by Kenny Rader
This month I want to stray from the normal message of Kenny’s Korner to address a hot topic, but a very important one: our upcoming national election. I recently talked with a married couple who are very devoted Christians, and they said that they had no idea how to vote in the coming election. While I will not mention candidates in this article, I will mention a few things that concern Christians.
To my knowledge, Jesus does not say anything concerning politics in the Bible except when the Pharisees and Herodians asked Him a question to try and trap Him. They wanted to know if they should pay taxes to Caesar or not. Jesus responded that they should give to the government what is the governments and to God what is God’s (Mark 12:13-17).
Our understanding of Jesus’ teaching means that politics, at least in paying taxes and giving to God are separate issues. Jesus did not come to change the government or fight the government. Jesus’ concern in coming to earth was to save the human race from eternal punishment (Luke 19:10).
While the Old Testament does give us examples of God telling the Israelites to destroy evil peoples and their children, that instruction was for the establishment of God’s nation of Israel. It was for the cleansing of evil so that His people would be pure from the influence of Satan. And then when Israel continued to sin against God and He finally gave them over to evil nations for punishment God never told Israel to rebel against those conquering nations to whom they had come under subjection. Instead, God delivered the Israelites from captivity in His determined way and determined time. Can you recall a biblical example when God told His people, Israel, to rise up and overthrow their captors? I cannot remember a time.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught about a situation concerning a Roman law that significantly affected the Israelite people. Roman law demanded that if a Roman soldier ordered a civilian to carry his load, that civilian was obligated to carry the soldier’s load for one mile. The Jews hated this law. Jesus, however, taught His audience to love their enemies. Jesus’ disciples were to not only carry the soldier’s load for one mile, but to go more than the Roman law demanded. Jesus’ teaching said to carry the load for two miles; far above and beyond what the government’s law required (Matthew 5:41).
The Apostle Paul wrote a teaching parallel to Jesus’ teaching. In Romans, chapter 13, Paul tells his readers to submit to the governing authorities because God has established those authorities. Rebellion against those earthly authorities is rebellion against God (Romans 13:2). Paul also agrees with Jesus’ teaching that his readers were to pay their taxes (Romans 13:7).
When you stop and think about the ramifications of Jesus’ and Paul’s teachings, it means that the Hebrew people were to pay taxes that supported pagan worship and some very, very evil actions by the government. Think about this fact. The crucifixion of Jesus was Jewish taxpayer funded. Jesus taught the Israelite people to pay their taxes and obey the government. Jesus and Paul both taught the people to submit to a very evil government.
When we examine the biblical teaching, we conclude that we must obey our government, whether our government is godly or evil. Now understand, we are to never disobey God’s commands, so as long as our government does not tell us to disobey God, we are to obey our government even when our tax dollars go for evil deeds that our government does or supports.
While we are to obey the teachings of the Bible by obeying our government, we have a different situation than the Israelites faced in the Bible. They were captive by the Roman government and the Israelites had no voice in that government. We are different because our government gives us a voice, and our greatest ability to voice our views comes by voting. Each of our votes counts.
The two candidates of the two major political parties for this election fall far, far short of our Christian values. This is the reason the married couple I mentioned in my opening statement did not have any idea who to vote for. The couple viewed the election as in voting for a Christian president. This is an idealistic view, but a mistaken view. This election, we must look at who will do the greatest good for God’s will and the greatest good for our future as Christians.
We need to look at what is at stake in this election. First, we have an open seat on the Supreme Court. When we look at the history of the court system, it is clear that it has become a mandate for political manipulation. Some justices look at the constitution as the firm foundation of the past, present, and future of our laws, while other justices see the constitution as outdated and in need of an update to current times and culture. Upon considering the different ways the justices view the constitution and laws, the future of our court system and our freedoms as Christians are at stake. This election is not only about the present, but the political appointment to the Supreme Court will likely set the mandate for the next twenty years. Also, let’s not forget the aging court. We have one justice’s seat open now, and two other justices are 80-years-old or older. This means that the next president will likely seat three justices on the Supreme Court. And let’s not forget about the many, many federal judges that the president appoints. The future of many of our lower courts’ rulings is also at stake.
When you think about the next president, you must think about the next twenty or more years of the Supreme Court and the federal courts. Consider your future and the future of your children and grandchildren when voting in this election.
The two major candidates are about as polarized as any in recent elections. At risk are issues of abortion, which is the murder of unborn children. The Bible may not mention abortion, but it definitely speaks of God’s creation of humans begins in the womb and even before conception (Job 31:15; Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5).
15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them?
Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?
- Job 31:15 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
- Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)
5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
- Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
Many people argue that both candidates have supported abortion in the past and now they have differing views. We cannot guarantee what the candidate will do once in office, so we have to decide what they will likely do once in office. Sometimes, we have to make the best decision and trust the candidate.
Abortion is only one illustration of the differences between the candidates. There are many differences that we need to examine. What about business owners and the changing laws regarding homosexuals and same-sex unions? What about the current persecution of those Christian business owners? What about bathroom usage and Christian values? How will these changing laws affect Christian schools and Churches?
What about our freedom of speech that is eroding due to federal judges that disregard our constitution and see it as outdated? Will we have religious freedoms in the near future? It appears that the Muslim belief is gaining more respect than Christian faith in God. What about the defense of our nation, which comes down to the safety and protection of our children and grandchildren? What about healthcare and the sacredness of life? Will end-of-life drugs be in our future without the choice of the individual?
This is a very good question. We need to understand that we are not electing a preacher to be president. We are electing a person to lead us in as close of a path to our Christian values as possible. My view is that we would never want either candidate to lead us in God’s guidance. One Internet Christian voting guide during the primaries gave both of our current major party candidates a failing grade concerning Christian values (https:// www.usa.church/christian-voting-guide/). These two candidates just don’t fit that description of Christian standards, but we are not electing one of them as a spiritual leader. We are electing the leader of our nation, and our next president will likely lead the direction, or at least highly influence the direction of the entire free world for the next 4-8 years. We need to look not only at our current situation, but our future as we vote this year.
This is an important fact. The news media has recently admitted skewing the direction of their coverage. Do the research and you will find that the media is not giving fair coverage. Many reporters, journalists, magazines, news networks and others in the media are reporting only what they want us to hear or see. The coverage is very biased, so each of us needs to do our own research to determine what is the truth. It is out there, but you have to dig to find it.
Sometimes the truth is reported, but the location of that truth in the article or reporting almost hides certain truths. The media often places headlines they want you to see and then buries other facts deep within the article, which many people fail to see. If the media makes an article long enough, most people will not read into its depths to get all the facts, thus truths remain hidden from many people. The media can say they reported it, but by burying certain truths deep with the article, those truths often remain unseen.
You cannot afford to neglect the vast importance of this election because your vote can change the outcome of our country’s future. You and I are to keep working to do our best to keep this country in line with the Word of God. We cannot give up or let the nation fall into the hands of ungodly people on our watch. Our forefathers did not give up and we must not give up either.
A few years ago, I heard the question asked of a historian, “Has our country ever been so negligent of God?” The answer was, “Yes.”
The historian said that sometime in the 1800s, churches were emptying and preachers were praying for a revival. That historian said that it happened. It is what we call the Third Great Awakening. A Great Awakening is a time of history when people return to God. It is a religious revival that has occurred in history. There have been four Great Awakenings in American history. The time is ripe for another Great Awakening. Let’s pray that it happens soon.
Let’s not give up and say that this election does not matter. Let’s not give up and say that our vote does not count. Let’s not give up on the future of our country. Our forefathers did not give up, and we have enjoyed the fruit of their faith and work.
It is our turn to not give up. It is our turn to have faith. It is our turn to work for Christian freedoms. One of the best ways to stand up for our freedoms that our forefathers gave us is to vote. Let’s spread the word and get out there and vote.
In this coming election, search for God’s divine guidance in our current situation and remember that we are voting for the best person for the future of our country. Every vote counts. The right vote between the two major candidates is our best hope. Pray, pray, pray. Pray and choose wisely.