Christians are getting the word out. They are flooding social media. They are reaching out to their friends. They are talking to their customers and co-workers. They are mobilizing themselves.
It would be great if I was talking abut evangelism, but I’m not. I’m talking about another message being proclaimed: Get out and vote!
Christians all over are encouraging one another to vote this week. (In case you didn’t know, Tuesday is voting day for mid-term elections.) Thinking about all this banter, I have a few comments.
1. Christians are not part of the democratic republic of the United States of America. This kingdom does not reflect our beliefs, and its government does not govern our everyday lives. We are a part of the kingdom of God, and through that Kingdom we should engage the world on a different plane of existence, one in which the spiritual effects the physical.
In the kingdom of Christians, Jesus is the King, and we are co-heirs of the Kingdom as princes and princesses. In this Kingdom, all baptized believers are citizens, and those who do not recognize the authority of Jesus are foreigners. Yet all foreigners are welcome into this Kingdom, as long as they enter through the gate, who is also Jesus.
This is a Kingdom of peace, not violence. Those who live by the sword die by the sword, but there is a sword brought against this Kingdom. However, for those in this Kingdom, the temporal, physical self is of no account for there is eternity within each one of us that gives us hope beyond this life, hope enough to accept physical death, whenever it comes, with joy.
2. Christians who live in the USA are not of the kingdom of the USA but they are IN the kingdom of the USA, therefore they should be a voice for love and peace and eternal life in that kingdom even though they claim allegiance to a different King than Trump or any other elected official. As such, they should make their voices heard and vote, but they should NOT complain. They should NOT rebel. Unless a given law contradicts a person’s ability to love, they must obey the laws of the land and pray for their leaders in office.
This behavior must NOT be done in division with other Christians. Those who vote in opposition to you are doing so with conscience, and their choices are exercises of their freedom in Christ. So do not lambast them. Do not publicly call them out or shame them. Instead, love them, and welcome them as the brothers and sisters that they are.
3. Evangelism is good, but when it is done for the sake of the physical (Election Day), it is vanity. Christians should be using as much vigor for the gospel as they do trying to get other Christians to vote.
What if you talked with your co-workers about becoming citizens of the eternal Kingdom rather than worrying about their perspective in the temporal coming election? What if you reached out to your family to offer them adoption to become princes and princesses in a Kingdom that will never be defeated or destroyed, rather than arguing politics? What if you used social media to spread the gospel message of love and peace and hope through Christ, rather than elevating your favorite politician? What if you joined arm-in-arm with other Christians, in public and private, regardless of their personal beliefs about a particular political party?
When we mobilize for the Kingdom better than we mobilize for the vote, we will see the Kingdom grow and be influential in this world.
4. If you are a Christians, you should not be democrat…or republican…or libertarian…or any other political party. There should be NO DIVISION among the body of Christ, and such labels create division rather than build relationships. IF you vote, do so with integrity while keeping thoughts that breed division to yourself. One of the worst sins in the church, mentioned in the Bible, is division among Christians. How can the world know that you love one another if you are defined by division? They won’t, and Jesus’ prayer that they would know Him, goes unanswered.
So, vote if you’d like. I did. But keep your citizenship in the Kingdom of God as primary in your Christian walk. Every other kingdom is temporary and will one day be destroyed, but the Kingdom of God, defined by love in Christ, has no end.