What Would Jesus Do This Election?
Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous thrives, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan”The other day I heard in the news about several pastors that they were going to openly support a political candidate. This is sort of unheard of because normally pastors are not allowed to do this openly. I then wondered about how Jesus would have participated in this upcoming election? I also heard some comments on the fact that both candidates for president have made their faith a paramount issue in their political debates. That commentator remarked, “What a person believes really should not matter because religion and politics do not mix.” How often have you heard that”religion and politics do not mix”? We have heard it so long, that many people have come to believe it without questioning it. With the presidential election so near, this week I spent a lot of time thinking, praying, and researching that idea. And you know what I discovered? First I discovered that is not what the Bible teaches. I found that at its origin, religion and politics have the same source, which is God. Romans 13:1 says, “Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. God has placed all governments in power.” Amen! In my opinion God is the source of political governments. And because God was the source of government, the early Christians were to treat government and its leaders with respect and obedience. 1st Peter 2:13-14 declares, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.”Governmental authorities were to be obeyed not because they are always right or because it will be easier for you, but because God “appointed” them. He put them in place and gave them power. So obeying them was obeying God’s Will. Titus 3:1 says, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good.” Do not let them forget this is what they are supposed to do, is the idea. Not only were authorities to be obeyed, they were to be prayed for. You see folks; we have been fed a lie all along that faith and politics should not mix. And we have believed it. And we have heard it long enough that we believed it to be true, even though the Bible and our founding fathers said otherwise. Read what they wrote and you will discover that most of our founding fathers would laugh at the very idea that politics and religion do not mix? They believed that our nation was established with the help of God. And they expressed their conviction that as believers, they needed to be involved in the working of their nation.What would Jesus do in an election year? First of all, I believe Jesus would vote and have us vote too. Let’s go back to that Romans 13:1 text again. The Bible says, Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. God has placed all governments in power. That verse indicates that God is the source of political governments not only establishes the rulers, but also the way the government rules and operates. This includes the democratic system of government God placed in America. Since our system allots individual citizens to participate in choosing their leaders through, Christians not only have a national right to vote, they have a God given responsibility to be involved and vote in the system God ordained. Samuel Adams put it this way, Voting is not just a right, and it is a responsibility for Christians to uphold. And like every responsibility God gives us, God will hold us accountable for what we do or not do with it. Amen!Today, America is struggling with its own moral identity. I think that is due, in part, because many Christians do not understand that voting is not just a political privilege and right. It is also an expression of our faith, because it is a stewardship issue. You may be thinking what would Jesus do about the approaching election? He would vote, just like I am convinced Jesus would pay his taxes on April 15th because that is part of the governmental system our Heavenly Father has created. Express your faith and your conviction and vote and when you vote remember to vote values first and not economics. Understand, what God is really concerned about is the heart of the leader and not the promises candidates make to the people to take care of them. Every person who runs for office makes promises some we hope he or she will keep and others we know he or she probably will not be able to keep. What we need to be concerned about is not the promises candidates make to us. Promises are made and broken all the time. We need to be concerned about the heart of candidates. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As he thinketh in his heart, so he is. Amen!By the way, that is why you should never discount the personal faith of a candidate. Political columnists will try to tell you that it is not important. Can I ask you is it important to you that your stockbroker is a person of integrity and not a crook? Then why is it not important that your Congressman and President is a person of integrity too? In the Old Testament, Moses was told to in Exodus 18:21 to select capable men from all the people, men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Amen!What made a person “capable” to judge others was that they feared God and were proven to be trustworthy. 2nd Samuel 23:3 says, “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” You see whichever candidate you chose to vote for choose on the basis of their values, not their economics. In his work, History of the United States, Noah Webster writes, every elected official should be scrutinized, because we are placing them in an office or position of trust where the potential for helping or hurting people and our nation is great. What is it that Proverbs 11:11 says, “Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.” It is your God given right and responsibility to vote. But when you vote, make sure that values not economics, shapes your vote. God is always concerned with the heart. By the way, never forget, that God already covers your financial needs. Jesus said in Matthew 6:45 that if you seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. I do not need a candidate telling me he is going to take care of me if I really believe what the Bible says. And if I have a choice between what a political candidate promises and what God promises, I’ll always choose God. Amen!One final thought I want to share with you. When it comes to choosing a candidate, vote biblical principles and not a political party. You see our ultimate allegiance should not be to any political party. It should belong to God. I was once asked; by a young person whether I thought, “God was a Democrat or a Republican?” My answer was neither. He is bigger than any political party. Do you believe that? Then do not let some newspaper reporter or movie producer or Hollywood actor or even friend or family member ultimately influence the way you vote. God and His word should have ultimate sway in that matter. You see if He is Lord of all, does not that mean God should be Lord when it comes to which lever we pull in a voting booth? The problem you will face is trying to find out which candidate God would have you vote for. That’s why every believer ought to research the candidates. Listen to what they say. Read and look on line for voter guides, which indicate what their past actions were concerning issues that are important to God. Get a voter’s guide and see what they stand. In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate. Look to his character. So do your homework, pray and seek God, make your decision and vote. Amen!Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation it will be because those who represent the country, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces. This election has the future of our nation hanging in the balance. Let us let our faith in the Living God, who loves us without end and who leads us into all truth help shape that future. Now you know what Jesus would do this election. May God bless America!