People are more nervous about this election than a bunch of long-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs. It’s like this nation is going crazy. I decided to reach out and share some thoughts with you. I hope this encourages someone.
“So Pastor, when are you going to tell us all who we’re supposed to vote for?” Some people are seriously asking this question – as if somehow my connection with God is clearer than theirs and they think God has been whispering a name or names into my ear. They wish I would stand up on Sunday morning and “lead” by proclaiming that we, if we are good Christians, will all vote for so and so. (Please don’t let ANY human tell you who to vote for.) Others are just daring me to say a name… You know who you are. Well, not gonna happen.
Here’s why. For one, we have no righteous candidates. (There is no one righteous, no not one… Romans 3:10-12) Each candidate has questionable characteristics, but each has good qualities as well. All of them have this in common – they are human…and they will fail us. I know, most of us are just wondering which, when they fail, will do the least damage.
So, how do we decide?
The Bible really doesn’t include any straight forward teaching related to voting in political elections. That option simply wasn’t available to the people of that day. The closest instruction I can find in the Bible is:
Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you… Select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over (the people)… Exodus 18:19-21
This was advice given to Moses by his father-in-law. But it was good advice, and advice I think we should keep in mind as we do our small part to “appoint” officials over our nation.
The Bible also teaches us how to address many such situations simply by using Godly wisdom as a guide. In His Word, God gives us many instructions and even warnings about the importance of the moral and ethical state of a nation.
- Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34
- When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan. Proverbs 29:2
- And of course all through the prophets we see words of warning and judgment from God because the people of the nation had forsaken Him and His Word and gone their own way. All of the destruction we read about is associated with the sin of the nation. To simply tolerate sin when the opportunity to influence its proliferation is available, is an affront to God. He does not simply shrug it off.
We do need righteousness in the White House. Be careful that your version or our culture’s version of righteousness doesn’t prevail over God’s. What does God’s Word say about issues like sanctity of marriage, value of life, our responsibility to the widow, the orphan, the foreigner and the stranger? How do we create a government that is committed to justice (as God would define it) and most likely will lead us to pursue a national life that God desires? No candidate or party I am aware of falls solidly in line with scripture on all of these points. So, how do we choose leaders that will minimize the guilt of our nation before God – not increase it? The Bible makes it clear that this worldly system will end up completely resisting and rebelling against God, but I surely don’t want to be counted in that number who speed its coming.
You may also wonder why am I so concerned about Biblical principles and standards? I have heard people argue, “We are electing a president, not a pastor.” I agree wholeheartedly, but God’s word is TRUTH! It teaches us how to live a blessed life and stand pure before God. Where our leaders lead, our nation will go. We cannot, with a good conscience elect people who will lead us to greater sin. The Bible clearly warns that judgment will come, and vulnerability to the true enemy is the end of those who choose immorality and lawlessness. I respect God more than I do any politician. I trust God for deliverance, protection and provision more than I do a politician. Wherever they are against God’s Word on an issue, I cannot side with them. I don’t care what they promise to do for our economy or how they claim they will provide for people’s needs. If they oppose God’s law, their “good deeds” will be worthless and their opposition to Him a snare. My challenge to you is, read God’s Word. Understand His heart. Then vote for leaders that you believe best align with the values of His Kingdom.
In the end, your candidate may or may not win. If your candidate does not win, DO NOT DESPAIR! If your candidate does win, don’t for a moment think the war is won. A president cannot damn us to Hell, nor can he or she ensure us a heaven. There is only one who can – and He is not up for election. Kings are not elected. Jesus’ throne has been established and He will reign no matter what happens on November 8th. Remember, this world and this country are not our home. This is a temporary dwelling, as Paul compared this body to a tent. We’re just camping here for a time. That doesn’t mean we are on vacation. We are here on mission! But we are only here for a time. Those who are freaking out and promising to leave the United States if their choice does not prevail only show that this world is their only hope. They have nothing outside of this and all is lost if their human hope does not win. If you are tempted to fear, you may need to ask yourself, “In which Kingdom is your primary citizenship?”
Be assured, God is not looking for the right president to be elected so He can do what He wants to do here in America. He has bypassed the president and in fact the whole political/worldly authority system, and He has called you and me to be the vessels through which He brings His Kingdom life to this sick and dying world. He can use a president if He wants to, but He surely doesn’t need the president’s permission or endorsement to do what He has set forth to accomplish. And no president or earthly authority can stop His work through a people who are willing to die…or willing to live for Him.
So, when the ballots are tallied, thank God for the honor of living in this great country. Then get back to work. This world will be won and righteousness will prevail from your neighborhood, more than from the oval office.
Although I will not suggest a candidate you should vote for, I will give you some advice so you can be prepared to do what God wants YOU to do:
First, educate yourself! Look at each candidates platform and their record. As you do, ask God to show you what you need to see in order to have clarity to cast your best vote.
Suggested Resources: Please be aware, there is no possible way I could verify the absolute legitimacy of every piece of information they propose. I have simply taken a look at what they claim to do and am suggesting them on the merit of those claims. They claim to be non-partisan, fact based reports designed to help voters make unbiased decisions on election day.
- http://votesmart.org/ (Click here to watch a video that introduces their resource.)
- http://www.michiganfamily.org/index.php/michigan-online-voter-guide/ (This link found at the SmileFM website)
Second, quit watching the videos and reading the posts on Facebook/social media and the news. They are littered with OPINIONS. Be careful of allowing the opinions of other imperfect people to influence you. Do your own research and vote your own convictions – not someone else’s biases. Listen to God, not celebrities or loudmouths.
Third, join me. I challenge you to fast and pray for election day. Choose a fast that can work for you, but consider fasting during the hours the polls are open – from 7am-8:00pm on Tuesday, November 8th. Pray. Listen to the Spirit. Vote with your heart and your mind.
Remember II Chronicles 7:14: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
OK, now let’s do this.