If you’re reading this hoping that I’ll tell you who to vote for, I apologize.
Vote for whoever you want.
Vote for who you think will be the best president of America. Vote for whichever candidate best represents your values. Vote intelligently – do your due diligence when researching each candidate, read a variety of resources both conservative and progressive. It won’t do you any good to just read things that agree with you because the internet is a big place. I’m certain you won’t have to look too hard to find somebody as looney as you to tell you that, “Of course you’re right. You’re always right.”
Above all, pray and search the scriptures. Let the Holy Spirit and the Word of God inform your every political opinion.
If you’re reading this to find out who Jesus would vote for I have to again apologize, I tricked you. Jesus thinks they’re all jokers and loves them anyways.
But of course we all want to know which candidate Jesus would endorse. And people always have.
There’s two stories in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus is asked what he thinks of the government. The first:
After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes, he does,” he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”
“From others,” Peter answered.
“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
Did you catch that? When it came time to pay his taxes Jesus pulled what he owed from the mouth of a fish.
Which is weird.
Fish don’t spit coin.
It was like Jesus was saying, “Here, you can have this, I don’t need it ’cause I own all of creation.”
A few pages over there’s another story about Jesus and taxes, maybe a more familiar story:
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
The Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus and basically asked him, “Hey Jesus! Who would you vote for?”
If you think America is in trouble right now you weren’t around in the first century, obviously. The Jews were an oppressed people in their own country, oppressed by Caesar and the Romans. The Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus because if he had suggested revolt they’d have been able to arrest him and Rome would’ve executed Jesus for them.
The Pharisees were basically saying, “If Jesus isn’t for us, he’s against us.”
Which is exactly how I feel.
I like trying to trick Jesus too. When I was preparing for this I was absolutely prepared to decide for myself who Jesus would vote for – because I got God on my side. And for some of you I’m wondering if you reading this expecting to hear that Jesus would vote for whoever you would vote for. And how many of us are prepared to get real angry if it’s suggested that Jesus would vote for that one candidate? You know the one.
When asked which government he endorses Jesus says, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Remember Jesus can find coin in a fish’s mouth. America can take care of America, God will take care of the whole universe (which, coincidentally, includes America).
For the Christian our hope is not in the GOP, or the Democratic Socialists, or in the Clintons, Bushes, Kennedy’s, Roosevelt’s, or whatever Dynasty (duck or otherwise). Our hope is not in the Establishment, or in the Constitution. Our hope is in the Crucified and Resurrected Christ. Our hope is in the long view.
If America were to falter and fall, and who knows when but it ultimately will because every nation and kingdom does, we as Christians could still have hope because Jesus is king. One day He will establish his Kingdom here on Earth once and for all and no weapon formed against it will prosper.
But what are we to do in the meantime? Who should we vote for? How does a Christian interact with the government?
The Apostle Paul says this in Romans 13:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
We’re to trust that God knows what He’s doing with whoever He chooses to put into office. We’re to pay our taxes, we’re to pay revenue if it’s owed, we’re to give respect and honor where it’s due.
And remember Paul is writing from a Roman prison to Roman Christians and telling them to give respect and honor to a government that crucified Jesus and would throw them to the lions. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that calling the sitting president Obummer or the Dictator-In-Chief or something worse because you don’t like his policies is in violation of what the scriptures command. Stop it.
And in case you’re think I’m harping on the conservatives, I believe that if Donald Trump wins the presidency “#MakeDonaldDrumphAgain” will also be in violation of the scriptures.
While we wait for Christ to establish His kingdom here on Earth we’re to be good citizens, we’re to do what is right and just, to submit to authorities as a matter of good conscience.
Paul continues in chapter 13:
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
We’re to do no harm to our neighbor and when harm is being done to our neighbor we’re to defend them and seek justice. We’re to be kind to one another, we’re to seek to bless our community regardless of their socioeconomic situation or political, racial, sexual, or religious affiliation.
We are to love without exception and that is the fulfillment of the law.
So who would Jesus vote for? Probably not the person we tell him to.
This election cycle, like all the election cycles before it, will work itself out. As Americans we get the privilege to vote for our leaders – so vote for whoever you think is most fit for the office. Pray about it, study the scriptures, study the issues. And realize that over the next four to eight years some good things are going to happen, some bad things are going to happen, maybe lots of bad things will happen, maybe lots of good things will happen. No matter what happens God is still King and works all thing for good for those who love him.
Love God, love people, vote accordingly.