It is that time again here in the U.S.: election time. This coming Tuesday (11/06/2012) we will be asked to choose between re-electing President Barack Obama or to replace him with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
The two candidates have many similarities and they also have many significant differences. The media outlets and pollsters tell us that the country is pretty evenly divided in their opinions of the two candidates and that the Popular Vote and the Electoral College may be in disagreement with one another.
The “Christian” or “Church” community seems to be divided over which candidate to stand behind. Preacher, pastors and other Christian leaders have spoken their support and criticism of both candidates; both camps citing “biblical” reasons for their support of their chosen candidate.
Approximately ten years ago I elected to be a permanent absentee voter and cast my ballot by mail each election. I mailed my ballot about ten days ago. As a theologically conservative, Spirit-filled Christian who also happens to be a small business owner I was not excited to cast my vote for any of the candidates that I had to choose from. The two main candidates both espouse political ideologies as well as personal ideologies and doctrines that do not line up with scripture and in many cases contradict the clear teachings of the Bible.
However, we are not being asked to elect a Savior, a Pastor or a Prophet; we are being asked to elect a President. So we are left asking the questions:
- “Which candidate more closely represents a biblical worldview?”
- “Which candidate has the experience and track record to best govern this nation for the next four years?”
- “Which candidate do I want in office in a national or international crisis?”
- “Do I want the nation to continue to move towards Socialism or do I want the nation to continue to be a Free Market society?”
This list of questions could go on and on. The issues at stake are significant, covering a wide spectrum of society and the candidate that wins this election will move the nation towards their ideal of what America should be.
So…Here is my little sermon on the subject:
First of all, I ask you to pray much for all men and to give thanks for them. Pray for kings and all others who are in power over us so we might live quiet God-like lives in peace. It is good when you pray like this. It pleases God Who is the One Who saves. He wants all people to be saved from the punishment of sin. He wants them to come to know the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4 NLV)
As believers in Christ it is our responsibility to seek the face of God for all of our officials, regardless if we agree with their politics or policies.
God will speak to you concerning your vote, IF you will ask Him.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NLT)
Our voting decisions should always be based on the Word of God, the voice of the Holy Spirit and our redeemed conscience. I believe that our choice in the ballot box is a clear reflection of our character and our priorities. So…before you step into the ballot box or before you mail in your ballot please make sure you have first spent time in the place of prayer concerning the candidates and issues you are being asked to vote on.
Do it. We have been given the opportunity to affect our nation’s leadership and policies by making our voice known. If we fail to exercise this freedom we have neglected our civic responsibility and we have failed to speak that which we believe.
If we are praying and not voting we are not putting our faith into action. (James 2:20)
Praying and voting are only two components of the equation we are discussing in this short message the active ingredient is our everyday life. Are we the same person in our business, family and community that we are in the place of prayer and in the ballot box?
Do our lives represent the ideals and standards we have prayed for and voted for in our leaders?
The consistency and transparency that most citizens desire from their political and civic leaders is the same faithfulness that God desires from His children. He wants us to live what we believe. He wants our praying, voting and living to all be in harmony with His Word.
So, in less than three days we should know the outcome of the election. It is highly possible the candidate you vote will be president. It is also highly possible that your chosen candidate will not win the election. Regardless of the outcome of the election our mandate is the same, to pray for our leaders.
The Great Commission is unaffected by the office of the President of the United States. The government of our nation cannot dictate our faith nor cannot it validate or invalidate the principals of God’s Word. The church of Jesus Christ is not dependent upon governmental approval.
Elections do not decide what is right and wrong; the immutable truth of the Bible remains forever settled in heaven. However, elections do reveal the priorities of a nation and where the majority of its citizens stand concerning right and wrong.
My hope and earnest prayer is that first and foremost the people of God will pray, vote and live the Word of the Lord.
Be encouraged in your faith; pray for our leaders, pray for this nation and vote.