Now that Mitt Romney has secured, more or less, the Republican nomination for president we can begin to look ahead to the general election. Obama vs Romney!
As with previous elections, we will see prominent evangelical Christian pastors and leaders giving out endorsements. Personally, I am increasingly skeptical of Christian leaders endorsing candidates. What’s the point? What do they hope to accomplish?
Do they think Jesus will be happier with one candidate then the other?
I don’t think Jesus cares who you vote for.
Here’s why I think that. One of the primary goals of living as a Christian is to become more like Jesus. I like to say as we grow in our faith we become more the person we were created to be. The two minutes you spend in a voting booth this November are basically irrelevant in terms of reaching this goal.
This begs the question: so what does Jesus care about?
I bet he would agree with the prophet Isaiah, for he did quote Isaiah quite a lot, in saying that you should care the those in need and seek justice: 16 Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. 17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1:16-17)
Jesus would like us to be generous, as Deuteronomy 15:7-8 states: 7 If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.
Or as Proverbs 29:7 says, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
Then there is another prophet, Micah, talking about justice, mercy and humility: “8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
One of Jesus’ earliest followers knew what Jesus cared about, speaking of the fruits of the Spirit: “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:22-26).
Jesus’ own brother, James, has a short book stuffed full of the kinds of things Jesus does care about. Here is one example about watching what you say and caring for those in need: “26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:26-27).
Another of Jesus’ early followers, Peter, simply says do lots of good deeds: ” 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:11-12).
I could spend the rest of my week listing things Jesus cares about. I haven’t even gotten to things Jesus himself said!
My point is simply this: what you do in the ballot box in November is minuscule in the grand scheme of things.
What do you think Jesus is more likely to ask you, were you to meet him:
Did you care for the fatherless, the widow and the poor?
Did you work for justice for the oppressed?
Were you generous with all that you had?
Were you loving to your enemies?
Were you performing good deeds?
Who did you vote for?