Church and State
Yesterday was Super Tuesday. That day which historically has given us a very good idea who will be getting the nomination in our two major political parties in the U.S. While things are not set in stone we can look at the results from yesterday and have a good idea who our two major candidates will be.
An important principal in our country is the freedom of religion. When our country was being founded there were still many countries in Europe who had state controlled churches or official religions of the state which everyone in the country was expected to identify as. In many of these countries it was dangerous to worship in any other fashion than the state sponsored religion.
The United States has never had an official church, denominations, or religion in order that all people would be able to come to this country to worship freely without fear of state sponsored persecution. Throughout the nearly 240 year history of this country there has been a fairly tenuous connection between church and state due to the principal of keeping the two officially separate.
Despite this official separation it is vital that as members of this great experiment known as a “democracy,” we take our role as citizens of both the U.S. and of the Kingdom of God very, very seriously. When we vote we are not only representing our best interests economically we are representing our best interests as citizens of both of these kingdoms!
I am not one to tell my church how to vote from the pulpit, but this blog is not the pulpit and this is one pastor’s opinion. In my opinion and as a member of two kingdoms I cannot support any candidate who would exclude people simply because they are culturally and/or religiously Muslim. Of course I’m speaking about Donald Trump, but as memory serves other candidates either fully endorsed this idea or at least were unwilling to reject it.
This is not the only important issue being debated during this nomination process, but it is a very easy one to select and stand against. What is most important, however, is that we look at these candidates and look for someone who best reflects the leadership qualities which our Lord Jesus exemplified and challenged us to embrace.
I look for humility, vision, and compassion. There are many other qualities which I believe fall underneath these three vital characteristics which I might be able to live without because nobody is perfect, but if I don’t see and hear these three I have a great deal of trouble voting for that person.
This country has many things going for it, but we are at a cross roads where we must choose whom we will serve. Will we serve our own selfish interests or the interests of our neighbor whom Jesus time and time again has called us to love as we love ourselves?