Today is election day, (Or, it was yesterday if you’re reading this tomorrow) and this is my little delve into politics. This has been the most divisive election cycle in my lifetime, maybe in the history of our nation. Divided politically, we’ve come to expect that, although the mud-slinging has certainly hit an all-time high. Or, more correctly, an all-time low. The modern day campaign strategy seems to be: “Sling as much mud as possible. Some of it is bound to stick.” Like Elvis, civility has left the building.
Adding to all of the strangeness of this election is the fact that the two major candidates for the highest office in our land, also have the lowest approval and trust ratings of any candidates that have ever run for the office of president. The reason for that would seem to be one of two possibilities. Either followers of Jesus have become such a minority in this nation that we no longer have much influence over the outcome of our elections, or worse, followers of Jesus are no longer voting based on a Christian worldview.
I’m sure many of you, like me, voted for a candidate in the primaries that I felt lined up more with biblical principles, politically, philosophically, and personally. My candidate did not win. But, the fact that my candidate did not win in the primaries does not negate my responsibility to be involved in the political process.
Our responsibility is to think and live biblically. In other words, to live our lives in a way that honors God by following the principles and precepts laid out in His word. In the context of politics, it means to seek to elect candidates that would help to promote God’s righteous standards to guide our nation.
As followers of Jesus Christ we do not vote primarily for the candidate that has the best plan for getting our economy going, or the one that will sure up social security, or lower taxes, or even the one who will protect our 2nd amendment rights. That may make you feel like shooting me, but when we make those types of issues the litmus test for choosing our candidate we are confusing our Americanism with our Christianity.
Followers of Jesus should vote the way we should pray: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10) The ultimate fulfillment of God’s Kingdom on earth will not take place until the King of kings returns, but until then we still have the responsibility of living our lives in a way that brings God’s righteous Kingdom to the culture we live in. And, when it comes to our responsibility to vote, we must vote for candidates that provide the greatest potential for God’s righteousness to rule over our nation.
So, I’m voting for candidates that believe that children inside their mother’s womb are just as precious, and have just as many rights, as children outside of their mother’s womb. I’m voting for candidates that believe that the safety of women and children takes precedence over a person’s gender identification preference. I’m voting for candidates that believe all people are equal under the law, and all people are equally responsible to obey the laws that make for a safe society.
I have no idea what the outcome of this election cycle will be. I guess we’ll know tonight. But, no matter who wins the oval office, or any other office up for grabs, Jesus will still be our King tomorrow morning. Our goal will remain the same, His Kingdom come, His will be done.
Dr. J. Clay Stevens is Lead Pastor of Cross Culture Church in Raleigh, NC. He is author of the book I Get It! Discovering How To Really live In The Promises Of God. His life mission statement is: "To take people from where they are to where God wants them to be."