2016 is shaping up to be one of the wildest election years in American history. I also believe it may very well be the most important one as well. Our country is at a tipping point morally, spiritually, and financially. We have not reached the point of no return, but with another 4 to 8 years with a bad president we may well be heading that direction. The truth is no single man (or woman) will be able to pull the country back or topple it forward. The president is simply the face of the majority of Americans who decide to vote. The president’s policies come from the heart and outpouring of those who voted for him. This is one of the reasons this election matters so much. It will be a litmus test to see where we really are as a country.
Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a very political person. I do my part and vote each election year, but I leave it in the Lord’s hands. The writer of Proverbs says, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1). We are blessed to live in a country where we are offered the liberty to vote for who will rule us. This is truly a blessing. Many people in the world do not have this right or ability, and I believe we as Christians should be some of the first ones in the voting lines. However, we must not simply go there and vote party lines, or vote because Fox News or CNN has told us who a good candidate is. We need to be informed . . . not just on the person but on what they believe as well. When we go into the booth we go in as citizens of a kingdom first, and not a nation. While we are citizens in the United States, we are first citizens of the Kingdom of God, and if we are going to honor that citizenship, we must vote with that in mind first. Since we have been given such a great responsibility I think we need to be sure to remember what is most important before we punch a chad, pull a lever, or push a button. Here are 3 words to remember before you vote.
Integrity has been defined as what you do when no one else is looking. So many politicians have made promises just simply to get a vote, only to later renege on that promise; it is almost cliché to even talk about it. The epistle writer James said “But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation” (James 5:12). Integrity is a quality that we should be looking for in a presidential candidate . . . even if the person is saying something that we disagree with, we should at least be able to trust what they are saying. There are many candidates out there that have flipped and flopped on issues more than an Olympic high-diver trying to win a gold medal. While we are not voting for a pastor and chief, the person we vote for should be a man of integrity.
There are some who want to say that morality is fluid (always changing) or is up for every individual to decide. As Christians, we know where morality comes from. It is not made or legislated on Pennsylvania Avenue. Morality is something that a moral God has given us in His divine Word. Murder is always immoral (abortion or an unjust war for example). Racism is always immoral. Stealing is always immoral. Lying is always immoral. Now, it is true that we can all fall into the trap of these sins from time to time if we are not careful, but when you recognize it as sin, it must be repented of. However, there are some candidates that have a pattern of these immoral acts, or at least support them positionally. If a candidate supports immorality or has a pattern of it themselves, should we really cast our vote for them? I don’t believe Jesus would vote for a grossly immoral candidate.
If a person is to be the President of the United States they need to be wise. This does not mean they have to have all the answers themselves. A wise person understands their short comings (Proverbs 11:14), and surrounds themselves with wise council (Proverbs 15:22). As Christians we do not need to vote for someone just because they speak well, or look good in a suit. We see where that got Israel when it came to King Saul (I Samuel 9:2). No, we need to look for someone who is wise, and for us we know that the beginning of wisdom starts with the fear of the Lord. Again, we are not voting for a pastor and chief, but a commander and chief . . . so they do not have to agree with every theological doctrine that we do, but for them to be a good president, wisdom must be applied.
There are many different factors that should be considered when casting our vote this coming March and November. However, when you go into your voting booth I hope that you will remember these three words; Integrity, Morality, and Wisdom. I believe this to be the most important election we have seen in our lifetime (and possibly ever). Please go out and vote. Please vote with conviction. Vote as a citizen of heaven before voting as one from the U.S. For our kingdom is not of this world . . . but while we are here let’s vote in a way that would honor our true King.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Adam B. Burrell