Faith in democracy?

The 2008 presidential campaign has been one of the longest campaigns in American history, starting almost a full two years ago. As the election has grown closer, rhetoric has gotten more pointed and patience for opposing views has grown thin. This election has been characterized as “the most important election in a generation,” or “the most important election in American history.”

People who call themselves Christians have been vigously “praying for the election.”

Certainly, as believers, we should bring our concerns before our Lord. But what do we mean when we say we are “praying for the election.” I fear too many of us are asking God to insure the success of our goals. There are believers who support the Republican candidate, John McCain, who are asking God to grant him a victory. There are believers who support the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, who are asking God to grant him a victory. This is a symptom of a much deeper problem in the Church.

Our faith is grossly misplaced. We consider this election to be “the most important election in a generation” because we have placed our faith firmly in the government. We are looking to the state for answers when we should be looking to Scripture. We have decided for ourselves how things ought to be and our prayers are for God to approve that which we’ve already determined is right.

We have elevated democracy to the point it has become another idol. Which is really ironic because our founding fathers held democracy in complete contempt. They considered it mob rule. Yet we have been told not voting is unpatriotic. There are those who have even suggested voting for anyone other than the two “major party” candidates is unpatriotic because they are the only two who have a chance to win.  David Heleniak, in a recent article at entitled “Mock the Vote,” debunks this whole notion. He puts this election in proper perspective.

As for those of us who claim to be Christians, I think there are far too few of us who pray according to the model Jesus, Himself, gave us.

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

We don’t honestly pray for God’s will to be done. Maybe because we assume our will and God’s will are the same. Or, maybe, because we fear God’s will and ours are not the same.

Bumper sticker of the day:

About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

One Response to Faith in democracy?

  1. Very well said!

    I have a hard time believing anyone could, in good conscience, vote for Obama, who is a confessed advocate of unrestricted abortion, and still be a true believer. It’s beyond my comprehension. Granted there may be those who didn’t vote intelligently and were not weighing the issues properly. But, for any believer to knowingly disregard Obama’s anti-life stance becomes a partaker of his sins. John the Apostle said “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him. ” (1 John 2:4-5 ESV) What are the foremost commandments? Love God and love others! How can a person who loves God overlook abortion and those who adamantly support it?

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