In California, where I live, there is a pending election tomorrow, and I wanted to spend a few minutes sharing our roles as citizens and Christians related to politics.
In the United States, Christians and non-Christians can be divided down party lines or family lines, and it breaks my heart to see something erode the Church, families, and friendships.
I am sharing a few thoughts on the subject because I feel called to share, but you might be surprised by the direction I take regarding elections.
Since this podcast episode leans to politics, I will not be offended if you choose to skip it and wait for next week’s episode. However, I would encourage you to at least start it, and if you don’t like what I am saying, go ahead and turn me off.
I think, as citizens of our chosen residence and as Christians, we have a duty (and obligation) to let our voices be heard.
What you will and won’t hear from me.
- I won’t be telling you to vote a particular way in the election.
- I won’t be telling you who you should vote for in the election.
- I will encourage you to exercise your right to vote.
- I will encourage you to care for your friends, family, and neighbors.
What Happened to Us?
I don’t want to re-open wounds from the 2020 election, but I think we must understand that that election was one of the most divisive elections in modern history.
One of the things my parents encouraged us to do when we became of voting age was to register to vote. They shared with my brother and me that it was our duty and right to make our voices heard.
California is known as a progressive state. Our gas is higher than the rest of the country, and we typically enact laws of certain types ahead of the country. Some I agree with and others I do not, and I vote accordingly.
The 2020 election from the President’s office down to the local level seemed to divide Americans in so many ways, and the Church was not exempt from the divisiveness either.
In some cases, the Church was leading the charge – good, bad, or ugly.
Some church attendees felt polarized. Others felt pressure to conform to a particular norm that they disagreed with, and others were divided in their own home.
David Platt wrote a book titled Before You Vote. David Platt leads McLean Bible Church who was in the news in recent years for praying for President Trump. His church has recently been in the news for other internal strife that I will not explore in this episode.
Platt’s church has attendees from both sides of the aisle of Congress and various other political positions.
I read his book – I can’t entirely agree with what he said, but I did keep an open mind. As the leader of a church, Platt said a couple of things that resonated with me:
- “I trust we all want to glorify God with our vote.”1
- “Pastors, for Christ’s sake, let’s never tie his majestic glory or matchless name to a mere politician or party.”2
- “We care about the good of our neighbors, so we should pray publicly with and for our government officials that they might work for justice and mercy in our country.”3
As a Christian, do you pray for your elected officials? Have you been praying for any upcoming elections in your local, state, or country?
I’ve heard pastors say from the pulpit; you can’t possibly be a Christian and be part of a certain political party. When it comes to Election Day, we have the right to vote – some countries don’t get this right.
On Election Day, God’s will, will be done. He puts kings (and presidents) in place according to His plan – not ours. Our goal is to bathe the elections in prayer, asking God for certain outcomes, but we should all pray:
Not my will, but Yours.
How do you respond when your chosen candidate doesn’t win? Do you take to Facebook and blast everyone who doesn’t share your opinion?
How does your response further the Kingdom of God?
I came across an interview Andy Stanley did with Sarah Anderson. Sarah wrote a book titled The Space Between Us. She came from a political family, and she saw the election's devastation on families, especially when it centered on politics and religion.
Sarah asks, is the battle over politics and religion worth losing friends and family at the end of the day?
Have We Lost Sight of God’s Role in Government?
Paul shares with us in Romans 13:1:
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
God has put in place kings, queens, presidents, governors, and other leaders. He has allowed them to serve for a purpose (sometimes known only to Him).
In Romans 13:4, Paul says,
“For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”
God uses all things and all people for His purpose. Paul continues in Romans 13:5,
“Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment, but also as a matter of conscience.”
When something is contrary to scripture, we respectfully counter the action; however, respect seems to have gone by the wayside.
God is still present and sees all that is happening in our governments today. He may appear to be silent at times, or He could be raising up a new generation of political leaders.
How Should I Vote?
When it comes to voting, that is between you and God. The lines between candidates are blurring, and even more so, between the issues.
As a Christian, I encourage you to lay the candidates and issues before the Lord. Search scripture, discuss with friends if it can be done with civility, and ask God to give you wisdom in choosing a candidate or a position on an issue.
When you go to the polls, drop off your ballot, or mail it in – you can do so with the understanding that you have voted your conscience. The rest, they say, is it up to God.
What are you willing to die on the vine for so-to-speak? Is the loss of family and friends over political candidates or issues worth it in the long run?
Only you can make that choice. I pray you are making a wise one.
Lord, I pray you give each person wisdom as they approach any upcoming elections in their area. I ask that our words would be used to build each other up and not tear others down. We are grateful and thankful that you are in charge of the government and elected leaders. We ask that your will be done and that You would give us strength to accept the outcomes. Please raise a new generation of leaders that follow Your principles, and restore order to our chaotic world. Amen!
- The Space Between Us – Northpoint Church (video)
- The Space Between Us – Sarah Bauer Anderson (book)
- Before You Vote – David Platt (book)
- The Voting Booth – Skye Jethani (book)
- Location 1268 – Kindle version of the book ↩︎
- Location 1094 – Kindle version of the book ↩︎
- Location 1020 – Kindle version of the book ↩︎
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