The presidential election is upon us. The candidates are working hard to convince voters. The day is drawing closer. Regardless of your nationality, every believer faces a decision in the arena of elected leadership. Must we vote for the lesser of two evils? Should we simply select the candidate who best represents our beliefs? Should we vote for a candidate whose policies ensure a healthy future for our children? Should we refrain entirely from voting?
Different Christians will make different decisions, but there are some nonnegotiable truths to which we must cling, regardless of our political affiliations, fiscal policies, or social principles.
Politics divide the body of Christ.
When we elevate our political preferences to the status of biblical truth, we make a dangerous mistake. We are guilty of foisting upon other Christians our personal judgments. In other words, we have become divisive. You may indeed feel strongly about the outcome of the election, but you must not let your strong feelings affect your unity with other believers. Do not allow politics to divide the body of Christ.
The election is not free from God.
Who, ultimately, will decide the outcome of the election? The voter population? The big donors? The electoral college? Actually, none of the above. God is still in control. He stands above earthly rulers, and decides who will reign (Daniel 2:21). Ultimately, it’s not in our hands to decide. Yes, we must fulfill the role that we believe we should, but ultimately, the 2012 election will be decided by someone wiser, more powerful, and infinitely more capable. Do not count God out of the equation.
Elections take our focus off humanity.
At the time of writing, a massive hurricane assails the East Coast endangering millions of lives and livelihoods. At the same time, millions of people across the globe are writhing in the agony of AIDS. Malnutrition and disease cripple vast populations and people groups. Lack of potable water creates a daily crisis for huge numbers of people. Even in prosperous America, many suffer from joblessness, sickness, and despair. In our heedless race toward greater affluence and security, we can easily forget to show kindness, love, and support to others. All too often, the national political scene distracts us rather then compels us to fulfill our Christian responsibility. Regardless of a believer’s race, gender, nationality, or political affiliation, it is still our mandate to go and make disciples — to feed the hungry, the orphan, the poor, and the widow. Do not neglect your calling.
Your church is not free from elections.
You may be a pastor who keeps politics totally out of the church. In many ways, this is a wise choice. However, you can’t ignore what is going on around you. You have a responsibility to speak out on the issues that the Bible makes clear (e.g., 1 Timothy 2:2; Romans 13:1). Wise leaders encourage their people to filter everything through the lens of Scripture, and to soak every decision in prayer. Ultimately, believers must stand by what they believe. If your guide is the Scripture, if Jesus is your leader, if God’s glory is your goal, then you will make the choice that best reflects this stance. Do not ignore God’s Word.
There is no lesser of two evils.
Both candidates distort the truth. Both candidates make mistakes. Both candidates make promises they will never keep. Both candidates are ambitious. Both candidates are fallible, faulty, and sinful human beings. The Word tells us, “None is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Before you make a hard-and-fast decision, before you casually decide not to vote, before you simply vote for whomever, ask yourself, “How often have I prayed for our president, for his staff, for his family? How many times have I prayed for the presidential candidates? How often have I prayed for the elections?” Is God not powerful enough to change any heart, even to alter the course of a nation? Do not forget to pray.
Vote for this candidate.
Before you step into the voting booth next Tuesday, take time to kneel before the King of Kings. Regardless of the presidential candidate you select, you must first affirm your vote for the rule of Jesus Christ. We trust not in policies, presidents, or human promises. There is only One leader who can bring lasting hope, absolute security, genuine change, real freedom, true prosperity, and ultimate success. His name is Jesus. Make your vote reflection your true allegiance. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, submit your plans to the Lord, listen to the voice of the Spirit, and follow the path he shows.