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Pressing On In An Election Year

  • PRESSING ON IN AN ELECTION YEAR

    Though neither party seems thrilled with their candidate we are about to undergo the onslaught of media

    coverage, attack ads, yard signs, bumper stickers and everything else that goes with America’s efforts to

    select its chief executive officer. Ready or not, a general election is coming. Be it Hillary or Donald or a

    surprise candidate that comes out of nowhere, someone will be elected President.

    In all that is said around this election what Christians need to be thinking about is God and pleasing Him.

    We want our political views and actions to be in concert with our Christianity. With that in mind, may I

    offer a little scriptural common sense that might help us get through the election season with our faith

    intact?

    First, let’s remember that strong feelings can lead to sin. People get passionate about who to vote for

    and why. Yet anger and harsh words do no good. “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be

    quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of

    God” (James 1:19-20).

    Second, wouldn’t everyone be helped if we all recognized Facebook is a terrible medium for

    substantive debate? Have you ever read someone’s post saying “Because of a political post on Facebook I

    have completely changed my views.” Me neither! Share your funny puppy video, wish someone happy

    birthday but social media isn’t the place to persuade people to your political viewpoint. “The beginning of

    strife is like letting out water, quit before the quarrel breaks out” (Proverbs 17:14).

    Third, shouldn’t Christians vote their conscience, principles and morals and not their pocketbook?

    Both candidates will discuss economic policy and taxes endlessly. But shouldn’t disciples be more

    interested in moral direction and whether a candidate sees himself/herself as governing in line with Romans

    13's description of government? Granted that may be a very difficult call this election year but isn’t that

    what Christians need to be interested in the most? “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.

    Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his

    approval, for he is God’s servant for your good.” (Romans 13:2-3).

    Fourthly, we need to remember what “God is in control” means and does not mean. Biblically it does

    not mean God will do to suit us, or that Christians will never suffer. Many repeat this phrase, however, as a

    euphemism to mean “everything will be okay in this life.” That doesn’t work. Life here may get worse (see

    2 Timothy 3:12). Read the book of Revelation. John’s apocalypse majors in the concept of God’s

    sovereignty but never promises there will be no persecution or trials. Daniel’s statement that “... the Most

    High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will” (Daniel 4:32) is still true, but Daniel said that

    as a captive in Babylon.

    Finally, we must believe deep within us that this election will not and cannot solve America’s real

    problems. My friend Ken Weliever addressed this point well in a recent PreacherMan blog post (you can

    subscribe to receive Ken’s good writing for free at https://thepreachersword.com/). Ken writes “However,

    the answers to our real problems are not political, economic and social. They are spiritual. In the past 50-60

    years we have sown to the flesh. God’s marriage laws have been ignored. Divorce is accepted. Single

    parent homes are the norm. Entertainment out of Hollywood has become crude, lewd and violent. Condoms

    are dispensed in schools instead of Bibles. Sexual activity among our youth is not only accepted, but

    encouraged. Every kind of perversion and bizarre behavior is not only tolerated, but celebrated. God has

    been removed from the public square. Evolution is the accepted answer for our existence. And Creationism

    is ridiculed. Christianity is mocked. The Bible is dismissed as outdated and old-fashioned. And anyone who

    would dare to speak up in favor of the Judeo-Christian values on which our country was founded is

    denounced in the most vitriolic and vulgar manner. More laws. Stricter regulations. Tighter controls. Public

    service ads. Or a new President. These won’t solve our problems. The sickness of our society is spiritual. A

    return to Jehovah God and his Holy Word is the only answer.” That realization helps us so much. It will

    help me not to put too much faith in the political system. It will remind me where I ought to spend my time

    - evangelizing for Jesus Christ not stumping for candidates. And it will keep me living right and doing right

    because truly the solution to America’s problems begins with me being what I should be before God.

    The election is coming. No doubt, it is a blessing to not live in a tyrannical state and to have choices and

    freedoms. As Christians we must use those freedoms and choices to serve God faithfully and keep His

    Kingdom at the center of what we are. In this way, and only in this way, can we press on. - Mark Roberts