earthly empire. I wonder if disciples today are still chasing that earthly kingdom and using their vote to get there.
We are called to be healers, to make disciples to love the least of these, this is the kingdom we should be seeking, and allow God to handle the rest. After all the kingdom belongs to God, not to us, it is a kingdom not a democracy.