I can’t help it; between watching the big debate (Stewart vs. O’Reilly) and also the other debates (the guy in office right now vs. some other guy who wants to be in office) (the guy who’s in the most useless position ever right now vs. some other guy who wants to be in the most useless position ever), and my Facebook news feed consisting of almost nothing except political rants and raves, I’m compelled to write the following:
Mike Huckabee is not running for president this year. He’s just not.
So, Christians who don’t know how to vote this election: It’s clear we are having a dilemma. Allow me to humbly offer some random thoughts in no particular order:
1. If God wanted this country back to Him, He could do it–no matter who’s in office. I realize that some people are better attuned to what God is saying; some people are actively seeking God’s will; and of course there are others who hear God’s direction and then choose to do the exact opposite thing.
But I’ve been doing this bible study on Esther and lemme tell you: after reading just 2 chapters of that particular book, it’s not hard to see that God is all the time divinely intervening with people and situations–from a poor orphaned little Jewish girl, right up to the most powerful king in the whole wide world.
I learned that even though things seem random and unplanned, God’s not up in Heaven saying “Oh crap! Didn’t see that coming! Regroup!” Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is like a stream directed by the Lord; He turns it wherever He pleases.” Good to know!
2. The perks of living in the United States will probably eventually lead to our undoing. I’m not saying let’s kick democracy out the door, because? Freedom of religion, freedom of speech–I like that I have those. As a Christian, I struggle with the fact that a man with a heart for God voluntarily runs for an office where he knows he’ll be forced to uphold laws which back up other laws that might or might not line up with God’s will. As an American I struggle with the fact that a man of any religion would try to enforce laws that would go against certain unalienable rights as defined by our constitution. Did any of that make sense?
The people running for office are pledging to uphold those freedoms for all of us–so, yay! Christians get to believe that life begins at conception–but, in this country, legally, not everybody has to agree. Call me crazy, but it sounds like we’re saying we want to change the laws to say “Freedom of Religion to all the people…unless what they believe goes against our religion!” What to do, what to do? I…honestly don’t know.
3. We might have to face it: this country might never get back to God. We can’t take away religious freedoms; but times are a-changing and the tables are not turning in favor of things we know to be biblically legit. Scriptures say that at some point, more and more people will turn away from God. Already, we have to be so tender-footed. Don’t think the “new normal” is biblical? Can’t support certain (probably permanent) changes in modern society? Best keep it to yourself because no one wants to hear you spew your bigoted Christian poison. We are expected to apologize left and right for things we believe right down to our very core. Our kids can’t mention God in school. Maybe one day, our grandkids will have to worship with their families in secret.
(Sorry. It’s a doomy, gloomy kind of day and it’s getting the best of me. But I take heart in knowing that if that indeed ever became the case, I would be glad because 1. it’s better than the alternative of not knowing God, and 2. they’d probably have a stronger faith than I could even dream of.)
4. No one man is going to fix it all. The president just doesn’t have the power that everyone thinks he has. Do we only vote every four years in November? There are key elections that we would do well to be aware of and take part in.
5. Again, no one man is going to fix it all. Our country will be in danger of financial ruin until we all truly learn–and teach our kids–how to deal with money. Even if it comes with 0% interest for the first year. Even if it’s real leather. Even if we’ll wear those shoes at least 30 times this season. We’re so fat and greedy. It’s time to stop the madness.
6. And while we’re on the subject of our kids, let’s not just get them everything just because we can. Your 8-year-old does not need an iPhone. Really. No, REALLY. QUIT RAISING BRATS. Our kids can stand to not participate in every activity known to man. We don’t have to say yes to them every time they ask for something, whether it be expensive (gaming system) or free (sleepover for the hundredth time at their friend’s house.) Yes, they’ll whine and throw fits. Deal with it–it’s called parenting. And our kids have to learn moderation and restraint not just with money, but with everything. We are their teachers. Let’s do our job right.
7. One last thing about teaching our kids–and I’m still admittedly working on this one myself–there’s got to be a way to bring up children who are Christ-following, high-functioning members of society. Do we pray with our children? Do we read the bible with them and to them? Are we raising Christians temporarily living as human beings? Or human beings temporarily living as Christians? Quite honestly, that question just stung me a little. Okay, quite honestly it stung me a lot.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
8. If we’re really serious about representing Christ in our communities, we can’t hole up in Church like it’s some sort of apocalyptic shelter where we keep the world–in all its fugly glory–completely shut out. If we spend every waking minute at church, on church grounds, with church groups, etc. etc. etc. then when are we finding time to take the gospel out? We might as well live on a compound and paint rainbows on the inside of our cement-and-barbed-wire fence. A priest in a church I went to when I was teenager said this: “A church should not be used primarily as a shelter; it is a powerhouse where we come to worship, to support each other, and to draw strength enough to go back out into the world.”
Christians–we are special. Precious. Set apart. But we are not perfect, and we must strive, daily, to live as God would want us to live. We have to be prayerful about the choices we make, about the things we say and the things we do. We will answer for what we did here on Earth and we will not be able to put any kind of political spin on it; we will be judged in heaven, by our God himself–who saw everything, even into our own hearts. That fact can bring either fear or comfort.
I don’t want to be scared.
Let’s not freak out over this election. Do your duty as an American and vote, but remember your duties as a child of God: Pray. Fear the Lord. Observe His commands. Love Him with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Love Him by loving and serving one another.
And know that no matter who is in the White House, God is in control.