On the Eve of An Election
As the 2008 Election comes to maturity this week, it is appropriate that we take a few moments to seriously consider this opportunity. Many of us will head to the polls tomorrow. Many of us will vote for John McCain. Many of us will vote for Barack Obama.
I am convinced that this election presents us with the worst choices we have ever faced. On the Republican side of things, we are faced with essentially the status quo, with a few changes that reflect that John McCain is most definitely not President Bush. On the Democratic side, we are faced with negative change, and a candidate who has consistently refused to be clear about what he really believes, talking out of both sides of his mouth.
Obama is most definitely (politically speaking) an Antichrist. He is a far, far-left Democrat, though he is not, thankfully, an extremist. He has no new ideas. All of his ideas have historically failed. He is a flat-out supporter of abortion on demand, no matter his rhetoric about wanting to reduce the number of abortions (a flat-out lie any way you slice it). He has repeatedly stated his first order of business if he gains the White House is to sign a bill into law that essentially eliminates all restrictions on abortion. His economic plan will actually put this country further in debt, a prospect which I have no desire to foist upon my daughter. He thinks children in school should be required to think homosexuality is okay. I have no intention of calling what God calls evil good, nor do I intend to teach my daughter to do the same. Further, he wants to take my hard-earned money and give it to the welfare recipient who is essentially being paid to make babies and sit on his/her butt. Incredibly, he even thinks it’s cheaper for us to buy insurance for our children. Last I checked, that’s not what Grace’s doctor bills said. He has no qualms about saying what people want to hear in order to get their support. He is even endorsed by terrorists. He doesn’t even want to finish the job in the Middle East! And that’s apparently not enough to make thinking people step back and say, “Wait a minute….”
McCain is most definitely the lesser of these two evils (and I’m getting very, very tired of this terminology). He is essentially the opposite of each of the positions I’ve given above. The only real positives of his platform are, for instance, energy independence by relying on our own resources (drill baby drill); stopping the flow of money to foreign countries that, in his words, “don’t like us very much;” a willingness to tackle the credit crisis head on (even though he hasn’t even articulated how yet); stopping handouts to businesses and corporations through tax incentives; winning in the Middle East; and so on. If not for his selection of Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate, I would have been tempted to not even bother voting for him. I’d have been tempted to waste my vote by going third party or not voting at all. He has done nothing to instill confidence in me that he has the answers our country needs.
Further, neither candidate has original ideas. They seem to be stealing and copying ideas from each other much the way cell-phone makers are stealing and copying the iPhone concept these days. They seem to be getting in a price war with each other, battling to see who can offer a bigger “tax cut” or some such economic nonsense. This is truly the worst election choice to hit America in a very long time.
So, in the midst of all this nonsense as this election cycle comes to a close, what should we as believers do?
1. Realize that God is firmly in control of the election.
Romans 13:1 says very clearly that no one rules unless God has given him the power to rule, and no one rules now without that power from God (NCV). This means that it is God alone who decides who will become President of these United States, and he will use our votes to make it happen. No matter who wins this election, he is the winner only because God has allowed it to be so. This should humble us who are believers and cause us to think seriously about the people God has allowed to attain public office. It should cause us to seriously pray about our vote and how God would have us use that vote to bring about his purposes.
This is not to say that if it becomes clear that God is going to allow a blasphemer such as Obama (I couldn’t get more obvious about what I think there, could I?) to assume office, that we should cast our vote for that person. What that tells me is we should vote for the candidate who most reflects God’s righteousness and justice, and if that candidate does not win, we should praise God that he has given us the perfect opportunity to proclaim his Gospel in a land that may no longer hunger and thirst for righteousness. In other words, we should become voices crying in the wilderness.
Look at the evil kings of Israel or even the foreign kings that oppressed and enslaved Israel, or even better, the Roman emperors under whom Christ and his followers were persecuted and killed. Even more clearly, Communist China! All of these were allowed to ascend to power by God alone, and those who loved righteousness and justice were to actively work to bring about those qualities in their countries. But notice how that worked – such righteousness and justice was not preached with success, as a rule, until such despotic blasphemers were allowed to rule! When all was well and good, the people ignored God’s command for holy living. Then an evil king came and solidified their unrighteousness. It was not until an unbeliever conquered the nation that the people hearkened to God’s gospel and repented. It may well be that America needs the same thing.
2. Realize that our government is working for God.
Romans 13:6 makes it clear that the government is “God’s public servants” (HCSB) and have given their time to this work. This means we should submit to those who are in public office. Submit to Obama and Biden. Submit to McCain and Palin. Submit to your state and local senators and representatives. Don’t believe me? See Romans 13:1 again – “Everyone must submit to the governing authorities” (HCSB). Romans 13:7 tells us we should “show respect and honor to them all” (NCV).
3. Pray for our government.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 is very, very clear about this – I tell you to pray for all people, asking God for what they need and being thankful to him. Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to know the truth.
Why pray for our elected officials? Romans 13:4 says that “government is God’s servant to you for good” (HCSB). Awesome. They are there to do good for us! And one thing that can be said about both candidates this election is that they are trying hard to present an agenda that they are convinced will benefit Americans. No wonder we should pray for them – we need to ask God to keep them on that path, and to show them a more excellent way!
You can’t get clearer than that, can you? Pray for McCain and Palin. Pray for Obama and Biden. Pray for your state and local senators and representatives. The upside to doing this is huge – we will be able to live quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God! And if we are able to live this way, we will do the most we can to spread the Gospel to as many people as possible!
This past Sunday my pastor, Tim Bender preached on “Christians and Government.” In his message, he gave us Six Ways to Direct Your Vote.
1. Vote Biblical principles over Party.
Do you agree with everything the party promotes? Does the party follow biblical principles? Don’t be fooled by a platform that looks and sounds good, but directly goes against the Bible!
2. Vote Biblical principles over Pork.
Do you want to waste federal money just to help your area? Do you want to do the most good for the most people or are you just out for your local economy? Don’t be fooled by promises to help just your area!
3. Vote Biblical principles over Pocketbook.
Are you out to fatten your bank account? Or are you out to see that people who actually need help get the help they need? Remember, Scripture says money is a root of all kinds of evil. Don’t be fooled by money!
4. Vote Biblical Principles Over Person.
Are you voting for a relative, a co-worker, a friend? You have no special interest in that person that would be served by voting for them? You may know that person much better than the voters! What if this person is a chronic liar? Would you still vote for him/her simply because of your relationship? Don’t be fooled by your relationship to a person!
5. Vote Biblical Principles Over Popularity.
Are you voting for someone just because they are your idol, they’re good-looking, they’re cool, they’re awesome? Don’t be fooled by how popular a candidate is!
6. Vote Biblical Principles Over Political Speech.
Does the candidate’s personal life and political record match up? Do they really believe what they are saying? Are they “walking the talk?” Or are they just “singin’ and dancin’;” that is, saying what they need in order to get your vote? Don’t be fooled by what a person says; check their record!
When You Vote Tomorrow
Having said all that (I’m at 1600 words!), when you vote tomorrow, I only ask that you do one thing before you enter the booth and pull the lever. Ask yourself if the people you are planning to vote for give God the most glory. If not, please, please, PLEASE re-think your vote and vote for someone else! Also, please do not waste your vote by voting for a third party candidate who has no chance of winning. That shows at worst a detachment from the reality of the situation, and at best a lack of common sense. How different could this nation have been if all those third-party votes actually went to one of the two candidates who actually had a chance to win!
I will not waste my vote on a third-party candidate, no matter how tempting it is to do so. I will not waste my vote by not voting. I will honor God by backing a candidate who has a direct chance to win, and of those who do, I will vote for the one who I am convinced by Scripture and conscience is the most God-honoring choice among them. Therefore, I am convinced for personal, common-sense, and Scriptural reasons that the most God-honoring choice this election is John McCain. If he wins, to God be the glory. If he does not, to God be the glory. The Gospel will have a greater platform to be proclaimed no matter who wins, and in the end that is all that really matters!