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February 22, 2008 / beidson

Me and Wisdom and the Voting Booth

While I am not a politician by any stretch of the imagination, I do find that bybible21.jpg necessity I must be somewhat of a political activist, and at the very least, a political analyst.  By “necessity” I mean that although I am a citizen of a heavenly city that is yet to come, I am still a citizen of an earthly city at present, governed by fallible, finite leaders, all of whom are sinners by nature.  Therefore, I am compelled by the gospel which gave me life to be biblically and politically savy, to understand what to make of the current landscape of American and global politics, and to make wise, informed decisions regarding elections, laws, and whatever else may concern me.  This is true for all believers, especially for those of us who live in a democratic republic.

Since there is so much information available to us about every possible political issue, we must be wise and discerning in our research and must be as balanced as possible in our approach.  This means that we cannot pledge allegiance to any particular political party or its affiliates, nor should we cannonize the beliefs of popular media celebrities, on the right or the left. 

What we ought to do instead is consider all sides and realize that extremism in any direction is most likely unwise.  However, this does not mean that we have to sit on the political fence and refrain from speaking out against injustices and bad policy; we should speak out, but with wisdom.  We must not allow what is distinctly secular to define for us what constitutes “extreme.”  Many would call evangelical Christians extremists because they are against (for the most part) the scientific use of stem cells, or because we believe (for the most part) in an unborn child’s right to life, over and against a woman’s “right” to choose.  We must define “extremism” according to Scripture, and allow wisdom to guide us in taking positions on a range of political positions.  There are some things we will disagree on, but even then, our disagreements ought to be discussed in a civilized, and more importantly, Christian way.  We must learn that our tongues are more dangerous than bad politics, and if we cannot learn to control these, we will most definitely be unable to influence public policy for the better and will lose our audience for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We must also realize that politics are not divorced from the Kingdom of Christ, and that  Scripture, rather than public opinion, is the authority on national matters.  Even Pilate understood this.  He knew he must do something with Jesus.  His decision to let the people decide was not “neutral” by any means; rather, he acted on behalf of Rome to condemn Christ to an unjust execution.  Jesus and politics must mix, because rulers must acknowledge him,  even if by “ignoring” him, as Pilate tried to do.

All nations belong to Jesus, and he rules even now with all power and authority.  There is no wisdom or knowledge or power possessed by men that was not given by God Almighty.  Though we may pervert our power and misuse our knowledge, God has not and will not ever do so.  Jesus Christ is Judge, and all people will stand before him and give account of their lives.  This includes President Clinton and President Bush, as well as Clinton-haters and Bush-haters.  This includes dictators, as well as those who must live under the reign of such tyrrants.  Jesus Christ will judge every word of world leaders,  as well as those spoken at Friday night bingo games.

As for the upcoming election, we must approach it with prayer and wisdom, based on Scripture, as well as balanced political commentary.  Here are just a few things I have found helpful concerning each leading candidate.  This is not all there is; there is so much more to consider.  So as election day approaches, keep researching and keep asking God for wisdom on these matters . . .  On McCain  On Clinton  On Obama  For each candidates’ views on various political issues  Broadcasts for Jan. 31 (on a Christian perspective of voting) and Feb. 11 (on the possibility of Obama becoming the next president)


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