by Andrew Stephens-Rennie
Election day is coming, and I’m ready to predict that somebody’s gonna get crucified. We’ve heard the story enough times to know that Something Interesting always happens when you mash up Religious Festival and Political Spectacle.
And that, dear reader is what it seems we’ve got on our hands.
Far be it for me to tell the Canadian Church (in all it’s denominational and theological diversity) what to do, but maybe y’all should think long and hard about how to approach election day with theological, ecclesiological and missiological vigour. Couldn’t hurt, right?
Never-mind. Forget it.
Perhaps what’s really needed is to think long and hard about how to approach the entirety of life with such vigour.
What d’ya think?
Here’s the problem, (or so it seems to me). Here in the fabled glory land of Western Democracy, we’ve outsourced every ounce of responsibility to nearly everyone but ourselves. If apathy won’t kill us, deference just might. We who hire priests and ministers (and other Professional Christians) to provide religious goods and services find it perfectly normal to hire politicians to deliver political goods and services. Coincidence?
Problem is, of course, that the political goods and services aren’t exactly in line with what the Jesus gospel calls us to. Come to think of it, tho, many of our churches have similar imbalances in their service packages. Somebody really oughtta do something…
I’m not saying (just sayin’ is all) but it seems to me that if we’re gonna talk about voting in an election, we may as well point out the obvious fact that putting our ultimate faith in any one person or party or platform or process that is not the Creator God of Israel, is not the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, of Deborah, Ruth and Mary, is not the God revealed to us in Jesus Christ is, well (to coin a phrase) blasphemous idolatry.
There. I said it.
I wanted to say that this election we need to be voting for resurrection, but as I’ve been thinking about it some, I’ve come to see my mistake. I’ve come to see the fundamental fallacy of this position. Not one of the candidates or parties out there believes such a thing is possible. Minds are captive to their own rhetoric.
So here’s where I state my bias:
I believe that in Jesus all things hold together. Not Stevie. Not Iggy, or Jack, or Gilles or Liz. That makes voting hard, n’est-ce pas?
No election platform can make such far-reaching claims. If one tried (and oh-how-they-try) let’s just suggest it’d be a bald-faced lie (No great stretch for any political document, but there you have it).
None of our politicians, not one of us can magically bring forth the kingdom (especially when so much money’s on the line) (and our minds are captive to the limits of this broken political system).
It may seem strange to you, but my vote for resurrection is a vote for the church. I know the body of Christ ain’t running this time ’round (‘least not officially). Then again, my vote is a vote for God’s power working in us to do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.
Put that in your platform and smoke it.
My vote for resurrection is a vote for a called out people, a people called from darkness to marvellous light.
A people who’ll give it all away at the drop of a hat (or a writ, for that matter). The last’ll be first, and the first’ll be last, eh?
My vote for resurrection is a vote for the church to reclaim its role as a resurrection people, to reclaim its mission, to practice resurrection.
Wonder what’d happen if that stone got rolled away?
I know it’s tough and I know it’s hard. All these people been talking about how frustrating it is to go back to the polls. Not another vote! Not another election!
Yet voting for resurrection? That’s a vote we gotta make every day. Daily elections. These are votes we’ve gotta make at the office, at school, at home, in our relationships, with our pocketbook.
How are we serving those that the society we‘ve created in our own image has pushed to the margins?
Yeah, thought so.
If we were truly Christ’s, and if Christ was truly ours, we’d be voting a bit differently. We’d understand that whatever happens on May 2nd, we’ll have another vote to make on the 3rd, then the 4th, then the 5th. Whatever happens in 2011, God calls us to more in 2012, and so on.
So vote. Vote early and vote often, folks. Above all, every day you vote (and I trust you’ll vote each and every day), make sure to tick an X next to resurrection.