Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wesleyan Advice for an Election

When I started this blog I made a commitment to myself not to comment on politics. For the most part I have kept that commitment. I have noted here and there when politicians of all shapes, sizes and flavors have misused the Bible to their advantage, but I have not endorsed any candidates nor will I.

But I am concerned,as many are, about the political climate in this country. It is no secret that we are very polarized and that the candidates are more than happy to throw red meat to whoever they think will vote for them. Sanity is not a word I would use to describe the process.

What is more disappointing, however, is the way that believers are acting. I am not suggesting that they can't have a candidate they like or promote that candidate. That is their right and privilege as a citizen. But the vitriol language that some are using simply isn't Christian. There is a serious deficit of "love thy neighbor" among the Christians of the USA. 

I was heartened, however, to learn that this not new, but apparently has been going on for sometime. And it seems to have reached a level that required John Wesley to make a statement to his followers. 

I found the following statement floating around Facebook. Before I posted it I wanted to make sure it was really from Wesley. I found it in a page from his October 6th diary of 1774. His comments are not about the elections in the USA but in those soon to be held in the UK. Nonetheless,  I think he provides some good wisdom to Christians. Wisdom we should recapture today. 

So here is my election advice to Christians as stated by John Wesley 

"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: 
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on 
the other side.” 

~John Wesley 1774 


  1. Well quoted John B. :-)

    I hope another of your quotes, "There is a serious deficit of "love thy neighbor" among the Christians of the USA," is not an epiphany for anyone out there. I've been noticing this for at least the last 18 yrs. Sad.. Hopefully, you, me, and similar minded peeps can attempt to reverse that deficit.

  2. John, fair enough. We need to be seasoned with grace. That said, Christ had no problem laying into the leaders of His day, using phrases like "workers of iniquity" and "brood of vipers" which are pretty salacious given the culture and the age in which He spoke. I'm sorry, but to me John Wesley, although providing a nice thought, is promoting polite society more than Kingdom.

  3. Well, at least I'm holding to the first of these three :-)