In my theology and ethics class right now we are talking about the upcoming election and if there is an idea of the biblical candidate. I don’t want to go into that topic. In light of the upcoming election I want to say one thing that I have been thinking about and relating it to our preferred economics system that we use in ministry. In watching the debates and hearing much of the commentary it has been saddening to me to see that politicians are talking about the economy of power which puts job creation and production, money, and political control as the main goal of our country and each political candidates desire to the presidency and other offices.
In ministry we must understand that we have to have an eternal perspective in that we are called to live out because of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I am concerned when my friends, family, and ministry partners are so concerned that the state and whoever is elected will have authority to stop us from upholding God’s standards and the Gospel. Whenever we so identify our nation with God’s power and word with the political power and word there is danger for abuse. Meaning, if you believe that you have to vote Republican if you’re a good Christian, then we have fooled ourself that somehow Jesus or the Bible is better represented by one party than the other. Democrats and Republicans are all interested in maintaing their power structure, not representing a godly politic. Instead of buying into concern and protection of the economy of power, we need to live into the economy of people.
The economy of people means concern for those who have nothing to give us in return, talking about social issues other than abortion or gay marriage, and laying down our lives for people who might even identify themselves as our enemies. Buying into this economy takes a lifetime for production. There are no quick fixes. Diving into the economy of people is painful and forces us to come to a place at the end of ourselves where we are more concerned for others than ourselves. When talking about social issues we must be pro-life for all life, we must uphold the sanctity of marriage but also remember that the sacredness of marriage comes from the institute of the church by the power of God’s word that initiates the marriage ceremony (Genesis 2:23-24), and we must question how the current social structures in business and government are corrupt when they give special interests and favors to wealthier people instead of having true concern for the poorest of the poor. Democracy, socialism, communism are all fallen systems but whether or not we live under one of those structures we must realize that God’s power and message transcend all of these government and economical systems.
Love is the currency of God’s economy. God’s economy values people so much that he sent him to save the world and give eternal life (John 3:16), so as ambassadors for his kingdom we must value people as well. No matter whether Romney or Obama are elected tomorrow, we must live into the reality that we need to go on in our lives and ministry to be about the economy of people instead of trying to cut into our share of the economy of power. The power is fleeting, but people are eternal and need to hear about Jesus’ love through our compassionate actions and words of grace. Only by giving up the power and sacrificing for people, even our enemies, even being open to suffering and persecution can the seed and life of God’s word flourish through his body the church.
In all this is what you can do: vote, pray, and love people no matter what political persuasion or views in light of God’s economy of caring and sacrificing for others.
Also see my post about the Church & State Conference at Multnomah Biblical Seminary presented by New Wine, New Wineskins: http://wp.me/p1oVBU-fx