Jesus and the Democratic Process

“WakeUpAmerica,” a welcome visitor to this blog, recently made an interesting suggestion. I liked the suggestion and decided to create a post that might encourage readers to think about the issue and post their comments.

If Jesus was living in America in the 21st century, what would his politics be? Would he be registered with a political party? If so, which one? Would he start his own party? Would he run for office? Would Jesus vote? What issues would matter to him most? Would he campaign for a political candidate? In the most recent general election, is there a candidate he would have voted for? Would Jesus favor a democracy, or some other form of government? In other words, how would Jesus participate, if at all, in the political process if he was a 21st-century American citizen?

Here are three questions about the questions listed above:

  1. What difference does it make what Jesus would do? What’s the point in asking?
  2. Is what Jesus would do what we should do?
  3. Is it any different to ask, “What would Jesus do if, instead of being Jesus, he was one of us?”

Here’s one more question, for good measure: On what basis can we speculate how Jesus would conduct himself if he lived in a democracy like ours?

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About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

4 Responses to Jesus and the Democratic Process

  1. Mike Austin says:

    Certainly Jesus would support those who advocate and serve the poor, whichever “side of the aisle” they sit on. I expect He would be attracted to many of the positions of Sojourners, as well as some of the positions of more politically conservative groups. I’m nearly finished reading Roger Olson’s “How to be Evangelical without being Conservative”. While I disagree with some of his points, I found most of his political and social claims to be spot on. It might be worth a read for those interested in this issue not only politically, but socially, theologically, and in other realms.

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  2. Doug Geivett says:

    Just to clarify, David is referring to J. Gresham Machen, I believe.

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  3. David says:

    Just to clarify so I don’t sound like a theological lefty, I meant Jesus’ character and values with respect to political ideals! Haha, I read that again and it looked like something Machen would have eaten for lunch. 🙂

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  4. David says:

    This is rather generalized, but I suspect he would want both justice for the poor and yet also social conservative values as well. He would probably clash with both sides on issues.

    I think for asking WWJD constantly makes us go back to the Scriptures to examine what exactly Jesus actually did.

    1 John 2:6 says “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

    The context of that seems to only apply to following all the commandments , but perhaps there is some application to be made if one examines Jesus’ statements and tries to see some connections with politics. Ultimately I think exegesis will only turn up limited results in that arena, at least that has been my experience.

    Which leads to the question of what basis we have for speculating. Honestly, I think all we have is Jesus’ character and values. Just like with exegesis, we know what he said then and we can attempt to accurately transfer it to our current historical context.

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