Get Out and Vote

Devotional thoughts for November 2016

(Click here to read Monday Musings ... where I discuss the thinking that led to this article.)

Some Pharisees came to [Jesus] to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. (Matthew 19:3–8, NIV)

On Tuesday, November 8, millions of Americans will decide which of two major-party candidates will be President of the United States… and these are dreadful candidates. As such, some citizens will just stay home and not vote at all, and some will protest by voting for minor-party candidates. But don’t be fooled: not voting for one of the major-party candidates is voting for the other one.

I’m a Christian — and I understand that moral people have trouble voting for sub-standard candidates. But our elections are… practicably speaking… binary. So choosing a candidate does not mean that you like that person; it means that you are civically mature. And since most people will admit to at least a slight preference between the two major candidates, you will be voting against your own worldview by side-stepping this election.

What are you waiting for… the perfect candidate? Then you will never vote… because entropy works on the human population as well as upon physical systems. You see, a body of self-governing people will — as a function of accumulating consensuses — vote, regulate and adjudicate themselves away from godly moral standards… and as unstoppable as the tides. But the kingdom of God is a greater tide… and we Christians have a better hope. So we preach Christ, make disciples, tend the casualties of sin… and we vote in the way that will best advance our worldview.

But if evil must run its course in this age, why vote at all? Because we can affect the rate of decay. Since not voting for the better of two bad choices will accelerate our national decline, that will be on us. So be prayerful, wise — and look to God… because even God makes concessions to sin.

Before you close this page in protest, reread the introductory scripture. It shows that humanity is increasingly hardhearted — and that God responds by adjusting the social tone. In fact, I find that God is plainly conciliatory and not belligerent in his management of our ongoing sins. With marriage, he has agreed to a less painful — and a less perfect — law to help a sin-degraded people endure the process of redemption (which is painful by definition), and he does this elsewhere too.

Note, however, that God adjusted his tone and not his standards for marriage… but neither did he amend our free-will… and we routinely choose hard paths. So if God had just dug in his heels and said, “Absolutely no divorce!” there would be more pain (and likely more murders). But God takes the long view. A new creation is coming… which is great… because this one will never be perfect.

So here’s your job for November 8 — suck it up! Get out there and make that tough yet imperfect decision about what you will concede to sin. How? By voting for whichever candidate will best move the country towards your vision… even if the margin is small.

Personally, I am zero percent in favor of either candidate… which seems to give me permission to stay home on November 8. But I find that I have a ninety-nine percent dislike for one candidate… but only a ninety-two percent dislike for the other. So guess what? Old 92 is getting my vote.

But whatever the result of this election, I will not be guilty of abdicating either my Christian or my civic duties on Election Day. You see, it is both illogical and irresponsible to protest the “imperfect” with a de facto support of the more imperfect. So get out and vote!… and join me in praying that Christ returns on November 7.

(Mainsail Ministries articles often have a preamble where I discuss the thinking that went into them. These are called Monday Musings — and if you haven’t read the one associated with this article — consider doing so at the following link: 20161031 Get Out and Vote).

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