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The Politics of God -- An Election Season Primer

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Woe   to those who call evil good   and good evil,   who put darkness for light   and light for darkness,   who put bitter for sweet   and sweet for bitter. -- Isaiah 5: 20 (NIV)

This country that we live in has become so polarized over the past 20 years. The people in power have sold the people in America that there are only two sides and it is crucial that you decide what side you are on. Why? Because the other side is to blame for everything that ever goes wrong in our lives. It allows us to avoid personal responsibility and perpetuates the victim mentality the devil sells to everyone. We can get 32 flavors of ice cream but only two coherent lines of political thought. You are either blue or red, liberal or conservative, republican or democrat. With the addition of fringe elements there is less room for compromise, which is what governing is supposed to be based on. While this is sad enough in the world it becomes even sadder when it infects the church as it seems to do so easily. There is nothing like an election season to fire up the spate of "Christian" emails one might receive. Filled with distortions and lies, propagating their candidate as just what God needs to fix this country. Playing on a Christian's true desire to do the right thing, they will sell you on how their guy is not only the right choice, but he is God's choice. Let's see what God has to say about that:

Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,   and all their plans die with them. -- Psalm 146: 3-4 (NLT)

Don't put your trust in mere humans.    They are as frail as breath.    What good are they? -- Isaiah 2: 22 (NLT)

It is better to take refuge in the Lord  than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord   than to trust in princes. -- Psalm 118: 8-9

Hear me very clearly today beloved -- no political party cares about the cause of Jesus Christ. As a former political junkie I can tell you that both sides care about one thing and one thing only -- power. They will use whoever they need to achieve it, secure it and keep it.

So should we vote? Absolutely because it is a civic responsibility. It is not however a Christian responsibility. The truth is that politics has corrupted Christianity. Last night a Baptist preacher took to the national stage to promote a Mormon for president and the evangelical world barely blinked. This is not an exercise in saying one candidate is better than another. It is merely pointing out the absurdity of a Baptist preacher shilling for votes for someone who denies the deity of Jesus Christ! For someone who believes that we can achieve God-like status and be equal with God! If that sounds familiar it is because there is another fellow who believed such things in the Bible and his name is Satan!

Again, hear me very clearly, I am not advocating for either side -- nor do I think it is a proper role of any leader in Christendom to do so. I can give you 20 reasons why we should not vote for Obama and 20 reasons why we should not vote for Romney. Do not confuse the issue however; they will all be carnal reasons. We can dress them up with the name of Jesus but in the end they will not be of God. The Lord does not need your vote:

He said, "Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. -- Daniel 2: 20-21 (NLT)

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. -- Romans 13: 1 (NLT)

God has a plan and it will not be changed by who you vote for. So what then is our responsibility? Our responsibility is to seek the Holy Spirit inside of us and be led to vote according to the Spirit of God -- without fear of condemnation. I say that because there are too many political operatives in Christian clothing these days. People who care about the cause of a party and not the cause of Jesus Christ. The reality is that I agree with many Christians who feel voting is now an exercise in determining the lesser of two evils. But we need to realize a couple of things along with that mindset.

The first thing is do not ever lose sight of the fact that you are voting for evil. Lesser evil is still evil beloved. There are far too many Christians who advocate for their side as if they have discovered righteousness in it. Man only finds righteousness in politics if he has pre-determined his cause to be righteous. This is where the key verse comes in today. As Christians, we should NOT be found calling evil good. The lesser of two evils is still evil. But God is still on the throne. Whoever is president is God's choice to fulfill God's plan. That means Barack Obama was God's choice in 2008 and George Bush was his choice for the eight years prior. Yes, that even means that Bill Clinton was His choice before that. It doesn't make them righteous; just who God allowed into power to accomplish His will.

Secondly, when we realize that we are seeking the lesser of two evils do not ever fall for the lie that somehow you will be judged on who you voted for. I have heard this twisted and contorted argument too many times. The notion that we will stand before Christ and have to answer for whether we voted for the pro-choice guy or the Mormon is patently absurd. Do not let anyone try and condemn you. Your vote is between you and God. Seek Him knowing that He will use whoever He places in power.

I say these things because the church needs to get back to being the church and leave the world to be the world. What did Jesus charge us with? I do not recall the parable of choosing the righteous presidential candidate. The disciples wanted Jesus to deliver them from their own political situation with the Romans but Jesus came to save them from so much more. God's plan is always so much more. It seems sometimes as if we get pre-occupied with trying to bring the morality of religion to the fallen world instead of the love of Christ. Realize that at its heart that desire is no different than aspiring to be God. We want to convict people of their sin, which is the role of the Holy Spirit. What we are supposed to do is show them love, witness about our lives, and point them to the cross. It is at the cross that they will find the forgiveness of God instead of the judgment of man. Voting is not a fruit of the Spirit. When Christ returns He is not going to want to review your voting record. He is going to review your walk and what you did with the talent He gave you for His kingdom. When you strip away all of the politics of man, the rhetoric, the lying, and the posturing -- then maybe we can start to see the politics of God. It is not found in political platforms and fancy speeches. It is not concerned about the economy, the budget, or even the wedge issues so many use to rally Christians to the polls. The politics of God are found in His Word, and I pray we would just look for them instead of looking for a Christian rationale to back up our desire to cast our carnal vote.

1) Taking care of the least. The number one theme in the Bible after salvation.

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