Everyone is waiting for this evening’s presidential debate that begins at 9:00 p.m. (EST) and will be televised live “by C-SPAN, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as all cable news channels including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC among others” (http://www.2012presidentialelectionnews.com/2012-debate-schedule/2012-presidential-debate-schedule/). I have heard all kinds of news and opinion reports leading up to tonight’s standoff between President Barak Obama and the Republican’s candidate, Governor Mitt Romney. Everyone who has picked a “side” to stand with is waiting for confirmation; others are waiting to hear who is bringing the message they want to hear about the economy, jobs, and pro “this” or con “that. There are others who have no side at all – somewhat like me – standing in the middle: I want to discern what the truth is – or who is telling the truth. However, as I also wait to hear what is going to be said, I have made one decision: the debate alone will not be the deciding factor that guides my voting decision.
Thankfully, a scripture from God’s Word, The Holy Bible is coming before me to remind me (so I remind you and all Christians) of our daily duty before the Lord and especially as we prepare for a presidential election. It’s found in the New Testament, Book of 1st Timothy, chapter 2, verses 1 and 2: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Interestingly, in spite of all the rhetoric from party members and even Christian organizations like Samaritan Purse’s email I received last week, I do not hear a loud, resounding call for Christians, and especially Christian leaders who have some influence in the political arena to ask believers in Jesus Christ to pray about who we should be voting for – at least, not as much as why we shouldn’t vote for one or the other candidate.
I am disturbed anyway, when any Christian organization takes a platform to wholeheartedly “choose” a candidate to support. I have a deep concern with persons in spiritual authority abusing their authority by allowing political candidates time in our worship services to share their party’s propaganda – that goes for the Mayor, The Governor and even the President. The church of Jesus Christ is not a political asylum, voting poll or place where politicos can get people to vote them into office. You never see them in attendance in the worship services again unless they want something (a vote, a donation, etc.). God’s house is a house of prayer, Jesus said, (see Matthew 21:13), not a platform for political candidates. Therefore, back to the original point – if God’s House, the “church” is a place of prayer, why aren’t we praying? Why aren’t groups of Christians or churches meeting in the weeks to come to just pray to God for America and for each of the candidates? The bottom line is no matter who wins the election, the mandate to pray for our leaders in 1 Timothy is constant – it is something we must do as we see the days getting more evil, treacherous and the spirit of antichrist rising against the Lord Jesus who is the Christ – God’s Anointed One and God’s Son and His church.
Those of us who are Christians – true believers in Jesus Christ have a dual citizenship – here on earth and in Heaven, God’s Kingdom through Jesus Christ. We have a duty to our human citizenship to here the opinions, plans and support or oppose policies that go against God’s law, the poor and disenfranchised and what is the better good for this nation. There are varying opinions in the Christian church even about that – but the only way for Christians to resolve the conflict in choices is to pray – to connect to our heavenly citizenship through Jesus Christ, praying to God for an answer in these trying times. Tonight’s debate is not going to be the answer to our nation’s ills or our nation’s stance to not include God in its social and moral policies. The election is not the answer – only Jesus Christ is the answer. His Kingdom is coming…and we as Christians should pray daily “that His Kingdom would come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (see Matthew 6:10; a part of prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray when He lived on earth also known as the “Lord’s prayer”).
It stands repeating, “His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Are you praying that prayer Christian? Are you asking God for discernment in the midst of a multitude of words, promises and campaign slogans? Are you caught up in the “issues of the day”, the “cares of this life” or the “promises of God”? Are you Christian on your post – on your knees, or sitting at your breakfast table or sitting in your car or lying in your bed or sitting on a bench inside your church praying for God’s will in this election. Did you ask The Lord today to help and cover our leaders with blood of Jesus? Oh…we have work to do brothers and sisters…the work of prayer, faith and waiting on God.
May we come out of the world and the world system of politics! "Lord, grant us time to pray for our leaders and this nation and to help us to come to our holy senses to discern truth in these dark times.” Don’t be deceived by the platforms and rhetoric and the maze of challenges we face or will face or the fact that one is for homosexuality or against homosexuality. As Christians you should know what God’s Word says about homosexuality, already! God also cares about the poor; those who are homeless; without jobs; the prisoner, the abused, the disenfranchised…just as He hates same-sex relationships when He created man and woman from (and for the) man.
We need a word from the Lord in our individual hearts about what God is saying to this nation. No party has offered the right answers for the complexity of issues and social problems we face. No political party has a perfect heart toward God, toward Jesus Christ…just issues, challenges, problems, promises and platforms. God help us today and help us to choose a president for our country – not just on the wings of words from a presidential debate, but from the Word and Spirit of God.
God can’t bless this country if we don’t invite Him and His Kingdom to rule the way we live, grow and serve Him and each other in this country.