The Election

It is election season. Political ads run rampant on our television screens, bumper stickers and yard signs display the names of candidates that are hoping to obtain a political office, and people passionately use their right to speak freely about how they feel about the candidates. Candidates are traveling from city to city proclaiming their message, vying for the support of their audiences. We, the people, have the responsibility and privilege of electing a leader that will lead us as a people over the next four years. Voting is a heavy duty. It is a right we should feel honored to hold – a right many people have defended by sacrificing their very lives.

Most of us interact with politics thoughtfully. We tend to vote on the values and principles that have been passed down to us by those who have gone before us. Most of us have strong feelings about the role of government in the world and how it should interact with its people. If we are honest, most of us feel an allegiance to this American kingdom we have learned to call home. And yet, as followers of Jesus we must cling tightly to the transformative truth that we are ultimately citizens of a different kingdom where God reigns supreme and where the principles that guide earthly kingdoms are often inverted. It’s sometimes hard to swallow, but the stories of the two kingdoms are all together different.

For the sake of transparency, my general preference is to elect officials that uphold the values of fiscal and ethical responsibility, who work to preserve liberty, and who limit the scope of governmental control. I believe in those things intellectually. However, I believe in the value of human life, the restoration of people, in living according to the created order, and in caring for God’s beautiful creation on a far deeper level.

I’ve honestly been wrestling with the following questions:

1) “What is the role and/or responsibility of people who are pursuing the kingdom of God in the political matters of the kingdoms of this world?”

2) The two stories inevitably intersect – so how do we respond in a way that is focused first on the kingdom of God?

3) How can we make sure our actions in the political arena are motivated by the priorities of the King himself?

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