Psalm 119:139 (ESV) – My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.
I don’t pretend to know how to make complete sense of the present political landscape in our country, but I’m nearly exhausted with the banter going about by some Christians about their refusal to vote for this or that particular candidate because of a supposed commitment to the Gospel. Many of the same people who are saying, for example, “I could never vote for Donald Trump because I’m committed to the Gospel” most definitely had a serious case of spiritual amnesia four years ago when they touted LDS Mitt Romney as the best chance to stop the devilish agenda of Barack Obama. Or that serves as their excuse to vote for Secretary Clinton which would make their supposed Gospel commitment a real head scratcher. And presently, I have no desire to publicly “trump-et” a candidate who rose to fame and fortune with a playboy lifestyle either.
Now, in the mess of it all, I know for sure whom I’m NOT voting for, and I’ve pretty much come to peace with the one for whom I AM voting, but it has little to do with whichever candidate best preaches or represents or epitomizes the Gospel. Were I to vote for the most Gospel-centered candidate, I would most likely refrain from voting all together. For the past, oh, three or four decades of presidential candidates. As long as I’ve been of eligible age. You either or Gospel-centered, or you are not. You either embrace justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, or you don’t. And near as I can tell, none of the candidates get it.
But, I have to vote for SOMEBODY. As I see it, it would be disrespectful, nearly “Kaepernick-like” not to vote, even though I’m thankfully free not to vote. The Scriptures must have a bearing on my voting tendencies. And the general moral tones of the Scriptures, enhanced by the presence of common grace, will certainly provide a better option than another who would be worthy of my vote. There are candidates who support a platform more amenable to a Christian worldview. It is YOUR and MY responsibility to figure that out and act as responsible stewards, even if you think this stewardship is a meager one talent.
It upsets me, my zeal consumes me, when Christians forget God’s words when it comes to political issues. Not that there isn’t room for large differences in application on many political issues. It seems painfully obvious that there ARE some things we ALL MUST agree on, but I have no desire to usurp anybody’s priesthood or manipulate anybody’s conscience or infringe upon anybody’s liberty. Where God’s word is silent, I must tread delicately. Some of us have serious disagreements about what good and godly politics looks like. But I will bless and appreciate anybody who thinks painfully through the issues and does his or her best to exercise the stewardship necessary to vote with zealous commitment to God’s words.
May I challenge you to do just that? First, articulate your worldview. What does the Bible teach as true regarding God the Creator, man the creature as well as his creaturely environment, the resulting disparity between God and man because of sin, God’s manifold solution to our sin problem as centered on the person and work of Christ, and how we as believers should then live. Then, study the issues and the candidates. Then vote. With zeal.