Is God a Republican or Democrat?

November 4, 2008 — 23 Comments

I’ve heard more discussion about this year’s election than I’ve ever heard in my entire life. This might be because I’m getting older and my ear is tuned more to politics, but it could also be an indicator that our nation is more interested in this election than any other time in recent history. There have been numerous stories of record early vote turnout and the expectation that there will also be long lines at the polls today. If the 75+ people that were lined up outside the church building this morning at 6:55 am are any indication this is no doubt true.

Being a full-time Christian minister I’m privy to a number of conversations that I most likely would not have otherwise heard. I’ve discussed and heard discussions about this year’s election from a number of different angles. I’ve heard people say things like “If you’re really a Christian you will vote Republican.” I’ve heard someone say, “I’m a Christian so that means I’m voting Democrat.” I’ve also heard people say that neither candidate is really worth of the Office, so they’re either not voting or writing in another person. This election is being hotly debated for sure.

The Bible has some things to say about the role of Christians in politics. It talks a lot about being submissive to earthly rulers:

  • “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Romans 13:1-2).
  • “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men” (Titus 3:1-2).
  • “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:13-15).
  • “My son, fear the Lord and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise” (Proverbs 24:21).

Christians are also instructed to pray for our leaders: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). One of the coolest ideas I’ve seen lately related to this concept is for us to “Pray Backwards” (RagamuffinSoul.com), which basically means to pray for God to bless the other candidate(s) that you did not vote for with wisdom in leadership. This is a valid idea and it also teaches us a dose of humility, since our way always seems the right or best way.

I’ve seen and heard a lot of discussion about praying that a particular candidate is elected President.  I’m not opposed to praying bold prayers (see Luke 11 & 18), but I also know that God will accomplish his will on earth regardless of who is in office. He’s done it before and he will do it again and again. As Christians, our hope is built firmly on the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and His Kingdom alone, not the Office of the President nor any earthly kingdom.

So, should you move to Canada, France, Mexico, or another country if your candidate is not elected? Absolutely not. Will America be more of a Christian nation if a particular party is in power? No. Our Founding Fathers may have been religious people, and possibly even Christians, but it’s most likely that they were Deists. The laws they established may have biblical roots, but that is where the connection ends. Their goals was not to establish another Christendom. It was to establish a county with religious freedoms.

History has shown us that when the church has too much power it can become corrupt and unspiritual (think about the Crusades) and lose sight of its mission. When the church is in power it’s easy to get comfortable and forget that Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). We should be involved in politics, but our primary allegiance is to God and His true Kingdom: the church.

So if you’re hoping and praying that McCain will be President, but Obama wins, or if you’re pulling for Obama and McCain wins, don’t lose hope. Also, don’t get too confident if your man wins. They are earthly leaders and are prone to sin (Romans 3:23). Place your faith, hope, and trust in the unchanging power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Interesting reads related to this topic:
http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/2008/11/barna-the-president-and-our-mi.html
http://www.leadingsmart.com/leadingsmart/2008/10/a-single-issue.html
http://www.leadingsmart.com/leadingsmart/2008/10/donald-miller-o.html

Kevin

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23 responses to Is God a Republican or Democrat?

  1. One thing is for sure: the smartest people, the people with the most insight, the most compassionate people, and the people with discernment….do not run for public office.

  2. I totally agree that regardless of who is in office, our hope should be placed in Christ alone. And it is our responsibility to pray for our gov.officials, whether they be repub or dem. But I do not agree that our founding fathers were most likely deists. The term deist usually means – “one who believes in an impersonal god, who is no longer involved with mankind”. But I would recommend you read “Original Intent” by David Barton. In particular chapter 6 that goes over the religious nature of our founding fathers.

  3. Kevin….the first order of Congress began with almost 3 hours of prayer…all Congress assemblies are documented so you can read the actual pages of prayer in the library of Congress. Of the 50-something original members of the first Congress, about 23 of them had degrees from seminaries…..that seems to be a little more “Christian interest” than the norm….the original draft of the Dec of Independence was based on a book written by a minister that had over 1500 references to the bible…..the document that was signed after the Revolution between England and the New America started out with “In the name of our God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…” Our founding fathers wanted a country based on the principles of our Lord and His Holy word…not just for religious freedom but because they had a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ..that to me seems pretty evident.

  4. To PJ's comment: I think that is probably mostly true but I do think there are a few people out there who's motivation for being in public service/politics is for Christ and Christ alone. For those who know me they will know I'm mostly speaking of Alan Keyes (who I wrote in for President). Just a thought….I also agree with Shelly and Chris that our forefathers had a more Christian perspective than you might think Kevin.

  5. I don't think Jesus would vote for the party that applauds our “right” to kill 4000 babies every day.

  6. That's rather unfortunate, but no doubt true now. There's not a huge upside to being in public office unless you have a high degree of motivation just to serve your country or you have a need to feel like you're important. I'm sure there are other reasons, too, but those are ones that came to me just now.

  7. I've added that book to my Amazon wishlist (birthday idea, anyone???), so I'll check it out sometime.

    My deist point was more of a throw in. I could very well be wrong on that, but that's the impression I get when I read about that era of our nation's history (which is NOT very often).

  8. Do you know if the documents are available online? That'd be a neat resource to check out!

    Again, don't read too much into my note on Deism. That was mostly a throw-in. My main emphasis was on the idea of the USA being a Christian Nation. I don't think that's really ever been fully true. I may be wrong, but that's my perspective.

    The bigger problem that I've seen is when people equate OT references to the nation of Israel to modern day USA (“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!” Psalm 33:12). God does have a plan for the USA as He does for every nation, but it is not “his chosen people.”

  9. Technical Note: I've implemented a new comment system that lets you reply directly to someone's comment, which creates a threaded conversation. Try it out sometime!

  10. I agree with you and that's why I voted straight Republican this year. This is THE issue that I can't get passed in my personal political views.

    For a flip side to this, here's what Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz and other books, had to say (JUST POSTING FOR INFO. NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OF HIS STATEMENTS):
    “The Democrats have proposed comprehensive legislation called the 95/10 initiative that aims to reduce the number of abortions that take place in this country by 95% within 10 years. While Barack Obama is a pro-choice candidate, he supports this and similar legislation. This is the only proposed and realistic strategy that can move us around the cultural impasse that is breathing hate and anger into the Christian community.

    While Barack Obama opposes late-term abortions, he has made promises to the National Organization or Women to make progress in a woman’s right to chose. I wish Obama were more strong on this issue. Still, I do feel he will accomplish more than John McCain, as John McCain has only recently taken this position and offers no legislation and no plan.”
    —http://donmilleris.com/2008/10/03/on-the-campaign-trail-in-mi-in-nc-va-and-oh-this-week/

  11. i think i've got it and it's all yours
    roommate special
    pj

  12. FIrst off, your new layout is awesome…love it bro…..Yes Kevin it is available and I will gather all that and send it to you but definately get that book SHelly mentioned…it will give you a whole new respect for our founding fathers….now…..my brother in Christ, I disagree with your OT statement…I have GOT to scream here and its not at you…WHY are Christians so easy to dismiss the OT!!!!!! AAAHHHHGGHH!! IT makes me nuts…. Lets start with the WORD…
    (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD, and the Word was God.” John 1:1)
    (“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him” Romans 10:12)
    (“God shows no personal favoritism to no man” Galatians2:6)

    Yes…the Jews were God's chosen but the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is for ALL men. Paul, arguably the greatest CHristian that ever lived constantly quoted the OT…..should we not use him as an example, he lived by the scriptures and found guidance through it..why woudl we dismiss it in our lives and walk.

    (“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” 2 Tim 3:16)

    That 2 Tim scripture is not refereing to just NT..its all scripture.

    So the fall of man at the Garden and the Great Lie was just for the nation of Israel??

    (“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you” Psalm 119:11)
    (“Forever O Lord Your word is settled in heaven” Psalm 119:89)

    The entire bible is a complete work…its not…”this part is for you and that part is them” No way.

    (“THe grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of God stands for ever” Isaiah 40:8)

    Peace

  13. “I am not at all concerned [that God is on our side]… But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on The Lord's side.”

    President Abraham Lincoln

  14. cool, thanks. need my address? (it's on facebook, i think)

  15. Thanks for the compliment. I may still tweak the design a bit, but I like it too.

    As far as the Old Testament goes I am in no way trying to imply that it is no longer valid for us today. Jesus himself said that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (or bring out its full meaning, Matthew 5:17-20). The expectations for grace-centered Christians are not lowered, the bar is raised! On top of that, the entire New Testament has its roots in the Old Testament. It's amazing to me how often I'll be reading from the OT and find something that makes me think, “Hey, Paul wrote about that in his letters.”

    What I am saying is that there is a misunderstanding of the USA. There are some/many who think that the USA is the New Israel alluded to in the Bible. This is a man-made idea. New Israel is the church, not a political entity or country. Any promises made to Israel are applicable to Christians everywhere.

    Does that make better sense?

  16. Nice quote! That is a great concept. We can't decide who God chooses, but we can decide to act in accordance with His Will.

  17. Hey Sug,
    That's really good! It kinda cooled me off a little this election evening as “my guy” lost. I'm still thinking that even France might be a better bet though…lol just kidding! give my best to Brea!

  18. All the economic policies and healthcare and the war all these things will be hashed out in congress and in the senate, so the president doesn't have full control of all this. That is why I continue to vote for the candidate who is pro-life.

  19. I'm glad to help calm you down. That was one of my goals in writing the post.

  20. ABSOLUTELY!! Now I understand what you meant…it was just worded to seem different in its meaning!!! BRAVO!!!

  21. “Iron sharpens iron”, right boys? 😉 —diggin the new look btw, SugKevin.

  22. Funny, but probably true. I don't ever want to be in public office mainly
    because of the daily scrutiny that would come with it. I have heard that
    many Muslims have been trying to run for office to subvert the dominant
    paradigm, but I don't really know if that's true or if it was an email
    forward I got at some point. 🙂

  23. That books sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out sometime.

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