After the last few elections, the despair among my fellow Christians has reached an epidemic proportion. We are always sad about this or that politician. We find something to complain about, and I am tired of it. It robs us of our joy and peace and little time to do the work of God. I write this to stop us from giving elections too much of ourselves. I write this to assist us to move on and to let you know everything will be ok.
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In the gospel account of Mark, there is this strange and powerful story about our relationship to the government. In the story, some of the Jewish religious leaders are testing Jesus. They think they finally have him cornered and can either brand him a zealot opposed to Rome or brand him a roman sycophant. Either direction can help the leaders better control and/or understand Jesus. They come up and ask him about whether they should pay taxes to Rome or not? Jesus seeing the trap simply asks for a coin then holds it up asking, “whose face and name are on the coin?” The leaders reply to him, “Caesar’s.” Jesus concludes with this famous saying, “give Caesar what is his and give God what is God’s.”
Now ancient Roman and Jewish tax codes may not seem to help much with an election in 2018, but I beg to differ. What Jesus is getting at with this saying is that there are powers and authorities that deserve our respect because they do things for us, but our hope is not in them. For the Christian, our hope is in Christ. In this instance, Jesus tells us to give what the government is owed. Also, give God what God is owed. If you are a Christian God is owed everything. If you are constantly giving everything away then your taxes will not be very high. However, that does not exempt you from paying the taxes you do owe. Now the question becomes what do you owe America and what do you owe God on election day?Now the question becomes what do you owe America and what do you owe God on election day? Click To Tweet
You owe America your vote. It is your civic duty and responsibility to vote just like paying taxes. Christians least of all have no excuse to not vote. It is what we owe America. I am not going to tell you who to vote for. That is something you owe America too. The time to make an informed vote. Christians should deeply understand the politics and the candidates they are voting for. We should never be ill-informed because we should be deeply connected to the issues of our community, so that we may serve our community best. So, go Vote.
God gets everything else besides voting and taxes. When you work, play, and rest, you do act with God. You live, breathe and have relationships with a plumb line of Godliness.
God gets your emotions, your joy, and despair. We owe God everything. If God gets everything after the election then how does that help us battle election despair?
The best way to battle election despair is to change your perspective. Republican and Democrat did not exist until the 7th president. What about the Whig party? Ever heard of them? Maybe you’re a fan of the Federalist party? What they only had one president? Our country has only been around a tenth of the time the Bible has. We need to stop acting like teenage drama queens and realize that the sky is not falling with every election. Uniting behind current administrations is the best way to serve.We should never be ill-informed because we should be deeply connected to the issues of our community, so that we may serve our community best. Click To Tweet
The election is somewhat irrelevant. Christianity was illegal for the first 300 years of its existence. So the law of the land does not supersede our fealty to Christ. (Don’t go crazy.) If the winners of the election barred refugees from entering our country, I would help those I knew anyway. If the winners of tomorrows election impeached our president, I would still love my community. If the winners of the election outlawed Christianity tomorrow, I would still be at church on Sunday.
Jesus was a homeless itinerant Jew who lived 2000 years ago. Homeless and itinerant means not powerful. The government did not stop him from accomplishing his mission. The government won’t stop us from accomplishing ours.
If Jesus is our hope, then how can we despair? He literally rose from the dead. It kind of trumps anything that can be done to us. (See what I did there?) You battle despair by being hopeful. Christ is always ready to renew our faith, our work, or our minds. He is our hope, not the United States of America. Is it easier that we can practice our faith freely? Yeah, but not having that right wouldn’t stop us because it didn’t stop us nearly 2000 years ago. Christians don’t need the government. We answer to a higher power. Have some hope in that higher power.Christians don’t need the government. We answer to a higher power. Click To Tweet
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