What Do You Vote For?
Christianity and politics seem more complicated than they once were. Maybe this is because of my age, or maybe it is reality.
For most of my life it seemed that good Christians voted Republican. Sure, there were anomalies. There were socially conservative democrats like Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey Sr. There were socially liberal Christians who tended to vote democratic as well.
By and large, however, to be Evangelical was to vote Republican.
But the tide has been changing, and it’s not all Trump’s fault. It seems that the social values of America’s Evangelicals are shifting. It’s not that our stances are changing, but our emphases are shifting. No longer is abortion the litmus test for our vote. Some Evangelicals value personal freedom over the pro-life agenda. Some Christians believe other social battles—such as poverty and education—are more important than battling for traditional marriage.
But I wonder if that’s really what this is all about. Could our political passions grow more from our legalistic hearts than Christian conviction? I wonder if we choose our political causes much like we pick our churches—by choosing the one that feeds my self-righteousness.
Let me explain. I am staunchly pro-life. I vote pro-life—every time. I feel good being pro-life. I look down my pro-life nose at abortionists and wonder how they can live with themselves. But is my pro-life stance more about feeling superior than about the tragic murdering of millions of babies?
For instance, do we really believe in solving poverty, or do we just feel better that we voted for someone who promises to help? Do we care about education to help a struggling child, or just enough to argue on social media? Are we passionate enough for the Gospel to pursue our neighbors with truth, or just passionate enough to attend a church with effective outreach? Are we making a difference about these causes, or are we just living vicariously through our politics and churches?
I wonder, do we really care about changing our communities (or our country) for God’s glory and the good of others?
It feels better to simply vote for causes than to get our hands dirty and help.