Fairly Spiritual – No party favorites: Voting for God isn’t that easy


God is not a Republican … or a Democrat … or even an American. God is God and we are not … we are not God … not even close. We are created beings.

Yet every four years the arbiters of God’s righteousness rise up to do His bidding. In case God is silent, some of His prophets speak loud and clear. Fearing the Satanic supplanting of God’s country, spiritual soothsayers examine the ancient oracles.

From their pious perspective they anoint the lever we should pull, the platform we should bless, and the candidate we should praise.

These outspoken moral practitioners will not allow the campaign season to wallow in the complex realm of reality. They simply have no room for a world where each and every candidate is viewed as a complex human being, full of frailties, contradictions, and weaknesses. They cannot fathom a climate where the noble aspirations of every politician are respected and valued. God forbid that we might try to understand the merits of every platform.

Instead, the political popes of our time continually frame voting propriety within the domain of stark moral contrasts. They present every campaign as a choice between good and evil. They label candidates as righteousness embodied or depravity personified. No longer is the political season a battle between mere mortals.

Instead, we are forced to choose between saints and sinners, angels and demons, Republicans and Democrats. This is the fruit of much of our seemingly righteous rhetoric. Every four years we champion God’s anointed person, plan and party. The rest … be damned.

The residue of this polarized political process is anything but righteousness. It seems a terrible trade-off has occurred within many sectors of the Christian community. In fighting for a supposed Christ-like platform, we have abandoned our Christ-like spirit. It’s as if God’s righteous positions have taken precedence over God’s righteous presence. We have found a way to fight for truth at the cost of love. Jesus’ command to love our enemies has become subordinate to winning the race. When love becomes a secondary value, it ceases being love.

One of the true struggles of our time is how do we participate morally in a democratic process entrenched in immoral practices? Disengagement is not the answer. This will just allow more extreme political factions to rule unencumbered by needed calls for civility. Our democracy is a gift that requires our full participation. Our nation will only weaken if the church or any other segment of America withdraws from the democratic process. Healthy discussion and meaningful debate will always strengthen our democracy.

However, it is my sincere conviction the church must find new ways to examine both the content and tenor of American politics. We must address both the Spirit and the letter of the law if we are to thrive as a nation. This will require anything but politics as usual.

In a few days we will elect the next President of the United States of America. Some fear this day and others look forward to it with great expectations. Regardless of the victor or even the spoils, it is important to realize a politician or a political party cannot change a person’s heart. Only the transforming love of God can change the world.

Thankfully, no earthly king or kingdom can prevent me from participating in God’s love. So this is how I’ll face election day … with the confidence of knowing that nothing can separate me from the love of God, which is rooted in Christ Jesus.

Doug Bursch is the pastor of Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets Sundays at 10 a.m. at the Riverside High School Theater. He can be reached at www.yesevergreen.org or evergreenlife@mac.com.