7 Mistakes Believers Should Avoid when Choosing a President
Like most Christians in America, I believe our country is at a crossroad. The President we elect this year will either turn our country back to our conservative, Judeo-Christian roots or take it beyond rescue.
I am disgusted with the high-handed, hypocritical display of intolerance shown by those in leadership who pretend to celebrate its value. And I am eager to elect a President who will work to reverse the downward spiral of moral decay we have been forced to endure. We must take care, however, to avoid making a purely emotional choice. Outrage must be balanced by reason and choices must be driven by biblical values, which apply to every candidate, whether he is a believer or not.
Making a mistake is easy. Here are 7 that we need to avoid:
- Making Christianity a requirement before you will vote for an individual. I don’t require the public servants who protect me (fire or police personnel) to be Christians. I didn’t require the contractor who built my house to be a Christian (I went with the individual who gave me the best deal). When traveling by air, I would prefer to have a highly skilled, Christian pilot in the cockpit. If, however, I am forced to choose between a highly skilled, non-Christian pilot and an unproven Christian pilot, I’ll choose the non-Christian expert every time. I do, however, expect them all to be honest, trustworthy, reasonable, and perform their duties with some degree of respect for those they serve. Scripture records numerous instances of God using non-believers to aid believers (Joseph encountered several of them). “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord” (Proverbs 21:1).
- Ignoring non-negotiable principles of righteousness because the candidate is not a Christian. I’ve heard more than one individual declare “We are electing a President, not a pastor,” as if that reality somehow invalidates the need for our President to possess some measure of moral character. While a candidate’s faith is not a reason to exclude him from consideration, his lack of decency should be. We must not forget that “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
- Equating Biblical righteousness with human morality. While all morality has its origin in biblical truth, embracing biblical truth is not a pre-requisite for morality. Every individual has been endowed by his creator with a clear understanding of right and wrong. Many choose to commit themselves to high standards of morality even though they are not Christians.
- Allowing your outrage over abusive political correctness to overrule your sense of respect and dignity. I enjoy seeing the bully get what’s coming to him as much as anyone, but I’m not sure we’ve made any progress if the deliverer is the biggest bully of all. Bold, aggressive, self-confident leadership works best when paired with humility. “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6).
- Choosing to boycott the polls because no candidate meets all of your requirements. We like to characterize our approach to choosing political leadership as being an exercise in selecting the “lesser of many evils.” The implication is that we just don’t have much from which to choose, a conclusion that indicates a sense of entitlement. American believers have enjoyed unprecedented freedom and favor longer than Christians in any other nation in history. That freedom is the result of leadership that respected and embraced biblical values; values which were wholly despised by our enemies and courageously protected by those who loved our country. Choosing not to vote demonstrates a lack of appreciation for the liberty we have and disrespect for those who have given their lives to preserve it.
- Failing to seek the Lord’s wisdom before going to the polls. Has God removed His hand of blessing from America? Many believers insist that He has; how else can you explain the flagrant disrespect for righteousness in our country? Yet, it may well be that God has not changed His position at all. Is it possible that we (as believers) are simply reaping the harvest of our failure to “seek the Lord?” Condemning a candidate for his lack of spirituality while ignoring our responsibility to seek the Lord with humble hearts is blatant hypocrisy.
- Becoming overwrought over the apparent hopelessness of our circumstances. There was a time when elections produced cautious hope, but no longer. Hope has been replaced with anxiety; optimism with despair. For a believer, however, all is not lost. Hope rebounds when we remember that Our God is still “working all things together for our good” (Romans 8:28). Our inability to see it, or understand it does not invalidate the truth. Instead, it encourages us to walk by faith, trusting God rather than man.
I will vote (in my primary on March 1 and the general election on November 8) for the individual who, in my opinion, provides the best opportunity for improving our country. I want a leader who has moral character; someone who will treat the office of the Presidency with the respect and dignity it demands. I will make my choice after seeking God’s guidance and trust Him alone for the security of my future.
The fact that I don’t expect my choice to make a huge difference in the future of our country does not lessen the importance of my vote, nor does it make me a pessimist. I will be optimistic, while keeping my eyes on my Deliverer, who has promised to keep me safe and provide for my every need.
He doesn’t reside in Washington, DC.