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Archive for November, 2010

Election Day

This blog is written in almost real time. Mary, my daughter, and I just returned from voting. We didn’t have to go far–just across the street to the Franklin Christian Church. Although I know I can do early voting, I still like to vote on the actual election day, and I like to vote as early as possible. It was interesting and encouraging to see how many people were there at 7:30 AM, many of them carrying pajama-clad children (some of them looked like they themselves just rolled out of bed).

I continue to be grateful that I live in a country where we citizens have the privilege of exercising our right to vote, and since I was 18, I have exercised my right to vote. I don’t believe—as some people do—that there are candidates for whom Christians should vote, because they espouse so-called Christians values I believe that a candidate can serve our city, our county, our state, our nation well without having to tow a theological party line. I remember that a church member once asked me how I could be a Christian and yet support a certain candidate; and I remember, too, another church member who was surprised that I prayed for the President in my pastoral prayer, since that President was not the candidate whom I had supported. I consider both comments to be problematic, because there is no such thing as Christian candidate, and no matter who gets elected, that person needs our prayer.

It all goes back to who is really in charge, and the Psalmist expresses it well in Psalm 47: “God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises, for God is the king of all the earth; God is king over the nations.” God is the ruler over all nations, all peoples, all political parties, all voters, all candidates’ hearts and minds. God gives us a mind to discern the person for whom we want to vote, but God will work out God’s justice and mercy through any and every elected official. As Christians, what we should do is pray faithfully for those who get elected, and pray that each candidate follows the lead of the prophet Micah, to “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.” As Christians, we should not leave it up to the elected officials to right the wrongs of society or to help the poor and outcast, but we should perform those labors as our Savior called us to do for the “least of these.”

It’s election day but even after we’ve cast our vote, we would be wise to remember that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s ways higher than our ways and God’s thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). Our nation and our elected officials—all nations and all elected officials!—rest in God’s mighty and wise hands, and for that we are surely grateful.

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