In my previous post, I mentioned a comment made by president Obama during a recent interview, which he spoke as he was exiting the stage: "There's no excuse for not voting." The host, Jon Stewart, offered his ditto to this remark saying, "That's for sure!" I've already made the point that this series I'm writing is NOT a list of excuses to abstain from voting but rather, a bunch of good reasons. I want to respond to the president's comment once again and ask here, "What is the purpose of voting?" This question leads me to my next point in this series:
Point #12: Voting cannot fulfill the role of or replace repentance.
For Christians, the New Testament concept of repentance is found in the Greek word μέτανοια (metanoia), which carries the idea of recognizing a wrong or transgression (against self, other, or God), confessing that transgression, and then turning away from and abstaining from that transgression. Repentance is, in once sense then, the overcoming or destruction of transgression. Stated more positively, the aim of repentance is to live more in harmony with self, other, and God. Repentance is a means of making one's life and one's world a better place.
So, let me return to my question just above: "What is the purpose of voting?" If you were to ask any number of people, you are quite likely to have them give some sort of response that suggests the purpose is to make this country a better place. Some would even say that a vote in America is a vote to make the world a better place. Okay, so this begins to raise some questions and suspicions for me. It does so because I am well aware that as a Christian, there is nothing that can fulfill the role of or replace repentance. In other words, there is nothing, not a vote, not an election, not a president, not an administration, that can fulfill the role of or replace repentance.
For the Christian it is repentance before God and then living in line with the nature and character of GOd that can begin to bring about holy change in this world. God reacts to repentance. We see this clearly all throughout the Bible, whether it be repentance from his covenant people or those who previously had not known him. The more I look at this election and listen to the rhetoric, the more I become convinced that Americans are being led down roads of deception. I sincerely hope that Christians are seeing (and hearing) right through all of this mess. No president or candidate can fulfill our repentant petitions and no political official has the means of replacing what only God himself is able to do. So, I continue to pledge my allegiance to God alone, not a political platform, a flag, a country, or any other king or kingdom of this world. But I'm getting ahead of myself here because I'll say more about that in the next post.
(Please NOTE: I am currently taking a break from Facebook and will NOT be commenting on responses to this post made there.)