My American readers are facing an interesting election choice on 8th November.Although I live here now, I’m not a citizen so I’m not entitled to vote.(Hang on that’s taxation without representation…) I have an opinion, of course I do , but I’m not going to speak party politics here.
However, I am very concerned about how Christians seem to be approaching this election: some seeking to support policies that are completely un-Biblical approach to their fellow man; others with the idea that being Christian somehow makes them exempt from the political process, that because they feel neither candidate has an upstanding character they shouldn’t vote for either.
Maybe the thoughts of an alien in the country will be helpful, maybe not. The rest of the world is interested and has a right to be because, until now at least, your President has been our President.
Look at it this way, I am an alien with a Christian perspective on things. And if you’re Christian you have to be political.
Point 1 – “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” Mark 12 v17
Jesus used this to answer the Pharisees w who tried to trap him into aligning himself with the authority of the Jews , or the authority of Rome, by asking if Jews should paid the hated taxes to the Roman Empire. He neatly side-stepped the question but at the same time he was saying that secular things need to be engaged with.
You might not agree with the moral caliber of either candidate but you owe it to the country and to the other citizens you live with to vote, even if it’s morally distasteful to you.
Point 2 – How does the Bible say we are to treat aliens and refugees?
Exodus 12:49 and Leviticus 24:22 – “There shall be one law for the native and for the alien who resides among you.”
Exodus 22:21 – Moses gives God’s law: “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien; for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”
Leviticus 19:9-10 and 23:22 – Moses gives God’s law: “You shall not strip your vineyards bare…leave them for the poor and the alien.”
Leviticus 19:33-34 and 24:22 – When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
Deuteronomy 10:18-19 – “For the Lord your God…loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
Jeremiah 7:5-7 – “If you do not oppress the alien…then I will dwell with you in this place…”
And of course, the corker
Matthew 2:13-15 – Jesus and parents flee as aliens to live a better life away from Herod’s murder of the children of Bethlehem.
Point 3 – Mathew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
Just because someone says they are going to do something good, doesn’t mean they will. Just because I said you should vote regardless of moral fiber doesn’t mean you should disregard the level of the candidates morality and their consistency.
A lot of things are being promised in this election. Ask yourself how true you think they are? ARe they really achievable? How? Have the candidates promised things before and failed to deliver? How much do they change their minds? In other words, do they just want your vote and are not actually committed to delivering what they are saying?
Point 4 – Policy
And having said all that, it’s not just about who they are or are not and what they have done in the past or will do in the future. It’s about policy. What are they laying out to do? Can you square that with a more just world (Jobs, investment, social provision), a more peaceful world (foreign policy that benefits not just you but the whole world)? Have they actually laid it out in policy or just said it in a sound bite? Shouting or pleasant words are not good enough – How. Are. They. Going. To. Do. It?
That’s very important, that’s everything.