Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Looking Forward to May 1, 2011 -- 2nd Sunday of Easter

The Scripture Readings this week (the day before a Federal Election) are:
  • Deuteronomy 30:15-20
  • Luke 20:20-26

The Sermon title is Making Choices

Early thoughts: How does our faith inform or influence our vote?  How should it?

It is a difficult question isn't it?  Some people maintain that to be faithful you HAVE to support one side of the political equation.  Others insist the ONLY faithful response is to support the opposite side.  What makes it more complicated is that our Scriptures are not written with a modern representative democratic government model anywhere in view.  And so it is hard to say that Scripture speaks to how one should make voting choices.  Or is it?

To begin with we have to make one thing plain.  No political party platform equals the path that leads to the Reign of God.  Not the Conservatives, no the Greens, not the Liberals, not the NDP, not the Democrats, not the Republicans, not the Labour Party, not Israel's Likud, NONE of them.  Despite claims that may get made the Reign of God is not affiliated with any political party on the face of the earth.  And so a faithful response to an election does not mandate a vote for any one person or platform.  The best way I have found to express this is the subtitle of Jim Wallis' book  God's Politics -- Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It.

However, while Scripture does not contemplate the realities of living in a democratic society and the practicalities of voting, Scripture does share a vision for how the world could/should/will be.  AS people of faith we are called to embrace that vision.  As people of faith we are called to live as if it is there.  In Deuteronomy Moses reminds the people that they have a choice.  They can live as God would have them live or not.  As we prepare to vote on Monday we have a choice to make.  Faith calls us not to automatically vote for any specific party.  Faith calls us to consider how we get closer to the world as God would have it be.  Faith calls us to cast our ballot in a way that we honestly believe leads down that path.  Faith calls us to vote not solely based on "what's in it for us" (despite the fact that so much propaganda tries to sell us on that point) but rather on what is the best for the society as a whole.

And may we have the capacity as a society to live together civilly and respectfully with whatever the result may be.

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