Quote of the Day 10/27/08

We don’t ascribe to the world the greatest status. There are unseen things that are vastly more precious than the world. We use the world without offering it our whole soul. We may work with all our might when dealing with the world, but the full passions of our heart will be attached to something higher—Godward purposes. We use the world, but not as an end in itself. It is a means. We deal with the world in order to make much of Christ.

So it is with voting. We deal with the system. We deal with the news. We deal with the candidates. We deal with the issues. But we deal with it all as if not dealing with it. It does not have our fullest attention. It is not the great thing in our lives. Christ is. And Christ will be ruling over his people with perfect supremacy no matter who is elected and no matter what government stands or falls. So we vote as though not voting.

John Piper in "Let Christians Vote as Though Not Voting"


JPB said...

Thanks to Janine for sending me to this article. I think this particular quote is a pretty good summary of the core of Pastor John's thinking here. I have my own take on it, but am curious what others think first.


It's this that makes voting both relatively important and relatively unimportant. It's clearly important because it represents for the Christian a civic duty which he wants to do well for God, and it's unimportant, because it's not an ultimate thing.

shellee said...

I agree. As Christians, we have a two-fold mission. One, to be transformed by Christ personally and two, to transform the world.

Our identity and hope do not rest in man's instutitions and structures - we know that God can use trial, tribulation as well as peace and prosperity to form and transform us. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28. So, in that light, it does not matter who wins. God can still fulfill His plans and purposes for us through anyone. For He is Lord of all.

However, on the flip side, we are commissioned by Christ to bring Him to all people and into all nations transforming society into the kingdom of God. Therefore we very much need to be concerned with what is happening and do our part to bring forth that kingdom by our participation as citizens, by exercising leadership if we have the gifts and a call, and by our lifestyle choices.

When we find our hope in Him and live according to His words and will, we can be free to trust Him no matter what happens and we can grow into a full maturity that joins with Him to do our part in the building up of the kingdom.

Janine the Bean said...

Well said Shellee.

I think our participation as citizens in voting is a privilege that we shouldn't let pass by.

At times, I feel as if I should just not vote. Then I think to myself, "Well, is that the answer?" There will always be flawed men and imperfect candidates, but I think we should make the best choice that we can and then feel confident in Christ as the one who is in control of the outcome anyhow.

I've wrestled a lot in this particular election. And it's probably not over. But I'd rather vote than not.

I'm interested in your take on this brother. Waiting for your response.

As to caughtnottaught's response, there's a sense in which I don't want to look at voting as a way to "do well for God." If I really wanted to do well for God and feared my choice of a president (or other leader) may displease him, I may not vote at all.

As I said above, it's hard. I'm still wrestling with this whole Christianity and politics thing.

Let's just remember the famous saying, "God is not a Republican or a Democrat."


JPB said...

I'm reading Peter Leithart's AGAINST CHRISTIANITY and it has made it temporarily difficult for me to answer this question. (He's a Christian, those who don't know him.)

But I'm pretty sure that he (in the tradition of Yoder, Hauerwas, Wright and others) is articulating something closer to the framework in which I view these things than Piper is, though I like what Piper says here a lot more than the comments that were flowing at 22 words.