October 1, 2008

Thoughts on the Election, Part 2

Last week we began a series of thoughts in answer to the question: ‘Are there any biblical principles that can help Christians select a candidate in this year’s presidential candidate?’ In other words, what sorts of thoughts should be rattling around in our minds as we listen to the rhetoric, watch the debates, and go to the ballot box on November 4? Well, from Jeremiah 29.7 (“seek the welfare of the city to which I have sent you … and pray to the LORD on its behalf”) we have already said that Christians should:

1. Vote. Failure to do so would be a giant missed opportunity at seeking the welfare of the country the Lord has placed us.

2. Pray. Failure to pray for the election and subsequent winner (whoever he is) would be, quite frankly, sin.

But are there any other principles besides voting and praying? What should we pray for? And how should we decide for whom to vote? That’s the gist of the question. So let’s get a little more specific this week. How should we select a candidate in 2008?

3. Think issues. I would hope that thinking issues would be an obvious tenant for any voter, Christian or not. But since the Lord has commanded us to seek the welfare of the city (or nation), we have to think issues. We have to ask: ‘Which candidate’s policies will be best for our nation?’ And we have to refrain from asking questions like: ‘Which one do I like more?’ ‘Which one looks most like me?’ ‘Which one is going to benefit me?’ Honestly, this election is not about me or you. It’s about an entire nation. So we have to ask, what is best for the entire nation? We have to vote on issues, not in a popularity contest.

Now the reality is that some people are going to vote either for against Barack Obama simply because he is African American. And others are going to vote either for or against the Republican ticket simply because Sarah Palin is a female. Some will vote for McCain simply because he is a war hero. And most will judge the debates and (eventually) the candidates primarily upon their eloquence.

Now, should we be excited that our country has finally reached a place where a black man can be considered a serious candidate for President? Absolutely! And should we be proud of and thankful for heroic veterans? No question. But I suggest to you that neither of those qualities, by themselves, makes a person fit (or unfit) to be President of the United States of America. Neither does a candidate’s gender or charisma. This job is far too important to be decided on factors that tug on our heartstrings, but may or may not make a good president.

So I say again, think issues. Look beyond each candidate’s outward appearance, speaking ability, and socio-economic background and begin to listen to what they say … and to look at what their track record indicates they really believe. Go to the ballot box on November 4 thinking issues, not personalities.

1 comment:

Coni said...

Great post, as always! I hope people will take these words to heart. This election is far too important not to.