Saturday, 12 November 2016

I Vote for Jesus: By the Way column for The Medicine Hat News

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13.8) 
Just so, when the "impossible" happened and the world shifted on Election Day last Tuesday with Donald J Trump becoming the United States' President Elect, Jesus remained the same. When all manner of kingdoms, republics and empires have risen and fallen through history Jesus was the same. Despite all attempts to reinterpret his teaching, appropriate him as a political ally, or to stamp him, his church and teaching out of the public sphere, Jesus and his Church remains. More of the same.

I didn't enjoy the campaign. Not many did. Nasty. Character assassination was its defining theme. There was very little God or neighbour loving language. Our last federal election was not much better. Now the same pundits and pollsters who, from the primaries all the way to Election Day, consistently predicted Hillary Clinton's success and Donald Trump's failure are predicting dark things in the future. Their lack of accuracy before the election does not bode well for their post-election predictions. I take it all with a substantial grain of salt. Instead, rather than succumbing to fear, dark thoughts and despondency, I will generously apply the kind of salt and light which comes from never changing, totally reliable Jesus. That which makes my life and future tasty and bright will be a blessing to those with whom I live and move and have my being whatever their political stripe.

"Democracy is the worst form of Government," said Winston Churchill in Parliament in 1947, "except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…" The trouble is there are winners and losers and fifty percent plus one of the people can get to tell the others what to do. There always seem to be irregularities, angry, hurtful words, belligerence and  sometimes even war—the terrible cost of which we remembered yesterday.

A recent Tweet reminded me that Christians worship and follow One who lost the only "democratic vote" in the New Testament to the criminal Barrabas. That loss was painful, too. Nasty and deadly. There were falsehoods and character assassination then, too. Jesus was unjustly condemned to death and executed by the political powers of his day. Yet they are gone and he remains—the same as ever.

Salty, light filled, active faith in Jesus who is the same last Tuesday, yesterday, today and forever is the best thing to carry us safely through nastiness, character assassination, elections, winning, losing and regime changes.

I vote for more of the same—Jesus.