freeSpeech: Greg Boyd

It's election time, and once again we're hearing people on the "religious right" and people on the "religious left" fight over who best represents "the Christian vote."

I'm a Christian pastor, and this kind of talk honestly drives me nuts!

There's not one single word in the Bible that supports aligning Jesus with any political party, liberal or conservative. Jesus never so much as commented on the politics of his day. He lived in politically hot times, and people were constantly trying to get him to throw his weight behind this or that political position, but Jesus consistently refused. We know that two of Jesus' closest disciples, Matthew and Simon, were politically farther apart than Rush Limbaugh and Ted Kennedy - yet Jesus never said a word about it!

Face it: Jesus didn't come to teach us how to cast the "right" political vote. He came to teach us how to vote with our lives, how to love our enemies, how to transform the world by serving it 24/7. He came to restore our relationship with God and with each other, whether we agree politically or not. He came to start a revolution of outrageous love he promised could not fail.

Jesus' ways transforming society is as beautiful as it is powerful. What drives me crazy is that this powerful beauty is ruined when, instead of following Jesus' beautiful example, we drag his name and reputation into the muck and mire of our ugly secular politics.

As a pastor, I encourage Christians to just demonstrate God's transforming love by humbly serving the world the way Jesus did. And I encourage everyone to vote their faith and conscience, whatever it happens to be. But for Christ's sake - literally - please keep Jesus' name out of it.

Greg Boyd, an evangelical pastor, is the author of The Myth of a Christian Nation as well as founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN. He is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary.