Our Christian Duty

Sep 25th 2008

So this won’t be a long post, mostly just a question.  Here it is:  Could it ever be our Christian duty to NOT vote in a presidential election? I’m just asking the question, not making a statement.  I’m wrestling with this more this year than I have in the  past.  Why?  It’s NOT because I’m watching the campaigns more than ever and I’m just getting fed up.  It’s NOT because I don’t like anyone on either ticket.  It’s NOT because I don’t care about the issues.  It’s NOT because I feel that Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics.

It has to do with transformation, Kingdom-of-God theology, and my hope for revival.  A few days ago I watched an interview with Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of England.  He has started a faith foundation to battle global poverty and he is teaching a class on religious globalization at Yale.  But what caught my theological imagination happened at the end of the interivew.  Mr. Blair was asked who he would prefer as the next President of the United States.  Mr. Blair declined to comment because he is not a citizen of this country.

It reminded me of some challenges Paul made like,  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for the Savior who will transform us… (see Philippians 3:20) and then also Hebrews 11:13-15 where we find that our heroes of the faith were people who viewed themselves as strangers and pilgrims on this earth who were seeking a better country.

I read the New Testament and see our roles characterized as ambassadors for Christ, soldiers for Christ, citizens of heaven, pilgrims and strangers seeking a better country… and I am reminded…

We do need hope.  We do need to be saved.  But we do not need hope in the political process and we do not need to be saved by our country.  Ultimately we need something more than either the powerful words of Barack Obama or the heroism of John McCain.  What we need is Jesus and a single-minded focus on the Kingdom of God.  What we need is people who will live, love and give like Jesus did.  What we need is a passion revolution.

Don’t hear what I’m not saying.  We need more theologians/politicians.  We need more servant leaders.  There is not one square inch of culture that Jesus does not declare, this belongs to me.  Don’t hear what I’m not saying.  I’m not calling for a retreat to our Christian ghettos.  That goes against everything that a church-without-walls is all about.  I’m simply challenging us to ask ourselves, do we seek first the Kingdom of God? (Matthew 6:33)  And if we do not, is it fair for us to expect that all the other good things we are looking for…will be added to our lives?

Okay, so it wasn’t such a short post.  Oh well.