How Would Jesus Vote?

I saw a headline recently referring to a pastor in North Carolina who recommended an electrified fence in order to keep homosexuals contained. I confess I didn’t bother to read the article.

However, it got me thinking. Everyone wants Jesus to be on their side for various political issues. In fact, it seems that people either explicitly or implicitly claim that not only does Jesus side with their political viewpoint, but abhors their opponents’ viewpoint. Maybe we need to resurrect the old “What Would Jesus Do (WWJD)?” with “How Would Jesus Vote (HWJV)?* Here are some issues and what Jesus had to say about them. Please note – I’m only quoting Jesus. The letters (Epistles) from Paul, Peter, John, etc. while inspiring and divinely inspired are still the words of others.

Government AuthorityJesus answered [Pilate], “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above”. John 19:11 Although Pilate was appointed to his post by the Roman government and ultimately Caesar, Jesus is pointing out that any power he has is actually part of God’s will. Government has a place, but that place is dictated by God.

TaxesAnd Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.
Mark 12:17 Obviously He advised them to pay what was right and just. I’m not surprised that He didn’t mention loopholes, off-shore earnings, purchase-leasebacks, depreciation or anything like that.

Capital Punishment, Euthanasia, Abortion, Etc. – {25} Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, {26} and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11: 25, 26 Jesus told this to Mary Magdalene when He came after Lazarus death. Of course, Jesus had delayed his trip so that instead of healing Lazarus while still alive, He would instead raise him from the dead. When Jesus approached Lazarus tomb, He had an interesting reaction. So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. John 11:38 There are various translations, such as ‘He snorted’ as though the smell of death offended him. Some believe that it was not decomposition but the very presence of death that perturbed Jesus. After all, death was the enemy – the reason He came to earth was to save us from death. As such, it can be argued that He would find it hard to tolerate death in any form.

Gays, Lesbians, Etc. – (Sorry – no quote available)

Crime and Punishment{3}The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group {4} and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. {5} In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” {6} They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. {7} When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” {8} Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. {9} At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. {10} Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” {11} “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:3-11 It would seem that Jesus was far more interested in rehabilitation than punishment. The law and scripture were quite clear that those who engaged in adultery were to be executed by stoning. Of course this raises the question – if she was caught in the act, wouldn’t there have been another person involved – a male? Why did he get to sneak out under the radar?

Oh, and haven’t you always wondered what it was that Jesus was writing in the dirt?

WorkersThe laborer deserves his keep.
Matthew 10: 10.
In many ways Jesus taught about the value of honest work; His own example of being born into a working class family and the logical presumption that He worked as a carpenter before taking on His ministry. He spoke of workers in the field and in the vineyard. He told soldiers to be content with their pay.

Business – {14} “It will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. {15} To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one – to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately {16} the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. {17} Likewise, the one who received two made another two. {18} But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. {19} After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. {20} The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ {21} His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ {22} (Then) the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ {23} His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ {24} Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; {25} so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ {26} His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? {27} Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? {28} Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. {29} For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. {30} And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Matthew 25: 14-30 Wow! While this speaks to any gift or talent we have, using this particular parable seems to show that even those whose talent is making money are expected to use it. However, note that they invested on behalf of the master, not on their own behalf.

So where does that leave us? Would Jesus vote as a Democrat? A Republican? An independent? A liberal? A conservative?

Sorry – I don’t think anyone gets to claim Him.

Fortunately, we also are taught. {10} While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. {11} The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” {12} He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. {13} Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Matthew 9: 10-13

 

 


 

One response to “How Would Jesus Vote?

  1. Pingback: Learning from a Tax Collector: Four Bible Study Activities « On Planting Seeds…

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