Editor's Note: Mark Schloneger is pastor of North Goshen Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana.
By Mark Schloneger, Special to CNN
It seems frivolous, even foolish.
On Tuesday, as the world turns its attention to who will occupy the most powerful office of the world’s most powerful nation, hundreds of churches will gather across the United States to worship a servant.
As votes are counted to elect a president, thousands of Christians will take the bread and the cup to remember their crucified Lord.
As winners are projected and the electoral map is updated, Christians of many denominations will sing their praises and proclaim their loyalty to Jesus.
It seems ridiculous, even silly.
After all, America is at a crossroads, and we are in the midst of one of the most critical presidential elections of our lifetimes. We know this because people have recited this same tired mantra before every presidential election.
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Our fears, our hopes, our worries and our struggles are the currency that buys our votes. And how do politicians and their supporters acquire this precious currency? They invest billions of dollars to foment fear, inspire hope, create worry and exploit our struggles.
It’s a power play. Some of us are pawns, and some of us are participants. But some of us are choosing a different part.
I initiated the Election Day Communion Campaign out of a concern that Christians in the United States are being shaped more by the tactics and ideologies of political parties than by our identity and unity in Christ. Out of this concern, a simple vision sparked the imaginations of congregations nationwide: the church being the church on Election Day, gathering at the Lord’s Table to remember, to give thanks for, and to proclaim its loyalty to Jesus.
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Gathering for Communion on Election Day seems fitting, for the practice of Communion is an inherently political act. It is both a pledge of allegiance to Jesus and a declaration of independence from all other powers making claims on our bodies, minds and souls.
Far too often, the church has abandoned its first love for the siren song of political parties promising protection, prosperity and peace. Far too many times, the church has ceded the practice of its faith to the spiritual and the private while leaving others to address matters of justice. And far too frequently, the church has attempted to speak truth to power while seeking and relying on that same power for protection.
The bread and the cup are God’s antidotes to our fickle memories. As we eat and drink together, we remember that all things fall under the lordship of Christ. We remember our sin and need to repent.
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We remember that God has lifted up the humble, filled the hungry with good things, and chosen to reveal God’s strength through our weakness.
We remember that the only Christian nation in this world is the church, the holy nation that transcends all human-made walls, boundaries and borders.
As we gather at the table, we remember that the power to redeem, to save, and to transform comes not from atop the seat of power but from within the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
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We will gather for Election Day Communion not because we think that the issues at stake in this election are unimportant or that our votes don’t really matter. No, we will gather for Communion because we think that the issues at stake in all elections are far too important to be relegated to our votes alone.
The Lord’s Supper reminds followers of Jesus to practice the politics of Jesus. To me, practicing the politics of Jesus means working to protect the sanctity of all human life, whether it is found in the womb, in prison, or in countries at war against us.
It means choosing the way of forgiveness and reconciliation rather than vengeance and violence. It means practicing an economy based on generosity and mutual aid.
It means offering care and compassion to suffering people regardless of their immigration status, economic class or religious practice.
It means being good stewards of God’s good creation. And, most of all, it means allowing God’s kingdom to break into the entirety of our lives, from the privacy of our homes to the politics we practice in public.
The bread and the cup keep calling me back to the table inscribed with memory. There, I remember God’s choice for the transfer of power. There, I remember where to go with my fears, my hopes, my worries and my struggles. At the table, with my sisters and brothers, I am in the presence of the Holy.
Though I’m interested in the outcome of the presidential election, I won’t be watching the projected results as they are announced. I’ve made a prior commitment. I intend to honor it.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Schloneger.
Akmed: A Christian is someone who has put their faith and trust in Jesus of the Bible, Romney has not done that and a Christian is also someone who believes the Bible is true which Obama does not. One emample is Romans 1. So as I said neither are Christians. Wake up or read and learn.
Bible is a book of stupid, illogical, impossible fairy tales, which have been rewritten thousands of times to control and manipulate the masses.
you only pick and choose the fairy tales in the bible to further your ridiculous beliefs. It does not make sense. Did you go out today and kill people because they were working on Sunday? No??? why not? Don't you believe in the bible? It says so right there.
Christian: You are a fool
Vote for me on tuesday. A vote for me is a vote for freedom!
Vote for more beef curtains flapping in queef wind.
how big is your moo goo gay pan?
you mean queaf
I like beef
all you suckers out there
Democracy is what got the children if Israel in trouble with Saul. They wanted to be like the other nations. God still chose Saul and gave them what they wanted. God will do the same thing on tuesday. Neither candidate is a Christian so it won't matter. Both are bad for the country. My vote is for God as He will choose anyway.
that is a fairy tale. puhleeze
Seems your god is a dictator then. No thanks. But you are welcome not to vote.
a book written by man over 2000 years ago, translated over and over. stop believing such absurd bs
I'm voting for the Easter Bunny.
they're actually both christian. not that even matters. you think your religion is the real one? I've got news for you. they're all made up crapola.
tu eres un estupido maricon pendejo
당신은 바보입니다. 내 거시기를 빨아
Vote for hot man skeet to be farted out of a wart filled butt hole right into your mouth.
Santa: Why should I, or anyone, stop believing in something just because you believe it is absurd.
Maricon Gran puta
Stop changing your oil
My vote is for Jesus too. He sure does a great job cutting my grass.
Dont cast pearls before swine.
Don't cast swine before pearls.
My vote is for Jesus too. He sure does a great job cutting my grass, fixing my roof and painting my house.
Here are a few extra apostrophes for the next time that you are short of them, Paul:
' ' ' ' ' ' '
LOL. I have a few extras too. """""""""
Beneath me? How so? What I spiritually believe in is that the Families of God including God Himself lives upon the very first created Cosmos which is the inner Cosmos. Our being but upon this celestial cosmos is due our being cast out of the Inner Cosmos for many reasons. Some were cast out of this Inner Cosmos for faultering and some for continuing to do the Lord's Will here upon this celestial realm of gigantic life forms whereupon their insides are living many families of God's members. We live upon this realm doing what we want while many of us unify ourselves in the communal. My way is not your way and yet when we cross paths we receive each other and walk on.
Therefore, walk placidly amid the noise and waste ever being mindful of the peace one finds in finding peace there about.
Let Us Love,
from book of hinduism, absurdity.
no, from book of stephen king.
@God's Oldest Dreamer
Anyone who claims they know anything is a liar.
He is not on the ticket. Vote for someone to lead the country. Then go to church and pray he does it well.
...because we know all that prayer has ever been shown to do: absolutely nothing, ever.
No, we don't know that. There have been many reported answers to prayer - of course, the skeptic can say it was coincidence. Let me give one example, among a number I could give. Quite a few years ago there was a surgeon named William (if I remember right) Nolan. He first wrote "The Making of a Surgeon" about his time in medical school. Later, he investigated a number of supposedly miraculous healings and found that they didn't stand up. Then one of his patients told him that she wouldn't need surgery because God had told her that He would heal her cancer. This meant nothing to Dr. Nolan, so he insisted on doing the surgery. As he related in an article he later wrote, he found no cancer. Still the skeptic, he believed that it was a spontaneous remission. Nonetheless, what the claimed God said turned out to be true was true. Oh, by the way, there was one other aspect which he mentioned, but didn't explore. Not only was the cancer gone, but also were the scars from the biopsy he had done. There is not spontaneous remission of biopsy scars - but be the skeptic.
It is frivolous
It is foolish
You should have quit while you were ahead
I am agreeing wholeheartedly with Pastor Mark for Hope's Sake, for Love's Sake and for unity with mankind instead of creating barriers and division. Because I have Jesus in my heart, I can love even my enemies. It's as real as it gets.
Do you have Jesus in your butt?
hinduism, stupidity of a hindu, idiot.
Human my father was a Hindu Agori, filthy flesh eating monster, and my mother's pimp......big bang happened between them, and here I am half Aghori, half pimp.
You said bang
My bunny rabbit Daisy sits around all day and listens to me work, listen to music, watch a game, talk to my family, etc. and never seems to react. She just absorbs it. No judgement. It is just her world and she accepts it. Of course carrots and celery are important. I wish I knew what she knew, even if all she knows...is nothing.
It's amazing that as the US and its citizens fight for more freedoms and liberal thinking that they could hate a group called Christians so much. Christians overall have cared for the unfortunate and provided for more social assitance than our government could ever claim to. Just know that we love you even though you hate us, and at the end of days you'll have the opportunity to meet Christ and I pray that you've accepted him as your lord and savior before then. Have a great week everyone and show at least one random act of kindness to someone. God bless.
Christians have done absolutely NOTHING that anyone else couldn't have or wouldn't have done. But the damage they have done is without precedent.
Well Christians did shed a lot of blood for the.right to keep this story alive so not everyone could do that.
Thank you for this insight Jake. It's the LOVE that makes the difference.
You poor, poor put upon Christians. It chokes me up......it does
Tell you what, persecution boy, stop using your beliefs to deny others' their civil rights then come back and talk to us
For God and Christ's sakes tone it down some will ya? I believe in God and His family members BUT I will not use their names in vanity like you so do!
Let Us Love
@Jake, It's easy to believe that if people disagree with you that they hate you. However, I can assure you, as an atheist, I love you as I love myself. It is why I put so much effort into shedding light on the ignorance man has become so comfortable living with. I have family members who are devout christians. I could no more hate you then I could hate them. When I was a teenager, I used to think my parents hated me because they tried to teach me things about life. I know now that even though it was uncomfortable for both of us, in their heart they wanted me to succeed and better myself. While the methods of atheists out here may vary, I know that most of our intentions in our hearts are the same. We seek the betterment of all mankind by abiding by a system of reason and evidence-based decision making. In the end, it's as simple as that.
Jake it is a tough accounting that would need to be done re those acts of giving versus all the persecutions and even killing that Christians have also done throughout history. Non-religious charities now exist on large scales. Better to support those in the long term, and they don't have the baggage that Christianity has.
I laugh at your puny servants.
By the beard of Zeus!
Pasta be upon you and yours.
We will gather in our exclusionary churches, listen to exclusionary sermons, brainwash our kids with exclusionary dogma, all in the name of our exclusionary lord.
We love the leader
So you're Christian and like church and communion... that's nice for you. Why does CNN feel we need to hear about it? Fortunately your religion, i.e. fanatical irrational cult, is separate from our government. Enjoy pretending to eat human blood and flesh on Election Day and acting like you know anything about the infinite. I will not be partaking in any vampiric rituals.
hindu Agori's, filthy flesh eating hindu's, monsters.
I think you mean cannibalistic.
God is truth absolute, constant, infinite, essence of existence of every thing, including your hindu atheist, ignorant self centered, but you have no education to understand HIM, in your own body.
Hindus are not atheists, they're polytheists.
Ganesh is the.freakiest of them all
Polytheistic practice is hinduism, denial of truth absolute, because truth absolute, constant can not be divided. hindu's deniers of truth absolute in hindrance to truth absolute GOD are cause of mayhem among humanity.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.