Moral Failures and Political Leadership – Christians and Voting 101
Another Discussion! Please share your thoughts!
From a preacher in Washington State –
Dirty smear accusations are nothing out of the ordinary in political campaigns and we voters have little way of knowing the real truth. The media have been proven untrustworthy so we don’t know what to believe. It seems easy to believe bad things about the candidates we dislike and disbelieve bad rumors about candidates we do like. But that is not fair and is not a Christian way for us to think. Perhaps the best approach is to give all candidates the benefit of the doubt, but don’t be blind to obvious reality.
The larger question is what impact should the morals of a candidate or his/her family have on our decisions as voters. Most recent presidents definitely had feet of clay, morally speaking. Consider: At least Harding, FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Bush 41, and Clinton were accused of being adulterers and there is credible evidence that all of them (with the possible exception of Bush) were guilty as charged. Reagan was divorced and fathered a child with Nancy out of wedlock. Nixon and Truman used filthy language (and my guess is that they are not the only ones to foul the environment of the Oval Office with dirty talk). Jimmy Carter “lusted in his heart.” Some of the presidential offspring have apparently been model citizens. Of course, we don’t always know about their behavior because in the past the press has been very respectful of their privacy. So we really don’t know much one way or the other about Luci Johnson, or Julie Nixon, or Amy Carter, or Chelsea Clinton’s behavior as teenagers in the White House. We did hear about the trouble the Bush twins got into with underage drinking while they were college students.
Our ideal leader would be a godly man or woman whose family would likewise be free of behavior blots. However, they — like all of us here — are human beings and sinners. In spite of their moral failures, some of the names I have mentioned were quite effective in the Presidency. I have no doubt that if one looks deeply enough, he will find some dirt which can be thrown on anyone who seeks public office. When these accusations are lies, we are free to disregard them. But if they are true (or at least appear that they might be true), how should that affect the way we vote?
I wrestle with participation in the whole process. When a Christian votes, what is being said spiritually with that vote? Is our vote supporting the lesser of two evils? Or are we giving our full approval for leadership of the free world to a person whom we wouldn’t put forward as the elder of a local congregation?
Paul and Peter told us to honor the king and to be good citizens, despite the evil nature of those in power at the time. We are to live in this sinful world until we go to our reward. Therefore, we will participate in the society as it is. God knew we would be voting or selecting leaders that were ungodly. However, we use our wisdom to vote for those who will do the best to maintain a moral environment so we can serve Him and seek the lost. When the opposition will actively do harm to the cause of Christ, we select the one who will be the best for the cause of Christ. It is never an easy thing but it is absolutely necessary.
But Christianity experiences its greatest growth among Gentiles in times of great moral degradation and persecution. A moral environment maintained by government lessens the contrast between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world.I’m not saying that I won’t vote. I’m merely voicing my concerns that BOTH sides will actively do harm to the cause of Christ. How do we know which side will do LESS harm?
I understand. Sometimes it is not always clear. For me, this year is easier. McCain has problems with the embryonic stem cell issue. Moreover, he is all over the place on some issues and it is hard to know how conservative he will be after he wins. This is why I wasn’t thrilled about him being the nominee.However, Obama is very liberal. so, if he is in the White House and controls Congress, we will see great advances in abortion, homosexuality, restraints on religious and educational freedoms, embryonic stem cells, cloning, euthanasia, etc. We will also be less safe militarily, so this can hinder what we do as Christians.
For me, it is clear which one will do more damage. But, this is me, not anyone else. You all may see it differently.
All those things we fear from the Obama camp existed in full power in the Roman era of church history.I’m not sure how a strong American military protects the interests of the worldwide kingdom of God.
American conservatism has wrapped itself in the “Christian flag” and the name of Christ is blasphemed worldwide because our conservative administrations have operated under a general maxim that “whatever is good for America must be good for God.”
Conservatives have no problem spouting Jesus rhetoric to get elected and then supporting and expanding policies that show no concern for the economic exploitation of weaker nations and the ecological destruction of the world God gave his people to steward.
Liberal politics attack Christ.
Conservative politics kiss His cheek and then betray Him for their own ends.
How do I decide between those poles?
What do you think so far? I’ll add more later today. Anyone sharing in the conversation would be wonderful!
in HIS love,
PS – Is this same-color format easier on the eyes and the brain, or did the different colors for different participants make it easier to keep up with who’s who?