Good Political Judgment

Republican and Democratic candidates--2016

Good political judgment

Good Political Judgment

Richard Hollerman

We all know that we are being inundated by political propaganda these days. Some are bombarded with this from the TV, the radio, the newspaper, and news magazines, besides what some hear in educational institutions and from friends. We may feel that we are flooded with misinformation in the political realm!

The consistent Christian is able to take a more detached view of these things because he comes to this subject (as well as other subjects) from a spiritual viewpoint. This enables him to judge politics and other matters more objectively and accurately. Paul, for example, says that “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Further, we are to have the mind or attitude in ourselves that was also in Christ (Philippians 2:5). This is that for which we strive as we walk in this world.

Citizens of a Heavenly Country

One basic factor that helps us to view politics with a degree of accuracy is the fact that we—as Christians—belong to a different realm than people around us. Our Lord Jesus told Pilate, the Roman governor, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm” (John 18:36). The governor just couldn’t understand the Lord’s statement and people can’t understand this fact in our day either. It is hard for those who are part of the earthly kingdoms to understand the fact that we are part of a heavenly kingdom. Our King and our ultimate allegiance belongs to heaven and not to earthly governments and political parties.

Peter reminds us that we are “aliens” here, actually, “aliens and strangers” on earth (1 Peter 1:1; 2:11). We belong to the body of Christ, thus constitute a “holy nation,” and “a people for God’s own possession” (2:9). Thus, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). It is true that Paul used his Roman citizenship to his advantage (cf. Acts 22:27-28), but he also realized that his highest loyalty must always be the kingdom of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. We must have the same “other-worldly” perspective.


Good political judgment

The Present Worldly Political Battles

I find it interesting and dismaying that even unbelievers have been looking at the political battles with shock and dismay. Journalists are shaking their heads in unbelief as they hear the accusations and counter-accusations and inflammatory rhetoric that come from the mouth of most of the political frontrunners. The Democrats are now down to two candidates and the Republicans—once having over a dozen runners—have been greatly limited as well, but even they are down to two viable candidates. We’ve always known that politics has a reputation of inciting anger, promoting lies, and fostering great boasting, but this year has seen this in an extreme measure.

The follower of Christ, whose passionate allegiance is to God and His kingdom, is better able to see through the deception and angry charges leveled between the candidates, and is able to view things more like God sees them.  The Christian can see through each of the men and women running and evaluate them according to the revelation of God in Scripture.  Of course, we find no Bible verse, per se, that says, “Hillary Clinton is God’s choice for the next United States president!” Nor can we hear the Lord’s voice saying, “Hillary Clinton is the worst possible person for the presidency of America!” Not at all, for God has given us principles to apply to this sort of situation and not direct commands. We can at least see how none of the candidates fully reflects the ways of God and His Word.

It is always good for the Christian to realize the message that came to Daniel at night through a vision: “. . . the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men” (Daniel 4:17). Let’s not forget that God is over all and behind all of the political activity, God is ruling supreme.

The Personalities

As the Christian looks out on the political “battlefield,” he sees certain things. But since politics require a great amount of time and effort, we know that we’ll not be able to evaluate everything fully. I, personally, don’t claim to have the last and final word on each person below.

We also need to realize that just because we find defects—grave defects—in a person’s character and stance, this doesn’t mean that God can’t use him for His own purposes. Think of the opposition to John Kennedy some 55 years ago. Some opposed him because he was the first Catholic to become president and people feared that he would take his orders from the Vatican instead of governing according to the Constitution. As turned out, Kennedy wasn’t a conservative and faithful Catholic, thus he didn’t seem to be led by the so-called Pope.

Or think of those who opposed Ronald Reagan because he was to become the first divorced president of the United States. As far as we are aware, Reagan was also an adulterer in the While House, because of his divorce and remarriage to Nancy. But people soon forgot about this objection and many look back to him in fond remembrance. What about the presidential hopefuls today?

Republican and Democratic candidates--2016

Good Political Judgment

Bernie Sanders, outspoken socialist of the Democratic party, might be a case in point. We’ve heard him say that he is strongly opposed to Christian “evangelicals.” Although, as Christians, we do not prefer to use such terms of identification, we also are aware that culturally, people would call Christians “Evangelicals” as they try to pigeon-hole us.

Sanders, if he were elected, would be the first Jewish president, and everyone knows that he is extremely liberal in his positions. For instance, he is outstanding in promoting a LGBT (sodomite) position that is diametrically opposed to Scripture. From a Christian and Biblical standpoint, surely it would be disastrous for this man to be the next president. Yet we are aware that if God could use Nero in the first century, He could also use Sanders for His own purposes (cf. Romans 13:1-7).

Hillary Clinton is liked by some since she has much experience in the diplomatic arena, having been Secretary of State in the past. She certainly knows the ins and outs of Washington, having been the “First Lady” under her husband, Bill, during his long tenure in office. On the other hand, Hillary is also exceptionally liberal in her policies and moral views. She plans to continue the wildly liberal programs and views of President Obama—perhaps the most liberal and immoral president we’ve ever had. She would continue to promote feminism (after all, she is a feminist!), would continue to promote sexual immorality (such as sodomy, bisexualism, transexualism, same-sex “marriage”), she would continue to promote killing unborn babies in the womb.

Obviously, as a feminist, Clinton would strongly disagree with God’s Scriptural prohibition of women leadership and submission to man (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Timothy 2:11-15). (Would she really submit herself to Bill’s authority? Colossians 3:18.) Thus, the Christian can see through her views and understand her rhetoric, compared to what Scripture would say about this brazen unfeminine feminist! If she is elected, she would be the first woman to become president, something that never would have happened in former generations—and this would reveal how very far American society has degenerated over the past century.

But the Republicans also have non-Christian contenders. Donald Trump, on his third young wife (a model), is a billionaire (not a millionaire!), who has a history of immorality (en.wikipedia. org/wiki/ Donald_Trump #Other). Trump has no liking of Biblical views on materialism. He lives in regal splendor along the Atlantic coast in Florida, at Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida. He has had ties to beauty pageants, golf courses, and gambling casinos.

Trump claims to be a Presbyterian, but doesn’t attend this denominational church, and has little interest in religion. He claims to be a member of the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, the church where Norman Vincent Peale preached. He doesn’t know his Bible at all and makes no profession of following the Word of God. He is outstanding in his pride, bragging, and belligerence, with everyone acknowledging these prominent and offensive traits. He seems to be intent on making enemies for this country rather than fostering amicable relationships. Sadly, Trump would probably be a terrible president but, at present, he is the Republican frontrunner. He especially seems opposed to Muslim and Mexican immigration.

Other Republican contenders have fallen behind or dropped out completely, but this leaves Ted Cruz, a Hispanic of Cuban descent. Cruz stated, “I’m Cuban, Irish, and Italian, and yet somehow I ended up Southern Baptist.” Thankfully, he would be much more conservative in regard to moral issues such as sodomy, marriage, abortion, and the like, but there are many reasons that the consistent Christian would not be able to give total approval of this candidate and his life.  (He is also married to a feminist, which would place her before the public if he were elected president.)

One thing about these men and one woman is that these are mere creatures, fallible mortals. They make mistakes and don’t have thinking that reflects Biblical norms. Thus, although we would like someone to step forward with Scriptural convictions and who follows Biblical principles, we know that this will not and cannot be the case. One may be more Biblical than another, but none of the contenders holds entirely Scriptural views on many issues.

Respectful Distance

As we’ve pointed out elsewhere in this site, it would be impossible for a sincere Christian to become president of the United States. There would be dozens (hundreds?) of reasons why a true believer in the Lord and His authoritative Word could not win an election, especially since most Americans would not be able to approve of many of his positions and decisions.


Good political judgment

Since the Christian is a follower of Christ Jesus and no man (or woman!), he will want to maintain a distance from political engagement and the political parties, as well as political candidates. We must never allow others to think that we wholeheartedly support any person who does not fully agree with Biblical values—and this would include both Democrats and Republicans. This “holy detachment” gives a freeing experience and will allow us to objectively see each person more accurately and according to God’s Word.

One further consideration here is this: Suppose that a Christian chose a particular candidate and made his choice known to friends or others who are unbelievers. And suppose that these people opposed such a candidate. Would this not lessen the Christian’s credibility and influence over the unbeliever? He would be setting up an issue that would be less than Christ crucified and risen and one he is willing to make public. It may be that the unbeliever focuses on a particular view or policy that the candidate holds, and because of this, the unbeliever will frown upon the Christian for his own inconsistency in holding to a hypocritical or compromising candidate. Thus, the Christian could inadvertently cause the unbeliever to erect a wall concerning these political positions.

Let’s trust God to work in the political process according to His wise will. He establishes rulership even in America. “The Most High [God] is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes” (Daniel 4:25b). God does all things well.

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