GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 561 • September 7, 2020
HOW WOULD JESUS VOTE?*
Maybe you think Jesus wouldn’t vote, that he would not let himself be soiled with the chicanery and megalomaniacal egotism of modern politics. He probably would not recommend any politician and would surely not endorse any political party. There were two or three major political parties in his day and he found fault with them – he never said any of them could be trusted. Now do not chastise me for calling them political parties and remind me that Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, and Herodians were religious, not secular.
The truth is, they were more concerned about their sectarian standing than they were about the nation of Jews and the will of God. They pushed their own agenda, not God’s. Jesus said they were more concerned about their own traditions than about God’s word – they actually made the word of God ineffective by their traditions, interpretations and applications of it (Mt. 15:9). They professed spirituality but it was superficial and hypocritical (Mt. 23:13-33). They were not promoting the kingdom of God on earth and to that extent they could be called enemies of God.
Do you think Jesus might say of the two prominent political parties in our country that they are enemies of God, and not even good friends to the nation itself? When truth and personal righteousness are not promoted and when deviousness, deception, duplicity, and denial of truth can be found in politics at all levels, it may seem natural to think of politicians as enemies of truth and to that extent enemies of God. They could be judged enemies of the people, perhaps enemies of the nation itself. When the life, authority, and power of a (political) party is the chief goal neither the nation nor any of its citizens is safe – the government becomes cannibalistic and self-consuming. A trinity of equal but separate powers – separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches – may work well but three powers competing with each other for preeminence creates a fractured nation. Merging the three into one unassailable omni-authoritative body could produce a slave nation under a despotic monopolistic government or a dictator.
Is socialism and/or communism preferable to capitalism and free enterprise? Is a democracy – the one vote per person and all votes counted with a plurality or a majority determining who rules – the optimum form of government?
Note: some ill-informed politicians claim our country is a true democracy, but they are wrong; we are a representative republic – we operate on modified democratic principles but we are not a democracy. Pray God we never descend to such a position. We are designed to be a republic in which representatives meet to do the will of the electorate.
The system has worked reasonably well, but is in danger because socialist-minded might-makes-right politicians ignore the will of the people and the nation and seek to impose nominal democracy but in fact impose the power of the ruling few over the passive masses of the ruled, overruled, and overridden who can support them. A system that once respected God, whether or not He was loved and followed, is rapidly giving way to a system that wants God and church separated and removed from the state so they can be ignored, removed from schools and politics and only allowed to function if and when they do not contradict the culture or the desires of deviants, and as long as they do not “preach” to others.
Which, if any, system would Jesus approve? For which would he cast his vote and lend his support? One thing is sure. Whether or not Jesus would vote for any politician, he would stand squarely upon the truth, and would speak honestly and forthrightly about the issues. Not just about economic issues. That is probably the most pressing issue in many American minds – money: how to get more of it and lose less of it.
The trouble with the world is that money rules. If the money is OK, other issues seem not to count. Fraud and robbery are acceptable as long as some of the loot trickles down to the people – to us.
Jesus would speak out on moral matters. Rather than “alternate lifestyles” and “politically correct” tolerance and acceptance of whatever society wants, he would promote the law of God that brands such things as abominations. Rather than pander to the selfish “right to choose” which sees babies in the womb as “tissue extensions” that are an expendable inconvenience to mothers – how do women with abortions in their personal history feel on “Mothers’ Day?” Jesus would not support anyone whose conscience can overlook the “interruption of pregnancy” which results in the senseless murder of innocent human lives. He would not support the “peace at any price” compromises that some politicians are willing to make with the world in order to get themselves elected and re-elected.
Who could expect Jesus to vote for someone who is opposed to him and to God? How could Jesus promote a political person or party or enterprise that is opposed to the truth and the gospel of God? Do you suppose Jesus would take lightly the efforts of government, philosophers, atheists, and counterfeit churches to silence God, to deny God the right to be heard? I’m not convinced that Jesus would vote simply for “the lesser of two competing evils.” If his advice were sought by other voters I am confident that he would say, “Examine the important issues and policies. Find out where each candidate stands on moral issues, and on spiritual issues above everything else.
I am also reasonably sure Jesus would say, “Do not vote on the basis of race, gender – whether biological or imaginary – political party, or presumed image and persona. Do not be swayed by lying promises that you know will not be kept, made by self-serving persons who say whatever they think you want to hear so that you will give your vote to them.”
I cannot tell others for whom they should vote. But I can say I would never vote for anybody who is openly opposed to the way of Jesus Christ, anybody who would set aside the moral and spiritual law of God. I cannot vote for anyone who thinks any person is entitled to a completely free ride at somebody else’s expense or should be exempt from requirements and prohibitions of established law. Not even if such a vote would make me rich in material things. Money is only temporary. A person who can be bought or who tries to buy others, with money or privilege, is morally corrupt. The corruption may be eternal. I would not and could not vote to approve social, moral, political, or religious corruption.
So then, should you vote? By all means! There will likely be a wide array of persons, policies, and programs to vote for or against. Educate your conscience with the word of God. Do your best to find where every candidate stands on moral and spiritual issues, not just on material and economic matters. Then vote according to your conscience, according to what you believe to be the will of God.
The trouble with “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” is that it takes little or no interest in the will of the Lord God. But it is better to be in a righteous minority than to be the leader of an unrighteous majority. You can be sure that Jesus would always stand with God for righteousness, no matter which way the political wind was blowing. It is better to stand with God against the world than to stand with the world against God.
Would Jesus vote? If so, how would Jesus vote? Perhaps we cannot answer that question. But the really urgent question is, how will you vote? And even if you do not vote or are not allowed to vote the question remains: where do you stand on the issues, on the policies – not just the persons or parties involved but on the moral and spiritual issues involved?
- SHOULD YOU VOTE?
- EVEN IF YOU KNOW IT WILL NOT BE COUNTED?
- WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL YOUR VOTE MAKE?
- DOES THE OUTCOME MATTER?
- SHOULD YOU DECLARE AND REVEAL YOUR VOTE?
- GOD DOES WILL NOT READ OR BE SWAYED BY POLLS.
- GOD READS THE HEARTS OF ALL VOTERS.
*THIS IS AN OPINION PIECE. I do not claim to speak for God or for Christ and I freely admit the words in this essay are my opinion, based upon my understanding of the nature and will of the Lord and of His teachings contained in the New Testament of the Bible — not based on prejudice or biased personal preference, not on culture or social constructs and ethnic concerns, not on politics or the current blight and scourge of “political correctness.” If you disagree with my opinions and want to dispute them, please let it be only on the basis of scripture, on what Jesus would say and do, nothing more or less. What your church or your preacher or preferred commentary or your denomination-approved translation teaches will not be accepted as relevant or determinative. Only accurately translated scripture can carry any real weight in a discussion.