Voting and the Kingdom of God

I have had a short article published in light of the upcoming Canadian elections: “Voting and the Kingdom of God.”HAR1444

At the polling booth this election, Christ followers can be guided by the biblical story, which unfolds Christ’s restoring purposes for the world. Christians are not directionless when it comes to politics, for we have a script to orientate us and narrate the true story of the world.

Scepticism is rampant about the integrity of politicians and about the point of participating in politics. Comedian Will Rogers said once, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts!” Making light of an overwhelming situation is understandable – yet scepticism can’t be our only response. The biblical story is, in part, a story of how humanity is supposed to function in community and that has implications for politics. Therefore, thoughtful voting is a part of our Christian vocation.

“Decisions are made by those who show up,” someone once said. When Christ followers are engaged politically, involving ourselves in the world and creating justice, we honour the global authority of Jesus Christ. We could even say that voting is an act of faith – we vote in faith and we vote out of our faith.

Deuteronomy has been called a “national charter” for ancient Israel – it set the agenda for their nation. Deuteronomy called ancient Israel to live as kin with one another. People were to treat each another as family. So everyone was to be given the opportunity to flourish, especially the slave, the widow, the refugee, and the orphan. All of these were to be kin.

Christ followers are called to discern: which policies are calling our community to care for one another as family? Whose political talk is calling us to count a cost for others? Our culture is post-Christian, and Canadian politics is post-Christian. So we are not seeking a “Christian” figurehead for our “Christian” nation. Voting should be steered by policy that honours Christ rather than by a person’s claim to Christian affiliation.

We can move beyond party-political allegiance to seek policy that reflects Christ’s purposes for His world.  Now six trajectories that emerge from the biblical story. I chose these trajectories by discerning how the biblical story, especially Deuteronomy, encounters western culture.

For the remainder of the article in Light Magazine, click here.


About Mark Glanville

Mark Glanville is a pastor-scholar who ministers in a missional urban community, Grandview Church, Vancouver. Mark is Professor of Old Testament and congregational studies at the Missional Training Center, Phoenix (, and he teaches at Regent College, Vancouver. Mark's research focusses upon the Pentateuch, biblical ethics, and mission. Mark has authored "Adopting the Stranger as Kindred" (SBL, 2018), "Reading Exodus: Society Reshaped by Kinship" (Lexham, forthcoming), numerous refereed articles (including in the Journal of Biblical Literature (2018), Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (2019), and Refuge Journal (2013)) and chapters on the Pentateuch, mission, and refugee related issues, as well as numerous popular articles. Mark is presently co-authoring a book, "Providing Refuge: A Missional and Political Theology." Mark is called upon to speak on in Canada, the U.S., and Australia. His previous career was as a jazz pianist in Sydney, Australia (Chick Corea and Wynton Kelly are his musical heroes).
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