How would Jesus vote?

How would Jesus vote?

Recently debates have emerged about whether it is possible to be an evangelical Christian and support Donald Trump. Not so long ago Tim Farron resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrat, finding it ‘impossible’ to continue while “living as a faithful Christian”.

Even as a local vicar, I often find others willing for me to give some kind of ‘blessing’ to their political viewpoint. Their error is not only that I am unable to give some kind of ‘blessing’ on behalf of the Christian faith but also that somehow God can be reduced to the level of supporting a particular political point of view. These conversations begin with the unspoken premise that ‘we all know who Jesus would vote for!’ as if the King of Kings and Lord of Lords could ever be envisaged in a polling station putting a tick in a box next to someone else’s name. God simply cannot be reduced to political systems and ideologies. That doesn’t mean He’s a cross-benching deity. He is bigger than all of them!

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So, how do we respond? Both with our own vote, when it comes, and with the influence we carry amongst our friends, families and colleagues.

Here are some very simple principles for political engagement as Christians. Firstly, we can engage with the understanding that no one party can monopolise Christianity. When we give support to any particular political party or person that support is given in the knowledge that our allegiance, as Christians, is first and foremost to Christ. Secondly, the manner in which we conduct ourselves in those conversations should be generous and loving, respectful of opposing views and understanding of the potential flaws of our own views. Thirdly, and finally, it should lead us to cross-party unity when addressing issues of justice such as human trafficking, child abuse and foreign aid.

How would Jesus vote? In His death and resurrection He voted for us to be making the appeal to others as we engage with this world. So He wants us to engage with the political sphere in His name but without aligning His name with a party or ideology.

James Stevenson