I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.1 Timothy 2:1-4 NLT
This note doesn’t usually come out until closer to election time, but the events of our day seem to require giving thought to where we stand and who we stand with now rather than later.
Though it seems the world around us is flying off the tracks, the reality is that God will care for His people no matter what happens. My job as a Christian is to follow Him in the affairs of life. In our political climate right now, truth is a scarce commodity and vitriol poisons every discussion. It is incumbent on me to keep first things first, inform myself, and pray that those who share my values will carry the day. In making choices of who to support, my personal list of priorities is as follows:
- Israel. Political Israel is not always right, but it always has the right to exist and to defend itself from aggression. We should be their ally in those endeavors. In choosing politicians to support, look to their record over time to see how they actually behave, not just how they speechify. Psalm 122:6 / Numbers 24:9
- Freedom of speech. There are many in our current environment, both in politics and in the media, who have determined that the Christian message is harmful. They use this as a basis to ban the reading of the Bible, prayer in public places, and any use of Christian symbolism. Our whole life as Christians is about speech – this is important. Our constitution protects free speech, no matter who doesn’t like it. We need leaders who zealously champion the right of all to say what they believe. Romans 10:17/ Mark 16:15-20
- The free exercise of religion. Our constitution doesn’t say “freedom of religion.” That would mean we are free to join any group. Some talk about “freedom of worship,” meaning we can gather in our houses of worship and sing whatever we like and preach to each other. Just don’t bother anyone outside your building. Our first amendment says we are free to exercise our faith. That means freedom to live according to what we believe on Monday, not just for an hour on Sunday. That is an important distinction. Be on the lookout for leaders who are willing to protect our right to live out our faith in the public square.
- Life is sacred. Abortion is wrong. Taking a human life is wrong. Life begins in the womb, at conception. Once it begins, it’s not up to man to end it. I cannot and will not support any politician who advocates for the killing of children in the womb. I must consider the history of each candidate on the nature of life. I must also consider the impact on the Supreme Court, which will ultimately decide life or death issues for people at both ends of the life cycle. This would particularly include the President and our Senators. They have control over Supreme Court appointments. Zechariah 12:1 / Acts 17:25 / John 1:7
The Bible says, “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. (Proverbs 31:8 NKJV)” I can open my mouth by educating others, by supporting like-minded candidates, and by voting when I get the chance.
It is only in recent years that numbers 2 & 3 ascended my list. The right to life was always tied with Israel for #1. In the last decade, however, there have arisen dark forces that are actively threatening to eliminate the right to speak truth and the right to live a Christian life. If someone is actively on the right side of all these issues, actually doing things and not just talking about it, then my choice is simple.