How Would Jesus Vote? // M-Note 10.30.2020

Gathering,
Two weeks ago today, I voted early for the upcoming election. Even then, I waited nearly an hour in line along with hundreds of other people. I didn’t mind the wait. I consider it a privilege to participate in a democracy through voting. Historically at least, this is a rare right and one that I don’t take lightly. People often speculate how Jesus would vote. They argue over whether or not Jesus was political and to what extent he intended his followers to be. It is a hard question to answer. Jesus didn’t live in a democracy. There were no candidates to campaign for, free speech was not a right, and Jesus wasn’t even a citizen of the empire in which he lived. Caesar had no interest in the opinions of conquered people. Yet, Jesus spoke about the social order, his teachings had political implications, and ultimately, he was executed because of his political disruption. Was Jesus partisan? Not in the way we think of that word. Was Jesus political? Absolutely. And I think Jesus expects our faith to influence our political participation.
 
People often ask me the next natural question – how? How should Christians participate in imperfect political processes, how does Jesus influence our voting, and how we should deal with people that we so vehemently disagree with. In the past, I have taught about the relationship between faith and politics (you can check one out here). But today, I also released a special podcast addressing some of these frequently asked questions. You can listen to it by subscribing to The Gathering podcast, on our app, or watch it on facebook. I hope these resources help you consider how your faith in Jesus influences your political identity and how you will participate in the upcoming election. If you’ve already voted, give it a listen anyway. It is important as followers of Christ to always be shaping the rest of our lives to look more like His.
 
As we head into Tuesday, I also want to acknowledge that it is an emotional time for many of us. Political choices have real life consequences for people. I hope that as Christ followers, we remember that our first obligation is to love one another. As we fight for what we believe in politically and work to change that which we think needs to be changed, let’s not forget that Christ calls us to love our neighbors as well as our enemies. Elections force us to pick winners and losers, but this is not the way it is in the Kingdom of God. Remember as we work for political outcomes that we believe in, that afterwards, we are still called to figure out how to love those we disagree with. It is one of the hardest aspects of following Jesus, but also the most important commandment. Loving God and neighbor is our political platform, and we can’t lose that in the midst of our national politics.
 
Before I go, I want to thank all of you that participated in the Acts 2 Challenge – get $100 or give $100. We are going to celebrate in worship next week what we were able to do as a church to care for one another. But, I will say that this week hundreds of prayers were answered, and the needs of over 200 families have been met because of your care, compassion, and generosity. I will be continuing the series this weekend, so I hope you will join me for worship. Have a great Halloween. 
 
Peace,
 
Matt
 
P.S. Don’t forget to TURN THOSE CLOCKS BACK this weekend. And you can always listen to past messages you may have missed on The Gathering website, the app, or by subscribing to The Gathering podcast here.
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