There are professing Christians who vote for Obama and other Democrats because they think Christians ought to be equally concerned with world poverty, healthcare, ecology, &c. For instance, if you mouse over to the USCCB website, and scroll down the “Social Justice Issues” section, it largely mirrors the party platform of the Democrat party.
We find the same emphasis among representatives of the Evangelical left, like Ron Sider, Jim Wallis, and Tony Campolo. But in what seems to be a more recent development, we’ve also had mainstream Evangelicals like Craig Blomberg and Darrell Bock telling us they voted for Obama. Likewise, in a faculty survey at Covenant College, 16 profs. identified themselves as Obama voters.
This raises an interesting question: if Jesus ran for public office, would these Evangelicals and Catholic bishops vote for Jesus, or for the Democrat candidate?
There’s a sense in which Jesus has some concern for healthcare. He healed many sick people and exorcised many demoniacs. Yet one can’t say that was his priority. After all, when you consider all the sick people who were alive at the time of Jesus’ public ministry, he only healed a tiny fraction of the totality. The number he healed was statistically insignificant in relation to the worldwide population of sick people.
And this is despite the fact that Jesus could have cured every single sick man, woman, and child with a mere thought.
Likewise, it lay within his power to make every poor person instantly and unimaginably rich. But he didn’t. Indeed, he himself was a manual laborer for most of his earthly life.
He also neglected ecology. For instance, he did nothing to eliminate solid waste dumps. Or the deforestation of Palestine. Or air pollution from wood stoves. To take a few examples.
On the other hand, he was strong on “family values” like traditional marriage and children. Not to mention true worship.
This is not to say that Jesus doesn’t care about the physical wellbeing of man, or the ecosystem. Yet that is largely backloaded. It awaits the Eschaton. And you can only participate in the new Eden if you first come to Christ.
We also need to distinguish between what the Bible permits and what it prescribes. It is certainly permissible to attend to our immediate necessities. Still, it’s striking to compare the agenda of some professing believers with the priorities of Christ.