This week we will grant space in our church for voting. Some might ask – either from a right or a left angle – if this is appropriate. I believe it is, but allow me to first explain what we are not doing it for.
We are not doing it because we affirm the current elections process in our county and state. God has entrusted others the responsibility of seeing to it that elections are just, and they will answer to Him for that. Obviously our present system of voting differs from many other states and times in history. And many have concerns about partisan motivations behind the system. As a church, our involvement is not an affirmation of any present voting practice. Though I should add, if a voting practice became known that was inherently sinful, we would withdraw our involvement. And of course, I think I can safely speak for Sacramento County, that they are not affirming us either, by having us serve as a host for voting.
Neither is our involvement a statement about our larger involvement in politics. If you’d like to understand better how we think Christians can and should be involved in politics, I invite you to listen to my recent sermon on the subject, found here, or read the booklet called “On Politics.”
Nor is this a violation of the separation of church and state. Before claiming that, I would invite you to consider that, at our founding, every colony had its own state-affirmed religion. I would also invite you to read again the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. You’ll see that only Congress can violate that clause. It was inserted to keep Congress out of the affairs of the States. Even today, politics and religion are deeply intertwined in our state. The religion has simply changed its dogmas, sins, and systems of dealing with sin. Today our triune god is the self, the state, and the soil. I would invite you, the reader, to consider if that god offers any redemption from sins against its dogmas. But the point here is that every political system has a G/god at its center. Not a matter of whether there is, but which one.
And lastly, we don’t do this for the money. The County gives us a very modest stipend, which we will use for charitable purposes.
So why do we get involved in the political process in this way? It’s very simple. Jeremiah 29:7 instructs us to seek the good of the city in which God has planted us for a little while. Sacramento County elections needed a location in this area of the county for voting, and thus we’re happy to help. Our society grants churches some advantages from a tax standpoint, and this is one concrete means of saying, “Thank you,” in way that anyone can understand. We want the welfare of our general community, not just our church. We want to see our community be a thriving, vibrant place, because God tells us that in the welfare of the community, we will find our own welfare.
So we happily provide our space and provide all poll workers with cordial and pleasant accommodations, above and beyond what is required. We’re happy to do it, with jolly and grateful hearts. May God bless our county with prosperity, righteousness, and justice.