With all the reports of allegations and out-of-court settlements regarding politicians and their varied crimes, it’s a wonder anyone can still find it within themselves to support these kinds of people with their vote. Motivations for voting for a candidate vary, but I suggest we may have only one reason to support someone with our vote.
That may seem like an extreme statement, but it is simply my observation of reality, and I will trust in the Lord for what may transpire in the United States of America. But, for evangelicals who vote based on party I have words for you that you may not want to hear.
At age 55 and upon serious reflection about God’s will I have come to the conclusion that there has not been a national-level candidate worthy of a Christian’s vote. With this viewpoint I have to confess I have been guilty of voting for people who were not worthy of my vote and have confessed my culpability.
We should confess our voting record, you ask. Some may feel compelled to if given enough time to lay the Bible over their politics. Consider the issue from God’s point of view (which should be ours). If we are representatives of Christ and live in the USA, our republic’s election system affords us the opportunity to vote for people to represent our personal values and beliefs. If a candidate, regardless of party, isn’t clearly and overtly representing Christ, then they cannot represent us in office and, therefore, are not worthy of our vote no matter who the other candidates are.
You may rightly say by that standard no one is worthy of our vote and that we’d relinquish government over to people who are not aligned with Christian values. I’d respond and say you are exactly correct. But, then I’d add it’s too late. No one alive today lived under a Christian government in the USA led by Christ-like representatives. We relinquished our government over to secularists centuries ago. In fact, one of the key events to this relinquishing is when Jefferson, et. al., lost the debate with the Federalists.
Evangelical loss of control of this country didn’t happen in the last few generations. We lost it when we allowed avarice to be the motivation that drives decisions and actions. When you pull back the onion layers of the debate between the anti-Federalists and the Federalists, you’ll see what Hamilton wanted: large urban centers with big businesses protected by a centralized controlling government. In all candor, if the Federalists had their way there would be no Bill of Rights to our constitution. The compromise to add the Bill of Rights distracted the debate away from the real issues that laid the foundation for the challenges we face with our federal government today.
Fast forward to today and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who is known as a “little Christ” in the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate; the Supreme Court; or the White House. We have been duped into believing that these people are measured differently and that it is our patriotic duty to vote. When did our nation come before our God and our witness to Him? Would it have been the patriotic duty of Ninevites to vote for mayoral candidates prior to Jonah’s arrival? I dare say, we have been in the same position the people of Nineveh were if they were allowed to vote for leaders.
This all came to a head for me a year ago during the presidential campaign and election. Notwithstanding the pleads of many of my evangelical brothers and sisters, I took a stand this last election and refused to vote for either of the two front-running presidential candidates because neither one represented Christ, no matter their rhetoric. I have held my tongue for a year to allow the reality of office holders to reveal itself. Many evangelical voters lament. Sadly, other still delude themselves.
Some claim that we are to submit to institutions of authority according to the teaching of Peter. However, to lift the verses of 1 Peter 2 out of context would be a mistake. For the verses preceding the passage about submitting to authorities teach us not to align ourselves with the ungodly. Verses 9-11 teach us the framework in which we are to be obedient to the guidance of verses 13ff. Here is Peter’s warning for we who live in a secular world:
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
I now claim that Christ likeness must be our ONLY qualification for a candidate to receive my vote to represent we who call ourselves Christians. If not, and we are party to someone’s election, then we are also culpable for what they do as our representative. And, yes, that means their crimes committed while in office.
My God comes before any political party, before any social issue, before my state, and before my country. In fact, as Paul explains to us in Phil. 3 we are aliens in this world and our citizenry is no longer here on Earth, but we are in Christ. I call upon all who claim the name of Christ to renew their minds and no longer be conformed to this world when it comes to casting our vote for candidates.