Wow, politics again. What is this?
Today, I would like to address “value voting” (I’ve seen/heard a lot of this growing up but one example of what I’m talking about here). I do believe that “value voters” are wonderful people who mean well. Mostly, these voters are composed of conservative, evangelical Christians (because we all know we evangelicals have all the right values, right?). But the more I hear about what the Christian “values” are that I should be voting on, I’m not sure what’s so “Christian” about them.
When did border control become a Christian issue? When did school choice become Christian? When did tax increase become Christian? When did individual property ownership become Christian? When did who become the next Judicial appointees become Christian? When did fighting against social healthcare become Christian? When did capitalism, democracy, and disarming other countries of nuclear arms (and, interestingly, not ourselves) become Christian values?
In all honesty, they sound more like American values (particularly, Republican) than anything else, don’t they?
I do believe there are certain Christian responses to certain issues. However, the answers I’ve heard from many Christians to the above issues don’t always sound that Christian. Plus, many of those seem morally neutral when it comes to our faith.
Remember: “Christian” is essentially another way of saying “little Christs,” as the early followers were called in Antioch. It seems that we “little Christs” in America have become more like “little [Uncle] Sams” [who ironically wants/chooses you like Jesus chooses us (John 15v16)].
I think if we “little Christs” took seriously (I’m not using this lightly) the words of Jesus, many of these “values” for which I should be voting on would wash away. For instance, if we really believed “blessed are the peacemakers,” would we support blowing all the terrorists away to “in the name of the Lord.” We would try to be creative in order to choose peace. If we really believed Jesus when he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me, to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4v18-19), would we still be collecting debt from third-world countries who can’t afford it? If we really believed Jesus that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28v17), then wouldn’t we stop being so paranoid (yes, Americans can be the most paranoid of people) about who has what nuclear arms and just rest in Jesus? If we took seriously God’s concern for the poor and foreigners amongst us – “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 23v22) – or “love your neighbor as yourself” – would we care so much about individual property ownership?
I’m not sure what all the answers are to political issues, but I know that we don’t normally think about these things. We tend to be lazy in our responses.
What are our values?
Figure it out (feel free to comment). But let’s put Christ above the American flag. We’re are little Christs.
Let Paul’s words resonate within you when choosing what our values are - we must think differently than the world – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12v2).