We’re less than a week away from November 6th, a very important day in the life of our country. Our entire country is thinking and talking about politics during this election season. What does the Gospel have to say about politics? Does God’s Word give us any instruction on how we should vote or how we should respond to the outcome of the vote next Tuesday? The answer to both of those questions is a resounding “YES”! Space does not allow for a full answer to these questions here, but let me share three brief encouragements from God’s Word:
1) Vote. It’s estimated that between 17 and 30 million evangelicals did not vote in 2008. While it’s true that you will not find a chapter and verse that says “Thou shalt vote,” biblical principles clearly lead us to the conclusion that Christians bear a unique responsibility to “speak the truth” in the public square. Voting is an important means of doing just that!
2) Vote the Bible. I heard a great analogy just this morning that politics is much like a football game. The two teams are the two parties, and usually, they are trying to tackle each other to the ground! The church is much like the third group of individuals on the field of play; we’re the ones wearing the stripes, the referees. As Christians we’re not forever beholden to any political party, no matter what our “party identification” card may say. Like football refs, we are bound to the Rulebook and our role is to consistently remind the two teams of the rules of play. As Christ-followers, we are called to stand on the authority of God’s Word and to vote in accordance with what God has already said! This means we vote for the candidate (no matter the party) whose views and policies are most in keeping with the Bible. This means when clear biblical issues are on the ballot (like the protection of human life at all stages (Ps.139; Jer. 1:5; Gen 9:5-7; Lev 19:32) and the preservation of marriage and family (Gen 2:20-24; Matt. 19; Rom 1) we vote for what God has said even if it’s increasingly unpopular in our society.
3) Trust that God is on His Throne! Ultimately we can’t control the outcome of elections. We can control our vote. We can pray and ask God for His mercy and grace on our nation and for Him to give us leaders after His heart. But again, we can’t control elections. However, we do serve a God who is in complete control! When we wake up on November 7th, whether the candidates we deem to be most in keeping with God’s Word have won or lost, God is still on His throne! Our hope is not fixed on Mitt Romney or Barack Obama—our hope is fixed on Jesus Christ! Be encouraged by Scriptures like Daniel 4:35, Isaiah 40:17, and Romans 13:1. God’s Kingdom is marching on! We don’t know the exact manner in which the end times will unfold or what America’s role will be in those days, but we do know that God will put the exclamation point at the end of the sentence of human history. At the end of all things, there will be Christ, and there will be a blood-covered people gathered around His throne from every nation (Rev 5, 7). That’s where history is headed, so let’s be at peace church! The winner on November 6th will not change who will win in the end, who has already won at the cross, or who is counted a winner in God’s sight by virtue of faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 8:37).