“Therefore God has highly exalted [Jesus] and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
1 Peter 3:15-16
“[H]onor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
I must confess, I have not seen one political ad since I unplugged from it all a couple of months ago. And, it has been incredibly refreshing! Don’t get me wrong, voting is a fundamental right and responsibility we have as U.S. American citizens, and I fully intend (as an independent voter) to “make my voice heard” in November.
Nonetheless, as Christians, we must remember that the kingdom we belong to is not of this world. Period. As Christians, our theater of operations is the Gospel. “Go Red!” or “Go Blue!” are ultimately idolatrous slogans for the Christian. As Christians, we have but only one Lord. Jesus is Lord, and no one or nothing else is Lord. Period.
Of course, the Gospel has political – or, should I say, social implications.
In the Kingdom of God:
• Black lives matter.
• Unborn babies matter too.
• The LGBTQ+ persons are to be loved and respected.
• Gender equality must be insisted upon.
• Immigrants are to be valued.
• The environment ought to be taken care of.
All of this is true. But, such things are not necessary “red” or “blue” issues. They are Kingdom issues. They are Kingdom issues precisely because of the two greatest commandments in all of Scripture:
- “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
- “You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18b).
Jesus himself said as much.
“And one of them, a lawyer, asked [Jesus] a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And [Jesus] said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets’” (Matthew 22:35-40).
So, the Gospel does have certain societal implications. As we just saw above, what that is saying is that love has implications for how we treat each other.
As St. Paul rightly taught, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).
So, as we get closer to Election Day, let’s remember as followers of Jesus Christ that we are not really “Republican” or “Democrat,” but rather, simply Christian.