The other day I reflected how it must be difficult for committed Christians to vote in the US election (and in most other countries) as neither candidate has a well developed biblical worldview. ( See “Rulers Beware”). So I thought, who would John Calvin vote for if he could?
While living in the city of Geneva (now in Switzerland), Calvin made sure the poor didn’t starve or get turned away from hospitals. He promoted job growth and interest-free charitable loans, and taught the wealthy to lead humble lifestyles and avoid expensive jewellery so they could use their money to give generously to poor refugees fleeing religious persecution.
Calvin’s system worked so well that there were no beggars on the streets, and in 1554 one observer called Geneva “the most perfect school of Christ that ever was in the earth since the days of the apostles.’
From: Crossfield.com Charity and the Protestant Reformation
From a social justice perspective Calvin may have been attracted to the Democrat point of view. “Obamacare” may have been a positive measure in his eyes and even investing in jobs growth would have received a warm response. (I’m sorry, American brothers and sisters, Calvin had a definite socialist slant!)
However I am also sure that “gay marriage” and the right to abortion would have horrified him.
This highlights the dilemma for the conservative evangelical Christian. The polarisation of policies in which there is good and bad on both sides makes voting such a treacherous issue. Each way I turn there is a nasty compromise. My vote may save a child from abortion but if the social policies are absent he may be left to a life of unemployed crime with minimal healthcare. I know that that is facetious but I am trying to make a point: to vote in a God honouring way is nigh on impossible if there is not a God honouring candidate for whom to vote. That means men and women need to stand up as candidates for the whole counsel of God – not just the ear tickling policies. This would give Christians someone to vote for – even if they weren’t elected.