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Loving Our Community by Voting

Tuesday is voting day for us in Illinois, and so it’s worth asking the question: how should the fact that we belong to Christ affect our vote?

As “elect exiles” (to use Peter’s wording) who are awaiting our true home, our goal is not simply to acquire power by voting for Christians. Our ultimate hope is not in this government, and we must not confuse it with Christ’s kingdom. God is neither Republican nor Democrat, and electing either party to office does not somehow make America into a Christian nation. What’s more, choosing our candidates based on whether they quote Bible verses or go to church (for instance) often leads to disappointment and encourages candidates to make pretenses of evangelicalism to garner votes.

Rather, our goal is to vote as Christians—to vote with a Christ-shaped understanding of the society he is bringing in his kingdom. We are told in Micah that God desires of us to seek justice, to do what is merciful, and to walk humbly before him. And so, similarly, we should seek a leader committed to justice, even when it is unpopular, who pursues mercy, even when it’s difficult, and who is humble (a rare quality in politics).