Today is the last Friday in the month of October. That means Election Day 2012 is almost here! Finally! If you're rejoicing that all the political ads will soon end, please raise your hand. If you'll enjoy driving around and viewing our beautiful landscape without having to look at a thousand political signs littering the ground - shout Hallelujah! I see your hands and I hear your voices and I agree! At least mostly.
One thing you may not know about me is that I am a HUGE history fan and I'm especially fond of U.S. history. (Don't get me started on the parentage of Abraham Lincoln!) I've always been fascinated with the political process in America and have even entertained thoughts of being involved in government one day, so I love this time of the year more than most. My wife and I will even be working at the polls on November 6th, so I may even run into you on Election Day!
As a Pastor who has an interest in local, state and federal government, I am often asked about party preference. The popular question is: "Are you a Democrat or Republican?" My reply is always the same: "I'm a Christ-Follower!" Sometimes they'll push a little more. I still answer the same. I tell them I always vote for the candidate I believe best represents a person who follows Christ and that's why I've never voted a straight ticket. According to God's Word, it shouldn't be about a particular party for any of us. It's about choosing a candidate who best walks with God and supports legislation that does the same.
Recently, I was asked to consider being the Chairman of a particular political party. I had lunch with some leaders I love and respect and listened to what they had to say - but I had to respectfully turn down their offer. I told them a particular party isn't the answer, because no political party is flawless. While I may lean more heavily towards the beliefs of one party over another, I always look at the candidates based on God's Word and then vote. The color of their skin doesn't matter to me. The condition of their heart does. Do they have wealth and stature in society? Unimportant. Do they have Godly character and a desire to impact society for the kingdom of God? Infinitely important! Are they an eloquent speaker who handles their words well? Obviously, those are desirable traits, but more critical is how well they handle the Word of God! Have they been led by God in the decisions they've made in their own lives and the lives of their families? Remember, if a man or woman has a problem leading their own family, they certainly can't lead a Board of Commissioners or a State and certainly not a Nation. Do they care more about being popular - or striving to be holy? I love how the bible addresses these issues in Acts 10. Verses 34 and 35 say: “...I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears Him and does what is right."
So why do you vote the way you do? Will you be ashamed when you have to explain to God why you've voted the way you have? Are you led by God or by a party? When your vote is cast, do you value family tradition more than the leadership of the Holy Spirit? I'm shocked at the number of people who vote a certain way because their father, or grandfather - or even great-grandfather - voted a certain way, with no regards to what that party currently supports whatsoever. Again, I love history, so I know the value of tradition, but you and I won't stand before relatives when we get to heaven. We'll stand before God. So as much as I love my family, I will follow God first. (Read Matthew 10 and you'll see God's warnings about following family traditions before Him.)
I once read that the problem with American politics is that we've lost all our statesmen and are left with nothing but politicians. Their definition of a politician was someone who would do or say anything to be elected and then do all they could to stay in office by appeasing the loudest or wealthiest sector of society - regardless of what that sector of the population believed. But a statesman realized they were divinely appointed by God to serve Him first and the people second. A stateswoman realized they would stand before God one day and answer for their actions. I guess what we need are more statesmen and stateswomen and less politicians. So my advice is to do what I've already done. (I voted last week!) Study the candidates, see who best fits Acts 10: 34 - 35 and vote for the candidate that fears God and does what is right. Leave the results to God. Romans 13:1 reminds us that we are to respect those in leadership over us and that God is still in control. He is the One who appoints those to lead us - even if you disagree with them.
I encourage you to please vote on November 6. And may God be pleased with our selections.
My name is Scott Limerick.
I am your Worship Pastor and I approved this message. :)