Speaking the Truth in Love

In the Voting Booth

A man watched as his bride prepared a delicious meal of roast, potatoes, and carrots. Before putting the meat in her pan, she cut off a piece and set it aside. Her husband asked why she had done this. “I don’t know,” she said. “My mother always cooks roast this way.” When questioned, the girl’s mom confessed that she always cut off a piece of the roast because she had seen Grandma do it. Curiosity aroused, the young bride phoned her grandmother and asked for an explanation. Grandma laughed. “Honey,” she said, “I have to slice off some of the meat because a big roast won’t fit in my pan.”

vote_pak_voting_station_0At the polls on November 8, many Christians will display the same sort of unthinking conformity. The candidates’ policy positions and announced plans won’t have any bearing whatsoever on the cast ballot. All that matters is the family’s longstanding preference for Democrats or Republicans.

The true church of Jesus Christ isn’t a political organization and has no business issuing endorsements. The impropriety of the congregation’s endorsing a presidential candidate is particularly obvious in this election. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both have serious character problems, flaws that have been talked to death on news programs and in social media.right

As a church what we can do in good conscience is to pray for wisdom and encourage righteous thinking. Moses gave Israel timeless spiritual instruction: “You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you” (Deut. 6:18). But what is “right and good” in this case?

Since Trump and Clinton both lack the personal morals the country needs in its highest office, Christian voters are left to wrestle with vital questions about positions and policies. The answers to some concerns are plainer than others, and in some cases differing perspectives may lead to different opinions. But here are some things all of us should be thinking about: the life of the unborn baby, the sanctity of marriage, religious liberty, respect for the rule of law, racial tension, the security of the nation, economic opportunity for the poor, and the proper response to illegal immigration.

citiz-2Ultimately, as a church we will love each other even if we have different opinions about the election. That’s because “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20, NIV). No president is our true leader. God Almighty is on his throne, and that’s where we want him to be. And one day soon we’ll all be together in his glorious presence!

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