Honor the King (but honor the Word more)

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4, KJV).

“Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17, KJV).

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the 2008 Presidential election and the consequences of the decision of the American people on our future. As an individual American with strong values and convictions I could take this opportunity to decry the western European neo-socialism voted into power yesterday. I could bemoan the even greater threat the unborn will face with a chief executive with radical abortion views and a Senate Judiciary Committee controlled by individuals that are openly committed to picking Supreme Court Justices based on an ideology rather than qualifications. I could express my disappointment that the American electorate once again, like the election of 1992, voted on the basis of perceived economic expediency rather than on moral conviction. Finally, I could rant about the complete and total breakdown of journalistic integrity by most of the media in this nation. The double standard and bias were so obvious that it made me laugh out loud in disgust and talk to my television set on more than one occasion.

But I’m going to resist that temptation and take this opportunity to help believers respond biblically to the reality of the election of an administration that does not represent their values or interests. First, we should all be glad that racism has taken a huge punch in the face during this election cycle. From Obama’s Democratic caucus win in Iowa to the support he received among white voters from Maine to Colorado to North Carolina in the general election, it is clear that Dr. King’s dream that individuals be judged by their character and not their skin color is much closer to being realized than ever before. Second, we should all be thankful for the amazing way this nation transfers power. Come January, one administration with access to unbelievable resources and influence will peacefully and deliberately hand that power over to a new administration. This special transition, literally the envy of the entire world, is cause for all Americans to be very proud of their democracy. Third, regardless of who we voted for, the Scripture is very plain. We have the responsibility to “honor” our leadership (even though the previous President has been shown contempt beyond comprehension) and pray for those in authority. Our job now is to pray for the new President and believe that he will act in the nation’s best interest and in a manner consistent with the wisdom of the Scriptures. Our ability to live quiet and peaceable lives and achieve success in our primary mandate to share the gospel depends on true Christians in the United States standing in the gap for our leadership.

Don’t get me wrong though. When this administration veers down a path of contempt for the laws of God I will raise my voice through any means available to challenge that direction. I will not sit idly by (nor should you) if the new Department of Education attempts to nationalize the use of pro-homosexual materials in our nations elementary schools. I will speak up against the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion used erroneously in the name of the mother’s health and the expansion of abortion in this nation in general. I will not hold my peace if our State Department moves to alienate and pressure Israel to accept yet another false peace brokered at the expense of even more covenant land. After all, I did not surrender my citizenship the day I gave my life to Jesus Christ and I have every intention of doing my civic duty to bring some moral accountability to an administration that will have unprecedented political pressure to govern from the extreme left.

Voting the Economy, Emotion, or Ethics

Next Tuesday our nation will go to the polls to select the next President of the United States. There is no question that change is coming regardless of who is elected. The tension for the true born again believer in Jesus Christ in any election is deciding first and foremost what will be the primary basis of their vote.

Many people will cast a vote simply on the condition of the economy and the perceived impact the election will have on their personal financial situation. Others will vote out of emotion using their vote to make a statement about how they feel about the direction of the country in general and those they perceive to be most responsible for the situation.

But is there a basis for voting that transcends the economy and the emotional state of the voter? Should the believer look beyond personal benefit and individual anxiety over the state of affairs in our nation to cast a vote based on say, ethical or moral grounds? I believe the answer is yes.

One of the simplest ways to evaluate candidates from a moral perspective is to take the platforms from the major national candidates and lay them side by side next to the Ten Commandments and go right down the line to see how the respective platforms square with God’s timeless ethical standard. In addition to an honest evaluation of the party platforms in comparison to the morality of the Ten Commandments, a Christian should also consider important contemporary issues like abortion, the integrity of marriage, and the security of the State of Israel when deciding who to vote for.

The 2008 Presidential election will be a turning point not so much for the historical nature of the candidates such as the first major party African-American Presidential candidate or the first woman Vice-Presidential candidate nominated by the GOP, but for the huge cultural shift the election will reinforce. The Christian should remember that every matter is really a Lordship matter and our votes should be cast based on what we sense the Lord saying to us through His Word rather than what our party affiliation, our self-interests, or our emotions such as fear or anger would indicate.

I encourage you to fast and pray for the upcoming election and the ramifications of America’s decision. Seek God’s face before Tuesday and then cast your vote with a clear conscience knowing that you voted based on the ethics of the Word and not the economy or your emotions.