Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

So. . . What is the Christian's Ultimate Role in This Election?

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 02 November 2008

The way the story is typically told at this stage of the election game is this: One presidential candidate is a socialist and the other. . . a Nazi. It has -- in all honesty -- turned very ugly.

Christians -- i.e. True Believers who trust the Word of God as the absolute final authority on All things -- tend to exonerate this view when they take sides. And I am the first to admit that I have taken a side. It’s hard NOT to take a side when you rely on God’s Word to speak truth about the two candidates.

One candidate has unashamedly stood against God’s Word; and I will not apologize for pointing it out on my blog. Barak Obama -- by virtue of his very radical and liberal position on values issues -- has clearly energized values voters, and especially Bible-believing Christians. (If any of this is vague, please see Election Thoughts.)

This presidential election is not about two different political views, but two vastly opposing World Views.

And these two world views have been clashing since the beginning of time. The battle is a spiritual one:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”
~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Christians can neither protect nor expand the cause of Christ by political activism, no matter how great or sincere the efforts. While a sound Scriptural argument can be made for involvement in civic government, this is not the Christian's ultimate purpose or goal as a follower of Jesus Christ. (I'm coming back to our ultimate purpose. . . keep reading.)

However. . . as Christians, we must reject all that is ungodly and false.

As Christians, we must grieve over -- and stand against arrogance, greed, dishonesty, indecency, vulgarity, deceitfulness, materialism, and violence.

As Christians, we must support what is good and wholesome and righteous and in agreement with God’s Word.

As Christians, we must choose between punishing the work ethic and rewarding laziness which leads to poverty. We must choose to either empower the financially weak and disenfranchised -- or pander to them. (See Proverbs 14:23, Proverbs 22:29, and Proverbs 12:24.)

As Christians, we must choose LIFE.

As Christians we are not called to wage a cultural war that seeks to change the course of history. God has already written the course of history. That’s not ours. To attempt this is to undermine God’s sovereignty and put a mask on truth. History will play out according to God's plan regardless of who wins the 2008 Presidential election in the United States of America.

When Christians take a stand that emphasizes political activism, it always diverts attention away from our ultimate goal which is to bring sinful people to salvation through Jesus Christ.

In looking back over the last many (many!) months of this election process, it is clear that both sides have become downright hateful. Here’s how John MacArthur sees it:

“Such an antagonistic position toward the established secular culture invariably leads believers to feel hostile not only to unsaved government leaders with whom they disagree, but also antagonistic toward the unsaved residents of that culture—neighbors and fellow citizens they ought to love, pray for, and share the gospel with. To me it is unthinkable that we become enemies of the very people we seek to win to Christ, our potential brothers and sisters in the Lord.”
~ John MacArthur

If Barak Obama wins this election, the only thing that will bring America back to its Christian heritage -- and allow this country to go into the next generation as a "Christian Nation" -- is prayer.

“Makes Jesus your Lord proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God's emissaries for keeping order. It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of fools... Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.”
~ 1 Peter 2:13-17 (The Message)

“Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it's God's order. So live responsibly as a citizen.”
~ Romans 13:1 (The Message)

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

If John McCain wins this election, he too will need prayer.

“Without wise leadership, a nation falls; with many counselors, there is safety.”
~ Proverbs 11:14 (NLT)

“A leader of good judgment gives stability.”
~ Proverbs 29:4 (The Message)

“Leadership gains authority and respect when the voiceless poor are treated fairly.”
~ Proverbs 29:14 (The Message)

“Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds; sound leadership has a moral foundation.”
~ Proverbs 16:12 (The Message)

And Finally. . .

What is our ultimate role as Christians? In Matthew 22, a lawyer asks Jesus what the greatest commandment is. In his famous response, Jesus states,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself”
~ Matthew 22:37-39

Jesus said we are to love God and love people. Every action we take, every conversation or thought we have -- political or otherwise -- should tie back into loving God and loving people. Yes -- even those who vehemently oppose and attack our Christian values.

This is the heart of discipleship: Tying our life into these two commandments.

When Jesus later gives the Great Commission in Matt 28, he instructs us to go

“and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you”
~ Matthew 28:19-20

As we vote this week, we must remember to “go” in such a way that we love God and love people. . . . even those who oppose our personal views and God's Word.

This is the heart of evangelism and the heart of the Christian life: Spreading the gospel in love.

With that. . . Let's pray for Barak Obama and John McCain.

~ Esthermay Bentley-Goossen
© 2008 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife


kalopoieo said...

You are very wise! You speak truth. Unlike the 2004 election when George W. Bush was an unashamed Christian conservative who listed his favorite philosopher as Jesus Christ, we Christians are banned together here to vote against what is a pure anti-Christian, anti-American, pro-Arab candidate. Prayer will help, but prayer AFTER Nov. 4th is far more important.

Barbara said...

AMEN! I'm praying.

Anonymous said...

I struggle because I am a pro-life Christian but I think the economy is such a mess and people will commit the sin of abortion and murder under either president. Neither candidate offers answers for the economy that satisfy me, but I like the idea of a change. I'm torn and undecided and embarrassed to say so. Much food for thought in your post. Congratulations on being the blog of the month over at CWO. yours is an impressive blog.
God's Blessing on you and yours!

Willow said...

Esthermay I have no doubt in my mind that God is blessing you for having the guts to speak the truth.

This country is in desperate need of being on its knees, no matter who is elected, that God will show mercy upon us as a nation for all of our transgressions, that He will forgive us, and help us to get back on the path to righteousness.

Completely awesome post!

Andrea said...

This is some good wisdom. I am not liking that I Peter 2 passage at all.

I have NO respect for BO. I do not beleive he is in any way God's emissary for keeping order. I think he is a disaster for the military and the economy and the morality of our country.

I think Americans have taken their freedom for granted and the time for exercise our freedom is up!

Respect the government? This WILL require prayer.

joy in the morning said...

Amen. Well said.

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