Over the past few weeks, I have received more mail than I recall ever receiving since the last presidential election. A lot of it is predictable, but I have also received several missives telling me that I am doing ‘the Lord’s work’ in my posts about the election being a lot closer than the media pretends, and my observations of historical trends, the value of the undecideds and independents in this year’s race, and the fact that we won in 2004 and lost in 2006 largely due to turnout by republicans. Well, I consider myself a God-fearing man, not to claim that I am anywhere the man I’d like to be, so it occurred to me that I need to address where I see God standing with regard to this election. If you’re not a believer, you might just want to give this one a miss – no offense, but it’s a faith thing, you either follow that path or it makes no sense to you.
Now, some folks like to assume that God’s on their side. That’s a bad idea, thinking that God has to go along with us. What we need to do, actually, is make sure we are listening to God and going His way on decisions and actions. In this election, it would be wrong to imagine that God “votes” for someone in the sense that God is brought around to support a human political opinion. But it is valid for us to consider what God wants us to be and do in this situation, and to think and act in accordance with those precepts.
As a follower of Christ (though again I have to make clear that I am poor at the practice), the first precepts are to not judge the hearts of other people but merely their actions, to walk humbly and seek God’s will in all things, and to count freedom ahead of peace, justice ahead of freedom, and mercy above all of those other ideals.
If you’ve read the Bible, you know that God sometimes allows evil men to rule. If you have watched the news for awhile, you know that sometimes evil is allowed to win for a time. I cannot say I understand why that is so, the notion of ‘free will’ seems a pale and shallow concept to explain why innocents should be made to suffer, why injustice should be allowed – even for a short time – to win, or why the people should suffer because of an evil ruler. But it is undeniably so, that this happens at times. So I cannot say that God would not allow an Obama presidency, even if I believed all the evil that some says is ready to spew forth from such an administration, coupled as it would be with near-complete control of Congress and the connivance of a corrupt media. I do not say this to dismay you, but to warn you that our actions matter a great deal in this election, all of us, and I will return anon to this warning. We cannot assume that God will not allow the wrong decision.
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We should also learn the lessons from the Bible about the critical value of faith. When Elijah stood up to an evil queen and an army of false prophets, he felt alone and deserted, and even God’s own voice was not enough to console him, until the Lord explained to Elijah that there were thousands of good men in Israel whose faith was true, and who depended on God through Elijah for confirmation that they were right and would prevail. I am no Elijah, but even so I tell you plainly that America is a nation of believers in truth and light, and they do not hold with attacking ordinary citizens for asking inconvenient questions, they do not approve of a media which literally digs into trash to find tools to use to slime one candidate while ignoring legitimate inquiries into another’s character and actions. They do not forget history and they do not embrace the replacement of family and the individual with the government and the collective. Americans who fear God, do not forget duty. Americans who trust God, do not mock sacrifice. Americans who follow Christ, are not impressed with men who would replace God with their own image. Therefore, when we are presented with a situation where one candidate appears to be clearly in line with God’s will and the other major candidate would oppose that will, we must first test our assumptions, and if they hold true we must stand with the one who follow the Lord’s will.
Democrats have long run on claims that they better follow the ideals of goodness, touting concern for the impoverished, the protection of minorities, and standing against greed. Barack Obama is running on basically those same themes. But in times of hardship, it is not McCain but Obama who would increase taxes and create higher unemployment by making it harder for smaller companies to hire and keep employees. It is not McCain but Obama who would increase opportunities for illegals in the U.S., who would principally take jobs held by minority citizens. It is not McCain but Obama who has taken hundreds of millions of dollars from private sponsors, whom he refuses to even identify, since the public would naturally wonder what sort of promises he made to get all that money.
It is not Obama but McCain who has suffered in service to his country. It is not Obama but McCain who has given generously to charity out of his own pocket. It is not Obama but McCain who has fought to protect the lives of unborn children. And it is not Obama but McCain, who when made aware of vicious comments about his opponent, immediately, directly and repeatedly called for his campaign to operate by ideals of respect and courtesy, asking hard questions but refraining from personal smears. These facts are undeniable, and make clear which sorts of character are present in each man.
There will come a day, I believe, when we will stand before the Lord and have to account for all we have done, said, and even thought. It seems to me that it would be far better for me to explain why I supported a man whose actions were aligned with the Lord’s teachings, than why I stood by and deserted him when the campaign became difficult.
My advice to us all is simple: Take it to the Lord in prayer, listen humbly for His answer, then act in faith and hope. We shall not fail to see a good result from that course.