Election 2016: A Biblical Commentary

The Bible was the most frequently cited source in the writings of the United States’ Founding Fathers, yet today the Word of God is scarcely referenced in political writings, speeches, or debates. This sad reality was made clear to me in October 2011 when I attended the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. The Republican presidential primary season was just getting under way, and the candidates were giving speeches at this event, along with several other prominent figures from politically active Judeo-Christian circles. The focus of the speeches and the numerous booths representing various political action groups and other activists was to appeal to the Judeo-Christian religious values of the attendees. However, from what I observed, only one of the speeches mentioned the Scriptures, and none of the booths had any Scriptural references at all. It seemed evident that the Christian community had largely discarded the authority of Scripture and was clinging solely to the appeal of human reason for promoting its political agenda. The disturbing conclusion that I carried with me from that weekend was, “No wonder we are experiencing defeat in the political arena and are suffering from so many national problems—even Christian political gatherings have forsaken the Bible!”

Ephesians 6:10–12, 17 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places…and take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” This passage makes clear that we, as Christians, are to take a stand against the “wiles of the devil” by using the Scriptures as one of our primary weapons. We are to expose and oppose evil with the truth because God Himself hates evil (Genesis 6:5–7; Proverbs 8:13; Psalm 97:10; Romans 12:9). Some argue that in order to make an impact we must modify our rhetoric to be more acceptable and therefore promote the principles of Scripture without referencing the Bible, but these people fail to recognize that Christ set an example for us when He stated that He did not come the first time to establish an earthly kingdom but to bear witness to the truth (John 18:36–37). His message was met with public scorn and led to His eventual crucifixion. The prophets of the Old Testament, Jesus’ disciples, and many other Christians through the centuries have suffered similar fates. Yet it is important to remember that our mandate as Christians is not results-oriented but process-oriented; we are to preach the truth in love for the glory of God and leave the results up to Him. Even when the final political victory is won at the triumphant return of Christ to Earth, He will use the sharp sword of His Word (Hebrews 4:12) to smite the nations (Revelation 19:15). Secure in His power, we should boldly follow God in using the Scriptures to expose and oppose the lies of Satan and promote God’s original design for civil government.

By restoring the Word of God to the political discussion, we confront others with the all-important question “Who determines truth: God or man?” My earnest prayer is that in the midst of a culture full of political deception and wickedness, “the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many” even if “they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days” (Daniel 11:32–33). As we faithfully bear witness to the truth, we must not become discouraged by the results. Instead, we should keep in mind the advice of John Quincy Adams: “Duty is ours; results are God’s,” and trust the promise of Proverbs 24:24–25: “He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.”

My wife Lydia and I have decided to take a small step in this direction this election cycle by endeavoring to keep a weekly blog addressing the candidates and issues using Scripture. Our prayer is that the time spent keeping this blog will: (1) give us practice in viewing this election cycle through the lens of God’s Word and (2) encourage other believers to do the same. We hope the time you spend reading it will give you a greater appreciation for how God’s Word speaks to every area of life and inspires you to study the Bible more as a result.

Please share your thoughts with us!

In Christ – Samuel

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