I used to care deeply about politics. I used to write lengthy posts on my old livejournal about why people should or shouldn’t vote for a candidate (this was once I was allowed to vote). It used to actually make my heart race to debate and to feel superior to other people because of the things I would find out. Honestly, that is the attitude I had. It was a terrible thing and I want to apologize to all the people that I hurt in the process of making sure I was vocal about my political stances.
Rob and I have been discussing politics much more lately. I do get huffy-puffy sometimes at his outlandish remarks, but usually afterwards I think, “Rob’s actually completely on the dot about that.” In a recent debate with Rob, I told him that we should simply want to focus on fellowshipping with other believers, spreading the gospel of Christ and ultimately living for Him in how we love, not about any structure of government. It was pretty much what we both decided on. The person I once was when vocal about politics was anything but this. Politics actually started to drive a wedge in my relationships with others and they had a bad taste in their mouth about Christianity.
With the last presidential election I actually convinced a few people to register to vote and helped them decide to vote for who I believed was the “lesser of two evils”. A friend’s mom even privately let me know that she voted for the person I voted for and to not tell my friend. I was fuming with anxiety and anger and emotion when Rob told me, “I voted for Chuck Baldwin” who was the Constitution Party candidate for president four years ago. It was my birthday on that day and I said that he ruined my birthday by voting for someone with no chance at winning. He said that the lesser of two evils was still evil and that he couldn’t vote for evil.
When this coming election was closing in, I had a candidate I was excited about, but when they dropped out I felt hopeless and at a loss. I was putting my trust in the leadership of the country and the people in the country instead of Jesus Christ who sees a larger perspective of everything. Rob convinced me that the Constitution Party candidate had beliefs based on the Bible and that they are against things like pornography.
Rob had been more outspoken about voting for the Constitution Party and I would sit back and just pay attention to everyone fighting and debating and arguing on facebook and twitter. I only spoke up on someone else’s post a couple days ago, and that was it. It made me realize that many people have an idol in politics. Some have an idol called government. They make it so important that if someone doesn’t see as they do, they get really upset and sometimes cut people out of their lives. Where is the compassion and love of the believers such as I read about in the Bible? Where was Jesus? I didn’t and still don’t really see it with politics.
I grow weary of my own parents yelling at me about wasting a vote or allowing “the other guy” to win if I didn’t vote like them. My dad even said that if Elmer Fudd were up against such-and-such person, he’d vote for Elmer Fudd and that I am stupid for not doing the same thing. It really hurt me deeply. I see now that there was a constant fear in people who are believers in Christ. They are so afraid of what will happen to our country. They want to stand for their beliefs and stand up for governmental liberty and freedoms but forget to live out the gospel!
“But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, ‘These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.’ And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.” -Acts 17:5-9
If you are to be a radical for Christ, be a radical. So that’s what we decided to do; just like the early day Christians and those currently in our world who stand up for righteousness as they are persecuted and killed for the Lord.
I have no fear. I have a king who rules over me. I have mentioned before here how I see Jesus as King and worthy of honor and glory. I started to realize that no matter who wins any elections anywhere, God knows what is going on. He has control. He cares for us and is going to help us no matter what goes down or what evil might come about. I have to just trust in Him. There is no better place than to put my hope and trust in Him. And a peace poured over me. No more anger or rage regarding politics as I once had. No more hurting others except by disappointing them for not seeing things their way. I am going to look to Christ. When our new pastor echoed this on Sunday, it helped confirm what Rob and I have already been speaking out about.
A friend of ours told me four years ago that he really loved the book by Shane Claiborne called Jesus For President. Our friend either actually voted for Jesus on the ballot four years ago, or didn’t bother voting. I felt this was ridiculous, but kept it in mind. Shane Claiborne’s book The Irresistible Revolution actually changed my heart big time about three to four years ago and gave me a new perspective on so many Biblical things, so I respect the author. I have yet to read Jesus for President, but will do so.
This morning I decided to look up quotes from the book Jesus for President. I shared them on my facebook and to Rob privately.
“When the church takes affairs of the state more seriously than they do Jesus, Pax Romana becomes its gospel and the president becomes the Son of God.”
“This is what Jesus had in mind: folks coming together, forming close-knit communities and meeting each other’s needs– no kings, no major welfare systems, no presidents necessary. His is a theology and practice for the people of God, not a set of suggestions for empire.”
“One by one, these disciples would infect the nations with grace. It wasn’t a call to take the sword or the throne and force the world to bow. Rather, they were to live the contagious love of God, to woo the nations into a new future.”
Shane Claiborne recently stated this as well, which I shared:
“So, we may vote on November 6. But we will also vote today, and tomorrow, and the next day. We are convinced that change is not confined to one day every four years. Change happens every day. We vote with our lives. And we are convinced that voting for a new President may be little more than damage control. For Presidents and Caesars do not save the world. But there is a God who can…Enough donkeys and elephants… long live the Lamb.”
It makes complete sense to me. Why vote? Why live as the rest of the nation? Why bicker and argue about something that just causes anger? If we are to stand for our beliefs, we’ll do it, not for anyone but Jesus Christ. We should be most outspoken about Him than any candidate at all. One of my best friends said that she couldn’t even find it in her heart to vote without feeling guilty. Rob was going to stop to vote before going to work, but after I told him about these quotes, he let it out he never stopped to vote. He said, “I have decided that due to the fact that I have no God or King other than the one true God and His son that I will not be voting today.” It touched my heart so much. I will also not be voting. I am not worried about who wins or loses because in the end Christ wins and this earth will pass away. I love being at peace! There is only ONE WAY, ONE TRUTH, and ONE LIFE. Everything must direct towards Him for His glory. I am extremely grateful to coming to this realization and for Christ changing my attitude and heart.