Politics are a hairy animal. Every couple years grown men and women act like children, and the country is supposed to decide who has the leadership capabilities to fix our country (since it always seems to need fixing). The problem with this system is that Christians make up a powerful voting block in this country, and politicians all try to get us on their side. Need someone to support gun control? Christians. Need someone to support the 2nd Amendment? Christians. Need someone to make to spread my message? Christians are great at Facebook forwards (just look at all the sunset and Bible verse posts out there).
The real challenge is that Jesus wasn’t a political figurehead. Rather He simply told us to “render unto Caesars that which is Caesars.” Interestingly that he forgot to tell us which party to vote for, and he never mentioned what political issues were important. We do know where He stood on taking care of the poor, on loving our neighbors, and on sharing the radical concept of grace with others.
So why do we look so different from Jesus when it comes to election time? Why do we make blanket statements like “All Christians should be Republicans” or “If Christians cared about the poor they’d all be Democrats.”
Maybe I’m just cranky because I’ve had to block lots of Facebook hate-mongering by Christians from both sides, but maybe Jesus wanted something more from our energy. Perhaps if instead of blindly bickering with one another we should simply love one another. Maybe instead of worrying if our neighbors are getting welfare and we should take them cookies. Perhaps instead of worrying about whether I can go buy an AK-47 off craigslist we should be volunteering in schools. Maybe Jesus didn’t offer a clear cut Republican or Democrat position, but rather something that was outside of American politics. Something closer to love, and a little more respectful.