Have you ever had someone ask you a question that left you at a loss for words? Recently, I had such a question. What made the question even more surprising is that it came from a Generation Z type individual. I did not think this was a top ten area of interest of that generation. Here is the question, maybe you’ve heard it before: “Is Jesus a Republican or a Democrat?”
This Generation Z individual that I am talking about is a college student and a first-time voter. At first thought, I felt I had to say something that made sense to her. I wanted to give her a wow answer, but I had none. I was between a hard place and a rock, and I needed some time. My first response was to answer her question with a question. Why do you think your mother and I always vote? She did not know the answer, so I gave her several truthful answers:
- Many people died so that we can have the right to vote. Every time we go into a voting booth we are voting for the voiceless and the powerless of the past generation. It is their shoulders that we are standing on.
- When we vote we are voting on what type of world we want out children and grandchildren to live in.
- It gives us a voice in the process of who will leads us, even if that voice is a small voice.
- You can’t complain after the fact if you do not participate.
After I got through explaining some of my standards of why I vote, she was not satisfied with my answers. Since she had the mail-in ballot, she suggested that we go over it. Fighting back the urge to tell her who to vote for or what issue to support, I suggested she try to inform herself on the candidates and the various issues and how they might affect her and the community. I knew this would be a learning experience, but a necessary one that would be of great help to her in the future, in making good choices.
What does Scripture say?
Just when I thought she had forgotten her original question, she circled back: “Is Jesus a Republican or a Democrat?” She had me in a corner, and I had to finally answer her question. I began by stating that there were good people in both the Republican and the Democratic party. Jesus was neither affiliated with either party. I continued to further explain that he had a respect for government, in that he encouraged us to pay our taxes: “give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” I explained that as a Christian when confronted by life changing decision, the first thing I usually do is to pray. There is so much power of clarity when we pray. I had her attention at last, and I gave her a scripture to look at that might help her. This scripture I told her had worked for me in the past experiences.
“But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. (John 14:26 Amp)
I planted a seed, did not know how it would be watered, had no idea what direction she would go in. I just encouraged her to make sure she mails the ballot in.
A challenge to look inward
My daughter was growing up and her question challenged me to look inward. Maybe there are members in your family who have challenged you with these types of questions. It opens the door for great conversation as well as teachable moments in not only politics but other areas of our Christian walk.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of being at an event called “Lifework Journey” sponsor by the National Christian Foundation (NCF). One of the main speakers was a gentlemen by the name of
Dr. Tony Campolo. One of many books he had written was titled: “Is Jesus a Republican or a Democrat?” Let me give you a short quote:
“The apostle Paul saw in this tendency for people to create for themselves a god who symbolized the political and economic interests of their own special interest group and who ordained the values of their own particular lifestyle. But the God revealed in Scripture is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. The true God calls us away from such idolatrous tendencies. He stands above all political parties and calls each of them into judgement. Likewise, he calls upon us to rise above all of this, and he expects us to use the Scriptures as a touchtone to test whether the policies and practices of political parties are in harmony with his will” (Compolo, P3).
No Jesus is neither Republican or Democrat. What I am sure of, he is our LORD and SAVIOUR. He is the adult in the room, he is the decider, he has all the power, nothing can change that. Jesus’ view was always from his Kingdom perspective. He transcends our politics, it was “thy will be done” not my will be done.
Newton Fairweather is the pastor of Faith and Joy Church and the CBMC Fort Lauderdale Board Chaplin.
Read last month’s article by Newton Fairchild at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/be-prepared/