***This blog represents my views alone and not that of any organization I am a member***
I am an American and I am a Christian. I served in the military for 12 years and have been a pastor for the last 8 years. With those facts, it shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where I fit on the political spectrum. Like you, I am pretty much tired of the political banter at large. I am not a "The sky is falling" sort of person like you can find on both sides. My hope is not in the United States of America, but rather in the Christ--my Lord and Savior.
Today, November 6, 2012, is Election Day. I figured I should join the masses and throw out my two-cents for what it is worth. How should we as Christians respond today and in the upcoming weeks? I think our reaction should be the same regardless of who wins this election.
First and foremost, I do think every Christian should vote. As I look at the Apostle Paul's life, I see that he utilized his Roman citizenship in order to advance the gospel. For those of us who are American citizens, we live in a country where we can vote our values and are given an opportunity to shape our culture. I am simply stunned by the apathy of so many Americans, especially Christians, concerning this great privilege we have.
How should we vote as Christians? I believe the Bible gives on overriding principle concerning the ordination of human government. Romans 13:1-4 teaches the purpose of government, in essence, is to restrain evil. So with this governing principle, I believe Christians should prioritize issues. This is the reason I feel that abortion should be such an important issue for the Christian when it comes to voting. I do believe that abortion is a widespread evil in our culture. We have a two party system in our country and the lines concerning abortion are very clear to me. I don't really want to get into this issue here, but you can read my blog on the Sanctity of Human Life to learn more about my thoughts on abortion. Similar issues that fall into this category are that of the military, law enforcement, and capital punishment.
Other concerns tend to fall into the social issues category for me. I think social issues seem to be an area where a lot of Christians sort of part ways. Clearly Jesus commanded His followers to care for and the poor and needy. I think all Christians agree on this matter, but I believe the issue comes down to the question of who did He command these things? One side applies these truths to the government, and the other applies these truths to the individual or the church. I tend to fall into the category that believes the commands apply to the local church and people individually. I simply do not see this as the role of government within Scripture.
Taxes. Man, isn't this the issue we all dislike? I think most people are okay with taxes as it related to other people, but when push comes to shove, none of us actually like paying taxes! Unfortunately, my feelings and opinions concerning taxes aren't grounded within Scripture...they are born our of my personal understanding of economics. As a Christian, all I see and hear from Jesus is, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's"!
I love this day. I do like watching the results unfold. It's exciting. Who will be our next president? I personally believe the choices are distinct and I am pulling for one. I have no idea who will win. I read some websites and I get excited. I read others and my heart sinks. I would like to suggest something that applies to all Christians concerning our response tomorrow, or this evening, or whenever we know who will be president for the next four years.
First and foremost, our hope is not in humanity it is in Christ. I would suggest our faith in Him is tested most when things don't turn out as we think they should. Tomorrow, whether I like America's choice of president or not, I am faced with the reality of Romans 13:1, "For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God." Trust me, I find this truth difficult to swallow often times. How can this be? I don't think either candidate is a glowing saint, but I do know that God is on the throne. I will trust in Him alone.
Second, whoever the next president is, I believe we as Christians need to pray more. Sure we know we should pray for our government, but I'm not convinced Christians are praying with fervency for the local government all the way to the top as we are commanded to do in 1 Timothy 2:1-4. I would encourage us to pray regularly for those who have been appointed over us a government officials.
Finally, I don't think Christians should back off from voicing and voting their opinions. I don't believe God has called us to be passive, but rather to stand and to be a light. There are many commands for the Christian to expose the darkness (Ephesians 5:11-13) and there is precedence to resist the authority when it is clearly violating God's command (Acts 4:19-20).
Okay, well, I am off to go cast my vote!