Do you feel frustrated, confused, and possibly angry about our current political situation? If you do, you are not alone.
Never has America, the world’s most powerful country, been given two options for President with such low approval among the populace. Rarely has therhetoric been so divisive and so negative.
With the election looming, the questions that keep popping into my mind are: How does a Christian live like a Christian in this election season? And what does it look like to vote as a follower of Jesus?
After much prayer and searching, I felt prompted to give my best answers. Here’s how I would answer this:
1. Think clearly.
Until we understand the unique role of the government, the Church, and the individual Christian, we are destined to an electoral season of high emotion andpoor decision-making.
To help think this through, I’d encourage you to read the chapter on “The Church and Politics” from my book Culture Shock. It outlines God’s purpose for the government, the Church and the individual believer.
In it, I explain how the role of the government is to restrain evil. And the role of the church is to continue what Jesus started when He came. What didJesus do? He came to reveal what God is like and to bring the power of the Kingdom of God on Earth.
Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He commanded us – His Church – to continue what He did. That means it’s up to the Church to solve issues, tohave high integrity, to be a moral light in a dark world, and also meet the deepest needs of people’s lives.
Our challenge, as individuals, is to hold this dual-citizenship of being a citizen of heaven and also a citizen of the USA. Therefore, asindividuals, it’s important that we do not “opt-out” of either one of our role’s responsibilities. And one of those responsibilities is to vote thisNovember.
2. Think deeply.
Ask the “why?” question. Why are you leaning toward or resolutely voting for one candidate or the other? Is it because of anger? Bias? Tradition?Economics? Self-interest? Or just fear?
Next, ask yourself, “Who would Jesus vote for, and why?”
If Jesus were living here on Earth right now, what issues, values and objectives would He hold most dear? Why would Jesus vote even if He didn’t have greatrespect for either candidate as an option for this high office? What criteria would He use to vote?
3. Act responsibly.
Remember that you are first and foremost a son or daughter of the Most High God and your communication and behavior need to reflect yourSavior. How?
- Refuse to vilify the “other” candidate and party with whom you disagree.
- Refuse to pass on “untested information.” (Just because it’s on the Internet or the news, it doesn’t mean it is tested or true.)
- Refuse to attack, blame, label, and treat others who disagree with you as “less Christian.”
- Know what the Bible says about key issues and articulate them with boldness and kindness.
4. Pray fervently.
Place your hope in God alone, not in a candidate or political party. God is all-powerful and He sovereignly works through His people. So take God up on Hispromises. He has dramatically intervened through history and waits on high to hear the cries of His people. Ask God to give you wisdom to show you what Hevalues the most.
“You have not, because you ask not.” (James 4:2b)
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and amazing things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
5. Be a change agent.
Refuse to be passive or fatalistic. Ask God to do a fresh work in you. You can’t change the whole world, but you can let God change you. God can and does work through any leader.
So the real question is: Will you allow Him to work in you?
It may sound strange, but I’m feeling very encouraged and optimistic. Why? Times of crisis and uncertainty have a way of causing us to awaken from ouridols and distractions. We all have them, including our neighbors, coworkers and friends who don’t yet know Jesus’ love and forgiveness.
Now is not a time to be dismayed. Now is the time to seize the day!
God is willing and He is able! He invites you and me to use this pivotal season in America’s history to draw near to Him,get in a Christian community or small group if you’re not in one already, and reach out to others like never before.
Download the free chapter of Culture Shock: Politics: What’s the Role of the Church? You can also purchase a copy of Culture Shock, and the 12-session group study.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip