This is written to discouraged Christian friends who might be “sitting out” the upcoming election. Perhaps these thoughts might encouragement you to reconsider.
Sadly, as I look over the landscape, a civil war is at hand. A war of ethics, values, philosophies, and practices is taking place, and the end is not in sight. In our nation’s capital, dialogue, debate, service, and sacrifice have disappeared; pitiful partisanship and governmental dysfunction has taken their place. Across the airwaves, throughout social media, and in our echo chambers, foolish, distasteful, slanderous, dishonest, and uncharitable dialogue is the norm. Family gatherings are no longer safe places to discuss differing points of view as parents and children talk past one another. And as of late, the cultural conflict has has spilled out into our squares and streets. Yes, sadly, the United States is not so united. It’s a it’s a violent war out there, and it’s very hard to stomach.
Who’s fighting? Well, I am very aware it’s not as simple as denoting the Right or the Left. There are indeed fifty shades of gray in our political camps. However, when perusing the battlefield and seeing how the foes are lining up, it is easy to see the two warring forces.
On one side, there are those longing to return to the “good old days” of Little House on the Prairie, Andy Griffith, Ronald Reagan, and the Moral Majority. In their eyes, those were they days when schools really educated, patriotism was in fashion, gender was understood, the church was the church, the law was the law, legislators legislated, judges upheld the constitution, authority was honored, people hid their dirty laundry, and everyone had the opportunity to pursue the American Dream — even if they didn’t have the same starting line, number of hurdles, rules, officials. (But I digress; we might have to save that for another blog post.)
On the other side, there are those wanting nothing to do with the”good old boys” and the “good old days.” These individuals, as they review our nation’s history and current condition, find themselves saddened, embarrassed, and outraged. They are done celebrating our nation’s history, heroes, holidays, and philosophies. Consequently, they are eagerly ambitious to remove the “constraints” of America’s Judeo-Christian ethic, certain constitutional rights, and individual capitalistic philosophies. In their eyes, this country needs to go to reformed school. It needs to be totally overhauled and rebuilt from the top to the bottom.
Yes, this is the sad situation before us today. The polarization is real. The philosophical and theological divide is getting deeper and wider. The civil war is ongoing, and it will be for some time. Therefore, the question at hand is — how ought we to respond in our day of conflict? The Bible tells us that “whether we eat, or drink, [or politic], or whatever we do,” we are “to do it all for the glory of God.” Well, that being the case, how ought we to worship?
I would you to consider the following:
- Consider the Bible
- Consider the wisdom of others
- Consider the glory of the King and his Kingdom
- Consider the good of your family
- Consider the good of your neighbors
- Worship and serve well — register, teach, and vote
1. Consider the Bible
Divine wisdom is available. God has revealed his thoughts regarding ethics, law, order, human rights, justice, work, finances, equality, mercy, and grace. While perfect agreement may not be enjoyed in practical application, we should all be saturated with his thoughts. It should be said of God’s people that when they are cut open, the bleed Bible. Friends, let us be consumed with God’s Word so that we might rightly discern wisdom amidst the competing truth claims consistently coming our way.
2. Consider the thoughts of others
Teaches are a gift from God. Therefore, let us learn from historians, philosophers, sociologists, politicians, and theologians. Let us not be satisfied with our current level of knowledge. Let us not be satisfied in our homogenous echo chambers. It is good to listen well to those with differing experiences and positions. It is good to weigh careful;y the arguments of friends and foes. Oh Christian friends, it is good to be humble, gracious, loving, and eager to learn. There is no need to be scared and isolated, for with the Word of God in our mind and the Spirit of God in our heart, we have what is necessary to listen well, test teaching, hold on to the good, and discard that which is fallacious.
3. Consider the glory of the King
Whether we be more enchanted with the Right or the Left …
And whether we be labeled Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, or something else …
And whether we be more inclined to prefer Mr. Trump, Mr. Biden, or someone else …
Our foremost allegiance must be to the King of Kings and his party platform. Therefore, being informed by his Word and transformed by his Spirit, regardless of our earthly and temporal parties, we all must be consumed with …
- Being most known as Christ’s disciples
- Exalting Christ’s name and promoting his glory
- Protecting the family Christ has placed under our leadership
- Loving our neighbors and their neighborhood
- Loving our enemies — even those who despise us
- Honoring God’s wise and beneficial precepts
- Calling good “good” and evil “evil”
- Pursuing life, liberty, and justice for all
- Specially caring for those widowed, orphaned, homeless, poor, imprisoned, etc …
- Rescuing those who are being abused and mistreated
- Hating unrighteousness and injustice under any title or group
- Abhorring discrimination and sectarianism
- Lamenting over sins’s consequences
- Lamenting over people’s generational sins
- Lamenting over past national and political sins
- Not for a moment considering ourselves better than others
- Repenting of past sins and eagerly repairing the damage
- Longing to reciprocate and show undeserved grace to others
- Etc …
Friends, whether we be branded by the donkey or the elephant, may we be most known by the image of Christ shining through us. Jesus is our King. His Kingdom is to be most intoxicating to us. It is that which will stand the test of time. It is that which utilizes, elevates, and demotes earthly governments. It is that which our neighbors need most. For God’s sake — and I don’t say that lightly — may we be people people most committed to Christ, his party, and his platform, and may be be most known for this commitment.
4. Consider the good of your family
Therefore, since we are consumed with the King, his Kingdom, and his Kingly counsel, let us love our neighbors, and especially those who have been sovereignly placed under our care. It is good to provide for your children and grandchildren. It is good to protect them from the most harm possible. It is good to look down the road, see the evil lurking, and turn the other way. A good father, mother, grandfather, and grandmother is not passive and disinterested in the future environment of their family. Friends, it is good to leave a financial inheritance for your children. It is good to leave a national inheritance for your children as well. We have been so blessed by the worship of our forefathers, may the same be said by our children and grandchildren.
5. Consider the good of your neighbors
The Bible says we are to love our neighbors. (Mark 12:31) More than this, we are to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44). In God’s Word, we are told to be those “seeking the welfare of the city.” (Jeremiah 29:7) Salt that has lost its proximity and potency is of no use. (Matthew 5:13). We are to be “cities of light set on a hill,” and we are not to “hide our light under a bushel.” (Matthew 5:14-15) It is not helpful or loving to “hide our talent in the ground.” (Matthew 25:25) We are to be Good Samaritans, investing our time, talents, and treasure (Luke 10:25ff), knowing that knowing to do good, and not do so, is sinful. (James 4:17) Those with power can sin in two ways — abuse and apathy. God has given us a mission field to love and tools to use. Therefore, friends, let us not add to our sins of commission or omission. Let us do everything we can to improve God’s glory, love our family, and serve our neighbors — even our enemies.
6. Worship and serve well
Let us acknowledge the fallenness of our candidates. Sure, like you, I would like to vote for the individual with a perfect background, intellect, charisma, poise, diction, record, and platform. However, that is never the case. Scripture tells us whoever takes the helms of leadership in our land, they are certain to be selfish, imperfect, inconsistent, idolatrous, foolish, men and women of iniquity. There is no righteous president, representative, or judge — no not one. Therefore, we do not sit back and wait for such. We are always forced to choose between a number of sinful men and women.
Let us acknowledge the sovereign hand of God behind our electoral process. Scripture tells us no one takes office without God’s providential stamp of approval. No one can take office without being nominated. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude these are the nominees presented to us by God’s sovereign design. Therefore, there is no need to whine over those “sinners” whom God has placed before us.
Let us acknowledge the importance of our day. Within a few months, one of the two warring factions will take the upper hand. One group will win the battle, take the hill, and begin exercising leadership by means of our executive, judicial, and legislative branches. It’s going to happen; there is no stopping it. And choices, decisions, orders, laws, and verdicts will come forth. These actions will:
- Bring more or less honor to the King and his Kingdom
- Help or harm our children and grandchildren
- Promote good or evil to our neighbors.
As it has been said, “Elections have consequences.” Someone is going to hold office. Someone’s worldview will win the day, and governmental edicts — for better or worse — will follow.
Therefore, we must decide is Christ would have us be active or passive. I do not believe it best to do little or nothing in support of God’s glory, my children’s health and future, and my neighbor’s well being. It is not advantageous or loving for us to sit this one out and be content on the sidelines.
I contend we are all compelled to either stand for that which is most right or stand against that which is most evil.
Yes Christian friends, in the midst of this civil war, I am encouraging us to err on the side of activity instead of settling for that of passivity.
I believe we should all should learn.
I believe we should all register to vote. October 3rd is the deadline to make sure you are registered to vote in your place of residence.
I believe we should all teach. As we are learning to think and apply God’s truths in our current mission field, we should seek to pass along knowledge and wisdom to others.
I believe we should all vote. It is a good thing to pray, “Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It is then good to follow up our prayers with action.
Oh friends, what a privilege it is to use steward our divine revelation, wisdom, platform, relationships, voice, finances, and votes. It is a great honor to worship the King of Kings through stewarding our influence and pursuing lesser kings who will better promote God’s glory and our community’s good.