I was thinking about our political system here in the United States, because we are in the middle of the process of picking a new President, and it has been an emotional roller-coaster full of name calling and insults. Many of the candidates for President claim to be Christian. In the United States, the two main political parties (Republican and Democrat) each make up about 45% of the voting population, leaving 10% Independent or undecided. I wondered, “What percent of Christians are Republican?” After checking various sources, I found that about 70% of Christians are Republican, and about 25% of Christians are Democrats.
So now I get to the main question – Would Jesus vote Republican?
(I realize that the Republican political party is only found in the United States, but I think this discussion can be relevant to anywhere in the world. Many countries have a more conservative political party, and a more liberal party. )
First what comes to mind is this Bible quote – “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (from Matthew 22:21) Here Jesus is responding to a question about whether it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus is separating what is the government responsibility, and what is religious responsibility. In the United States we call this separation of church and state. It is our law, even though we don’t always follow it, or understand what it means.
So evidently, Jesus had no problem with paying taxes to Caesar, but he does want to save some things for God. Things that would belong to God, would be things like our heart and soul and mind. This also comes from the book of Matthew, in 22:37 —
Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Jesus was criticized by Jewish religious officials, because he talked with, and ate with, sinners and tax collectors and the poor. Jesus was a healer, a friend to the sick. He fed the 5,000. He forgave sins. He said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…” (in John 8:7). This suggests that Jesus thought like a Democrat.
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says that He did not come to erase the law, but to fulfill it. The 10 commandments include “You will not murder.” Some say that includes no abortion. In the Bible in Genesis Chapter 2, it says that God made a woman out of Adam’s rib, and Adam called her woman. Then verse 2:24 states, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh”, (which is quoted by Jesus in the book of Matthew Chapter 19). This suggests Jesus thought like a Republican.
I come to a different conclusion. Although Jesus taught things that were liberal in His day; He also taught Old Testament Scriptures, making Him conservative. I think Jesus separates this world from God’s world, and the secular and political life from the religious life. I see Jesus as non-political. He was entirely devoted to God the Father.
He did what His Father did, not any government leader. This is shown in the quote from John 5:19 of what Jesus said – “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
In Galations 3:28, Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” It does not matter who we are, as long as we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and is our Lord and Savior. It doesn’t matter if we are Baptist, or Lutheran, or Catholic, or Methodist, or non-denominational. It doesn’t matter if we are White or Black or Hispanic or Mexican or Irish or Italian. It doesn’t matter if we are Republican or Democrat, rich or poor.
All true Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God. All Christians were forgiven when Jesus Christ died on the cross. All Christians are given the promise of eternal life in Heaven, because Jesus Christ rose again on the third day.
The devil wants us to argue with each other. The devil wants us to be angry. The devil is our enemy, not Republicans or Democrats, not immigrants, and not even people of other religions. Stop fanning the flames of hate. Jesus wants us to love.
In John 13:34, Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you…”
So let us separate our Christian religion from our politics. Jesus did not say to be a Republican. Jesus did not tell us how to vote. Jesus told us what to believe, and how to behave.
Jesus taught us how to love.
The Church, which is all people that follow Jesus, belongs to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” (in John 18:36)
Jesus Christ is our God and King. No matter how we vote, let’s remember our heart and mind and soul belong to Jesus Christ.
(Note: The links to Bible quotes are from www.BibleGateway.com)