As a follower of Christ, I am not completely comfortable with either political party or the candidates they have nominated to be president of the United States. When I think of voting in 2020, my mind goes to this ancient text:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance…If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt…[the doubter] should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
“IN ALL THEY DO”—I think this includes voting.
WHY DO WE NEED GOD’S WISDOM TO VOTE?
We need God’s wisdom because that which is morally wrong cannot be politically correct. Voting in 2020 requires Believers to support a candidate and political platform that is promoting ideas and behaviors that are morally wrong. Neither mainstream candidate, or the platforms they represent, are 100% morally correct. Both parties have policies that are morally wrong; and, they have nominated candidates that have very public moral failures, character deficits, and evil ideas cloaked in stumping points that are communicated as “good for the majority of people.”
We need God’s wisdom when voting because all sin is equally wrong, but the consequences for specific sins are not equal. The consequence for cowardice is different than the consequence for arrogance. The consequence for sexual immorality is different than the consequence for a deceptive heart that has wicked schemes. The consequence for sowing discord is different than the consequence for shedding innocent blood. The consequence for speaking lies is different than the consequence for purposely lying about someone to deceive people. I could go on, but I think you get the point.
We need God’s wisdom when voting for 2020’s presidential candidates because we are not just choosing between personalities, platforms, and promised policies. We are choosing between the consequences of what is morally wrong that they have made politically correct. When Jesus followers begin to justify what is morally wrong in any candidate claiming that it is for the better good of everyone, we become the double-minded, unstable person.
We need God’s wisdom when voting because by-and-large, God’s people are terrified of offending someone by talking about Christ in an election year. However, it does not seem to bother us to offend someone with our political views, and in the process, destroy our credibility to share the hope of the Gospel with them.
Believers need God’s wisdom when voting because in America when we choose a candidate, we must be committed to opposing the evil that candidate will promote as good. This is not hypocrisy. It is voting with our eyes wide open because our loyalty is to the King of Kings.
Naaman, the leading general in the Aram Empire, had defeated and enslaved God’s people. He had leprosy. A Jewish slave girl he had acquired to serve his wife, told him the God of Israel could heal him. She advised him to go to the prophet Elisha and seek his help. To keep the story short, God healed Naaman because he humbled himself and obeyed the Lord’s instructions given through Elisha. As a result, he wanted to pay the prophet and Elisha would have known of that.
Look closely at Naaman’s words and request to Elisha as he prepares to go back to Aram:
“I will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. But may the Lord forgive me for this one thing: When my king enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down…I have to bow there also—when I bow down…may the Lord forgive me for this.”
Naaman knows who is God. He has just declared his loyalty to him, but he also knows that he lives in a culture and a system that asks him to kneel before idols. He wants to know if God will forgive him for this. Doesn’t this feel like voting?
Elisha responds with 3 words: “Go in peace.” He does not scratch where Naaman is itching. He neither condones or condemns what Naaman confesses.
What does this say to me? No matter who I vote for, they will bow to idols that I do not kneel to. Does this make me a hypocrite? Does this mean it is okay for me to vote for someone knowing this will happen?
Elisha’s response reveals this is a valid concern, but not something that needed to be answered in that moment. It as if God is saying, “Go in peace knowing that if you are going to follow Christ there will be conflict.”
The impending conflict will be dealt with at the appropriate time. Until then, go in peace.
It is with this in mind, I will go vote. I encourage you to do the same.