Thoughts on the Election
I have an endorsement for you this election: put your trust in God. If there is one thing Isaiah is teaching us that is applicable in this season it is this: Do not put your trust in princes (or presidents) but in God. No matter how bad things look circumstantially, God remains in complete control. This election – and the candidates we have – are not surprises to God. He is steering the events of history and as he does, he encourages us to trust him to steer them for our good and his glory. This has some important implications and applications.
One: We can enjoy peace.
Knowing that God is in control lets you breathe easier. There is no need to be anxious about the outcome. It is why Jesus teaches, “do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear (or who should I vote for)?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mt 6:31-33, parenthetic comments mine). Peter exhorts, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Php 4:6-7)
Two. We can vote our conscience
From our limited perspective, we cannot see how God is steering events with regard to this election. The specifics of God’s decree are part of the secret things of God. (The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Dt 29:29) This gives us the freedom to act – and vote – within the bounds of his revealed will. Since there is nothing specific about voting in what God has revealed, we are left to choosing wisely. So here are some questions to consider as you seek to be wise:
Should you vote for the candidate with the best moral character?
This is important because it reflects the model of virtue that represents our nation. However, you can’t take this too far as there are no candidates without moral flaws. Do you define your morality according to words? Behavior? Integrity? Faith?
Should you vote strictly according to issues?
Those most often cited include abortion, 1st amendment rights, 2nd amendment rights, immigration, and amount of government control (regulations on business, education, entitlements, term limits). How will the president impact each of these?
Should you vote strategically in terms of long term probabilities?
When you think strategically, you have to think beyond four years. What happens at the end of four years? Will the next president drive the wedge deeper between the various groups at odds with each other? Will the next president disenfranchise his or her base so much that he/she leaves the country eager to vote for the other party candidate? Will the next president give rise to a viable third party? What happens in the House of Representatives in the elections two years from now? What happens in Congress in the elections four years from now?
All of these things are valid considerations when you’re seeking to apply wisdom which means that it is possible for a Christian voting his conscience to vote for different candidates. Thus, exercise grace toward one another this election and be confident in the Lord, regardless of the result.
Living in light of His Kingdom,