Ok, I know the election is over and everyone is tired of talking about politics and just wants to get on with fixing what's wrong with America.
(Wasn't it President Clinton who said "There is nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what is RIGHT with America."? Love him or hate him, that's a good quote.)
But I heard a sermon yesterday that has me really confused and upset and I'm hoping my Christian friends (and non-Christian friends, if you have an opinion!) can help me figure this out.
Basically, the message of the sermon is that while Christians are free to vote, there's really no point because:
A) [Pilate said] “... Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him,“You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above...." John 19:10-11 (ESV)
Which means all authority comes from God, He has chose who should be in power, so our vote means nothing.
B) (Earlier in the conversation) Jesus [said] “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” John 18:36 (ESV)
Which means if we are followers of Christ, He is our King, and our kingdom is not of this world, so there's no point in voting because we are not truly citizens here.
Now I wish I had taken notes during this sermon, because the preacher did make some excellent points that I have blogged about before, such as:
Christian ≠ Republican and vice versa
Churches that are out there handing out flyers and such to "get the vote out" and then disappear for another 4 years are doing it wrong.
Christians need to worry less about what is being taught in public schools and more about what we are teaching at home. (ie. Why fight for Intellegent Design to be taught in biology class if you never talk about it at home - and may not know enough about it to do so anyway.)
and, one of my mantras
You can't, and shouldn't try to legislate morality. To change the law, you must first change the hearts of people. (For example, to end abortion, you don't just outlaw it, you reach the heart of every woman until the option of abortion is no longer and option to them.)
So he made some good points, but I just can't get my head around this not voting thing. I know many Christian groups are like that, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses. However, our founding fathers were very well versed in Scripture and many were believers. They knew what they were doing when they laid down the Constitution and made the United States a republic.
In a republic the authority belongs to the PEOPLE. In the Gettysburg address, Abraham Lincoln described democracy in his closing lines:
"...that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”
So, my conclusion is, all authority is given by God, but in a democracy, that authority is given to the people. The President, Congress, and all authority in the US ultimately answers to the people. However, just because that authority is given does not mean that it is endorsed. Those in authority have the ability to really screw things up. In the case of the United States, we the people are free to really mess things up by not voting or voting the wrong way.
Am I making sense? Do you think I'm on the right track here? What do you think?