Well, it is election season and Christians are getting heated over why we should vote for the “correct” candidate. For some if the “wrong” guy gets elected the sky will fall. For others if the “right” guy gets elected our hopes and dreams will be secure. We have heated debates about the issues: big government, taxation, religious freedom, and the like. We often times speak on each of these topics as if God Himself were telling us what to say, and how to vote because of them. Can we step back for a few minutes and ask what God says and doesn’t say about these political issues? I plan to post a series on Jesus and the election addressing several topics of interest to Christians. Hopefully we can learn something about God and ourselves in the process.
Let’s talk about high taxation first. No one wants to pay high taxes. In Jesus day I believe the taxation was 80% to 90% of your income. When He was asked about what to do regarding money, He did not say to elect anyone new. He simply said to pay to Caesar what is Caesars. Now I realize Caesar is not running for office today, but I think the principle still applies.
So what is the problem here? The problem is that many conservative voters will argue to vote for a candidate based on moral beliefs, but the reality is that the most important topic to many of us is money. Most Christians are very interested in the economy. Is the economy important? Yes. However, most Christians also don’t tithe. I have heard stats as low as 2% to 3% of Christians actually tithe (give 10% of their income). So, the problem is that we are not honest. If we do not tithe then can we really say we are interested in God’s agenda? (In order to justify not tithing some people will argue that the tithe is no longer required. To that I will respond with two questions: 1. Why would anyone give less than the law requires under grace? 2. Abraham was a tither and he lived before the law. Why did he tithe?)
We say we vote based on our values and the truth is that many who claim the name Christian vote based on finances. I am afraid that when we look at our finances they would indicate we are NOT interested in God’s agenda. So what are we interested in? Money. We care about taxation because we care about our money. So let’s at least be honest about that fact. We don’t care about God’s agenda for our money and we do care about who is elected because of how that decision affects our money. So what is it that drives our decision? Our god. We are value-based voters; the problem is our values are not God’s values.
Jesus’ next line after saying to give to Caesar what is Caesars is, to give to God what is God’s (Matthew 22:21). If Christians were serious about God’s agenda we would be using the resources we have already been given for a Kingdom agenda (Matthew 28:16-20). Our goal with our resources would be to fund the gospel and make a true eternal investment (Matthew 6:19-21). What do you think Jesus would say if asked about taxes in America today?
Future blogs regarding Jesus and the election: Religious freedom, Why we have authority issues, what we should expect from government, and how I plan to vote.