Voting, church, and our dirty little secret
Are you glad the election is over? No more signs in your neighborhood? No more relentless telemarketing calls during dinner?
At Seneca Creek we don’t spend much time discussing elections, politics, etc. As a result many at our church simply assume that most of their fellow church members think and vote the same way. The dirty little secret is that often people who are on extreme opposites of the political spectrum sit next to each other, and worship the same God.
And I happen to think that’s a really good thing. Here’s why:
- Despite what you may have heard or read, there is no “party of God” on the ballots in this country. Neither of the major parties is without their problems, and neither is without their virtues. But to my knowledge, neither has a plank that says, “We intend to follow God and only God in all our decisions and policies.” That said, you will find godly men and women in every major political party.
- The gospel is, among other things, a message of reconciliation. We can rightly believe that means being reconciled to God. But it’s more than that. And it’s more than reconciling people of different races, ethnicities, cultures, and socio-economic groups. It’s also about reconciling people of different political persuasions. Yes, the gospel is about bringing EVERYONE together at the foot of the cross. If we were to paraphrase the apostle Paul, we might put it like this:
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither Democrat nor Republican, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus! (Galatians 3:28, PMP, Pastor Mark’s Paraphrase)
- The church, NOT the government, is God’s chosen vehicle for bringing transformation into this world. When we worship together, we affirm God’s clear calling on his people. Scripture clearly indicates we should respect and pray for those in government, but not expect them to do what the church is called to do.
Instead, our energy is directed at building the church (people, NOT a facility) into a dynamic, life-giving, healing, empowering, reconciling and transforming family. When we do that, the role of elected officials become easier. And the church becomes stronger. And the HOPE of Christ is ignited in this world.
So I hope you voted. But even more than that, I hope that you will join us each weekend as we seek to become a community that is being transformed from the inside out. Consider it casting a ballot for real change…and you can vote as often as you like!
– Pastor Mark
P.S. As we continue to explore the virtue of gratitude in our weekend series, I, like many of you, am deeply grateful for the freedom to vote.