I consider myself a politically responsible adult. I watch the news, listen to talk radio and follow the current issues of our nation to the best of my ability. It being election season, I have followed the news even more closely.
But in all honesty, I have become beyond frustrated with the options. I don't think I've ever seen an election season with more scandal and absurdity. I feel like I am hearing more about the candidate's personal issues, than I am the political issues.
Every day seems to produce more and more proof of just how unfit this field of candidates is for the title of commander in chief. In case you aren't aware of all the dirty laundry that has been aired out, here is a quick summary:
- Donald Trump has mocked a disabled man and spoken offensive profanities from the public stage.
- Hilary Clinton is dodging criminal charges for an email scandal.
- Bernie Sanders is guilty of tossing out the homeless into the cold for a campaign rally and has a past which includes the authorship of dark, sexually explicit material.
- Ted Cruz, an evangelical favorite, came under fire for his lack of tithing.
As I've listened to these reports and many others, I've become frustrated and frankly fed up with this election season. I'm a Christian, and while I try not to condemn someone based on their mistakes, I do hold a conviction to make an educated decision for who I think will be the best leader for our nation.
The more I try to find the "perfect" candidate though the more I realize how impossible of a task it is. I don't think I'm alone either. Christians are all over the place with their support this election. Recently, Jerry Falwell Jr, the president of the largest Christian university in the U.S., received sharp criticism from several Christian leaders for his endorsement of Donald Trump.
This slate of candidates combined with all the controversy has led me to a place of political bitterness. And it's almost tempted me to give up on this election season.
However, after reading Romans 13:1-2 I realize that I can't do that and neither should you.
"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."
The verse states that there is no authority except from God. Therefore, regardless of the candidate elected, their authority still comes from the same place - God.
As strongly as I disagree with some of the candidates it doesn't make this scripture any less true. Most of the campaign season revolves around analyzing the public image of each candidate, when we really shouldn't expect the candidates to be perfect.
I'm not saying to throw character and integrity out the window. I just know that it is awfully easy for Christians to base their decision solely on morality when casting their vote. There are certainly some candidates better suited for President than others, but if "Christian-ness" is our sole decision factor then I'm afraid we may be trusting in man's ability more than God's. We need a new President not a new savior.
God has proven time after time that He can and will use those in authority to carry out good - regardless of their character. As badly as I dislike the idea of some of the candidates being our nation's leader this isn't a time to swear off support, dump patriotism and facetiously vow to move to another country if a certain candidate wins the presidency.
We can't simply write off any of the candidates as unusable. Doing so denies God's supreme authority and ability to do "far above and beyond anything we could ask or imagine." (Ephesians 3:20)
We must pray and intercede for these candidates so that whatever the outcome, they govern in a way that allows for believers to "lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Please don't mistake - I'm not encouraging an attitude of indifference or passivity. Pushing away from the table will do nothing to bring about the change we so desperately need as a nation. We must pursue activism and reject apathy.
Revivals and revolutions don't take place through a person; they take place through a people. The President is a powerful position, but the changes that we need cannot possibly come through the hands of one man.
We must stop reacting and start acting. As Christians we are responsible for exercising both our freedom to pray and our freedom to vote this year. And I would recommend exercising them together.
We don't just need a Christian president, we need a Christian nation praying for him.
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