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Syndicated Cynic: Vote for Jesus

I haven’t personally visited Heaven, and honestly I would like to postpone the trip for at least a few more years, but I have a strong feeling that it won’t be a red state.

I grew up in rural Oklahoma, one of the reddest of red states… think somewhere between blood and tomato.

It’s a place where George W. Bush is a legendary name and labor unions are essentially worthless.

I’ve heard over 2,000 sermons in my life from various speakers to different congregations, and though I absolutely adore my small town and my home church, there was one thing there that drove me nuts as I grew older.

Political indoctrination exists within the church.

Of course, I’ve never had a pastor explicitly tell me who to vote for, but time and time again, I was indirectly taught to believe that I had some moral obligation to vote for a certain party who may or may not be represented by an elephant.

As I moved to Tulsa and attended a greater variety of churches, and now sit in ORU chapels week in and week out, I am being more forcefully prodded in that direction than ever before.

Why does the American church preach a political agenda in general?

The gospels make it pretty clear that Jesus stayed out of politics, so who are we to put Him in them?

I honestly don’t think it does our Creator much justice to tie a political party to Him.

He is bigger than that, and no political party that ever exists, from sea to shining to sea or otherwise, could accurately represent Jesus Christ without tainting the idea of the Gospel.

Does the Bible showcase strictly earned prosperity? No. I think there is a principle in there somewhere that says something about getting what we don’t deserve.

Do the scriptures support the notion of bombing other countries because they have different governmental beliefs than us? Of course not.

That sounds more like the ethics of extremists. Did Jesus talk about loving God and your neighbor more than yourself? Yes.

So, instead of preaching for or against any political party, or pretending that there is a clear moral obligation to vote for a certain candidate, maybe we should focus on loving those around us, serving God with all that we have as human beings, letting individuals decide their own take on political events around us and keeping personal politics out of our pulpits.

That will make a much larger difference in the world than any occupier of Washington could.

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