Election Advice

Election Advice
Written by: Larry Elliott

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” I Timothy 2:1-2

Let me begin by stating that I write today in some fear and trepidation. I do hold a few political convictions. I will do my best to make this as apolitical a writing as possible knowing that some of those views will likely leak through my carefully chosen words. I am also aware that it is unlikely that all of you will be pleased with my considerations – I’m OK with that as long as you are willing to filter your every “political certainty” through the principles of God’s Word.

A few thoughts as we begin:

  1. We live in a toxic political climate. To state the obvious.
  2. We are not going to elect a perfect president.
  3. No candidate or party is going to usher in the golden age of a US of A Utopia.
  4. Christians, your brothers and sisters, are going to come to different decisions about this election. We need to be OK with that. We need to make sure a political position does not become a test of orthodoxy.
  5. The sovereignty and providence of God are still the umbrella under which all of us stand!

We need the grace of God! We need the grace of God as a country, a society, a community, a church. You and I need to be the stewards of that grace in every way we speak, respond, think, and react. Social media has not been our friend in this, has it? Some of you need to throttle back your zeal and extend some grace for those you oppose – you will be heard more clearly by practicing “a gentle answer turns away wrath.” If you are a social media junky, would the evidence on your posts portray a picture of one who represents a gentle Jewish carpenter who was raised from the dead or would it portray a political zealot demanding to be heard?

I know, I know, I’m supposed to be giving election advice. Let’s start with our opening verse above. “…I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made… for kings and all who are in high positions.” When was the last time we stopped the bickering and paused long enough to actually pray for the candidates – both of them, all of them, the ones I oppose and the ones I support? Guilty as charged! I think we would find it difficult to be spiteful, bitter, and demeaning about people for whom we sincerely pray. Prayers of thanksgiving? Seriously?!

Ultimately, I think, we must approach an election asking this single question about the candidates, and the policies: Does this policy reflect the heart of God revealed in his Word about this issue? Some are quite clear, some less so, but we must honestly ask the question and not rationalize the answer to fit our comfort.

Does God care about babies in the womb? Does God care about our sexual choices? Does God care about the sojourner in our midst? What does God think about law in a civil society? Does God care about biological gender? Does God care about poverty? What does God say about justice and equality among people?

Are we able to accept that our brother might come to a different conclusion on any of these? We might well disagree, but does disagreement require my despising of a brother or any human being? Can we speak to our brother in dignity and honor and yet disagree? What healing will be required when all the campaign yard signs are in the landfill and the vitriol is spent?

These and a host of other questions must be filtered through the heart of God. Not what we think about what God says but what he actually reveals to us – they are not necessarily the same!!! Can we trust the Spirit of God to help us “…lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way?”

Peter once encouraged that we always be ready to give a reason for “the hope that is in you.” “In you," that is, in you personally, in your heart, in your anxiety, in your anger and despair and frustration. What is the hope that is in you? I trust it is a hope found not in a political system, not in a candidate or party, not in policies or court appointments. It is a hope found in the redemption of man by a loving Savior who has promised to one day return and resolve all the hate, all the evil, all the controversy in a wholly just and sovereign restoration. Is this the hope that resides in your soul? You can trust in his sovereign control and promises of a different future.

Perhaps you will think that this is too simplistic, too naïve, too narrow minded, too dismissive of biblical truth when it is clear and required, too Pollyanna-ish. Let me just say I am quite willing to defend biblical truth, but we must not do it in such a way that we damage one who was bought by the blood of our Savior! Let’s determine to honor the Lord Jesus even in our politics!

1 Comment

Marian Hibst - November 1st, 2020 at 6:38pm

Thank you for that, Larry. So very well said.