People want me to tell them who to vote for.
I won’t tell them who to vote for, but I can tell us who to NOT vote for.
Who to vote for?
Would we like the candidate with the most knowledge regarding the way forward to win the election?
Would we like the candidate with the greatest regard for truth to win the election?
Would we like the candidate with the greatest commitment to protecting life to win the election?
My guess is that at the deepest level, we all want the same things but have an incredibly difficult time figuring out just who that person would be.
We know that we don’t know who knows the way. We’re honestly confused about who is being most honest with the truth. We want our candidate to care about human life—all life: unborn life and the life of the mothers of that life, the life of immigrants and their children, the life of those with different ethnicities, dreams, and desires.
We want someone who loves people. Wouldn’t we all vote for that?
But what does “Love” look like?
In some Scripture, the command to love looks like socialism.
In some Scripture, the command to love looks like free market capitalism.
In Acts chapter two, it looks like free market communism.
Some say, “We could so easily slip into atheistic communism!”
Others say, “We could so easily slip into genocidal fascism!”
Well, of course! Both have happened before… very recently, in fact.
Some say, “Well, God chose this particular candidate!”
Well, God chooses all candidates. He chose Nebuchadnezzar, Pilate, and Herod.
But that doesn’t mean that I should vote for them.
There is one public election held in Scripture, at a very critical moment, which might prove to be instructive for us.
Pilate said to the crowd, “Who would you like for me to release for you: Jesus Barabbas or Jesus called Messiah?”
“Barabbas” most likely means, “son of rabbi,” that is “son of the teacher of law.”
Many ancient manuscripts record that his first name was “Jesus.”
Jesus was a common name in that day. It means “God is Salvation,” or simply “Salvation.”
Pilate is asking, “What type of Jesus do you prefer: Jesus Barabbas (Salvation by legislation) or Jesus called the Christ, the Anointed, the Chosen?”
He held an election and everyone voted for the wrong man.
In case you think that the point of this text is to vote for Jesus the Christ, it’s important to note that he isn’t even running for office… In fact, that’s why they voted to kill him.
They all vote to take his Life, and God votes to give his Life… for all.
The Messiah is a different sort of leader, and to even throw his hat in the ring is an abomination—even the “abomination of desolation,” standing in the temple of your soul.
So, should we vote? Absolutely. As long as we remember what it is that we’re voting for.
In Galatians chapter 3, Paul writes that, “Before faith came, we were held captive under the law… until faith would be revealed. The law was our guardian [paidogogos] until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.”
Paul makes it clear that faith in us is Christ Jesus in us, sitting on the throne in the sanctuary of the soul. Jesus isn’t simply knowledge about the way, the truth, and the life; He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Word of Love—our Father.
We don’t need exterior restraints to be good when the Good reigns from the throne in the sanctuary of our soul. And then, neither do we need anyone to protect our freedom; if we think we do, we don’t yet know what freedom is.
But until Faith reigns, God has provided a “paidogogos,” a babysitter.
The office of the president is the office of the babysitter.
It is a principality and power of this world.
Can you imagine ending your marriage and losing custody of your children because you couldn’t agree on the appropriate babysitter to hire while you and your spouse went out for a romantic evening?
If you break fellowship with another believer because you can’t agree on a political candidate, isn’t that exactly what you’re doing? We are the Body of Christ.
If we tear the Body apart over a disagreement regarding the babysitter, we crucify Jesus the Messiah, for we have just cast our vote for another savior—Jesus Barabbas.
I will tell you who to NOT vote for: Never vote for Jesus Barabbas.
But I will NOT tell you who to vote for because:
1. It’s illegal…
2. I really don’t know who Jesus is telling you to vote for…
3. And even if I did know, I probably wouldn’t tell you—at least not here—for you might think it matters… and it really doesn’t matter, at least not in the way we’re actively being tempted to think it matters. (Christians actually do their best work under bad babysitters.)
AND 4. You don’t vote for King, but the King of Kings always votes for you.
In Dostoyevsky’s “Myth of the Grand Inquisitor,” Jesus returns to Seville, Spain during the Inquisition. The Grand Inquisitor locks him up and accuses him of destroying the church’s work by refusing the devil’s offer: political power and all the kingdoms of this world. He tells our Lord that people love surrendering their freedom to “the Church,” for the institution of the Church rids them of the burden of love by telling them exactly who and what to vote for.
Jesus gives no answer, but rises, goes over to the old priest, and kisses him on his “old bloodless lips.” The kiss glows in his heart. That is his only answer.
It’s great to debate, discuss, and argue about the babysitter. But if you want to change the world, you need something far more powerful—you need the kiss. And when you give it to others, you are the true Church, the Mother of the Living, Bride and Body of Christ.