TWO THINGS TO REMEMBER DURING ELECTION YEAR

It’s 2016, and this upcoming November means the U.S. is due for a new president. There’s so much cross-talk happening over which candidate evangelical Christians should support—this is to be expected in politics but it usually irks me the wrong way when I overhear my brothers and sisters in Christ labeling one candidate as inherently superior to another. Here are two things that all of us need to remember this election year. Happy voting in 2016!

1. A Christian is not obligated to endorse any single candidate or party.

A Christian is free to vote for any candidate if his conscience allows for it and as far as someone can tell, the candidate is not the embodiment of pure evil (like Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidius in the Star Wars saga). Mark Galli over at Christianity Today nailed it when he said: the “litmus test of an evangelical is not his or her stance on Donald Trump. The most decisive political act we perform is not our support for or against Trump or Cruz or Clinton or Sanders or whomever. Our most radical political act happens when we gather and worship together under the sign of the Cross—a sign of contradiction to a world that lusts for political power—bending the knee to the Lord who “brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of the world to nothing” (Is. 40:23, NIV) on the way to establishing a political order that knows no injustice.” As Christians, we are defined not by our political party associations or our search for a new political savior—but we are defined by that heavenly city that is to come—a new political, global, social, and eternal society that is on its way and will arrive once Jesus returns at the end of history.

2. People who are satisfied with their new presidential savior in 2016 will be looking for another by 2017.

We all remember the false promises of our elementary school and high school class presidents. “Free donuts for everyone!” “If you vote for me, I’ll make sure we have recess for the whole day!” False promise after false promise, sadly—modern American politics are no different. Sure, the promises change and may seem more believable—but at the end of the day no political candidate is going to usher in the new heavens and new earth. No political candidate can redeem us from the curse of the law, forgive us of our sins, and bring about true and lasting justice to the ends of the earth. Global unrest will continue, terrorism will happen, and some people will starve in third world countries. We should be very wary of hoping in our next presidential favorite to save us from all of our problems. Ultimately, the only one capable of doing this has already done it by hanging on a cross 2,000 years ago at Calvary. Jesus Christ is the only savior—there is no other. As the Psalmist writes:

Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.
— Psalm 146:3-7