Being a Preacher During Election Seasons
Years ago, I used to be hyperactive in politics. I wore my politics on my sleeve. I consistently posted about who I supported and why the other choices were wrong. I felt secure in my decision, and I wanted everyone else to know about it. However, an older preacher sent me a letter in a caring manner wherein he advised that I not continue to be so outspoken because I may alienate others. As a preacher, he urged that I care more about the influence I could have for Christ than for a politician. Always posting about the politician whom I’d chosen could alienate lost sinners from my influence that I have in Christ, and it may alienate other brethren. He contended that if I lost my influence for Christ than I would no longer be an asset in the kingdom of God.
I took his counsel to heart, and since then, do not comment much on anything political. This has allowed me to refocus my energy to be concerned with the high calling of ministry. If I offer any commentary, I try to be as equally complimentary or condemning of all candidates regardless of parties. When we moved to Murray, neither my wife nor I registered with any party, but as independents. This was a bit of a hard decision because, in Kentucky, you can only vote in the primaries if you’re registered with a particular party. In a sense, we’ve thrown ourselves at the mercy of others who are enrolled in those parties to decide for us who’ll we’ll be able to vote for in the elections. Nevertheless, identifying as a party, I fear, only polarizes us more. I’d decided in the previous presidential election that was I to reregister that I wouldn’t identify with a major party only because of how poorly I view them both.
Having said that, I feel that my primary duty is to God, and not a party. I realize the arguments that exist for belonging to a party and voting because I’ve made many of them myself. However, both sides, in my opinion, represent some good things but also bad things. The Democrats are for helping people, which I believe to be a Christian duty. However, they are also for immoral positions on certain matters that I deem unchristian. The Republicans are for the life of the unborn, which is a Christian view from the first century. They are also for positions that I deem unchristian too. Granted, no politician or party is perfect. I get that. However, I find the perfection I desperately seek in my King, Jesus Christ.
During such times, I’d much rather be an advocate for Christ and His Kingdom, rather than the kingdoms of man. Having read some works in Christian literature, I feel that it’s my duty to champion the unique nature of the kingdom of God, the church, and what it stands for while not being of the world. I don’t hold low opinions of those who are politically active, but I’d only request that they not lose sight of the sovereignty of God.
Mr. Trump’s comments, though from over a decade ago and despite how they are spun, do not represent Christian gentlemanliness in the least. However, he’s apologized. Many doubt his sincerity, but it’s not for me to doubt one’s sincerity if they appear penitent. The fruits he bears in the coming days will determine if his repentance was genuine, or politically motivated. However, he does have a history of such behavior and comments.
Mrs. Clinton’s history is bothersome as well. Soldiers and an ambassador died under her watch after repeated pleas for assistance. The email debacle is troublesome, and the perversion of justice in her case is partial while were you or me to have done what she did, we’d be in prison. She has also apologized. I’d add the same caveat of her as of Trump.
I’m not afraid to lose my freedom of religion. I’m not afraid who might be put on the Supreme Court because no politician who’s platformed on overturning Roe v. Wade and won has done anything about it. I refuse to be motivated by fear because my King continues to reign from His throne. Whoever becomes the next president, or who sits on the Supreme Court, deserves my prayers. If I spend so much time bashing either or, I can’t believe that God would sincerely receive my prayers for them. I’ll go on championing Christ. I’ll vote, or I won’t. Whatever comes, I will show that in such a polarized political season that Jesus stands out as light in such darkness. May God have mercy on those running and us all.