I’m not into bully pulpits. I’ve been preaching for over a decade, and I am not interested in cramming my own views down a (mostly) silent gathering’s collective throat.
And. I am absolutely interested in proclaiming the unapologetic views of a certain radical Savior from first-century Palestine — especially from a pulpit.
However, since waxing political in Christian worship is, in my opinion, crass — whether it’s a church in my late grandfather’s Catholic denomination claiming in its newsletter that to vote Democrat is to be doomed to hell, or “Christian Left” organizations pushing the idea that voting for Democrats is voting for “salvation” — my pulpit today will be this @Medium. (Ha.)
When I say “voting biblical values,” it’s unfortunately likely to be caught up in a specific, conservative, evangelical/fundamentalist Christian way. So.
Voting biblical values isn’t an exclusive trait of the “Religious Right” (who, after betting everything on moral “purity,” has now hitched itself with the polar opposite of any decent measure of morality). One hopes their pious charade has seen its last rodeo, but I digress.
Voting biblical values means more than abortion and marriage equality.
Voting biblical values means recognizing that those in power — regardless of political persuasion — must be held accountable and challenged by those us who are trying to follow Jesus.
Voting biblical values means taking the biblical narrative and its focus seriously — and not simply mixing and matching verses to create some sort of pious political parsing.
So. This means that the current Democratic president’s increase in drone strikes and the current Democratic presidential nominee’s hawkish views must be scrutinized.
I don’t need to go through the extensive litany for the Republican candidate. My friend Matt Gierke did, however, and it’s absolutely instructive.
Others have whispered of echoes of 1930s Germany. And while that might be extreme, one thing is for sure — the Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in sacrificing everything in order to attempt a failed assassination, would not have been on the side of fear (as a Bonhoeffer biographer and, apparently, born-again Christian charlatan has insanely argued).
Regardless, I don’t speak out against the GOP nominee bcause of my own political views (which are many and various). I speak up about the nature of our political experiment on the eve of the 2016 election because of a different political view. A biblical one.
I can’t help it — as a person caught up in the real, radical, and raw movement started by Jesus, the Holy Bible is one of my guides. In the words of the late, great Marcus Borg:
Inhospitality is a grave sin, bringing God’s judgment and wrath.•
God’s people are called to remember their former slavery in Egypt, and, thus, to not oppress the immigrant among them — and, in fact, to treat immigrants as nothing less than citizens. §
According to the second creation story, God commands human beings to take care and responsibility in being stewards of that creation.∞
The “fear of the Lord” is intimately connected with both a quest for true justice concerning those on the margins — and civil disobedience.ª
The arrogant will be humbled; the proud will be ashamed; the rich will be sent away empty; the powerful will be torn down from their thrones. †
Weapons of violence will be transformed into tools of peace.º
Women are made in the image of God, just like men. ¶
The wide spectrum of gender and its diverse norms are radically welcomed and holy in God’s sight. Μ
The holy and divine work of God (through Jesus) is good news to the poor; release to the captives; and liberation to the oppressed. Π
What will be truly judged is our actions towards the “least of these” — how we treat those in our midst who are hungry, thirsty, naked, a stranger, sick, or in prison is how we treat Jesus himself. Ω
The cries of those who have been cheated, oppressed, and have labored in vain under rich overlords “have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.” ∫
As Jon Stewart recently said after sharing his public Twitter feud with the GOP nominee, “vote wisely, my friends.”
As Jesus said repeatedly to his followers who often laughably missed the point: “Let this sink into your ears…” œ
Will we, as Christians, listen?
• Genesis 19:1–29; Ezekiel 16:49; Matthew 10:15; Luke 10:12
§ Leviticus 19:33
∞ Genesis 2:15
ª Exodus 1:15–21
† Luke 1:46–55
º Isaiah 2:4
¶ Genesis 1:27
µ Isaiah 56:4–5; Acts 8:26–40
π Luke 4:16–19
Ω Matthew 25:31–46
∫ James 5:1–4
œ Luke 9:43
Jason Chesnut @crazypastor | jesus-follower | anti-racist | feminist | aspiring theologian | ordained (not online) pastor | founded @ANKOSfilms | restless creative | #BlackLivesMatter