Wednesday, October 17, 2012

John Wesley on Elections

What would John Wesley have to say about our upcoming elections?

Actually, he did have something to say. I saw this posted by a friend in social media recently and simply had to share it. It is from John Wesley's Journal, dated October 6, 1774. He was speaking of elections in England, of course. I pray that we hold fast to the same spirit today.

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”

It troubles me when the grand opportunity for civil discussion and voting responsibly as a good citizen, a holy privilege for all of us, degenerates into name calling, demonizing, and black and white thinking. Perhaps we should take Wesley's word seriously and stand for love, compassion, and civil discourse. If our spirits are "sharpened" against those who vote the other way, it is unhealthy for the soul.

My trust is not in whoever is elected or in one party over another. My trust is in God, as revealed in the person of Christ. The rest is simply the best we can come up with, so I participate as a responsible citizen and believe in the principles of democracy, but know my allegiance truly lies in the kingdom of God.