I would like to begin by saying I am not a political expert and if I’m being honest, I usually keep my mouth shut when it comes to politics. I am not one to tell you who to vote for or against or what party you should or should not affiliate with. I believe one of the great freedoms we have in this wonderful country is the right to vote and that means the right to vote for who you choose. If you clicked on this article to read about my opinion about the upcoming elections then you will probably be disappointed because that is not what this is about. Instead, I want to talk to you about the important biblical practices that we as the body of Christ should remember during the election season.
The first practice we must remember is to not address the issues from a worldly stance. In Romans 12:2, Paul warns us:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
It is important as believers in Christ that we don’t allow the world to influence our actions, instead, we must seek God’s discernment in our lives to accomplish what is good and acceptable and perfect. One of the most common phrases I hear is “Respect is earned, not given.” This is a perfect example of a view that is of this world but not from God. We are told in scripture to do unto others as you would have done to you (Matthew 7: 12). There is no condition to this, it is simply do unto others as you would have done to you. In life it is so easy to get caught up in the world’s teachings but as believers in Christ we must remember to not be conformed to the world’s ways.
This goes hand in hand with politics as well. Regardless of who you vote for or what party you are affiliated with, as believers in Christ we must subject to our governing authorities. This doesn’t mean you must agree with their policies or vote for them when they run for office, however, we are called to respect and honor them. Paul tells us in Romans 13:1-7
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
The way the enemy attacks us is through distraction of our ultimate purpose of obeying our Father in Heaven. We ultimately obey God over man (Acts 5:29), but it is apparent in scripture we are called to respect and honor our governing leaders. Therefore, pray for them. Pray that God guides and directs them to lead with a wisdom that can only come from the Father. In no way am I saying you have to agree with every decision they make, but I encourage you to respect them, honor them and pray for them. I urge you as Paul urged Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:1-2:
Therefore, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
I also encourage you this election season to hold onto the principles that the Gospel and our Father has called us to live our lives upon. Politics have unfortunately became one of those subjects that often pushes us to use our tongue in a way that is not honoring of the Lord. Remember to be slow to speak and quick to listen and understand the power that your tongue holds (Proverbs 18:21). Often times we allow our political disagreements to impact the way we interact with others which is why Paul warns us against this in Titus 3:9:
But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
The division and hatred for those who disagree with us has been apparently obvious to anyone who has turned on the TV in recent years. Again it is one thing to disagree with someone, however, it is a completely other thing to hate or despise someone over these disagreements. As the body of Christ we are called to love one another? Is that not the greatest commandment according to our savior Jesus Christ? Remember what Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 5:43-48.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
In closing, our mission, our lifestyle and the way we treat one another is not supposed to be from how the world teaches us but how our savior instructed us to. So love your neighbor, be slow to speak, slow to anger and pray for one another.
My prayer is that you do not misunderstand what I am saying and understand this too is written out of love. I pray you stand up for what you believe in, I encourage you to vote for who you feel led to vote for, and I hope that you practice those wonderful freedoms that so many sacrificed for you to have. My prayer is only to remind you that regardless of what political affiliation you align with, you are first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. Therefore, let your actions and your words reflect who you belong to rather than what aisle of politics you stand for.
By: Jonathan Carmack