Christians Voting In Government Elections
April 6, 2012 2 Comments
Recently, I voted in the New Zealand elections.
…reluctantly, I might add. My parents had to drag me to the voting booth, kicking and screaming. I don’t even think I filled out the form correctly. I only read later that you were strictly supposed to tick the box, not colour it in–I will never know if my vote was valid or not. The whole idea seems ridiculous to me, that my vote could be opposed by someone else who had no idea and choose the funniest name.
Democracy to me, is largely the ability to give the greatest illusion of power to the people, while the top tier of government stays about the same.
There are great many obstacles in my mind that don’t really match up in my mind. To summarise:
(1) I think Shane Claiborne says it best when he argues that the world we engage in is at odds with the Kingdom we live in:
“Today the logic goes something like this: ‘Calling a ruler Son of God is out of style. No one really does that nowadays. We can support a president while also worshiping Jesus as the Son of God.’ But how is this possible? For one says that we must love our enemies, and the other says we must kill them; one promotes the economics of competition, while the other admonishes the forgiveness of debts. To which do we pledge allegiance?”
Where do the two binaries interact, is there a dialectic between the two? The Bible does affirm that while we are here on this earth, we are under the leadership of this land we live in. But does voting for the leader of this country have an overlap with the Kingdom of heaven and how we engage with it? I can understand paying taxes, and obeying the law in the country. But even when Daniel was prohibited from praying, the law of God overruled the law of man. There is a hierachy, and finding the point where the two come together, I am going to contend, is not defined well enough.
(2) The second point is rather related to the first. Granted, I get past the barrier of the two Kingdoms fighting each other–if I was to vote, who would I vote for?
“What Would Jesus Do?” is an oft used phrase. While not applicable in all situations, is there a party that Jesus would vote for? I am going to argue that Jesus wasn’t a socialist, nor was He a capitalist–with those options taken away, where is there left? I’m left standing in the polling booth, and just wondering.
I am not Jesus, I don’t know whether we should save money to weather the economic crisis or to decrease the Official Cash Rate to increase small businesses. I don’t know whether God needs me to continue His will within this world, but He can work completely without me in it.
A lot of questions. I’m open to any answers.