Who Will You Vote For?
I received a rather humorous email the other day from a lady asking me why I was voting for Obama instead of McCain. The inquirer had obviously not taken the trouble to read my website.
If I may be so bold as to say so, I believe that the more rabidly pro-McCain evangelicals, like the disciples of Jesus in Acts 1, are held in bondage to the traditional idea of a temporal messianic kingdom. Traditions like this have, I’m afraid, been the greatest barriers to the real truth. You will recall how quickly Jesus brushed aside the disciples’ question about when the kingdom of Israel would be restored and concentrated instead on the question of how they might become equipped with the Holy Spirit’s power to serve as His witnesses in world evangelization. Beginning in Jerusalem, their ministry was to spread, despite the roadblock of racial prejudice, to Samaria, and then to the whole Gentile world.
This, I think, has to be our single focus as well. Jesus and Paul did not set out to legitimize politics. They were not about to take sides. They stayed out of the power contests of the day. The Anabaptists, whom I respect so much, did the same thing in the sixteenth century. While it is obvious (at least to anyone who reads my site) that I support candidate Chuck Baldwin in the present contest, I would never suggest that God must support Mr. Baldwin. What matters is that the Christian should overcome evil by good, not by secular politics. The Gospel transcends feuding ideologies in the present age. To say this won’t make you many friends anywhere. But I need to be about the kingdom, not about any crusading ideology – even that of the Constitution Party.
Of course, one can recognize the relative political correctness of one’s own party affiliation. And at times it might be best to opt out of the political system altogether, exercising our right to engage in the politics of not-doing-politics. The challenge always it to maintain the biblical Gospel in the face of whatever regime or party or political philosophy rules the day and to refrain from placing too much confidence in the glories of human ideologies.
A “political pastor” is therefore a contradiction in terms, in that politics does not represent the kingdom of God but the old kingdom of man. I am quite certain that Chuck Baldwin himself would never appeal for support on the basis of his Christian profession. He is, so far as I can tell, a politician who is a pastor, and not a pastor-politician. But I cannot speak for Mr. Baldwin. My personal opinion is that God can and will accomplish whatever He has in mind for our nation whoever He installs in the White House in January. As Vernard Eller (I think it was) once quipped, our confidence that a pebble from our measly little sling shot of politics will bring down the Goliath of evil is nothing but a silly pipe dream.
And so, my friend, on Nov. 4 vote for whomever you believe is the most qualified – or even the least unqualified – candidate to be president of these United States. But know this: I won’t ask you who you voted for should we ever meet.
Jesus is building His kingdom on the basis of a vital faith in Him and a true regeneration of the heart. The primitive church acknowledged no other kingdom than this one.
Can we do any less today?
October 31, 2008
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.