“It seems as though politics is the Church’s worst problem. It is her constant temptation, the occasion of her greatest disasters, the trap continually set for her by the Prince of this world.” – Jacques Ellul (The Subversion of Christianity)
I recently spent an entire day trying to hash out my thoughts about the current political climate and how Christians must live out of a different story than one of cultural redemption via political takeover. I decried the growing “sacralization of politics” and how we as Christians have also been swept along in the idolizing of kings. I am often amazed at how devoted we are to presidential candidates – and even more in shock when major Christian leaders sanctify a politician with their public support. It is a ritual of sorts it seems – where sins of the past appear absolved and sainthood is conferred. But don’t get me started. It’s obvious that I tend to strongly agree with singer-songwriter Derek Webb when he sang: “there’s never been a savior on Capital Hill“. But I’ll save you my extended ranting (consider this the abbreviated version I guess). And while I feel that my perspective has many valid points I know many of you would disagree with my opinion. Sadly, these days it seems our political passions divide us.
But even in sharply disagreeing we are still first and foremost followers of Jesus, the ‘President of Presidents’, the Lamb who was slain – not followers of a Donkey or an Elephant king. In my struggle to find a way to be a faithful witness of Jesus in the midst of a violently divisive political landscape I was delighted to recently stumble across a project that I feel embodies an alternative Christian response. The project is called Election Day Communion. I hope, no matter how you choose to vote (or not vote), you will also choose to remember your citizenship in the Body of Christ – your membership in a different kind of ‘body politic‘. Check out more about this project and get involved:
“The Election Day Communion Campaign began with a concern that Christians in the United States are being shaped more by the tactics and ideologies of political parties than by their identity in and allegiance to Jesus.
Out of this concern, a simple vision sparked the imaginations of several Mennonite pastors: The Church being the Church on Election Day, gathering at the Lord’s Table to remember, to practice, to give thanks for, and to proclaim its allegiance to Christ.
This simple vision is now shared by individuals, congregations, schools and groups of many denominations and many locations. In red states, blue states, and swing states, we will celebrate Election Day Communion together, as one.”