Saturday, October 25, 2008

Christians and National Elections

1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

In 1883 in Allentown, New Jersey, a wooden Indian -- the kind that stands in front of cigar stores -- was placed on the ballot for Justice of the Peace. The candidate was registered under the name Abner Robbins. When the ballots were counted, Abner won over the incumbent by 7 votes. In 1938. The name Boston Curtis appeared on the ballot for Republican Committeeman from Wilton, Washington. Actually, Boston Curtis was a mule. The town's mayor sponsored the animal to demonstrate that people know very little about the candidates. He proved his point. The mule won![1] That may have been the first time that both a donkey and an elephant were on the same bumper sticker.

Our national election day is just 9 days away. I hope you are registered and planning to vote. More importantly I hope you are going to vote your convictions according to the scriptures. In other words I hope you know why you’re voting as well as who you’re voting for, at least by the time you step into the box.

As much as we complain about our presidents and representatives, and we DO complain, we are in a unique situation in human history. Until just a couple hundred years ago people had no real say in who their political leaders were. Can you imagine anybody with a bumper sticker that said “Impeach Julius Caesar.” Or how about, “King George lied and people died”? It wasn’t done very often because those folks who made those kinds of statements didn’t last very long as a general rule.

But here, in the USA, we don’t select a King we select a man to ‘preside’ over our republic. And it’s only a temp job, (as Kevin Kline said in the movie Dave.) S, we have more power than the president, we put them there, we can take them out. Christians should take that kind of power seriously and prayerfully consider what they should do.

Texas isn’t considered one of those “battleground states” this year and I don’t imagine that anything I say here will influence the election. But I don’t really care to influence the election at all. I’m called of God to shepherd this flock and they are the only folks I want to influence. And then, I just want to influence you to be more like Jesus!

Someday we will all stand before God and give an account. God just might ask me if I taught His people to be good stewards of their political responsibilities and I want to answer yes. Someday God may ask you what you did with your political responsibilities and I hope you have a good answer for Him. Cause remember, God NEVER asks a question that he doesn’t already know the answer to!

So let me tell you four things, BRIEFLY, about being a Christian in today’s political world.

1. First, we are to pray for our leaders. What does that look like? I have prayed for Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and another Bush. Can’t remember if I prayed for Nixon and Kennedy. I prayed that each one would seek to do God’s will, and that God would guide them. Did I like them all? Not really, but then I didn’t really KNOW any of them did I? But notice one thing that Paul told Timothy. Along with prayers and intercessions we are to offer Thanksgivings for those in authority.

Sometimes it’s hard to thank God for your Pastor, much less a president that you don’t respect. But even though presidents may do things we don’t like, they are our God given leaders. And we are to pray for them and give thanks for them.

I know you’ve heard before how important every vote is but let me impress it on your minds as well. In the last presidentioal election over 121 million people voted. If one person in every 75 had changed his vote, we would have had a different outcome. One in 75!

In 2000 we know that bush got fewer total votes than Gore but more electoral votes and we all remember it coming down to Florida. 5.9 m illion people voted in Florida. If one person in every 21,481 voted for Gore instead, the outcome would have been different. One in 21000 is an awesome responsibility we should take seriously and prayerfully.

2. Second, Jesus has called us to be Salt and light in our world.

Mat 5:13-14 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city set on an hill cannot be hid.

God wants us to preserve what is good in society, to be a light in the darkness, to bring the truth of God to bear on society. We can do that in many ways, but one of those ways is by voting. It may not be the most influential way to affect society. But it is a powerful statement.

We need to take biblical concepts into all walks of life. You don’t have to shove the Bible down people’s throats in order to stand up for what is right and give people intelligent answers for why you believe the way you do. We need to delve into the why of things. Why does God say that if a person doesn’t work neither shall they eat? Or, a man that does not care for his own family is worse than an infidel.[2]

Why does God say not to commit murder? Why does God say not to steal? We need to be influencing people wherever we are. Voting is important but it won’t change a heart like the love of God and truth of God can.

3. Third we are to be a champion for those that cannot stand up for themselves. Not just for the poor but specifically for those who are held in poverty by the rich and powerful. Many people are poor because they aren’t trying very hard. Others try and are oppressed. We should stand against that like Jesus did.

Mal 3:5 I will come near to you to judgment; I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, adulterers, false swearers, and those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger… and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

We should be a champion for those who suffer injustice.

We should be a champion for the unborn who are slaughtered in the one place that should be the most secure place in all the world, right in their mother’s wombs. And so many young women are lied to and told its not a big deal then they live forever with the guilt of what they’ve done. And nobody seems to notice or care that for years most of those aborted babies were the children of minorities.

We should stand for life and justice and equality just like Jesus would today!

4. Forth, we need to render unto Caesar whatever belongs to Caesar. (Luke 20:19)

We owe taxes and we should pay them. But what else do we owe? We owe our prayers as we said earlier. What else? Do we owe loyalty? Fidelity? Respect to the Flag? Respect to the offices of the president and other elected officials? I would say yes to all of those. God put us in this country. God has ordained the government of this country. The Greatest Country on earth I believe. Sure there are good people all over the world. There are people with a greater work ethic. There are nations with excellent social structures. There are other democracies, too. But nobody has a constitution as good as ours. And nobody has exported more humanitarian aid around the world and may I also add more Christian missionaries than any other country. Yes we’ve exported some wars too. But we also ended some wars that we didn’t start.

We should render unto Caesar a well informed – prayerfully considered- vote on election day.

Well informed, prayerfully considered.

And when the counting is done, we need to thank God for another peaceful transfer of power, and thank God for the elected officials that we have, EVEN IF WE DIDN’T VOTE FOR THEM.

How can we possible do that? Because if you have trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you belong To Christ! He is already Lord whether people want Him as their Lord or not. Jesus is not on the Ballot! We are citizens of His perfect Country.

Are you unsure of your standing with Jesus? You can take a stand with Christ today! Give Him your failures and sins. Beg His forgiveness. Call on His name to save you from eternal Hell. Whoever calls on Him Shall be saved!

[1] Our Daily Bread, November 3, 1992.

[2] 2Th 3:10, 1 Tim 5:8

1 comment:

  1. That's a good reminder to pray and give thanks no matter what the outcome of the election. I've sort of felt indifferent to voting (since CA is not a battleground state either, the other way though) - but even though my vote won't change CA it is important for me.


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