Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Election

1 Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Every four years, we are blessed with the opportunity to vote for the leader of our nation. Since September 11, with war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with an unprecedented (in my memory) financial crisis, we’ve been reminded that our votes matter. We live in rapidly changing and unstable times that make incredible demands on leadership – whether national or local, business or church. Yet, politics has become so polarized that many of us are jaded and cynical, and many have opted out of voting all together. Whatever happened to the "polite" in "politics"?

Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.

The primitive church existed in a culture that was hostile and violent toward Christian faith. Nevertheless, the Apostle Paul encouraged everyone to "be subject to the governing authorities" and reminded them that God is Sovereign, that God’s kingdom is not at risk to pagan kings. He encouraged people of Christian faith to pray for their kings and authorities. Unlike some of the nations where I have lived and traveled, we do not live in a one-party state in which opposition leaders are routinely exiled and imprisoned. We live in a democracy and have the privilege of choosing and changing our leaders. If God is Sovereign over the Roman Empire, then God is surely Sovereign over our nation and world.

I am not encouraging us to withdraw from the political process or our personal investment in the outcome. I am encouraging everyone to vote. And, I want us all to trust that God is Sovereign and that God’s kingdom does not depend on election outcomes. When the election is over, we’ll have to practice prayer for whomever is elected president. He’ll have a big job in front of him, and he’ll need our prayers to lead these United States and work with leaders throughout the world.

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