Over the weekend, Pastor Tony Evans of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas jumped into the “shark-infested waters” of politics to give a message about “God’s perspective on your vote.” The 71-year old pastor instructed his congregants not to be “fully committed” to one political party thinking that God is on the side of that party. Evans advocated Christians adopt the practice of “Kingdom voting” for the upcoming presidential election.
God is a “Kingdom independent,” Evans explained in his September 6th message. “Just because you’re a Christian, just because you belong to Israel, doesn’t mean he’s on your side when it comes to the battles.” Preaching from Joshua 5, Evans reminded listeners that not even Israel, God’s chosen nation, could claim God was unequivocally “on their side” when they were approaching Jericho.
Kingdom Voting Is Outside the Two-Party System
Reading from the passage, Evans explains that a pre-incarnate God showed up before the famous battle of Jericho and made it clear he represented a third, distinct side:
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the LORD ’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Evans related this story to the current political divisiveness plaguing the United States and said, “I’d like to suggest there is a Kingdom worldview to approaching this subject and your vote.”
He likened the stance of the commander of the Lord’s army to that of a referee in an NFL game. In football, there are two teams playing against one another, and then there is a third team: the officials or referees, who are obligated to another kingdom. They represent the NFL. Their job is to bring order to what otherwise would be a chaotic conflict, Evans explained. The officials must adjust their personal opinions and reorient their desires to represent a higher authority, and they live and judge by the official rule book they’ve been given.
Unfortunately, Evans said, far too many Christians “change books.” Instead of looking to the Bible for how to vote or how to engage in politics, “they go to their political posturing. They go to individual perspectives, histories, and make arguments there.”
When engaging in politics, Evans says, we’ve got to stop using the part of the book that we like while ignoring the whole counsel of God.
“It is unfortunate today that we’ve had Christians put on Republican jerseys. Other Christians who put on Democratic jerseys,” Evans lamented. When in reality, neither party can fully represent the Kingdom worldview by which the Christian should live. For this reason, Evans instructed his congregants to be “Democrat light” or “Republican light.” The problem is that “no political party only votes God’s way,” Evans explains. “Some pick righteousness, others pick judgment, justice. Some pick life, emphasis in the womb, some life, justice to the tomb.”
What Is Kingdom Voting?
A third way Evans identifies is Kingdom voting, which he defines as “the opportunity and responsibility of committed Christians to partner with God by expanding his rule in society through civil government.”
Going back to the example of Joshua, Evans said when Joshua heard that the commander of the Lord’s army wasn’t for either side, Joshua fell down to the earth and worshipped. In other words, explains Evans, “He took a knee.” Taking a knee symbolizes your allegiance to a cause; it represents submission. Unfortunately, “we have Christians who will take a knee for the social cause but won’t take a knee for the Kingdom of God.”
Evans asks: “Are you willing to take a knee in spite of your political persuasion? Are you willing to take a knee to the King and His Kingdom?”
In Joshua chapter 6, we see that after Joshua took a knee, he got an answer showing the Israelites how to win the battle.
Kingdom voting is an important concept for the church to grasp because, as Evans believes, “We wouldn’t have a racial divide in this country if it weren’t for the church.”
“The church is the cause. The good thing is it’s also the cure for the racial divide creating havoc for our society.” If we were to extrapolate this reasoning to our political divisiveness as well, Evans implies that perhaps the church can also heal the political divide.