“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Psalm 20:7
Mid-term election season is just a few weeks away. I begin this article with Psalm 20:7 because the overarching issue that we must never lose sight of during election cycles is that nations do not rise and fall related to politicians, war, or economics. Nations rise and fall according to their fear of the Lord, or lack thereof. In all of this, the Kingdom of God is coming. This kingdom was inaugurated by the ministry of Jesus, continues to unfold now, and will be completed in the second coming of Jesus. The purposes of God cannot be derailed by the sinfulness of humanity (Psalm 2). I say that to put election season in perspective. Political involvement as a citizen is important, but of secondary importance to the Christian’s citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
Election season always gets a little crazy, and when emotions and anxieties rise it’s important to focus on fundamental truths. I want to remind us, as Christians, about some of these fundamentals. First, it is an unusual privilege historically that citizens have a peaceful way to participate in the direction of their government. We should be thankful for this opportunity. Our voting process is not perfect, and is always being pushed, pulled, and refined as a part of the political process itself. But no system of people is perfect or static – meaning unchanging over time. This can be compared to our justice system, which is also flawed as a system devised and directed by sinful human beings. However, I would rather cast a vote or go to court in the United States than in any other country in the world. This system is held accountable and continually refined through the engagement of citizens. The most basic form of civic engagement is voting. I encourage you to make an informed decision and vote in the upcoming November 8 midterm election.
Engagement in the political process through voting is the honest effort as a Christian to see progress made publicly toward a more just, free, equitable, and virtuous society. As Christians, we believe the roots of all these good things are found in the character of the Lord God. Therefore, we seek honorable, virtuous, and courageous people of Christian character to hold public office. We seek progress not completion. No election will ‘win the day.’ No election is ‘the most important in our lifetime.’ Each election is an indication of the direction of the hearts of the people in the nation. I encourage you to be an engaged, virtuous, courageous, and peaceful Christian.
Second, casting a vote for a candidate is not a wholesale endorsement of everything that person has ever done or will do. Every ballot has a very limited number of candidates on it. Casting a vote relates to supporting the candidate who is most likely to act toward justice, freedom, virtue, and equality. I think the only time we would be justified in not voting would be if there were only candidates that did not meet any of these criteria. Thankfully, we are not in a time like that yet. Apathy or ‘being tired of the process’ is not an excuse for a Christian to withdraw and choose to not be involved with the world around them. If all the hype is too much for you, then turn off TV news, change your internet habits, and go to trusted sources when you need to, so you can cast an informed vote. Twenty-four-hour news organizations have a major financial motive to present every news story as a crisis emergency. They want you to leave the TV on forever to make sure you don’t miss any breaking crisis and they make millions of dollars. In reality, every day is not a crisis and those who choose to live this way are robbed of much of the joy of living a peaceful and fruitful Christian life. I believe this is particularly a temptation for our seniors who have more discretionary time on their hands and can be drawn into this cycle of living in ‘Newsstand Crisis Mode.’
The next three fundamentals relate to how a Christian should vote. I will cover one this week and two more next week.
The first issue that should be in sight for Christians voting next month relates to sexual ethics. There are many lists of sin in the Old and New Testaments and nearly every one of them recognize sexual immorality. The bottom line is that the Bible clearly places how we conduct ourselves sexually in the moral category. Sexual actions are not neutral. Sexual actions are not just a matter of personal taste. Sexual actions are either according to the will of God and blessed, or against the will of God and sinful. The Bible is abundantly clear that from the creation of the world to this day God created the sexual relationship to only exist between a biological man and a biological woman within the covenant relationship of marriage. This is biblical sexual morality. Every other conceivable sexual union is out of bounds and is sinful.
Sexuality is blessed, joyful, binding, and life producing only within the design of marriage. In any other context this emotionally powerful and biologically important (producing children, transmitting disease, etc.) action produces anxiety, separation, economic hardship, disease, and even death. People argue that this is terribly narrow because they do not really believe the sexual relationship is designed by God. No one argues that a gasoline engine is restrictive. It was designed to run on gasoline and will only run on gasoline. If you pour diesel, kerosene, cooking oil, water, pancake syrup, or any other liquid in the fuel tank it will not run. So it is with marriage. God’s design cannot be altered.
It goes without saying that biblical sexuality is under a full aggressive assault from almost every corner of society. If this nation abandons biblical sexuality, it speaks to the soul of our nation. God has never, and will never, bless a sexually depraved and decadent nation. As Christians, we know that how we conduct ourselves sexually matters. We should also hold our leaders to this moral standard. As Christians, it’s not enough to be fiscally conservative. What we primarily stand for as Christians is moral holiness. In voting we must stand against, and vote against, the onslaught of LGBTQ positions and platforms. This is not a political matter, or a matter of phobia, or a matter of anger – this is a matter of being faithful to biblical Christian morality. A Christian cannot vote to support, fund, or praise what God has declared to be sinful.
Next week, I will discuss the connection of sexual morality to abortion and matters of limited government.
May the Lord make us wise and help us to be light in darkness,