Remember the bracelet? It caught on at least in the christian world. It sure sounds spiritual enough. [What Would Jesus Do?] Even if it is perhaps true that concerning some [if not a lot] of the modern situations we face today the scriptures seem to be vague, if not silent, on giving specific directions as to what to do in those situations. ["What to do"--is different than-- "How to do" in my judgment.]
What has caught my attention, however, as reported to me by Mary my wife, is the use of the "WWJD" concept on a blog in regards to our presidential race. It seems a young woman [whom we know personally] reported on a blog that she had decided to vote for Obama. That is interesting to me because she is a bible believing christian who is quite intelligent as well as committed as she evidenced with a recent extended time working in Africa with people in dire need of everything including the gospel.
The "WWJD" comment came in a response to her announcement. The responder took her to task and ended by saying something to the effect that one should "think seriously about it and consider...what would Jesus do?
That might be an enlightening thing to discover. In fact, a better approach might be to discover what Jesus DID do since He did not live in a vacuum those thirty-three years here on planet earth two thousand years ago but in the context of a very political and vicious culture of His own time and place. What DID He do?
If He does become our guide for choices we make in facing a culture that is the antithesis of our gospel, as is every culture anywhere today since there is no favored nation status anywhere, we might be shocked at what His example really is. It is true that Israel was on a favored nation status historically but remember it was not because they were righteous. Rather He sovereignly chose her to become the conduit of the coming Messiah. After that Messiah's arrival, the reality of "an holy nation" was reserved for those who participate in the community of people out of every tongue and tribe/nation who call Him Lord. That doesn't fit any present geopolitical entity that I know of including the United States of America of which I am proudly a citizen.
So...what DID He do? Rome was ruling. Slavery was rampant. [Both race and gender] The poor were repulsive to all. If ever there was a corrupt and degenerate society that needed altering His did. I ask again...what did He do?
When political parties were formed and attempted to change things did He join? When laws were passed that denied His own values what court did He file His grievance in? When a Mayor or Governor or leader was selected by whatever process might have been then, what were the guiding principles He used for His own choice of a candidate? In fact, did He ever vote in any election at all? It surely would be helpful as a guide for us in choosing between Oboma and McCain as President if we could see what it was that He used to select a governmental leader in His day. Then "What would Jesus do?" would take on new meaning.
The answer is obvious. We don't know because He didn't make ANY known choices in a geopolitical sense at all. If we were to do what we know Jesus would do by observing His example, we would do NOTHING.
Now...does this mean we shouldn't vote or participate? Does this mean we should do nothing during our election for President? Well..I would absolutely have to say it means I can't announce my choice as His choice and yours as not being His choice. I sure can't say you're sinning [missing the mark] if I don't know what the mark is because it isn't stated in scripture even in example. I can't say without some pause that I know categorically "WJWD."
I can say I believe it means I'm to use every principle that I've found for me in the New Covenant that pertains to life in general and relationships in particular and make use of those principles in coming to my choice. It does mean I not to forget to have confidence that the ultimate results of all issues are genuinely in His hands for purposes I may not know as of yet. It does mean I'm to submit to every ordinance of man with rare exceptions and even then ready to pay the price willingly for not doing so in those rare occasions, whomever is elected to lead.
Does this mean it's better to not participate? That's not the point I'm making at all. The right or the wrong would not be in voting or not voting. The wrong would be to announce one vote as christian and the other as not. One has said it better than I can when he said, "Nowhere in the NT is there even a hint of a command for us to participate in the human political election processes, nor do we find it a forbidden activity." It is obvious to me that this quote isn't saying it's evil to vote or not to vote. What it's saying is each believer is free as a citizen of both countries [heaven and earth] to use his or her judgment in such matters.
Any vote a believer casts, however, must be done as an act of faith or it is sin no matter what candidate one votes for as Romans 14 clearly points out. So to vote for a person out of fear or anger or judgment [condemnation] or any other reason, except faith, puts us in jeopardy of missing God in it.
So..for whom am I voting? I don't know yet. But whatever my choice as a citizen of America, my confidence is not in that person or that party or those promises made.
What would Jesus do? He would/did do the work of the Cross and has left us [believers] with that message which far transcends any geopolitical message or situation and is needed by every person of every nation and is/should be our greatest concern and must never be mixed with or confused with any political party. Let me say it clearly for myself at least.
God isn't white or black. God isn't a Democrat, Republican or Independent.
God isn't even an American.