There is no question that this is an unprecedented time in American politics. I am sure you would agree that this has been a contentious and combative election year, bringing out the worst in many of those running for national office, and certainly the media.
I admire our pastors who are on the frontlines, dealing with folks who are attempting to make sense of all the spin and sin so publicly paraded. I applaud your efforts to weigh your words and to carefully and prayerfully address the truth of God’s Word without being pulled into foolish and unfruitful dialogue.
I recommend Dr. Tony Evans book, How Should Christians Vote, published by Moody. Dr. Evans is an extraordinary pastor and leader and I believe presents helpful biblical insights on the issues of voting as Christ followers.
From my perspective, I know that I am not casting a vote in the general election for a pastor this November, but rather I am voting for our next president. I am also aware that in our history, all of our US presidents have had flaws, some more prominent and publicized than others. I think we would agree that the current presidential candidates are very flawed and their actions have caused many to ask, “Can’t we do better than this?” Throughout our history, people have asked the same question during almost every election.
One thing worth noting…when a person admits failure and humbly expresses regret for previous missteps, that person is in the best position to be used by God. Proverbs 3:34, God opposes the proud but shows favor (grace) to the humble. James 4:10, Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. I am also reminded that true Christ followers are to be forgiving, showing grace and mercy to those who seek it, not spending their time passing judgment on past sins or mistakes of others.
Beyond the current personality, I believe it is wise to consider the formal platform of the party the presidential candidate represents. Comparing the party platforms may reveal a more accurate picture of the future direction the candidate will choose. In addition, I believe it is worth noting the kind of person a presidential candidate selects as their running mate. This is significant and discloses their judgment. The Bible is full of examples of flawed leaders who had assistants or vice presidents, if you will, who sought God and provided great influence for the key leader – Joseph, Daniel and Samuel to name a few. Most leaders lean on the advice of their vice president more than we realize.
Ultimately God is in charge! Our role is to pray, participate and promote righteousness by the way we live, lead and love. I encourage us to avoid getting into the fray of arguments with church members and attendees or even family. Have an opinion, but be wise how and when it is expressed.
When asked how you are going to vote, you might consider Evans response, “I am voting with God because He has His own side. I’m voting for the party, person or platform that best represents God’s values to advance His kingdom.” (How Should Christians Vote? Pg. 62)
Praying for America!