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 writes about culture, faith, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Christian Research Journal, Christianity Today, the Washington Examiner, and other publications