Doing politics as a Christian

Long time readers will likely not see anything out of the ordinary here. Newer readers to my blog just might. You see, I once operated under a certain set of assumptions. Then, 17 years ago, all of my assumptions were challenged and shown to be left wanting. Now, I still remember these assumptions, all too often I echo them, and sometimes I measure them up against the Bible to see if these assumptions are so. This is one of those times.

What is the determining factor to determine who leads the executive branch of the US Government? If you’ve been through a civics class (and based on the reactions out there I don’t believe most Americans have) each state tallies a vote of their citizens (or residents if they are foolish) and the winner of that state takes a certain amount of electoral votes. Each electoral vote is good for you getting one elector, a person who will submit the vote on your behalf in the electoral college. Win a majority of the electors and you win the presidency. Theoretically.

If I were teaching a government class, I would accept that answer. If I am teaching a Bible class, I would accept the answer with the understanding that ultimately it is God who places rulers in power. Don’t believe me? Read Romans 13:1 again. If that doesn’t do it for you, try Daniel 2:21. Need some red letters? Read John 19:11. God not only places every leader into power, He places leaders who are both good and evil into power for His reasons, not necessarily yours.

So there you have it. Votes do not ultimately determine the winners of elections. God places people in power and he removes them from power. There is no authority on earth that God has not ordained. Therefore, failing to vote for candidate A over candidate B is not the same thing as voting for candidate B. Or is that candidate C? Is candidate C Kanye West or the Libertarian Party nominee? And does it matter in the end? Why vote? To be a responsible citizen? Yes. But even more, we participate in our local governments as an act of worship. “Do all to the glory of God” is the command given in 1 Corinthians 10:31 and if you look up the Greek word for “all” in that verse, it directly translates to English as “all.” No exclusions.

So as you ponder who to vote for this November, remember that you are not installing a person into power, but you are casting your vote as a showing of faith in the One who holds the heart of every leader in His hands. That reference is found in Proverbs 21:1, if you’re wondering. Likewise, if you decide not to vote, that is your right as well. Offhand, I can’t think of any rights that we have that don’t inherently include the right to abstain. The right to speak includes the right to remain silent, as just one example.

It can be difficult to decide how best to vote to the glory of God. Many Christians look for the lesser of two evils approach, which is really absurd if you think about it. All that you know of the evils of the candidates has been told to you by a media that decides not only how to present the stories, it decides what stories to present and what stories to ignore. If the lesser of two evils is your stance, you are a fool who is carried along by the news media, that is not only biased, they are unwilling to acknowledge their bias. Besides that, you are entering the realm of legalism, where you are able to determine which of the candidates is less evil and more pure, deserving of your vote.

Allow me to present an alternative.

In our system of government, the voters are the owner/employers and the candidates are the job applicants. The campaign process is like an extended job interview and the vote is the consensus decision on who should hold the position. Our loyalty is to God, not to any political party. It is never the responsibility of the voter to support or oppose any candidate. Rather, it is the responsibility of the candidate to earn my vote. No voter should be expected to compromise the moral standards of God in order to avoid a worse fate from the opposition. We should never vote against someone, but the candidate needs to provide reasons for us to vote for them.

One day we all will give an account. And I pray that when I do, I can tell God that I voted, not to sway the election, but to demonstrate my fealty to Him. We we not given a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of self control. (2 Tim 1:7) So to vote against the candidate who you fear the most is antithetical to your testimony of God’s power.

God is sovereign. Nothing happens outside His will. All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. In light of these things, let us vote, or not vote, to the glory of God. If you can vote for someone to the glory of God, do so in peace. For me and my house, we vote for the one who has shown an allegiance to the sanctity of life. And yes, we do vote knowing that the opposing party is fully immersed in platform planks that are in direct opposition to every one of the ten commandments. Except maybe commandment #2.

Can you give your vote, your positive affirmation, to someone who wants to expand the baby killing in this country? Can you vote for someone who affirms the delusion that there is more than one gender? Can you vote for someone who believes in an economic system that relies on breaking the tenth commandment not to covet? If you answer yes to any of this, I invite you to read the last verse from Romans 1 again.

Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 1:32

Let he who has ears hear.

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