Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tough Stuff Tuesday: Election Day Attitudes

Today is a big day. Not only for America, but for the world at large. You see, whether we like it or not (or flaunt it or not), America has a great influence in the world. Our president makes a huge difference in who will or will not be our ally in the future. That's why, today, we are writing history. With your vote, you are deciding who should head this country, and who should be the face that the rest of the world sees when they think of America.

Sadly, I have felt badgered by some Christians regarding my vote. While I don't support a certain candidate, I have been made to feel like if I did, I don't actually love God--and that just isn't fair. That's why I'm not here to do that this morning. I'm not here to urge you in one direction or another--toward one political party or another. Why? Because my thoughts on politics don't matter. There is only One whose thoughts matter on any subject. 

Here is what the inspired writer, Paul, penned to the brethren in Rome:
"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor." Rom. 13:1-7
What this is not saying is that your vote doesn't matter--that God has already appointed the next President of the United States and nothing we do matters. On the contrary--every vote matters. However, God, in His omniscience, knows the outcome already. And just as this country has been in His hands from the beginning, it will be regardless of who is elected today. 

Another thing these verses are not saying is that the governing authorities will always do what God wants. Think of the ones to whom Paul was writing in the first century. Was Nero acting as God would have wanted him to--persecuting Christians in heinous ways? Absolutely not. Nor will the President of the United States act in ways that will be pleasing to God one hundred percent of the time. 


As Christians, we always have the responsibility to be in subjection. Listen to what Peter said in 1 Pet. 2:13-17:
"Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to the governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men--as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king."
Peter would go on to say in verses 21-25 of the same chapter that we are to be in submission because our perfect example submitted--even though He is God. Jesus came to this earth and suffered a cruel, humiliating, torturous death on a rugged cross---who are we to not be submissive?!

And just as a heads up--being submissive to our government does not include bad-mouthing our current president, regardless of if you are going to vote for him today. Being submissive to the government does not mean lashing out and speaking ill toward them--simply because we have the "liberty" to do so. Above all, we are Christians, bondservants of God. Jesus did not go around bad-mouthing the chief priests, even though they convicted Him after a series of illegal trials. Jesus did not go around promoting a mutiny or uprising against the Roman emperors of the day. Jesus taught the apostles to pay taxes. Jesus urged the tax collectors to collect fairly. In every instance, Jesus showed them (and us) how to act like God. 

We cannot claim to be Christians if we are pushing bills and movements that center around things that are abominable to God. However, we can't really claim to be Christians if we are acting haughty, prideful, arrogant, and rude either. We cannot try to bully people into our positions by making them feel as if one candidate is Satan himself and one is heaven-sent. Instead, we must urge people to take the 'issues' and stack them up to what God has to say about it. 

I am not here to push my political agenda on you. Instead, I simply urge you to pray for our country, and vote for the leader who best represents God's view on the subjects at hand. Not mine, not yours. God's. And, when the day is done, remember you are still a Christian. All of the things you have said on Facebook and Twitter will still judge you (Mt. 12:37). 

Also, you will stand before God and give an account of all the things you have said, done, and approved of. Don't put your stamp of approval on things that God doesn't. 

*Note: When the government advocates things that are not in subjection with God's will, I understand and hope that you do as well that Christians are to be in subjection to God first and foremost. No man-made creed or law will ever be able to keep us from doing the things that God has commanded. In no way would I ever encourage anyone to adhere to the government's laws over God's. 

1 comment:

  1. I love this. I always find it strange when Christian people are more concerned over more/less taxes or more/less jobs, healthcare, etc than whether or not we are allowing babies to be murdered and homosexual unions to be legal. We have to stand where God stands and only there. Very well thought out and so timely.