Four Exhortations for this Political Season

Four Exhortations for this Political Season February 7, 2008

In this particular political season, I don’t know many people who are outright uninterested in the presidential race. The opinions on both sides of the aisle are many, and the stakes are incredibly high. A combination of fascination and frustration grips most of us as the race drags on and seems to take all sorts of odd twists and turns. In short, this whole politics thing is getting crazy these days.

What’s most important, though, is that Christians remember to glorify God in all of life, including this area of politics. Today I thought I’d take a moment to share a few areas in which we can do so.

We should glorify God in our political stance
Christians differ on various political issues, but we need to be clear about one thing: voting for primarily selfish reasons is sinful. Sure, to an extent we may wish to vote based on our pocketbook, but whether or not a candidate will benefit me is far from the sort of thing that should be foremost in our mind when we vote. Instead, we ought to ask questions like, “What is best for the defenseless?” and “What will enable the church to have the freedom to further the gospel?”

We should glorify God in our political strategy
I’m not making any specific claims here. All I’m saying is that Christians need to think hard about whether or not it’s alright to vote for the lesser of two evils. Is your strategy to stay home in protest? Think long and hard about that decision. Don’t take it lightly. Voting for the independent wild-card candidate? Great. You’d better have some really good reasons. Also consider the political strategies of those we support. Don’t let them get away with deception and slander. Let them know what you think about their policies and if possible use your vote as motivation for them to stop.

We should glorify God in our political conversation
We can learn much from our fellow Christians when it comes to issues of politics. Let’s face it. This is all very complicated. The more one thinks about it, the more one is tempted to simply throw their hands up and quit. But don’t. Work through it with others. Be honest. Tell them who you like, why, and what your reservations are. Most importantly, don’t get upset at others if they differ in their views. Show grace and love to those you disagree with. They might even be right. Acknowledge the possibility of your own fallibility.

We should glorify God with our political hopes
This presidential race is serious, but it’s not that serious. Presidential candidates can be good, but they can’t be our savior. They can’t solve the sin problem. They can’t end wars. At the end of it all, we’re still suffering from the same problems. We need to acknowledge that not only is the president incapable of solving all of our problems, but that we already have a guarantee from our heavenly Father, who has promised to save us from the death that is to come. Wars, poverty, pestilence, and injustice will only last so long, and then He will come for His church.

Commit in the midst of this political season most of all to pray for the Lord’s return. Whether it’s a Republican or Democrat, pro-life or pro-choice, in the end Christians must pray the same prayer they’ve been praying for 2000 years: “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Just found your blog, looks interesting.

    It’s just a guess, but “glorifying God in politics” is almost too generic to be helpful or meaningful.

    If, as you say, Christians can endorse different candidates and differing positions, it is also true (I would assume) that they’re doing so “to glorify God.”

    So unless you’re saying that “glorifying God” = “voting for Candidate X,” I can’t see how the advice is particularly practical.

  • Rich Clark

    Pundit, great questions!

    In a way, you’re absolutely right. When I was writing this blog, I deliberately refrained from giving many blatant commands or suggestions. Instead, what I wanted to do was point out the need for Christians to think hard about their decisions when it comes to politics, just as they should in every area of their live.

    I suspect that some candidates are better than others, but that’s not the point. The idea is simply to encourage Christians to be thoughtful rather than reactionary, selfless rather than selfish. Often people approach the voting booth as if it’s their one chance to be selfish. That’s just not the case.

    Our votes are private, but God sees all.

  • jaytheson

    I 100% agree with your bit about glorifying God in our political conversation. Especially in Christian circles, I find that people are VERY narrow minded when it comes to the American political system. By engaging in conversation over the candidates and what is best for the country, we create opportunities to have our minds opened and to open the minds of others.