Why I Lament Election Year
As the election season comes to an end I have decided to offer a few thoughts on why I lament election years. This is not to say that everything associated with an election is evil. I am thankful that I live in a democracy instead of a totalitarian government. I am thankful for certain freedoms this country grants me, especially the freedom to worship God and live a Christian life without persecution (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Even though there are many good things about the country in which I live, I cannot ignore other things that are contrary to the will of God. As a citizen of God’s Kingdom, first and foremost, it is my responsibility to stand with God, even if that puts me in opposition with the kingdoms of this world.
Here are a few things I lament about election years:
Billions of dollars will be spent on this election while people go hungry in our country and around the world. It is estimated that 6 billion dollars will be spent on this election alone. We are a nation of excess and this is on full display during an election year. God is not pleased when a country who has plenty ignores those who are going without (Amos 6). Justice is not done when we have an abundance to spend on political advertisements, while the least among us starve.
Elections cause strife among families, friends, and neighbors. According to a Rasmussen report “one-in-four Americans (27%) say the upcoming election has negatively affected their personal relationship with a friend or family member.” The goal of the church is to bring people together through Jesus Christ, not to divide over worldly matters. The church should oppose worldly division and point people towards the unifying message of the gospel.
Elections distract Christians and others from what is really important. If we are going to change our communities for the better it will not be because of a vote, but because we decided to get involved. We can do something about unwanted pregnancies, hunger, poverty, education, and many other things, but it will not be easy. Nowhere in the Bible does God command that we cast a vote in order to help the condition of the world. Jesus never advocated working through the Roman government in order to help the people he met. Instead he calls everyone to get involved.
Elections promote reliance on the kingdoms of this world. Every election is about problems and how candidates are going to solve these problems. The world always has and always will face problems, but the solution to the world’s problems will not come through human government. In Isaiah 31:1 God warned the people about trusting in chariots and horses, and failing to put their trust in Him.
God’s name is used to garner votes. Each election the name of God is invoked by those seeking to get elected to office. The name of Jesus is always called upon, but no one ever speaks of Jesus being King. Never has an elected official sought to live out WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). Doing that would please God, but it would be political suicide.
Often the very things Jesus promoted would be viewed as a sign of political weakness. The beattitudes are absent during an election (Matt. 5:3-11). A candidate would never seek to be “poor in spirit” or embrace “meekness.” Jesus never concerned Himself with political correctness. He often reached out to the less fortunate (those with no political power), and warned the wealthy and powerful.
No matter what happens tomorrow we should take comfort in knowing that God is in charge and Jesus is our King. Although the present is not always what we would like it to be, we take comfort in knowing what lies ahead. The blessings of this earth are nothing compared with what is to come. This, however, does not excuse us from doing our part to address the problems we now face. We should seek to spread the message of the Kingdom of God and invite others to join us. We should strive to live out the principles we read about in Scripture, and offer a true alternative to the kingdoms of this world.