I usually post a Bible study blog on Mondays. Forgive me for straying from my schedule. With Election Day tomorrow (November 8, 2016), I’d like to share the outline of the sermon my husband, Jack Wingate, preached at the Roseville Christian Church just yesterday. In all due fairness, most of this is taken from a blog written by Bob Russell, retired ministry of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
What is our responsibility regarding the election? Like me, you are probably sick to death of news about the candidates, the mental mud-slinging, the passion and divisiveness on Facebook. You’re probably tempted to not even read this blog post. It’s all too enticing to throw our hands over our ears and refuse to go to the polls tomorrow.
As a Christian, what is my responsibility?
1. Do your duty. The Bible makes it clear that we are to be concerned about our national leaders. Yes, pray for them, but help choose them? When Paul told his readers to pray for their leaders, they did not have a democratic government where they could be involved in the political process. We do. Look at 1 Corinthians 4:2:
“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”
Exercising our right to vote is part of being an exemplary citizen and living a quiet life.
2. Face reality. Whether we like it or not, either Trump or Clinton will be the next President of the United States. That’s reality #1. But there are other realities. Look at Jeremiah 23:5:
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.”
This verse is not a prophecy about Trump or Clinton. It’s a prophecy about Jesus. Jesus is the one who rules with wisdom and justice. No matter what party or nation we belong to, Jesus is our King.
Jack’s next thought grabbed me. What if all the Christians decided to be conscientious objectors? What if no Christian voted, joined the military, or sought public office? Our country would be in a worse fix than we are now! Christians keep evil at bay. We slow the slide of immorality. Instead of wringing our hands about how terrible and evil our country is, let’s be salt and light and do what WE can to stem the tide (Mt. 5:13-16).
3. Determine your priorities. Decide: what are the most important issues to you? Don’t do knee jerks when you hear the latest drivel about the candidates’ characters. Ask yourself, is this the most important issue regarding our Commander in Chief?
I’m not going to tell you what those issues are. Before you vote on Election Day, before you look at a candidate’s platform, take a sheet of paper. Write down the issues that are important to you. On another sheet, list them in order of priority. Then choose the candidate that fits most closely with your priorities.
Look at your list again. Would Jesus agree with your list? What issues are most important to Him? How will someone’s stance on those issues impact his or her ability to lead a group of people?
4. Practice unity. Our country needs healing and not particularly from what you may be thinking. A lot of hurtful things have been said, candidate to candidate and ordinary person to ordinary person. Check out Paul’s advice to two women who disagreed with each other in Philippians 4:2-7. Also consider these words from 1 Peter 4:11:
“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.”
Ouch. Can you honestly say that the opinions and reactions you’ve articulated have been as one who speaks the very words of God? God will hold us accountable for the careless words we say (Mt 12:26).
5. Trust God’s sovereignty. Simply put, is God ultimately in charge of this election or not? If He is, we have no reason to be anxious about the outcome. We have NO reason to wake up in fear Wednesday morning. God is on the throne. He will take care of His people.
Jesus was born in the days of Herod, one of the most megalomaniac rulers that ever lived. Paul saw the rule of maniacal Caesars like Caligula and Nero. Yet the gospel flourished because ordinary people dared to be bold in living their faith out loud which resulted in turning the world right side up for Jesus.
You can start the process by going to the polls tomorrow. Pray for your decision. Pray for God moments as you enter your polling place that you can reflect the grace and peace of Jesus Christ to those around you.