On April 16, I get to vote in a new government. Or vote back in the current government. Obviously, not just me. All of Alberta will put an X on the box corresponding to their political party of choice. They will decide if the New Democratic Party will govern for 4 more years, or if the United Progressive Party will rise to power.
Iâ€™ve been having discussion, eaves dropping on Twitter rants and feuds, thinking about the issues and who will best handle them since the writ was dropped.
As Election Day nears, I feel more and more compelled to say this to the Christian Church: Return to your first love.
â€œTo the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.â€Revelation 2:1-4
God had something to say to the church, and it was good and bad.
God knew what they were doing. He knew they were fighting the good fight. They were standing up against evil people, men and women that consistently did what was wrong. They did not put up with fake Christians, confessing one thing but acting another. The church had endured hard times, persecution and trials, all because they had believed in the name of Jesus Christ.
All of that, God was proud of. It was good. He was glad they had stood their ground. The same can be said for many Christians when it comes to election season.
Christians stand up for what they believe matters to God. They want to see children’sâ€™ lives saved, not extinguished by abortions. They want to see kids protected rather than harmed, either by damaging ideologies or practises.
Some Christians stand up for protecting and preserving the Earth. Others get being the poor and the immigrant, citing the Sermon on the Mount as their reason for putting their flag on this issue.
All good things. All worthy causes to stand up for.
But we need to return to your first love before you put a check mark on the ballot.
As Christians, weâ€™ve sworn allegiance to Jesus. Or we claim that we have. We have called up His name for salvation, calling Jesus our Lord and Saviour.
Not the Conservatives. Not the NDP. Not the Liberals. Not some other political party in Canada. (For Americans, the Democrats or Republicans or third parties.)
But it is very easy to get caught up in the political banter and rhetoric and fanfare, and forget our first love. We are to wholeheartedly and unequivocally follow Jesus, not a shade or shape of government.
You might this the Conservatives are the ones that have the best political platform. Maybe the NDP have the programs that will help the next generation best. Perhaps the Liberals have the agenda that will see the Earth saved from climate change.
Great, but none of those political parties, none of their promises or platforms will save you. None of them are the author of our faith or salvation.
Christians increasingly talk as if these political parties were. As if everything, faith, salvation, the second coming of Jesus, all hinged on whom you vote for and who gets elected. That a poorly cast vote could be the damnation that Christianity fears.
We need to stop and do some self-examination.
We need to be very careful with how we go about voting, how we go about talking politics, how we go about as Christians during election season. Because our actions and attitudes, the words we speak and how they are spoken…
Iâ€™m seeing less Christians in churches and more advocates for political parties.
Return to your first love, Jesus Christ.
He is the one that called you out of darkness and into the light (1 Peter 2:9).
He is the one that offers life and life more abundantly, more abundantly than NDP, PC, or Liberal can promise (John 10:10).
He is the one that gives us his Spirit, his righteousness, his body for our healing (John 14:26, Isaiah 61:10, Isaiah 53:5)
He is the one who has done so much more for us that we can possibly understand. He is the one that we say we love, we say we serve, we say we obey…
Remember who you love. Return to your first love, our hope and salvation, Jesus Christ.
There are many things that I hope that Jesus says to me when I see him face to face. There are many things I hope he speaks to me by his Holy Spirit. I pray none of them are â€œYet I hold this against you…â€
Return to your first love before you vote.
This article first appeared on Christian Thought Sandbox.