Jesus Christ remains one of the most respected leaders—as well as one of the most controversial—the world has ever known. Most people acknowledge that He was good; many believe He was a great man. If He were on earth today, a fascinating question to ponder is: Would the American people ever elect Him to be president of the United States?
The question isn't that far-fetched. After all, He said He was destined to rule the Kingdom of God, bearing authority over the earth. The Bible calls Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
So could Jesus Christ be elected president in today's America?
The blunt answer is no. Most Americans would not tolerate Jesus of Nazareth in the White House if they had a choice.
What kind of platform?
We can reach no other conclusion when we examine the electoral process and the priorities the American people use in selecting their president. Jesus Christ would not stand a chance based on the platform He would advocate. After all, the American people demand that an electable leader be in agreement with them on a range of issues.
Americans want religious freedom (or freedom from religion) to define God or gods in any way they want, freedom of choice to select abortion for unwanted pregnancies and freedom to enjoy whatever entertainment they desire—including films, music, books and television drenched with violence and illicit sex. Many Americans demand unrestrained sexual freedom between consenting adults. They want and fully expect unhindered and total freedom of speech.
Americans want full freedom to define culture and lifestyle issues in their image. They want unrestrained freedom to divorce.
True, Americans claim to want fairness, justice, economic and educational opportunity for all. But all freedoms and social values must be defined on their terms.
Above all, they want the ability to get the leader they think best suits their desires and to get rid of a leader they don't like or get bored with when he fails to bring utopia. They want that choice on a very regular basis. They view this as a sacred right.
What Christ's platform would be, and how that would impact the American voter, is easily discernible from His teachings. After all, the Bible says Jesus is "the same, yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). Read the Bible and you will know His platform.
Redefining the mission of government
First, Jesus Christ would make major changes in the governing documents that define citizens' and government's roles. He would permanently change the intent and nature of government.
His new constitution would be designed to fulfill the ultimate purpose for the creation of every man and woman. He would explain that His new government is designed to prepare people to live forever in the Kingdom of God.
He would call for a new world order based on His Father's law and advocate creating a perfect society of peace, human development and love. His new constitution and government would guide all policies toward the spiritual transformation of physical man, created in the image of God, into the divine man with the nature and character of God. All education and social policy would be directed to this objective.
This purpose is far greater than the founding fathers' intent in creating the Constitution of the United States in 1787. While a marvel of human wisdom, the American Constitution—and the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson penned in 1776—limited men to a humanly defined purpose for government and social policy.
In pursuit of ultimate good, the founders thought American government should be based on what they acknowledged as the God-given rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Jefferson, however, did not fully comprehend God's ultimate purpose for these things when he penned these words.
The purpose of life is not found in the U.S. Constitution. And sadly, the Constitution is now subject to interpretation in such a way that people are exercising supposed rights that take away life for some and forfeit the freedom from corruption and evil influences for many. Through exercise of "rights," many are destroyed as they pursue "happiness."
The problem is that the aspirations of the Constitution, though high in human terms, are too low. Neither Thomas Jefferson nor the other founding fathers ever conceived of the Constitution as a framework for the development of human character in the divine image of God's nature.
Yet that purpose is the essence of Jesus Christ's purpose for governance. That is the platform He would use, were He to run for president.
That's a tragic omission in the American founding documents. While filling these with wonderful-sounding phrases, some of which were borrowed from the Bible, the founding fathers never fully understood the ultimate purpose of government as revealed in the Scriptures.
Most of them considered themselves Christian. Yet none fully grasped the intent and nature of Christ's pronouncements on government as He proclaimed the Kingdom of God. Sadly, today's society is much farther removed from the Bible and the profound truths it proclaims.
Reaction to Christ's platform
How would the idea of a new constitution from Jesus Christ go over with the American electorate today? A plan to abolish the U.S. Constitution and replace it with one authored by Jesus Himself would be the ultimate campaign killer. But just the positions Christ took on practical matters of everyday living would eliminate His chances of being elected.
For example, Jesus advocated that the Ten Commandments be universally taught and kept as the standard for human behavior. "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets," He said. "I did not come to destroy but to fulfill . . .Whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:17, 19).
There goes the atheist vote, agnostic vote and, oddly enough, much of the Christian vote—at least from those who believe the Ten Commandments are too invasive when it comes to their personal freedoms.
The First Commandment, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3) would be considered a major violation of religious freedom.
A large percentage of the electorate believes that observing the commandments and law of God would force a breakdown of the separation of church and state. "If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17)—Christ's position on the Ten Commandments—would be an affront to those who believe that grace does away with a need to keep those commandments.
Another factor is that Jesus was Jewish, a member of an ethnic minority against which there is still considerable prejudice in America. Jesus' customs and teachings would appear far too Jewish for most voters, including most Christian voters. For example, He kept the Passover (and told His followers to do the same) and never observed Christmas, Easter or any other nonbiblical religious celebration or practice.
Jesus in fact kept God's Sabbaths as times of rest and worship (see Luke 4:16), including the weekly Sabbath from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset. He even said He is "Lord of the Sabbath" (Mark 2:28). His Sabbath observance would offend many of those who choose to observe Sunday instead.
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, so He would offend the vast majority of Jewish and Muslim voters who would consider this claim blasphemous.
What kind of leader would He be?
Ironically, Jesus' teachings and practices are the same factors that would make Him a perfect leader. His perfect integrity, compassion, miraculous powers of healing, love for all and willingness to die for the sins of mankind—including people of every race, religion and economic status—set Him apart.
Jesus is the ultimate model of leadership—uncompromising but compassionate. With perfect ethics, He taught fairness and concern for the well-being of all, demonstrating virtue and truthfulness in every action. He taught the value of the family, said marriage was inviolable and directed that we should honor and care for our elderly and the disadvantaged.
Yet Jesus—though perfect in His leadership—will never be elected president.
Christ, you see, would never run for the office to start with. He would never play political games. He would not compromise the truth or His ethics and values. He would not curry the favor of special interests in exchange for campaign donations.
We must remember that Jesus was not interested in political maneuvers or in exercising worldly political power in this age. "My kingdom is not of this world," He told the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. "If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, . . . but now My kingdom is not from here" (John 18:36).
Destined for a higher office
We should have no regrets over the fact that Jesus of Nazareth will never be elected president of the United States or of any other nation of this world.
He has, after all, already been selected for an infinitely higher office.
He currently serves at God's throne in heaven as the High Priest for truly converted Christians. And He promises to return as the earth's ruler—under the auspices of His Father—and to take the reins of all authority when mankind needs God's intervention to save us from the corruption and collapse of human leadership.
As Jesus further told Pilate: "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice" (John 18:37).
The message of the Bible is that we cannot rightly rule ourselves. We need a perfect ruler who has demonstrated ultimate love and concern for others to show us the way. Jesus Christ has perfectly qualified. And He will be that ruler!
The Bible says Jesus will one day rule all nations directly from Jerusalem in what the Bible calls the Kingdom of God. Not only will that Kingdom bring peace and prosperity undreamed of even among the prosperous Western nations of today, but it will accomplish nothing less than the transformation of human beings into the divine nature and enable them to be like Christ Himself.
A totally new form of government under the administration of Jesus Christ will bring all of the earth's citizens directly under the governance of the Kingdom of God. Only then will all Americans, and the citizens of the entire world, truly experience "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
It was Christ Himself who said nearly 2,000 years ago, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). He will establish the first truly great society, one that surpasses the most optimistic visions dreamed about and proclaimed by politicians.
When Christ comes, there will be no need for a democratic process to elect the nations' top leadership. He is a king. In fact, He has already been chosen King of Kings. And He has already issued a series of executive orders.
He does not endorse human political leaders today. But He does tell you to believe the good news and accept Him as your leader both now and for all eternity. Are you willing to make that choice? GN