“Hold your nose and hold your nose tighter.”
That’s how some sociologists describe the game of American politics today. Even when people fervently support a particular nominee or political party they usually do so in spite of certain inconsistencies, flawed voting records, or general character issues or deficiencies. They support their candidate…mostly.
This has probably never been truer than it is today in our current presidential election, with national polls revealing widespread, general distrust of both candidates. Additionally, this current election cycle is probably the most combative, aggressive, and divisive campaign that I have witnessed since I voted in my first presidential election in 1992.
If I may I would like to share a pastoral perspective on how Christians should be processing and approaching this current political cycle.
First, we need to NOT allow this round of politics to become a divisive issue in our churches. Our churches contain representatives from both sides of the political aisle. Let’s transcend the political chaos, remain firmly attached to our higher citizenship in God’s Kingdom, and not allow our national political circus to cause division and broken relationships within our congregations.
One of the ways to do this is for all of us to humbly acknowledge the flawed elements of our chosen candidate. There are legitimate questions and concerns to be raised with each of the presidential nominees. Rather, than ignoring those concerns and becoming defensive and belligerent with one another, let’s recognize that fair, wise, thinking people can come to different conclusions from us.
Second, let’s vote as closely as we can to our values. As followers of Christ, we must ask, “What are our core, animating principles?” What issues of life, liberty, and international concern most closely align with our deepest-seated values and the teachings of Jesus Christ? Which candidate aligns the closest to our most cherished values? We must take the time to find out and then vote accordingly.
Third, we can never stop praying about all of the issues, problems, and opportunities in our world today. Remember that the Apostle Paul placed prayers for leaders and authority figures near the top of our prayer lists (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Fourth, let’s live our faith. This is an amazing time in which to live courageous, noble, God honoring lives in our generation. Let’s do so for the glory of God and for the future of our world.