In the fevered pitch of the final weeks before the election it seems clear to me that our nation is not well served by an ever changing political environment created by the fickle winds of public wisdom, discernment and opinion and the murky clouds of political clout, ambition and corruption. It has always been the case that the faithful fulfillment of the Great Commission, on the part of the Church and the individual Christian, is far more effective than the political process when it comes to bringing about a positive change of direction in the lives of our nation’s people and our nation as a whole. There is no doubt that for the Christian, Great Commission activities ought to receive top priority … indeed it is a matter of disobedience if they do not.
I cringe when I see examples of believers and organizations who exhibit more zeal and enthusiasm for their political involvements than they do for their personal and corporate involvement in the work of the Great Commission. In the present political season, I’ve heard of several Christians, some of them leaders, who have voiced their intent to just ignore the citizen’s responsibility to vote because there are no candidates that they are comfortable voting for. I believe that such a decision is a misguided one.
Admittedly, in the context of the Christian frame of reference, the best choice between candidates is not easily discerned and at times it may seem as though none of the candidates are desirable. Still, I believe that as citizens of heaven, who are also temporarily citizens of this nation, we have a responsibility to vote for the candidates who will likely govern this nation in a way that will most preserve our security and freedom in the task of fulfilling the Great Commission both here and abroad. Once the elections are over (and I’ll be glad to welcome that day), our responsibility is then to pray for those who have been elected.
We live in a day when political campaigns are carefully choreographed exercises in the artistry of diversionary obfuscation, costing hundreds of milllions of dollars. It is not easy to read, watch and listen to the political rhetoric of distortions, spin, lies and attacks without experiencing some level of frustration, disgust, irritation and even anger. It would serve us … and our nation … well if we consciously use those moments of intense feeling as reminders to humbly seek God’s wisdom and discernment for ourselves as well as for the electorate in making our voting choices. Let us also pray for those who lead this nation … and for our nation itself.
The Church as an organization, and its people individually, enjoy great freedoms in this nation that are, perhaps, unparalleled anywhere else in the world. The day may very well come when we lose those freedoms. If that happens, let it not be said that it was because God’s people … failing to seek God’s wisdom and discernment in prayer … were silent in identifying their “best choice” in the voting booth.