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November 3rd, 2012
09:00 PM ET

My Take: On Election Day, proclaiming my loyalty to Jesus

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.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Belief • Christianity • Politics

soundoff (3,435 Responses)
  1. Christian

    Sick things : I know who made the world. John 1:1-5

    November 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • stevie

      oh stop your bu11$h!t

      November 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Sick Things

      @Christian

      Where did god come from. Define infinite. What do you know. Nothing, same as me.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • ned

      God created himself, and if you don't believe in Him, He will destroy you!

      November 4, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Abdul el-Farheed Al-Sala Bim

      I am Muslim. My religion is the real one. you must convert or else. Anshallah

      November 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Ken

      Christian
      Do you believe everything that you read in a book? What evidence is there that this is true?

      November 4, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Ken

      Christian
      John 1:3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

      Yet, science has discovered that the universe was not "made" by anything, but was naturally occurring, so that really limits the things God supposedly made to animal sacrifices, priesthoods, the collection plate and human gullibility.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Ken: so your argument is that nature was "naturally occurring." that's self-referential. a tautology.

      how do you get something out of nothing? even stephen hawking is attempting to fabricate an answer on this question and failing. scientists have a wide range of guesses here, but no definitive answers – certainly nothing has been "discovered" (as you assert) that answers this question directly.

      November 5, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Athy

      Stevie; it's "bullshit", not "bu11$h!t". Is your keyboard broken?

      November 5, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Nii

      Ken

      Christian
      John 1:3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

      Yet, science has discovered that the universe was not "made" by anything, but was naturally occurring, so that really limits the things God supposedly made to animal sacrifices, priesthoods, the collection plate and human gullibility.

      Ken I hope you do realise that because of Genesis 1:1 no scientist worth his salt can disprove YHWH's existence. Also the Natural Sciences study the natural not the supernatural and as such have no say.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Nii. Noone can prove the existence of a god. No evidence of a god has been seen since the Big Bang and noone knows what if anything happened before. All creation myths are not accurate including the bible. The onus really is on the claimer to prove their claims.Ergo no god.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • Nii

      itsallaloadofbollocks

      Nii. Noone can prove the existence of a god. No evidence of a god has been seen since the Big Bang and noone knows what if anything happened before. All creation myths are not accurate including the bible. The onus really is on the claimer to prove their claims.Ergo no god.

      that's wholly untrue. The Bible and the other Creation myths and their interpretation is a subjective issue as evidence of God's existence. Where you may think its not another may think they are. For me the Mosaic Tabernacle's design which follows the functional architecture of the human brain is enough evidence for me as well as the way the Bible aligns with human psychology and psychoanalysis.

      November 5, 2012 at 2:47 am |
  2. terra

    5 Worst Mistakes Women Make in Bed

    November 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  3. Christian

    Terra: they are the same person. Satan clause. He just rearranged the letters to get in the house easier.

    November 4, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
  4. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I won the lottery!

    November 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Indiana Jones and the Pork Chops of DOOM!!

      Congratulations! Are you going to spend both dollars in the same place?

      November 5, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  5. Sick Things

    Funny, there is no substance or education of any kind behind the posts reacting to my very sincere and humbple posts. I am not educated? Wrong.

    One only has to observe their own reality to see how little they know of truth. I can not educate yo in particle physics if you don not with to hear, but even then there are no anwsers for the human.

    The infinate space.

    November 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • terra

      what's your phone number? I want to talk to you in private.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Sick Things

      Are you a cute asian babe lol?

      November 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Christian

      I guess those teaching Physics are not interested in spelling.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • terra

      well, I am now. You won't even know the difference

      November 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Sick Things

      @Christian, I am not a scientist, just a humble human.

      @hot asian babe, I like you shaved

      November 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • terra

      yum

      November 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  6. terra

    Science will set you free of your Religious nonsense

    November 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Chad

      That is very true in once sense, our close inspection of the world around us and the natural processes has shown us that we have absolutely no way of understanding how life on earth first began.

      We have science to thank for the understanding that our universe it not eternal in the past, it had a beginning. We also have science to thank for telling us that all of the matter in the universe, time and space itself were created at that beginning.

      We have science to thank for giving us a clear understanding of how the universe is fine tuned for the building blocks of life.

      So, science points to the existence of an external agent.

      Dont put your trust in religions, put your trust in the author of life, the God of Abraham.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  7. KetchupAdvisoryBoard

    Amen!

    November 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  8. Guest

    Romney is a Mormon. Not a Christian.

    November 4, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Christian

      Finally someone who speaks the truth.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Mormon

      Please educate yourselves:

      Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God. His birth, life, death, and resurrection fulfilled the many prophecies contained in the scriptures concerning the coming of a Savior. He was the Creator, He is our Savior, and He will be our Judge (see Isaiah 9:6, 53:3-7; Psalms 22:16-18).

      Under the direction of our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ created the earth (John 1:10; Hebrews 1:2).

      When Jesus lived on the earth (approximately 2,000 years ago), He led a perfect life. He taught by word and example how people should live in love of God and others.

      Through His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and by giving His life on the cross—that is, by performing the Atonement —Jesus Christ saves us from our sins (1 Peter 2:21) as we follow Him. Because of the Atonement, you can be forgiven of your sins when you sincerely repent (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 26:30).

      Through His Resurrection, Jesus Christ saved us from death. Because He overcame death, we will all be given the gift of resurrection, that is to say our spirits will be eternally re-united with our bodies (Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:22). When life on this earth is over, Jesus Christ will be the final Judge (Acts 17:31; John 5:21-22; Acts 10:42).

      November 4, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • --------------

      why you gotta call romney a moron?

      November 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • dew

      looks like Mormons are Christians, since they believe in the guy.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Christian

      Mormon: the book of Mormon says Jesus and Satan are brothers
      You are following a different Jesus. Burn the Book of Mormon. You were on track until Satan deceived you into believing the lies he wrote in that book.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • terra

      I though Satan and Santa Claus were brothers. Now I'm confused.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • the truth

      I believe Rom is a Muslim!!!

      November 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  9. Cheryl

    No one tells you that you must believe in the bible or its truths. The big thing in this election is for all to have the right to Religious Freedom, this country is going away from God. If you are not a believer that is your right but if I do believe that is my right, only thing is the unbelievers want to take away the rights of those who believe. I think also for those of us who are believers and are Pro Life this election is big because we know Oboma would put in liberal Supreme court justices. that would be very bad for America. Why I ask, did this country ever allow for a Mom to take her babies life, One out of four kids is missing in the class room. Maybe could have been your best friend, wife or husband. A Nation who kills its unborn is a Nation without hope. To whom much has been given much more is expected, this Country is a great Nation, we have so much, but we will loose if we do not change the course we are on. Vote for helpless little babies, VOTE LIFE!!!!!! Please

    November 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • kok

      its truths? What truths. that fairy tale is written by MEN. It's opinions at best.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • matti

      I just don't want you hypocrite fanatic religious nuts to shove YOUR beliefs down MY throat. You get it?

      November 4, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      No one is shoving beliefs down your throat.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • --------------

      Bob bales sucks sweaty balls

      November 4, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • terra

      Bob Bales. I want to stuff somethng down your throat.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      "If you are not a believer that is your right but if I do believe that is my right, only thing is the unbelievers want to take away the rights of those who believe"

      Which rights of yours are being taken away?

      November 5, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • sam stone

      "No one is shoving beliefs down your throat."

      When there is an attempt deny other citizens their civil rights, that is certainly shoving beliefs down the throats of non-believers

      November 5, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  10. Sick Things

    What does any human being on this Earth know that I don't know? Please. Tell me.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Christian

      John 14:6

      November 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • kok

      you peoples is crazy

      November 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Sick Things

      I know the first to be a lie and the second to be true. next.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • matti

      you are as nutty as they come. does the mental hospital know you are using one of their computers?

      November 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Christian

      Sick things is a lazy reader. He speaks without taking time to read the Scriptures.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Sick Things

      @Christian

      Well, I would ask you why you say I am a lazy reader, but since your statement is without merit I will address the larger issue. You have no credibility. You don't anything more about his world than I. Period.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  11. Mickey1313

    Theists make me sick. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Mickey:
      You exist. You didn't make yourself.
      If anything, the more we learn, the more we realize how *little* of the known universe we can see – much less understand.
      And yet you are so SURE there's nothing greater than you that "theists make you sick."

      "absence of evidence is evidence of absence." sounds like you are hoist by your own petard.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Chad

      you are confusing "absence of evidence" with "evidence of absence"

      Your statement "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence " is the logical fallacy known as:
      Arguments from ignorance Drawing a conclusion based on lack of knowledge or evidence without accounting for all possibilities

      November 4, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Tommy Flanagan

      The evidence is absent, so let's make up stuff. Yeah, that's the ticket.

      November 5, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • sam stone

      "Arguments from ignorance Drawing a conclusion based on lack of knowledge or evidence without accounting for all possibilities"

      Sounds like theism

      November 5, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  12. Soda

    Science will set you free of your Religious nonsense. There is no GOD.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Christian

      Psalm 14:1

      November 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Don't let God know your deceiving ideals for a tear will fall from His eye and roll down His cheeks to fall upon the clouds and mingle with the angels' sorrowful tears ever to fall as rain upon the lands.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      "Don't let God know your deceiving ideals for a tear will fall from His eye and roll down His cheeks to fall upon the clouds and mingle with the angels' sorrowful tears ever to fall as rain upon the lands."

      ............and then the rain will form a tsunami, and a hurricane and kill all those evil horrible 2 month olds, and waste their land from under them, and the lord will sit in his heaven and laugh upon their misery, and plan for yet, forsooth, yeah verily, shall I not plan yet more of these same inflictions for the innocents yet unborn ? Oh yes, saith the almighty man. They have pi.ss.ed me off, and I will make the fools pay. Verily . Amen. Alleluia.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      Science cannot tell me whether or not there is a God.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Science cannot tell me whether or not there is a God."

      That is not the place of science

      November 5, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  13. realbuckyball

    Who cares ?
    Keep your Jeebus in your pants.
    This is NOT a theocracy.
    If people in 2012 want to proclaim their insanity about their invisible friends, great.
    Keep you children away from these idiots.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  14. Hugh G Rection

    uh?

    November 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  15. Sick Things

    Who among us can gaze at the stars and, beyond what we know from science thus far, claim any knowlidge. None.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Christian

      What???

      November 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • a-ss

      what?

      November 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • a-ss

      LOL

      November 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • Sick Things

      Christians and ass-es, you are not hearing me. The infinite is not known to us. In fact, we have not the faculties. Why then proclaim knowledge in the face of obvious ignorance?

      November 4, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Outerspace is but a Cosmos yet unfinished in its' works while Innerspace is a Cosmos finished and complete in its' works

      November 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Sick Things

      God's Oldest Dreamer = Clown shoes.

      Why make statements with no evidence or proof? You know nothing.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Science knows rather well that there are two Cosmos and two kinds of space. InnerSpace and OuterSpace and science even knows there are two Cosmos. The InnerCosmos and the OuterCosmos. Don't believe it you say? Then you are not believing science facts.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • DUMP hINDU FABRICATION MITHRA ISM, SAVIOR ISM, CHRISTIANITY, VOTE FOR TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Try to exist without truth absolute, constant, self sufficient, if you can, hindu's, ignorant s, not for a blink of an eye, and truth absolute is GOD, foundation of existence, proven by science. Every one and every thing ever existed, has been dependent on truth absolute to be, one dependent on truth absolute GOD can never be a deity deny truth absolute GOD, if you can, no one ever has and no one ever will be

      November 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  16. Manuel

    More great bible verses:
    Numbers 31: 17-18

    17. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

    18. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • DUMP hINDU FABRICATION MITHRA ISM, SAVIOR ISM, CHRISTIANITY, VOTE FOR TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      From book of Mithra ism, savior ism, called bible.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Manuel

      But anyone who says 'You fool!' will be in the fire of hell." (Jesus) Mat 5:22

      November 4, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Christian

      Manuel – read the whole Bible Fool!!!!! Psalm 14:1

      November 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  17. TheVocalAtheist

    The author writes:

    Our fears, our hopes, our worries and our struggles are the currency that buys our faith. And how do preachers 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.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  18. Manuel

    The bible also says that it's ok to own slaves. Nice.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • DUMP hINDU FABRICATION MITHRA ISM, SAVIOR ISM, CHRISTIANITY, VOTE FOR TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Book of hinduism, racism.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Christian

      I bet whoever gave you your name is a Christian.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  19. Tx4urexkarlene

    Nice article , Mark .

    November 4, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  20. God's Oldest Dreamer

    the AnViL wrote me on November 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm, declaring thusly, "there is absolutely no evidence of an even, orderly distribution of galaxies. your fractal cosmology is lovely science fiction but bears no resemblance to reality. there's absolutely no evidence of gods. your use of the latin word "ergo" betrays a deficit in education. mentally challenged people like yourself shouldn't be allowed to have internet connections."

    "there is absolutely no evidence of an even, orderly distribution of galaxies." Your point being?

    http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw/menu.html may well be the 'most' informative site regarding 'Fractal Cosmology' being a 'self-similar cosmological paradigm'/

    "your use of the latin word "ergo" betrays a deficit in education" And your 'unwillingness' to capitalize betrays one's laziness.

    Your calling me 'mentally challenged' is an insult protraying your actions to be immoral and unjust since you hardly even know me for in my little knowledge of you, I sense you to be case-hardened and rude not to mention a bigot who wears vanity on your lips.

    Lettuce Love,
    Let Us Love,
    G.O.D.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
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About this blog

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.