36 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:36-40, CEB
I always told myself while I was in seminary that I was never going to be political as a pastor. I think, by and large, I’ve held that promise. The past two months I’ve used a portion of the devotionals to talk about political things, but I’m trying to do so from the perspective of faith. Here’s my concern: politics and faith have become too intertwined. In Presidential campaigns it has become the norm for Democrats to be quieter about their faith and for Republicans to be outspoken in an effort to get the “evangelical” vote. In other words, we’re supposed to just vote Republican because Republican candidates like to tell us how Christian they are. There are certain issues that have become the “key” Christian issues and, if you say you approve of the right things and disapprove of the wrong things then Christians will vote for you.
I’m uncomfortable with that. I see way too many politicians using faith language to try to manipulate me to vote for them. I see these same politicians approaching their politics with the definition of freedom we discussed yesterday: a total lack of restraint. Some of them are even in favor of policies that actively hurt people. So, not only are many of them unrestrained, they also want to restrain others.
Is that what it means to vote as an “evangelical”?