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Election Opportunities

I have been paying close attention to presidential elections since John F. Kennedy defeated Richard M. Nixon in 1960. This year takes the cake. No election season has ever been more volatile, more polarizing or more provocative, at least in my memory, than the 2008 race for the White House. But, the explosive nature of the contest only marginally involves the traditional warring between the major political parties. Much more ominous, and therefore more riveting to me, have been the cultural issues that have dominated the campaign. Gay marriage, abortion issues, racial strife, gender rights, terrorism, financial collapse—issues that hold apocalyptic implications for the qualities of our lives—are all in the mix. I have always advocated that Christians, handling their sacred constitutional rights in the fear of God, have an obligation to pull the levers according to their righteous conscience.

The tragedy of the situation, however, is that far too many professing Christians do not take a position on anything they consider to be a political issue. If their favored candidate’s comes up short against a list of moral criteria, some get very nervous and drop out of the process. They have no heart for bucking partisan tradition. But, even within a political party, room exists for righteous influence. The opportunity that an election brings to every citizen—at the very least—is to learn, understand and shape a personal opinion about moral matters. Let this solemn truth guide you: our eternal judge will not hold us accountable to a political party or to some long-coddled personal bias. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords will judge us out of those things written in the book, the Word of God.

Pardon my preachiness for a moment, but: I believe that Bible-believing Christians ought to have a rock-solid opinion about topics plainly spelled out in the scriptures. We ought to know when life begins and ends—and who should be responsible for ending it. We ought to know about the gender of the parties in a marriage and how the Bible teaches us to honor and revere it. We ought to know that this nation was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles and seek to preserve it by continuing to trust in and practice those principles. We ought to know how to be good examples to our children and seek to protect them from the out-of-control evil influences in society. We ought to uphold family values in the home, the school and in our culture. We ought to fully appreciate our right to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience and fend off every effort to curb or deny that right to us. I could go on, but you get the general drift.

To secular combatants, elections are made for partisan rancor and trading insults. Bible believers, however, get the bigger picture. Any election, but especially this one, compels each of us to learn more about the Bible foundation for marriage, right-to-life, education, religious rights and all the moral issues that have become woven into the political landscape of our nation. It gives us an open door to find out the pros and cons of sensitive topics that we have ducked because of their political implications.

As our culture continues its precipitous slide toward moral poverty, all of these issues and more are working their way into the minds of our citizens and the laws of the land. It would be a mindless and irresponsible act to fling these critical issues under the bus and claim that we have nothing to do with them, or that we are powerless to act. Money, education and influence seem to be the standard by which we judge our political viability. Our greatest need is courage. True courage cannot be measured by political calculi. It arises from the pure heart of a patriot who yields no allegiance to prevailing winds of temporal powers. And when the big stage won’t permit our entrance, each of us has a private stage from which we can shake the earth. It’s called our closet of prayer. Your voice may never be heard in Washington , but it can be heard in heaven.

Take a moment right now and breathe a prayer for the safety and moral preservation of our nation. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” And, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” If a country isn’t important enough to pray for, what is? We ask for God to bless America . Let us now bless America with our fervent prayers.

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