One thing that is painfully apparent as we approach the elections this year is the deep chasm in this country. Perhaps not so much for the average person, but certainly this is so in politics and the media. The political parties seem to be locked into a pattern of divisive attacks and mud slinging with little, if any, desire to seek out middle ground. Likewise, the media seems to have abandoned all pretense of nonpartisan reporting.
Many within the church also seem to have bought into this divisiveness with some choosing one candidate over the other and refusing to even discuss the reasons. Others refuse to even engage in the political process quoting scriptures such as Matthew 22 and Titus 3. Yet they also ignore passages such as Acts 5:29:
“Then Peter and the apostles replied, We must obey God rather than men.”
But there is more to it than that. We are indeed told to render unto Caesar, and to be submissive and obedient to authorities, yet who is Caesar? Who in the United States is the ultimate authority? Many will say it is the government, but is that the case? Well I don’t want to get into a long constitutional discussion, so I’ll just say if you really believe that, pick up a copy of the Constitution and read it. It will not take long to realize that you may have been mistaken. The answer is actually summed up in the first six words of the Preamble; “We the People of the United States.” Lincoln understood this and summed it up better than perhaps anyone in the last sentence of the Gettysburg Address; “…this government of the people, by the people, for the people….” There can really be no other conclusion. Under the democratic republic form of government established by our Constitution, “we the people” are Caesar.
So then what should our position be? What are the criteria for selecting those who will represent us in government? It really boils down to one word, righteousness. Which candidate best represents and supports godly values and principles? Not just talking the talk, but walking the walk. In the end, that’s what matters, not who has the best sound bites, or who says what you want to hear, nor who is younger, older, male, female, of the right denomination, or any other grouping you might think of. Who is walking the walk and bearing good fruit? Look beyond their words, examine their lives, and most importantly, pray and then vote.
One last thing, before you cast that vote carelessly, remember God sees your action and your heart and will one day hold you accountable for the choice you make.