God Voted?

January 05, 2007

The Missouri Baptist Convention sponsored a service to mark the start of a new legislative session in Missouri and to pray for the political leaders. This is only the second year they have done that, and it represents a sadly growing focus on politics issues. At this year’s meeting there were some odd remarks from Rodney Albert, a pastor and the head of the MBC’s chairman Christian Life Commission. He told the politicians present:

There is a temptation to believe you were elected by your constituents. ... That is partly true, but the larger truth is you are here because God elected to share with you these duties. You are here because of God.
This is an interesting and odd theology if taken to its natural conclusion. There is some truth to it in that God has the power to stop or do anything. However, does Albert really want to say that God is responsible for the outcome of the elections? If this is the case, then consider who else God recently elected. God must have elected the Democrats at the national level and God must have elected the nation’s first Muslim congressman. After all, if God cared enough to elect the leaders of Missouri, then surely the national leaders were important enough to elect as well. If that is the case, then why have Christian conservatives been attacking the very people God elected to put in power.

Or considering the Missouri election again, this must also mean that God voted for the embryonic stem cell measure to pass. After all, it would seem odd for God to vote for the leaders but then skip that item on the ballot. Yet, Albert and other Missouri Baptists not only argue the vote was the wrong decision but want to overturn it. To be consistent, perhaps Albert should remind people that it passed because God elected it to.

Albert apparently did not make such connections. Since he would likely argue against these conclusions, then maybe he should rethink if God actually elected the politicians. If not, he seems to be headed back toward the dangerous theologies that kings used to justify all their actions—even the evil ones—by claiming they were chosen by God to rule.

This growing theology today that confuses the work of churches with that of politicians will likely create more odd statements like these. Tragically, this worldview will only continue to distract us from the more important work of sharing the love of Jesus. We need to focus on doing God’s work and quit spending so much of our time, money, and energy on legal and political battles.