Do you remember Where’s Waldo? books? Where’s Waldo? was a massive hit at our house when our kids were growing up. We loved looking for that red and white striped shirt in the crowds of people. The book’s beauty is that a lot of people looked like Waldo but weren’t Waldo. On a good day, with a new book and the right child looking, Waldo could buy us 30 precious minutes of quiet time!
My social media feed is a flood of voices and faces force-feeding me a diet of political rhetoric declaring their candidate’s virtues or his competitor’s evils. If I’m to believe the rhetoric, one is a saviour, and one is the devil. Which one is which depends on my political ideology and has somehow become intrinsically connected to my faith. To publicly choose the wrong person is to invite a barrage of angry posts and bring my faith into question. “You can’t be a Christian and support that person/party.” (Part of me says, I think I will just because you say I can’t, but that’s the sassy side of me that appears in unreasonable conversations.)
The current scenario has me looking for Jesus in the same way that I looked for Waldo with my kids. I started by looking at the right side of the page because that’s the place where many of my friends tell me I’ll find Jesus on the political spectrum. After carefully looking, I can say I’ve seen some things that look like him, but HE’s not there.
When I look to the left, I also see things that look like him, but I don’t fully see HIM there either.
I know that there are some of you reading this who are thinking, “you’ll find Jesus in the middle!” That would be ‘nice’ and easy, but I know for sure that he’s not there. In Revelation, Jesus says, “because you’re neither hot nor cold, I’ll spew you out of my mouth.” That’s an image that’s hard to forget! Jesus never stands in the moderate middle.
Which left me wondering: where’s Jesus?
And then, I found him, exactly where he said he would be. Let me tell you how I got there.
I remembered that Jesus doesn’t take political sides because there isn’t a political ideology that could contain Him. He has more significant purposes and a much better plan. He didn’t come to be someone’s political plank because he’s not interested in propping up man’s ideas.
Jesus is the King of a Kingdom that he is establishing on earth. It is both NOW and ‘NOT YET.’ As citizens of HIS kingdom (see Philippians 3:20), our priority is to give our allegiance to him and ADVANCE his Kingdom.
Too many North American Christians are in the vortex of picking sides, squandering both their credibility and their witness. It begs the question, how well are you representing your King?
I believe in political engagement. Politics would be better if Christians chose a party that resonated with their values, worked hard to support a candidate, and did it without vilifying the other side.
Choose where you want to stand wisely and ensure that your stand and conduct don’t reflect poorly on our King and his Kingdom.
Let’s be better, friends. Let’s be better!
— Tim Schindel