God and Election Day

Campaign 2016 | The sky won’t fall after a new president is elected
by La Shawn Barber
Posted on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, at 4:05 pm

It’s that time again. Americans will decide next Tuesday who will occupy the White House for the next four years. The speeches, commercials, and mudslinging will be over soon, but the problems will remain. We’ll go through a similar season again in four years, God willing. Some of us will be sad next Tuesday, maybe to the point of despair. Others will be happy, satisfied, or merely resigned to the “lesser of two evils.” A number of Americans won’t care either way.

Even among Christians—who know God is sovereign over all things—it’s sometimes difficult to understand why God would appoint that person to rule over us. Whoever that person is for you, the sky won’t fall when the new president takes his or her place in the Oval Office.

As conservative Christians, we seek a candidate we believe will protect what’s important to us: our constitutional rights, especially religious freedom. We want someone committed to protecting the unborn and reducing abortions. Some of us want school choice for children in failing schools. For many of us, the best leader will advocate for us to keep more of the money we earn and reduce the size of government while limiting its power in our lives. We’d be glad to know whether our next leader respects the will of the people.

Every election season I say I’m not going to vote. But every Election Day I show up at my precinct. My sense of obligation overrides my sense of pessimism. Americans have died, suffered bodily harm, and endured humiliation so that I can cast a ballot without facing death, bodily harm, or humiliation. With freedom comes responsibility, and for me, not voting would be irresponsible.

Christians debate whether to vote for conservatives or liberals. Some voters would rather sit this one out or write in the name of a candidate who can’t win instead of choosing one of the nominees from the two major parties. But remember that whomever you support is a sinner. Our laws are written, enacted, and enforced by sinners. All of our leaders are sinners, including the next president and every American voting for the next president. We vote our conscience and our values, and God is our ultimate judge, not other voters or any government authority.

After the results are in next week, many of us will wonder what God is doing. We might be uncertain about that, but we are certain that our God is unchanging and faithful, awesome and in control. Believers are eternally secure in their salvation and shouldn’t despair or get too excited about who is going to be in the White House.

As we submit to appointed leaders who advocate for what God calls sinful, He’s still saving, and events proceed according to His divine will. God has turned the hearts of kings, so we pray for our leaders. Pray for God’s will in their lives and in their leadership. Pray for godly counsel to surround them, and that they would listen to such counsel. And most important, pray for the unsaved to become saved.

See you after the election.

La Shawn Barber

La Shawn is a former WORLD columnist.

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  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Thu, 11/03/2016 11:56 pm

    Certainly God is in control, but make no mistake about it, for this will be a game changer should Hillary become president!  Her judges will enact hate laws which will shut down our churches and likely land many of us in jail.  I find it incredible that so many don't understand what is at stake.  Do you really believe that the radical left will say, "Oh we want religious liberty so let us NOT stomp their heads in the ground!  Let us hold honest elections and preserve their freedoms because that is what our Constitution requires!"  Do you think they will not push forward relaxed voting rules allowing illegals to vote so they will dominate elections for years to come? Do you think Hillary will not use immigration to push in liberals from other parts of the world? Do you not understand that there is a reason that so few Christians were allowed into America from Syria?  World is supposed to enlighten us to what is really going on in our country and around the world!  Pretending that it does not matter who we vote for this election is dishonest!

  • LBarber
    Posted: Tue, 11/08/2016 02:48 pm

    Cyborg3, I am voting today and encourage all Christians to vote. I don't where commenters are getting the impression that I said Christians, inlcuding myself, should sit this one out. I vote, even when I don't feel like it or think it won't matter.

  •  Xion's picture
    Posted: Thu, 11/03/2016 12:41 pm

    God can use good and bad leaders alike for his glory.  Pharoah, Caesar, Darius, Cyrus, Xerxes, Nebuchadnezzer?  All part of God's plan.  Hillary or Trump?  Heaven help us!

  • EZ818
    Posted: Fri, 11/04/2016 01:49 pm

    Thank you, LaShawn! I have grieved over what this country has become, but the bottom line is, God is in control. He is writing this story, not us.

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 06:44 pm

    Yes, I fully acknowledge that God is in control, but as Franklin Graham said today on Fox News, between 25 and 35 MILLION Evangelicals did not vote in the last election. That means that Evangelicals are the second largest voting block, second only to Catholics. This means that Evangelicals really do control who gets elected, by our action or inaction! So if we mess up, or stay away from the polls, God can deal with that, but we are not glorifying Him by allowing abortion-on-demand-at-any-time people to be elected, when we as a group could stop that 100%. Abortions may never truly be a thing of the past, but every person who we can encourage to not have one is one more life that can potentially glorify God. And we glorify God by voting for people who will work to uphold the values that this country was founded upon.

    Romans 8:28 is still in effect, but it does not mean that if I decide to purposely step in front of a moving train, that somehow it is God's will that I do so. Same goes for elections. Just because evil people get into office by our apathy does not violate Romans 8:28, but also does not mean Christians should drink the Progressive's Kool Aid every election year, or abandon the polls. Just because the choices are both distasteful, then I will vote for the one that will kill the fewest babies in the womb. That's a no-brainer to me. It's all about the Supreme Court, after all, which may be changed for decades depending on for whom we vote, or if we stay home on election day.

    Until Angels run for office, voting will ALWAYS be choosing the lesser of two evils since 100% of all humans are evil, some more so than others ("all have sinned"). 2016 is more dramatic, yes, but not fundamentally different than any other US Presidential election. I am narrow minded enough that I always choose the candidates in any office who are less likely to kill babies or destory our freedom of religion. Welcome to the fallen world we live in. I am going to vote as if millions of unborn lives depend on it.

  • LBarber
    Posted: Tue, 11/08/2016 08:03 am

    infohighway, I am voting and encourage all belivers to vote. As I mentioned to another commenter, my column wasn't meant to encourage sitting this one out. - La Shawn

  • Timothy
    Posted: Sat, 11/05/2016 11:34 pm

    I almost always appreciate La Shawn Barber's columns. However, I would beg to differ with her statement that "the sky won't fall after the new president takes his or her place in the Oval Office." I would direct her attention to the Christian men and women who have been harrassed by the government to the point of having their businesses closed down in Washington state, Oregon and other places in the country since Barak Obama took office because they ran their businesses according to their religious beliefs. Those beliefs did not fit into the PC culture that has grown increasingly hostile to Christians, particularly over the last few years. For those courageous business owners the sky DID fall down on their dreams of owning a business they could run according to their Christian conscience. I will say, however, that regardless of which candidate wins, our nation will be getting the president it deserves, which isn't saying much. Habakkuk would be a good book for all Christians to begin reading.

  • infohighwy
    Posted: Sun, 11/06/2016 02:53 pm

    Regardless of who gets elected, the next year will be very rough going and painful for most Americans who will have to endure the results of the election for maybe a year until things settle down a bit, or the world ends, whichever comes first.  I once lived on the gulf coast, and they warned us that a really nasty hurricane was on its way direct toward us. The winds and sea were calm today, but in just a few days, there would be huge storm surges, and winds of maybe 180 mph blowing away everything in their path. It gave all of us that sinking feeling that no matter what we did, we could not protect our property, and it was both depressing and threatening. Right now that is how I feel for the political climate in this country, whether Hurricane Hillary wins, or Hurricane Donald. Not looking forward to the next year, but with God's help and the power of the Holy Spirit, we Christians can get through the Hades that may be where we are for the next year or so. BTW our prayers were answered, for the storm took a turn before it hit and weakened a bit, so damage was a lot less than we were warned it would be. Let's hope that is the case moving forward in the political climate in this country for the next year. Prayer is powerful, so let's use it--a lot!

  • TH
    Posted: Sun, 11/06/2016 10:50 pm

    Yes, La Shawn, our Heavenly Father is always in control and He will place into power who He desires.  However, our unique experiment in liberty and self-government requires that we exercise our God-given right and responsibility to vote using our best judgment.  I strongly disagree with the World Magazine position that "Christians are not morally obligated to vote in this year's presidential election."  As the blood of  58,000,000 murdered, pre-born babies cries out from the grave for justice, those who choose to stay home or to vote against the Republican nominee will be complicit in a Clinton presidency that will inflict further carnage on the unborn and continue the full assault on our Christian values. Those voters should be prepared to accept the responsibility for their foolish actions.

    My faith is in no man/party/system/country.  My faith is in Jesus Christ, the One who died in my place.  My urgent prayer is that God will continue His mercy to me and to us all who are so undeserving.  

  • LBarber
    Posted: Tue, 11/08/2016 02:49 pm

    I agree with you. As I mentioned in my column, I'd consider myself irresponsible if I didn't vote. I also mentioned that no one we vote for is sinless, nor are we voting for a pastor-in-chief. -- La Shawn

  • LBarber
    Posted: Tue, 11/08/2016 02:49 pm

    "...our unique experiment in liberty and self-government requires that we exercise our God-given right and responsibility to vote using our best judgment."

    That's exactly how I feel about it, and that's why I vote. I have a responsibility to vote of those reasons and because people died so that I can show up at the voting precinct without fear of bodily harm, jail, or death. - La Shawn 

  • LBarber
    Posted: Tue, 11/08/2016 07:56 am

    La Shawn Barber, here. Thanks for reading, folks. I hope no one got the wrong impression. I plan to vote today and encourage every Christian to vote. I just wanted to provide some comfort for the anxious believers out there, to remember who they are and who they worship.