The Vote

The Vote
Peter Hoover

Should Jesus' followers Vote?

According to this recent message from America, voting in public elections is not only our privilege, it is our solemn duty:

We Must Vote, Even When We Don't Like the Candidates

As markets tumble all around the world and our leaders' great solutions seem to be socializing everything they can get their hands on, many Christians are so turned off by the presidential choices this election, that they've made the decision to NOT vote at all. Whether it’s Obama or McCain, Christians need to decide who will do the less damage while in office. Consider this quote…

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." – Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

If we allow a person to come to power by our inaction and our neighbor suffers harm, how is it that we are not guilty of evil ourselves? To pick the lesser of two evils is not an evil choice at all! In fact it is good!

In the movie Sophie’s Choice, Sophie, while being held in a Nazi concentration camp, is forced to make a decision concerning her two children. She was directed to pick which child she wanted to live and which one must die. If she could not choose… They both would die!

Her actions resulted in life for one, and death for the other. The decision was an act of love. The decision was good! The evil situation was nothing of her doing and falls directly on the shoulders of the Nazi.

I don’t want to make it seem like choosing between the Democrat or Republican is equal to Sophie’s dilemma. Or that the Senators are both evil. I do wish to make this point however: as Christians, we are called to make a moral impact in this world (Salt and light). The failure of the Republican candidate means the success of the Democrat candidate and vice versa. This is just cause and effect and moral reasoning! If you think one of those persons will cause more suffering for your purposes and the things you care about then you have a moral obligation to do something even though the better chioce is not your ideal candidate!

If we decide to sit by and do nothing the very things we have fought so hard against for so many years will become the norm of tomorrow and we will have done nothing to have stopped it… Millions of Christians will sit this election out. Where if they or rather "WE" made our voice clear, we could have a real impact on our government. Not to vote is a shame...

Will you vote on Tuesday?

* * * * *

No, I will not vote on Tuesday. Neither could I, if I wanted to.

I am not a citizen of the United States. The American dream is not my dream. What is more, I feel no loyalty to America, or any earthly nation, because my loyalty lies elsewhere (with the Kingdom of God) and it would be immoral, unfair and wrong of me to vote someone else into an office I could not possibly (as a follower of Jesus), hold.

No worldly ruler can be a follower of Christ (Matthew 20:25-28).

No earthly country is -- or could be -- a "Christian Nation," for although God sets up worldly governments (unconverted rulers to govern the unconverted) his kingdom of another place and kind (John 18:36).

The idea that one political party is better suited to accomplish God's will on earth than another, is faulty, because God does not depend on politics to accomplish his will. He could accomplish his will just as nicely in Nazi Germany and in the USSR as he as ever accomplished it in America.

It would be as wrong for me to help the world choose its leaders as it would be wrong for the world to choose leaders for the church. It is not my business who holds office among them, and it is not their business who holds office among us. Our realms of operation are absolutely and eternally separated -- all we are doing is temporarily co-existing on earth until Jesus reappears.

What Edmund Burke said (the quote above), is true, but it does not apply to Christians voting. This American election will fix nothing. No disaster can be averted by either Obama or McCain. The train is already barreling down the track, out of control, with the bridge washed away before it. America and all other countries, with all other leaders, and all societies and peoples of the world are racing full tilt toward destruction. All we are seeing here is a minor, and totally insignificant, switch of personnel.

Do not fool yourself into thinking that by casting one vote this way or that you are making a difference, or "doing something" about it. You are just scampering along with the rest of the lemmings.

The only ones "doing something" today are Jesus' followers who keep themselves absolutely out of the whole mess. Who refuse to take part in what is not of God (in this immoral campaign that has cost billions upon billions of dollars while a third of the world goes hungry). Who maintain a prophetic witness, who pray, and stand as visible pointers the opposite way.

We "do something" by refusing to fill our minds with the political trash that fills the news.

By refusing to bring politics into the church of Jesus (politics that divide along lines that have nothing to do with the Gospel).

By refusing to take sides while consistently praying for and supporting the governments of the lands in which we live.

By following Jesus who refused to be a judge of worldly matters or take part in violence.

We will "do something" on election day -- the exact "something" that Jesus would do -- by planting potatoes and listening to the kookaburras laughing in the gum trees all around our lovely Tasmanian farm.

Is that enough for you?