Elections Are NOT Religious Events

voter-praying-smAbout five years ago, a faith leader offered me some political advice that I have greatly valued this year as this election cycle has hit new lows for mud slinging and propaganda. People are becoming divided as the propaganda quotient increases daily.

This faith leader's experience was confined to a single denomination, but in several locations representing divergent cultural demographics and varied ethnic compliments. These people all agreed on doctrine, but disagreed on politics by region. He warned me that immature Christians tend try to make their own political choices and opinions seem like the only morally correct opinions and choices … for all other Christians. In his experience, people of faith, with impeccable and unassailable family values and moral attributes and doctrinal agreement could take totally opposing positions on social issues and political candidates. How could he be minister to all without risking alienating half of his congregation? His answer was that political choices were not dictated by faith or morals. They were dictated by culture,  influenced by habits, traditions, or propaganda. Now that's a bit of wise insight, but not the whole story.

Every faith voter can probably justify his choice by his own moral code even when he adamantly disagrees with the choice of voters in the next pew. However, demanding that his opinions aligns with divinity versus other believers' opinions, is a sanctimonious stretch. I just don't think anyone has the absolute handle on the will of the Creator or how to apply His righteousness in an American election. I also do not think you can judge any American politician on a divine standard and still go to the voting booth

If you're familiar with your Old Testament, you can see Divine providence in the most unlikely of people and situations. It was the exile that inspired the greatest of Israel's prophets. Many scholars believe that Israel never became truly monotheistic in their cultural habits until after their exile in Babylon. Archeology backs that up as well, , but that's all hindsight. In foresight, I'm sure Israel had no such grand expectations when they were over run by Babylonians. Was divine providence accomplished by the pagan Babylonians?

Who is to say that divine providence stands on the side of one American political party or the other? Who knows the mind of the Creator so well as to demand that one candidate is better for God's people than the other? Did not David, the greatest of Israel's kings, assassinate his best military man just to take his wife? Was not Israel's first king, Saul, placed in office by popular demand? How did that work out? No one can say that divine providence or divine righteousness demands promoting or vilifying one political party or candidate. That would be beyond stupid and arrogant.

I am quite willing to concede that divine providence might be executed in either way the election turns out. I prefer choosing a candidate who promotes Nationalism over Globalism since I view that as the more godly of the two positions. However, my opinion might not be what the Creator has in His mind for humanity at this time. Probably we will fail at governing ourselves no matter what we do. History and scripture does suggest that to be true.

 

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