It's less than two weeks before the 2012 presidential election, and the fervor is growing on both sides. What I've been noticing the last few weeks is an unrest in the Christian community as more questions about morality and the election arise daily. What are the most important moral issues? Can a Christian vote for a candidate who supports abortion? Can a Christian vote for a candidate that seems not to care about the poor? Can an Evangelical or Catholic vote for a Mormon? Is it moral to vote for the "lesser of two evils?" Are either of the candidates actually evil? Do we have a moral obligation to vote?
Those who know me well know that I get really passionate about things, and would love to tell you what I think about it all. I could spend a long time giving you what I believe are the right answers to these and many other election-related questions. But I'm not going to.
Instead, I want to talk about the attitude Christians should have over the next ten days. While we are doing our research, delving into the moral questions, and having (hopefully kind and uplifting) discussions with fellow Christians about the issues, the prevailing attitude should be one of peace and trust, because we are more powerful than our votes. Scripture is clear that God is the one who puts rulers in place, for His purpose. For the sake of time, I won't outline those verses here, but this is a good place for you to start looking into it. I realize that this may give rise to more questions about the morality of civil disobedience, but those are issues for another day. My point is that, ultimately, God is in control. And we can do more about the direction of our country than just participate in the political process. Right now, our country has turned away from God. And I know that Christians would love to see a move back to a more righteous way of life. But before you point all the fingers at the liberals, consider this...
In 2 Chronicals 7:13-15, God tells Solomon, "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (NIV)
See what he says there - When I'm sending judgement on the land, Solomon, the people need to pray and repent, and I will forgive them and heal their land. This was originally a promise to Israel, God's first people. But Christ made it so that all those who follow Him are called by His name. We are His people, and this is our land. So as Christians, we need stop looking at the sinners "of the world" and placing blame, and start looking at ourselves. We all need to repent and beseech the Lord for His mercy on the United States.
Commit to being a prayer warrior for this election. First, seriously evaluate your conscience and repent of your own sins, then lift your prayers up with those of other faithful Christians who care about the outcome of this election. The truth is that our prayers are more powerful than our votes. I'm not saying don't vote. (Okay, I'll just slip in my opinion on one of the above questions: I think Christians have a moral imperative to vote.) But your prayers will influence in a way that your vote can't. When God was going to destroy Sodom, He told Abraham that He would spare Sodom if Abraham could find just a handful of righteous people living there. Let's be those righteous people in our land. And let's fill our hearts, and lace our discussions, with trust, hope, and peace. If God's people truly repent and pray, He will hear us and heal our land. Regardless of who wins this election.
Casting Crowns brings that passage in 2 Chronicles to life in their song "What if His People Prayed." Watch the video... and keep praying.