RickThomas.net 
27Sep

The Presidential Election – a Christian Perspective

Per chance you have been living under a rock this past year and have not heard, there is an election happening in the United States this coming November. Americans will go to the polls and cast a ballot for the person they want to be their next President.

To vote for our national leaders is a privilege in our country. I’m aware every person reading this article does not have this privilege. While there are many things wrong with our country, to be able to vote is one of the good things.

I do thank God I’m an American. I trust wherever you live, you thank God for His sovereign decision to let you be the nationality you are. I do not see myself better than any other people group. I’m thankful for His mercies to me and to you.

I’m a foreigner

With that said, I do not see my Americanism as the most important thing in my life. Being an American is a temporal condition. My true status is that of an alien–this is not my home.

Like my brother Abraham from the Old Testament, I live here as though I am living in a foreign land. Similar to him, God has called me to live in America, but I only live here in a “tent,” not as though this is the end of my journey.

By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. – Hebrews 11:9-10 (ESV)

I’m passing through my current country and my loyalties to it are as deep as the call of God on my life to be here. When God calls me to my home, I will gladly kiss this place goodbye and follow my LORD to His place of promise.

Because I know this place is not my final destination and I’m only a steward of my temporary existence here on earth, my heart is not troubled by this election. I will cast my vote and I will pray for God’s will to be done. And I will rest in my LORD.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. – John 14:1-3 (ESV)

My life on earth reminds me of going on a vacation. I go on a vacation for a short period of time. I act responsibly while I’m on vacation, but I’m also fully aware our vacation spot is not our home.

As much as I have enjoyed all of our vacations, my heart has always longed for home. You probably have had the same feelings. After a while you long for your pillow, on your bed, in your home. That is the way I think about heaven. I long for heaven.

Temporary stewardship

Meanwhile, back on earth I have a responsibility to make God’s name great. Christians don’t divorce themselves from who they are and the Christlike example they are to live before others.

No matter where we go, our goal is to make God’s name great, even on vacation, while relaxing in the sun. We are stewards of God’s blessings at all times. As an American I’m called to steward my Americanism, even though it is a temporary condition.

Therefore, this November I will do my duty. I will vote for a candidate. I think most Christians think this way. We are stewards of this gift of life and casting a vote is one way we can steward the responsibility of being an American.

I’ve never thought about not voting. It’s something I do because I care about this country. While I’m a strong Sovereigntist, I also believe in human responsibility. I’m comfortable living in the mystery of God’s sovereign control and my responsibility to vote.

Lucia and I are passing our stewardship vision on to our kids. They go with us to vote, though they don’t vote. We make it a family event. They are too young to understand the process, but they love the process.

We typically take cookies or some other sweets to the poll volunteers and thank them for their passion to serve us. My children usually get stickers and another family memory is archived in our minds.

My hope is that the process of voting will be one of many ways my kids will think about stewarding their many mercies from the Lord. When their time comes, I hope they will automatically “go to the polls” and do their duty.

The person I’m voting for this November

I was recently asked who I was going to vote for in November. We have two main candidates running. One of these guys will win. Neither candidate carries a true Christian message or fully embraces our Christian values. This is normal when it comes to secular events like national elections.

Christian candidates tend to get shouted down or marginalized when it comes to the popular vote. Though Christ was not running for office, that culture made doubly sure He was not put in a political position of power.

In most cases we are left with two candidates who reject God and it appears this is the case with our two candidates this year. One Christian friend asked me how I could vote for a Mormon.

My response to him was I’m more concerned about Romney’s unregenerate state than his affiliations. Being a Mormon will not send him to hell. Unbelief is why a person goes to hell.

When Romney stands before God, the question will not be about his Mormonism, but about why he rejected Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. The best I can tell, neither candidate is born again. It appears regardless who you vote for, you’re going to be voting for a Christ-rejector.

This won’t be the first time I’ve voted for a Christ-rejector and if God let’s me live to see another election, it won’t be the last time either. Romney’s affiliation with Mormons is not my biggest concern. Romney rejecting Jesus is a big concern.

The same holds true for Obama. Christians are again placed in the position of voting for a man who does not hold to their values. I don’t have a conscience issue about voting for an unregenerate person. My criterion has to be different from whether these guys are Christ followers.

I’m voting for God’s man

There are two controlling verses I find comfort in when it comes to national elections. These two verses not only bring comfort to my mind, but they guard my heart from potential anger, worry, anxiety, or fear.

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. – Proverbs 21:1 (ESV)

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. – Romans 9:17 (ESV)

These verses teach me that God will have His man in office coming this November. As noted, I am a Sovereigntist–God is in control. As you have also discerned, I have a strong sense of responsibility when it comes to voting.

There is mystery somewhere between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility and I’m comfortable living in that mystery. However, in my personal theology, sovereignty is greater than human will.

Listen to how Peter said it when he was preaching in Acts. Note God’s definite plan to crucify His Son and the responsible people who delivered Jesus to be killed.

This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. – Acts 2:22 (ESV)

In theology this is called the primary and secondary causes. God is always the primary cause, while fully responsible humans are the secondary causes.

While I have a job to do and I will do my job by voting (human responsibility), God is in control (sovereignty). Therefore, I can rest, knowing whoever is placed in office this January, God will be in ultimate control, not the man in the office.

If “my man” does not get in office, which he won’t since he’s not one of the two in the running, I can rest knowing my faith is in God. This is not a time to be anxious or angry. This is a time to be people of faith.

Who knows, maybe God is raising up a person to make His name great. I’ve wondered how folks thought about Pharaoh being placed in office during the time of Egyptian world power.

There were two primary ways to think about this ungodly man in office: (1) You could fret and be angry; (2) or you could let the world see your faith in God, knowing God is in charge, even when your man did not make the cut (Romans 9:17).

My prayer for you is you’ll choose to show your faith in God, even if your man does not get in office. You can do this because you are a Christian and you know at some level of your heart man’s strategies or the devil’s schemes will not thwart the plans of God.

Are you guarding your heart … and your mouth?

One of the curiosities about Christians and politics is the lack of faith from the Christian community. It is rare to hear faith-filled responses from Christians during any given political cycle. Many Christians sound just like the pagans in their snarky-ness, frustration (anger), and worry.

Graciousness, grace, and grace-filled are not the norm when Christians get involved in politics. It’s sad to hear. If you put some of their comments about politics and politicians in the same basket as the world’s speech, you would not be able to tell a difference.

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. – Colossians 4:6 (ESV)

Yes, we should be heavily involved in the “goings on” of our country, but we should be doing it with faith and grace, rather than thinking, talking, and acting like our world.

When it comes to politics, some Christians seem to be more under the spell of Rush Limbaugh than the illuminating power of Jesus Christ. Our Savior was not frustrated with the shenanigans of political posturing.

With [our tongues] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. – James 3:9 (ESV)

I will not vote for Barak Obama. My conscience will not let me do it. But I will not speak unkindly or derogatory about the man, his wife, or his family. He is a man-made in the image of God.

He does not need my anger or my hatred. He needs my Jesus. I suspect I will never agree with him on his politics, regarding his agenda, but I do pray for him, especially that he will come to a saving faith in Christ.

As you get ready to vote this year, may I suggest you check the box in your heart, choosing to be controlled by God, while resting in His will. We win. That is the conclusion to the whole matter. Since we know the outcome already, let’s be gracious winners, while seeking to make the name of our Candidate look great among those who don’t know Him..

How I will apply this article

  1. I will love my country and will do my part to make it better, which means I will vote this year.
  2. This is not my home, so I won’t get bent-out-of-shape when things don’t go my way.
  3. Though I will seek to fulfill my human responsibility, this is not where my faith lies.
  4. Regardless of who is in office, I will continue to seek to tell others about Jesus.
  5. I trust my Sovereign LORD to take care of all things.
  6. We win.
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About Rick Thomas

Rick has been training in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1997. After several years as a counselor and pastor he founded and launched his own training organization in order to encourage and equip people for more effective living. In the early ’90’s he earned a BA in Theology. Later he earned a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry and in 2000 he graduated with a MA in Counseling. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow with ACBC. Today his organization reaches people in every country through consulting, training, blogging, and coaching.
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