I voted today in the Canadian Federal Election.
The actual Election Day is next Monday, Oct 19 but my wife and I are decided and even though I will be around next Monday I am going to be away at a conference for most of the week. Our time will be limited on election day, so we went to the advanced polls today.
Voting for me this time was a bit of a surreal experience. You see, for the past few years, since the last election actually, I have become increasingly distant from the goings on in worldly politics. I can’t really put my finger on when it all started but as I have studied and written about economics and ethics I have gradually taken on a worldview that could be characterized as what many Anabaptists call Two Kingdom Theology.
The basic tenants of Two Kingdom Theology stem in part from 2 Corinthians 5:20:
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
As a Christ-follower I first and foremost must put my trust in him and allow him to take lordship over my life. It is as if I have died and been reborn anew in his image. Another verse that drives this home is Galatians 2:20:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Lordship is an interesting concept. In the societal context in which these words were written the lord of the land was the be all and end all of government and decision making. Many people forget that democracy was a foreign concept to the authors of the Bible. By saying Jesus is Lord we are giving him political and ethical sway over everything we say and do. We are also aligning ourselves with his kingdom over and above all earthly kingdoms, even democratically elected ones like Canada.
So as an ambassador of God’s kingdom to the kingdom of Canada it is my duty to further the interests of God here on earth. That, in a nutshell, is Two Kingdom Theology. My primary citizenship is not earthly and therefore my earthly concerns must be surrendered to the Lordship of Christ.
How that gets worked out in life is a whole other discussion and one that I have spent a lot of time tackling and wrestling with through my writing for several years now. I don’t have time to get into it in detail today, that’s what my books are for. The question at hand is what does this look like on Election Day?
The ambassadors of the United States, England, Germany or any other worldly kingdom don’t get to vote in Canada, but I do. How does that work?
Well, part of my decision must be based on discerning the way Jesus would vote if he were here to cast a ballot himself. To answer that question we need to look at some of the things he talked about both publicly and privately. In his first public appearance Jesus said these words:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. [Luke 4:18,19]
All throughout his life and ministry Jesus embodied these ideals. He modeled for his disciples a life of service and gave hope to those who were forced to live under a system of oppression. He was a voice for the voiceless, a healer and giver of life. The Old Testament prophets spoke of a God who wanted nothing more than a people who “act justly and love mercy” (Micah 6:8), who “loosen the chains of injustice, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked” (Isaiah 58:6-8). Jesus himself said that the things you do for the least of these, you do for me (Matthew 25:40).
So I voted today, as ambassador of Christ to the kingdom of Canada.
I cast my vote on behalf of those without a voice because my voice no longer speaks on behalf of just myself. I voted on behalf of single moms with no daycare, and refugees with nothing. I voted on behalf of the disabled with no place to live and the terminally ill with no place to die.
I voted to give hope to the poor, freedom for the oppressed, healing to the sick and comfort for those in despair.
But most importantly of all, I voted as an ambassador of my Lord.
For more information on Two Kingdom Theology and how I live “in the world but not of the world”, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send a comment below.