Election Season is HERE!
Election Season Has Begun!
Every 2 years we begin the process of listening to people tell us why THEY are the best person to represent us or run a certain aspect of our Government. The air waves and social media sites will be inundated with political mumbo-jumbo that, for many, simply induces a state of nausea. Newspapers will publish articles that range from ad hominem attacks to outright lunacy and there are no small number that will eat it up like cotton-candy to a five-year-old!
Let the pandering begin!
I want to encourage you to remember a few things during this election season.
First, the political landscape is important and worthy of your consideration. One thing that you cannot do during this season is allow yourself to become complacent. Too many people will begin to look at the shear volume of information available to (and forced upon) us, and their minds will simply shut down. Your mind may be filled with questions like “Why do I need to know what candidate A thinks about every ridiculous issue of the day? What about candidates B-F? How are we supposed to keep it all straight?”
The fact of the matter is that it IS important. The Bible says that a wicked ruler is “like a roaring lion or a charging bear” (Proverbs 28:15) and “a ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor” (Proverbs 28:16). To understand if someone running for office is wicked or lacks understanding, you must spend time getting to know the person. It takes research. Research requires information. That information can be overwhelming, but don’t give up. Make a list of the things that are good and bad about different candidates running for specific offices. Then, compare and contrast.
And what should you look for? Well, to start with, look for “men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe” (Exodus 18:21). Then go from there.
Second, the offices that are closest to you are far more important than those that aren’t. Every four years the political conversation centers on who is going to be the President of the United States. Every election conversation tends to revolve around that office. BUT. IT. IS. NOT. THE. MOST. IMPORTANT! The people who run your city, county, and state are far more important than those who rule from a distance.
But, wait a second, doesn’t the President select the Supreme Court Justices? And don’t they make decisions regarding things like Roe V. Wade or so called “Same-sex Marriage”? Why, yes they do! But who enforces the decisions that they make? That’s right! It’s your local elected officials.
This is where the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate comes into play (GfBC taught on this subject this last summer). It is your local elected officials who stands in the gap for you when people who are in higher offices make ignorant or immoral decisions. If you need an example, look at Jeremiah 38:7-13. Ebed-Melech was a lesser magistrate in King Zedekiah’s house who helped Jeremiah and was rewarded by God. If you want a more modern example, look at what’s happening in Alabama right now!
When it comes down to the actual election, knowing about your local judges, city councilmen, etc., is far more important than knowing every detail about the presidential contenders. Unfortunately, that information is also more difficult to find. It may be necessary for you to attend a political rally or town hall meeting to get enough information to make a wise decision. Don’t fear! I’ve been to a couple and they’re not all that bad.
Finally, and most importantly, remember that politics are important, but they are not ultimate. Too many Christians hang their emotional hat on the political hat-stand. This causes two fundamental errors: 1) if the person they deem most right gets elected, they put their trust in that person to solve all of the moral, economic, or social ills of the day; or, 2) if their candidate doesn’t get elected, they are consumed with despair knowing that the world (or at least our society) is going to come to an end before the next election cycle.
One of the great lessons of history and scripture (see Revelation) is that Kingdoms rise and Kingdoms fall, but our God will continue to reign and His Church will continue to stand! The Bible declares that nations will “rage and the people plot in vain.” It says that “the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.’” (Psalm 2:1-3)
But what happens next? The Lord LAUGHS! If we are found in Christ, there is no human or government that should cause us to fear. God is sovereign and the King’s (i.e. President’s) heart is in His hands! (Proverbs 21:1).
This world is not our final resting place and it might just be that God allows us to be a little uncomfortable in this world to remind us that it is not our home! We are citizens of another greater kingdom.
So remember, pay attention to the political landscape, it’s important. Pay closest attention to those offices that are close to you. Get to know those candidates best. But don’t put your trust or hope for the future in those who rule. They will fail you. Put your trust in Christ and wait patiently for the day when we no longer have to elect a ruler because God will rule over us directly!
Soli Deo Gloria!