NOT Voting: A Christian Perspective, Pt. 7

In the previous post of this series I spoke about the fact that voting has the potential to lead to idolatry.  It seems to me that some of this might have been committed by folks yesterday when the vice presidential debate was held in the county that neighbors mine (about 20 minutes from where I live).  Everyone was obsessed with it.  Anyway, to reiterate once more, I was not saying that voting is by default idolatrous, nor was I suggesting that anyone who votes is by default an idolater.  Instead, I gave several ways that voting could lead someone down that path.  In this post I want to address something of a related matter.  This leads me to my next point:

Point #7:  Voting has the potential to be blasphemous.

As we saw with idolatry, the concept of blasphemy as shown throughout the Bible is multifaceted.  On the one hand we can commit a form of blasphemy that Mk 3 refers to a the "unforgivable sin."  This is the sin not simply of denying the Holy Spirit, but rather attributing the good work of the Holy Spirit to Satan.  There are also, as Mk 3 tells us, lesser form of blasphemy.  This however, does not mean that they shouldn't be taken less seriously.  One notion of blasphemy, which covers a great deal of the discussion across the biblical canon is, in my view, defined along the lines of the following definition:  The replacing, attaching or mixing of anything vain or unholy to that which is holy.

As you can see, this understanding is not too far from the notion of the "unforgivable sin" because there, one is replacing the Holy Spirit with the Evil One.  A more common example of blasphemy would be an attempt to mix the Triune God with other gods.  The whole notion of "taking God's name in vain," which is commonly thought of as the "G-D" curse word in American culture, is problematic not because it is a "cuss word" but because it is mixing vain speech with the name of our holy God.  So, how does this all fit into the conversation about voting?

I want to suggest here that voting has the potential to be blasphemous because it can be understood as the mixing of the hope that should be placed in our holy God with fallen and failed humans.  Just as well, it can be mixing our faith, which should be pure and holy, with politics that are corrupt and vain.  This is especially the case when those politics either inform or override our theology/beliefs instead of the other way around.  Even more, voting has the potential to be blasphemous because people try to mix the ushering in of God's Kingdom, an event that will be lead by Jesus himself, with the notion that the next president will somehow bring that about (whether through apocalypse or in a messianic and vindication-like sort of way).  On even more of a practical level, the whole practice of mixing what should be Kingdom rhetoric coming from the mouths of Christians, that is, speech that is pure, holy, and life-giving, with American socio-political rhetoric, which is hate-filled, lined with lies, corrupt, incredibly vain, shallow, empty, and divisive, this is all terribly problematic.

I will not place my trust in a presidential candidate.  My trust is reserved for God alone.  I will not offer my allegiance to a political party.  My allegiance is to God and him alone.  I will not place my hopes in a fallen politician or political system.  My hope is in God, who is sovereign and perfectly holy.  I will not replace the promised presence of the Holy Spirit in my life with the vanity and fleetingness of the political zeitgeist of our age.  My reliance is on the Holy Spirit.  I will not mix messianic ideals that belong only to Jesus with some modern politician.  My confession is that Jesus alone is the Messiah and Jesus alone will usher in God's Kingdom when God so sees fit.  I will not vote and lapse into blasphemy.  My vote is to NOT vote for anything that stands contrary to the perfect nature and character of God.  I refuse to commit blasphemy against God in the name of American politics.

(Please NOTE: I am currently taking a break from Facebook and will NOT be commenting on responses to this post made there.) 

Other posts in this series: Pt. 1Pt. 2Pt. 3Pt. 4Pt. 5Pt. 6

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