Darryl's thoughts on the Christian Faith, Facts, and World Events
I recently came to the realization that I have been consciously and instinctively navigating the political landscape (mainly in the USA but also in interactions with Cambodian, Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino etc. etc. Christians) based on some of the Biblical principles, that I will share below, for many years. Finally, my thoughts on this subject have crystalized enough so that I can write them down for my own benefit and possible to encourage other Christians to allow the Bible to guide their own political activities more than emotions or following the crowd. The purpose of this post is not to tell you what issues to support or oppose or which candidates to vote for but to give you an example my thinking on this topic so that you can allow the Bible to shape your political worldview on your own. Don't take my word for it, be a Berean for yourself. God is the God of every aspect of life-- including politics.
Before we get started, here are a couple of verses to provide some foundation to our thinking.
Here are my top priorities:
In a perfect world, we would be able to choose between multiple candidates who fully support all of the Biblical priorities perfectly and many more. If that were the case, we would then be able to see which one had the most Biblically admirable personal life. If that were the case, we might be able to see which candidate's life most closely matched 1 Timothy 3 and vote accordingly. However, the world is not perfect, and politicians are not pastors, elders, or deacons, so few or any of them live up to the standards of 1 Timothy 3.
The question then becomes, how do we choose between candidates whose personal lives are less than admirable? Personally, I prioritize the candidates' likelihood to govern according to the Biblical priorities that I have listed above, over the state of their personal lives. I do take it into consideration and it is important to me, but if I must choose, then I will go with the Biblical priorities. You are welcome to disagree with me, but first allow me explain why I have come to this conclusion. It is based on my study of Scripture and not some arbitrary or convenient standard.
1. In Scripture, God led many Biblical characters to cooperate with governmental leaders who cooperated with God's purposes but whose personal lives were probably unsavory. For example, in Genesis, Joseph worked with Pharaoh, who was likely an idol worshipper and was probably quite sexually immoral by Biblical standards (harem etc.). The same is true for Daniel's and Nehemiah's relationship and cooperation with various pagan kings.
2. King David was an adulterer, murderer, and more yet he was used powerfully by God despite his many sins, not to mention all of the brokenness in his family.
I believe that politicians are the employees of the citizens. By voting, we help hire them to do a job--be good stewards of the powers and resources of the government. In our lives we must hire many people to perform various functions in our lives: employees, grocers, drivers, doctors, teachers, pilots, auto mechanics and more. For me, if the skill level is equal, I prefer to hire a strong Christian auto mechanic with a good personal life to repair my car. But, sometimes mechanics fitting that standard are not available. I cannot just walk around for months or years while my car is broken, because I cannot find the perfect mechanic, who not only has the capacity to fix my car and also who has a perfect personal life. So, in the end I have to have my car repaired by a mechanic who may or may not have a good personal life. I wish we lived in a perfect world, but we as Christians cannot allow ourselves to be cornered, trapped, or paralyzed by perfectionism.
The good thing is that God uses imperfect people, like you and me, to accomplish his perfect will. We may not be perfect, our politicians and policies may not be perfect, but God and His Word are still the only perfect guide for any aspect of our lives.
A Christian Apologist, Author, Missionary, Husband, and Father. Darryl has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University (CA), an MA in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University (CA), and a BA in Political Science from Truman State University (MO).