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God and the Election

Over the past few weeks, I have received more mail than I recall ever receiving since the last presidential election. A lot of it is predictable, but I have also received several missives telling me that I am doing 'the Lord's work' in my posts about the election being a lot closer than the media pretends, and my observations of historical trends, the value of the undecideds and independents in this year's race, and the fact that we won in 2004 and lost in 2006 largely due to turnout by republicans. Well, I consider myself a God-fearing man, not to claim that I am anywhere the man I'd like to be, so it occurred to me that I need to address where I see God standing with regard to this election. If you're not a believer, you might just want to give this one a miss - no offense, but it's a faith thing, you either follow that path or it makes no sense to you.

Now, some folks like to assume that God's on their side. That's a bad idea, thinking that God has to go along with us. What we need to do, actually, is make sure we are listening to God and going His way on decisions and actions. In this election, it would be wrong to imagine that God "votes" for someone in the sense that God is brought around to support a human political opinion. But it is valid for us to consider what God wants us to be and do in this situation, and to think and act in accordance with those precepts.

As a follower of Christ (though again I have to make clear that I am poor at the practice), the first precepts are to not judge the hearts of other people but merely their actions, to walk humbly and seek God's will in all things, and to count freedom ahead of peace, justice ahead of freedom, and mercy above all of those other ideals.

If you've read the Bible, you know that God sometimes allows evil men to rule. If you have watched the news for awhile, you know that sometimes evil is allowed to win for a time. I cannot say I understand why that is so, the notion of 'free will' seems a pale and shallow concept to explain why innocents should be made to suffer, why injustice should be allowed - even for a short time - to win, or why the people should suffer because of an evil ruler. But it is undeniably so, that this happens at times. So I cannot say that God would not allow an Obama presidency, even if I believed all the evil that some says is ready to spew forth from such an administration, coupled as it would be with near-complete control of Congress and the connivance of a corrupt media. I do not say this to dismay you, but to warn you that our actions matter a great deal in this election, all of us, and I will return anon to this warning. We cannot assume that God will not allow the wrong decision.

- continued -

We should also learn the lessons from the Bible about the critical value of faith. When Elijah stood up to an evil queen and an army of false prophets, he felt alone and deserted, and even God's own voice was not enough to console him, until the Lord explained to Elijah that there were thousands of good men in Israel whose faith was true, and who depended on God through Elijah for confirmation that they were right and would prevail. I am no Elijah, but even so I tell you plainly that America is a nation of believers in truth and light, and they do not hold with attacking ordinary citizens for asking inconvenient questions, they do not approve of a media which literally digs into trash to find tools to use to slime one candidate while ignoring legitimate inquiries into another's character and actions. They do not forget history and they do not embrace the replacement of family and the individual with the government and the collective. Americans who fear God, do not forget duty. Americans who trust God, do not mock sacrifice. Americans who follow Christ, are not impressed with men who would replace God with their own image. Therefore, when we are presented with a situation where one candidate appears to be clearly in line with God's will and the other major candidate would oppose that will, we must first test our assumptions, and if they hold true we must stand with the one who follow the Lord's will.

Democrats have long run on claims that they better follow the ideals of goodness, touting concern for the impoverished, the protection of minorities, and standing against greed. Barack Obama is running on basically those same themes. But in times of hardship, it is not McCain but Obama who would increase taxes and create higher unemployment by making it harder for smaller companies to hire and keep employees. It is not McCain but Obama who would increase opportunities for illegals in the U.S., who would principally take jobs held by minority citizens. It is not McCain but Obama who has taken hundreds of millions of dollars from private sponsors, whom he refuses to even identify, since the public would naturally wonder what sort of promises he made to get all that money.

It is not Obama but McCain who has suffered in service to his country. It is not Obama but McCain who has given generously to charity out of his own pocket. It is not Obama but McCain who has fought to protect the lives of unborn children. And it is not Obama but McCain, who when made aware of vicious comments about his opponent, immediately, directly and repeatedly called for his campaign to operate by ideals of respect and courtesy, asking hard questions but refraining from personal smears. These facts are undeniable, and make clear which sorts of character are present in each man.

There will come a day, I believe, when we will stand before the Lord and have to account for all we have done, said, and even thought. It seems to me that it would be far better for me to explain why I supported a man whose actions were aligned with the Lord's teachings, than why I stood by and deserted him when the campaign became difficult.

My advice to us all is simple: Take it to the Lord in prayer, listen humbly for His answer, then act in faith and hope. We shall not fail to see a good result from that course.


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Comments (20)

Good Stuff!... (Below threshold)
Pam:

Good Stuff!

If God really does involve ... (Below threshold)

If God really does involve himself in man's affairs, then he seems to also equally have punished and destroyed many nations by allowing bad leaders to rule as well. The Hitlers. The Stalins. The Castros. The Pol Pots.

Thy will be done. ... (Below threshold)
Hestrold:

Thy will be done.

Thank you so much for reinf... (Below threshold)
FedUp:

Thank you so much for reinforcing what I also believe. It is difficult to accept (in my human understanding) why God would allow those I consider to be evil in our government to remain in control, but then, looking back at the history of God's chosen people and what they had to endure, it all makes sense. Having said that, it doesn't mean that I won't pray for God's will to be done in the hope that it means that Obama won't win. That is a totally scary thought.

I must remember that my home is not here - this is only a preliminary for the glory that is to come. I'm not doing real well with that either!

The question is not which c... (Below threshold)
bard:

The question is not which camp is God in. The question is, "...are you in God's camp?". Joshua 5:13

A people generally get the ... (Below threshold)
MPR:

A people generally get the government they deserve.

Tell that to Cambodians who... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Tell that to Cambodians who survived the Khmer Rouge, or Ukrainians who were massacred by Stalin's murderers, MPR. That comment has no basis in fact and is based in either ignorance or immorality.

Do you want free will? Eve... (Below threshold)
dogwalker:

Do you want free will? Even if it means allowing evil men (and women, natch) to hurt others?

C.S. Lewis struggled with the fact of Evil, but also believed (as do I) that we cannot have a universe in which people have free will, and not have evil.

Should God stop Hitler or Stalin? Ok, then should he stop a rapist about to ravage an innocent young girl? Where do we draw the line? Eventually, we logically need to have God stopping every act which concludes in one person harming another. In fact, don't we go ever farther at times and ask, "God! Why didn't you stop me from hurting myself?!?"

But then we no longer have free will. No capability of loving, since we can do no other than what we're allowed. Sacrifice no longer has any meaning. And we have no responsibility.

Instead, God opted to give us free will, and I'll bet you He weeps when that girl is ravaged, or that young boy beaten to death by a drunken dad, or when millions are killed by despots.

But don't forget two things. One, God allows us the privilege to be involved, to BE His agents of change. American blood was shed to stop Hitler and the other evil despots of that generation, and today American blood is being willingly offered up to stop today's tyrants. Policemen and firemen risk their lives to save others. You can think of other examples where people choose to be positive agents.

Two, God has an eternal perspective. We can see only the moment, but He sees all eternity. That young girl, that boy, those millions, have the opportunity - as do we all - to revel in a marvelous eternity far beyond anything we can imagine.

Soldiers, football heroes, athletes, musicians, and others gladly sacrifice for future glory and joy, knowing that the moment's struggles and sufferings will be forgotten in the joy of the victory. Likewise, we are offered an eternity which will make this life seem shorter than a snap of our fingers.

Amazingly, our choices in this brief material life affect our eternal disposition.

And now, as in many times throughout history, we face a choice. Unfortunately, it does currently appear that enough people are selfish enough and/or blind enough to elect a very poor choice as our leader. Israel asked for a King, and more often than not, had kings which led to her ruin. I pray we don't head down the same path.

D.J., thank you for this po... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

D.J., thank you for this post. It's easy to forget that there are some things that are just out of our control. To be honest, I think the president has already been chosen by someone other than the voters, and we have been reduced to that lucky audience that gets to participate in the media show of bias. The media focus on recent voter fraud with ACORN, the emphasis on Palin's husband's involvement with a "questionable" organization is all made to work to and fro across the U.S. in an opinion frenzy far removed from the idea of who will lead our country. I believe even the candidates know who is going to win and have conversed about it. That doesn't mean they like each other, but they are going along with the charade until that climactic finale which is November 4th.

It has force me to look on smaller, internal things that I may or may not be able to help correct, regardless who ends up in office. I wholly agree the thing to do is look to the "peace that passes understanding".

P.S. Hyper you again prove you just want to "pick a fight."

I've always held the view t... (Below threshold)
JohnR(DC):

I've always held the view that for a Christian, the virtue of hope is the one that distinguishes us from other religionists. Not the false, cheap hope offered by politicians, but hope as evidenced in the concepts of joining the community of saints and at last seeing Him face to face. The kind of hope shown by the saintly priest who died in a Nazi concentration camp after taking the place of a family man. The priest was dragged from an oven-like torture contraption after a week, still saying his beads. He was the only one alive, but he died shortly thereafter. A robust Christianity calls for heroism, and it appears we will be called on soon.

Tell that to Cambodians who... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Tell that to Cambodians who survived the Khmer Rouge, or Ukrainians who were massacred by Stalin's murderers, MPR. That comment has no basis in fact and is based in either ignorance or immorality.

7. Posted by hyperbolist | October 19, 2008 6:00

Well, as tempted as I am for taking credit for the quote Churchill was quoting Milton.

I second the motion of 'Bar... (Below threshold)

I second the motion of 'Bard' on comment #5. In Joshua chapter 5, Joshua is confronted by a man with a drawn sword. Joshua asks him if he is on our side or theirs. The man says, "No!"

Job's story is also applicable here. After losing everything except a foolish wife, he reaches the conclusion, "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted... I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

Get stuffed, LaMedusa. My p... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Get stuffed, LaMedusa. My point is valid, correct, and was delivered in a tone that was about as polite as was warranted.

Churchill said and did an awful lot of awful things, so the fact that he said that doesn't make it any more or less terrible, MPR. He was an anti-Semite and also believed Arabs to be inferior in kind to Europeans. He was an effective wartime leader who saved England from capitulation but many of his beliefs were abhorrent.

"Now there arose up a new k... (Below threshold)
newton:

"Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. " - Exodus 1:8

The verses after that one, summarized, tell about how the Israelites suffered under slavery and oppression at the hands of that pharaoh who didn't know Joseph, the one who protected them for many years. It wasn't until Moses arrived in the scene that things began to change for them.

Many good things and good times, unfortunately and eventually, come to an end. Very dark times are ahead of us. I believe many Christians and Jews, as well as many Conservatives and Republicans, will become so vilified that they will be considered second-class citizens... if they are considered citizens at all. And from that, many persecutions will come, at the hands of a party that is supposed to be "for the people."

"Get stuffed, LaMedusa. My ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"Get stuffed, LaMedusa. My point is valid, correct, and was delivered in a tone that was about as polite as was warranted."

So was mine, and much more honest than yours. So take a flying leap off a cliff, you midget Bozo Canuck. You care only about your own comment. The fact that you responded with insult means I hit home with your motivation, and your ego trip to nowhere couldn't be more transparent. Hey, that puts me in a good mood! :) You have a nice evening admiring yourself, hyper.

Newton~And from... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Newton~

And from that, many persecutions will come, at the hands of a party that is supposed to be "for the people."

Very true. Thank you for your insight.

As much as I have faith in ... (Below threshold)

As much as I have faith in God, I sometimes wonder why he allowed 27,000 children around the world to starve to death or die of preventable diseases last night.

Despite my faith, it often seems like God has little hand in world affairs these days and is simply allowing man to destroy himself with greed, selfishness, war, poverty and disease sometimes. Man seems willing to do all the Devil's work for him when given half a chance.

Paul, human beings have fre... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Paul, human beings have free will. WE allow those things to happen. We are not puppets. WE also allow millions of babies to be killed in this country. WE allow it, then gripe when we aren't blessed.

Hyper, you just live to offend. Is it a canadian thing? ww

My beliefs may be differe... (Below threshold)
mf:

My beliefs may be different than most people. Sometimes the answers from God are not the ones we want or prayed for but I do believe there is a 'purpose' for everything and everyone although we may not understand the outcomes. Sometimes the initial results become clearer later.

Even though we don't always... (Below threshold)
Therese:

Even though we don't always know God's will, it is still important for us Christians to pray to God for His divine help and that His will be done.

We have responsibilities as Christians to pray. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of Jehosephat in 2 Chron 20. The Moabites and Ammonites were going to attack Jehosephat and all the Israelites to kill them. What did Jehosephat do? He prayed. He prayed before the entire assembly asking God for help.

God answered Jehosephat's prayer by giving him the victory. A victory that in man's eyes would have been impossible. The armies coming after Jehosephat were vast and strong. It looked hopeless. In Jehosephat's own strength and power, he couldn't win. But with God he was victorious.

God gave Jehosephat the victory over his enemies because he sought His help. God said in 2 Chronicle 13: "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's."

We need to pray and ask God to intervene in this election. Despite all the media, money and historical precedence favoring the Democrats, God still has the final say. I don't care what man says, it's what God says that matters!

The enemy wants us Christians to feel helpless. We aren't. We have God. We need to pray and ask for His divine intervention. In 1 Peter 3:13 it says "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer."

God wouldn't be attentive to our prayers unless He wanted us to pray to Him.

I believe that we are at a very critical time in our country and I have felt a strong pulling from God to pray about this election.

The fact that you wrote this column says to me that you (and others) are sensing it, too. I have some close Christian friends who have been feeling the need to pray about this election as well.

If you are a Christian, you have an obligation to pray.

I am praying for John McCain and Sarah Palin because I have felt the Lord leading me this way. I started praying months ago asking God to lead me and it always came back to McCain. When Palin was put on the ticket, I felt that part of the reason I had been burdened with prayer was because God was trying to bring forth this Christian woman on the ticket. I see Palin's candidacy as an Esther moment.

You don't have to agree with me about the direction of God's will. You may believe that God's will is for Obama to win. But if you aren't praying and seeking God's help and guidance, how will you know?

If it's God's will for McCain/Palin to win, I believe that He will show it to you too. So I don't feel like I have to convince you what God's will is. God wouldn't take something this important and only make one person privy to it. He will let all believers know who ask Him.

However, I do strongly believe that I need to convince you of the urgency of praying at this time. If you are a Christian and you want God's hand in this election then you need to be praying very, very hard.

Regardless of the outcome, we Christians have a responsibility to pray. I think about it this way. I don't want to get to heaven and find out that some things didn't happen the way God wanted because I never asked for His help. God wants to help, but we need to ask.




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