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Devotionals

The Lesser of Two Evils Is Still Evil -- Election Day 2012

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God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. -- Ephesians 1: 9-11 (NLT)

Stonewall Jackson once said that duty is ours"consequences are God's. We stand just a few weeks away from another presidential election. We hear the battle cry again about how this is the most important election in our lifetime. We hear the endless rhetoric of one party versus another and the unbelievable lies that accompany them. I expect no less from the world, which place very little value on the truth to begin with. The sad statement however is that no group of people seems more infected by this same problem than the modern church. It seems every election cycle we see a flood of pseudo-Christian emails and involvement in trying to say that one candidate is more of God's candidate than the other. The truth is that neither party cares about the cause of Jesus Christ -- NEITHER. They care about their party and consolidating power; both sides.

So then what is a Christian to do? We have a civic responsibility to vote and that duty, as Jackson's quote applies, is indeed ours. The notion proffered often is that we need to choose the lesser of two evils. I recently saw someone espouse that this is merely a phrase and not meant to be taken literally but I disagree and so does Scripture:

You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. -- James 4: 4 (NLT)

Just like Joshua once said, we must choose who it is that we will serve. If you are not serving God then you are serving the God of this world which the Bible says is indeed evil. We could not have asked for two more perfect examples of people who are not aligned with God or Christian principles. First you have the current president, who while is a practicing Christian, espouses a quite liberal Christianity. His is a Christianity that does not protect life at its most defenseless stage:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body  and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!    Your workmanship is marvelous--how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,  as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born.    Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out   before a single day had passed. -- Psalm 139: 13-16 (NLT)

There is no question that God controls and decides life. As a Bible believing Christian, we must stand against abortion. The problem with the pro-life stance is that it asserts that it is the only issue that is allowable to vote by and that is not scripturally supported. War does matter to God as there are a plethora of Scriptures to choose from regarding living in peace. Poverty and taking care of the least in society is the number one theme Biblically after salvation. These things do matter to God. Remember, as we do unto the least of these is as if we do it unto Jesus Himself.

This brings us to his challenger, Mitt Romney. I am sure as the standards of the world go; Mr. Romney is a swell guy. We are not to judge by the world's standards though. I am absolutely appalled at the blackout when it comes to his religion and what he believes. Does it matter considering we are electing a President? Of course it does! I could write quite a bit about Mormonism and their tenets of faith but let's just realize some of the basics. Mormonism rewrote portions of the Bible and added two books to the Scripture; The Book of Mormon and The Pearl of Great Price. Mormonism actually teaches that the Bible is the lesser of these three books. What does God say?

And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book. -- Revelation 22: 18-19 (NLT)

Additionally, Mormonism teaches that you can achieve co-equal status with God and denies the deity of Jesus Christ. Well some have argued; Mitt Romney may not take all of Mormonism seriously. To them I would enlighten that he tithes 19% of his wealth to his church and is a direct descendent of one of the 12 founding apostles of Mormonism. In poker parlance -- he is all in.

So once again, we come to that question -- what is a Christian to do? Charles Spurgeon once said that when a Christian is presented with a choice between two evils he is to take neither. I think he may have been onto something because the lesser of two evils argument when it comes to something like politics is really situational ethics at its worst. As Christians, we are to make our decisions based upon the Bible and the Bible alone. We are to have a biblical worldview. Our ethics of what is right and wrong must be based Biblically as well. Whatever "situation" it is that we are dealing with cannot change our ethics. When we engage in this type of situational ethics when it comes to elections, we lose sight of something very important. If you choose to vote for the lesser of two evils it is crucial to never lose sight of the fact that you are in fact supporting evil. What I mean by that is the constant advocacy of your choice is the more egregious act than the actual vote. Who we vote for should be between us and God. Two completely devout Christians can go into prayer and reflect to the Holy Spirit yet come out with two different directions when it comes to their selection. It is the insistence to advocate vociferously for your choice that becomes the problem because the Bible says to not call what is evil, good.

While we are on this subject, we need to stop the sensationalizing of the election and voting process. We will not stand before Christ one day and have Him run down our voting record. Our vote is a civic responsibility, not a Christian one. It is not like we will be at the pearly gates and have Jesus run down our missionary works and ministry works and suddenly He will say, "well you were doing well until 96 and then you voted for Clinton, sorry, you can't come in." Now I know the Christian-political operatives will talk endlessly about affecting our culture but that is simply not the way we are supposed to go about it. The problems we face in this country are very real but they are spiritual in nature, not carnal. The voting process is carnal, not spiritual. I can guarantee you this; the problems we face will not be solved by either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. Instead of tearing down our leaders the Bible says we are to pray for them. Instead of worrying who our neighbor is voting for we ought to be more concerned with who we are all praying for. And what we are all praying for. And how often we are praying at all. The problems we face will not be solved by running to the ballot box but by dropping to our knees. To illustrate, let us look at the cursing of the fig tree:

In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" And immediately the fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" Then Jesus told them, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, "May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it." -- Matthew 21: 18-22 (NLT)

At first blush this always struck me as mean. Jesus curses the fig tree just because it did not have any fruit. But when researched we find that the leaves gave the impression that there was fruit. So when Jesus saw the leaves He assumed there would be fruit but He found none. The church sometimes can be like this fig tree. We have plenty of leaves for people to look at but when they peel them aside they cannot find any fruit. When it comes time for Election Day we seem to have plenty of leaves; that is opinions from Christians about the righteous way to cast your vote. We just do not have as much fruit behind the leaves; that is people interceding, seeking God repenting. You know, all of the things God says the church must do if we are to see our land actually healed:

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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. -- 2Chronicles 7: 14 (NIV)

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