Voting for Righteousness K. Arthur
". . .I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." 1 Timothy 2:1-2
How important is it that a Christian takes advantage of the privilege given him or her to vote? Or, as children of God, are we not to concern ourselves with "politics"? Wouldn't you think that if God urges us to pray for those in authority and if we have the opportunity and privilege of electing our leaders that He would expect us to exercise our governmental rights? Wouldn't it be our God-given responsibility as God-fearing people to uphold the biblical tenets upon which this nation was founded?
These are very turbulent days-and personally, I believe we are where we are because the Church has been apathetic about the Word of God and righteousness. Although we are meant to impact our society as salt and light first and foremost in our lives, have we instead infected our nation by giving it a distorted image of what it means to be a child of a holy God?
Righteousness exalts a nation; sin is a reproach to any people. We are a nation under great reproach and consequently we are living in turbulent times. If we don't cast our vote for righteousness in our own lives first and then in our nation, I fear what will happen to us.
Let me take you back in history for just a moment to another turbulent time so that we might see what part God plays in politics.
It was an unbearably hot day in the summer of 1787; just eleven years after America had declared her independence. Delegates from our thirteen states had gathered to create a historic document to unite them under one government. Sweat soaked their clothes so badly...they had to change their shirts twice a day! And their tempers, as torrid as the day, were flaring.
Men who were formerly side-by-side in their battle against England were now at war against each other! These states were anything but "united," and they weren't ready to be under any authority but their own.i
A personal letter from James Warren to a friend in England described America's condition at the time: "'Money is the only object attended to, and the only acquisition that commands respect. Patriotism is ridiculed; integrity and ability are of little consequence. . . .We are now in a state of anarchy and confusion bordering on civil war.'"ii (Does this sound troublingly familiar?)
At this historic meeting, Benjamin Franklin decided to give the document they were creating one last shot. He addressed George Washington and the assembly:
"'How has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understanding? In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. . . And have we now forgotten this powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?'"
There was dead silence in the room...but he was not finished, and now he turned again to Washington. "'I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: "that God governs in the affairs of man." And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?'"iii
In a day of "political correctness" when so many Christians are apathetic about taking a stand for righteousness, you and I need to be reminded of how God governs the affairs of men...how He cares about the state of our nation and longs for us to turn and return to Him, acknowledging His sovereignty.
We desperately need His merciful assistance in America today as never before. Yet we have to remember that God does not work apart from man, but through man. Before God took His people into captivity under Babylon (present-day Iraq) because of their sin, He sought for a man to stand in the gap and He found none (Ezekiel 22:30-but read the whole chapter)!
The turmoil in our country over moral issues and political rivalry commands our involvement. There must be a searching of our hearts, a genuine mourning for our sin. We must be fervent in prayer and strong and courageous in our stand. We must be willing to stand up as Benjamin Franklin did and dare to call America to turn back to Him! And one of the ways we will do that is through the people we vote for.
We must vote, and we must vote for those who have the greater fear of God and desire to uphold His absolutes. No candidate is perfect; nor do they do everything we want them to do. But we must align ourselves with the ones who have the greatest fear of God and His Word. It is not a matter of allegiance to a party; rather it is allegiance to God. God rebuked Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, with these words when he aligned himself with ungodly Ahab, king of Israel, to whom he was aligned by marriage, "'Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord?'" (2 Chronicles 19:2)
We can make a difference! The polls are our God-ordained opportunity to make a difference. And if godless leaders are voted in, in spite of our votes and prayers, then we will know we did what we could, and God will see and honor our obedience.
May the Lord bless you. May He continue to bless and preserve our great nation!
i Peter Marshall and David Manuel, From Sea to Shining Sea (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1986), pp. 17.
ii Peter Marshall and David Manuel, From Sea to Shining Sea (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1986), p. 17, citing Page Smith, The Shaping of America, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1980, pp. 38, 24.
iii Marshall and Manuel, From Sea to Shining Sea, p 18.