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Tag: Culture (page 1 of 23)

How to Handle the NFL Protests

Since there aren’t enough opinions out there regarding the national anthem protests in the NFL (ūüė¨), I thought I would give mine as well.

Actually, this post is not intended to give my opinion on if the protest should exist, but what we should do about it.  

Plenty of opinions have been expressed on the news, in articles, and through social media.

My heart is burdened tonight by the ever-growing divide within our country, and so I want to contribute in some small way.  Regarding the NFL protests, Trump vs. Curry, Republicans vs. Democrats, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, Twitter Wars, Facebook Rants, etc., here are some things you and I can do to help unite rather than divide.

  1. Realize that a social media post rarely changes anyone’s mind. ¬†Social media has given everyone a worldwide megaphone for the first time in civilization. ¬†With it, every side of every argument gets louder and more intense than the last social issue. ¬†When people read our posts (sometimes aptly described as a “rant”), it emboldens those who agree with us and it isolates those who disagree with us. ¬†In my experience, I rarely see someone change his or her mind on a stance due to someone’s social media post. ¬†Expressing my feelings to a person is more beneficial than broadcasting my opinion to a people.
  2. Acknowledge that your opinion is personal but not necessarily superior. ¬†Everyone has a right to their opinion and everyone has a reason for their opinion. ¬†My convictions can impassion me to the point where I refuse to hear anyone else’s reasonings for his or her opinion. ¬†The whole concept of freedom of speech is a tricky thing. ¬†I use my freedom of speech to express why I think another doesn’t deserve that right. ¬†On every side of these arguments, each camp is basically saying, “You don’t have the right to feel that way. ¬†You can’t say that. ¬†Now, listen to what I have to say!” ¬†What breaks my heart is the legitimate, personal, weighty heart-wrenching convictions on every side that we are closing are ears to and refusing to listen to another.
  3. Initiate an actual conversation with someone who thinks different from you. You want real change? ¬†Stop rallying your camp and have an actual conversation with someone from the different camp. ¬†Most people are non-confrontational in person, but yet the comfort of our technological devices cause many people to say things online that they would never say in person. ¬†If you are angry that NFL players are protesting, have you ever asked a person who supports that stance what it means to them? ¬†If you are supportive of the protest, have you ever asked a person personally connected with the military why the protest causes them to come unglued? ¬†If you don’t have a relationship with someone who thinks differently, that is part of the problem. ¬†A conversation might not change your stance but it might soften your rhetoric.
  4. Open your eyes to the unseen battle. ¬†I’m a Christian, so I have this belief that more is going on than what can be seen by physical eyes. ¬†The Apostle Paul wrote that we don’t wrestle against each other, we wrestle against spiritual forces (Eph. 6:12). ¬†What that means is the aware Christian will always look to see not only what is going on, but why it is going on. ¬†Why would the Devil desire to see Pentecost reversed back to Babel? ¬†Why would he want every election cycle to swing the pendulum further for the issues to become more extreme so that the next cycle would cause the next elected politician to be even more extreme than the last in order to respond to the previous extreme administration? ¬†Why would we be given worldwide megaphones where we could be using them to spread Christ’s Gospel and yet we often spread our conviction’s gospel? ¬†The great distraction for the Christian is to focus more on his or her tribe than on Christ’s Church. ¬†Major in the minors and isolate those different from you. ¬†Now, that sounds like a good strategy of someone who is called the deceiver (Rev. 12:9), accuser (Rev. 12:10), devourer (1 Pet. 5:8), and a disguiser as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14) just to name a few of his monikers.

I know you are making a call on how you feel regarding NFL games, but never forget that there is another game going on right now and we are in it (Eph. 3:10).

I can’t fix the divide in our country, but I can choose to be part of the solution rather than the problem. ¬†And that’s my strategy.

The Problem with Christian Music

Leading worship is an honor.  Leading worship beside the incredible people that I get to lead beside is even a greater honor.

One of the things I have loved about this team is their commitment to musical excellence but also doctrinal integrity.  Not only do they take what we lead seriously, but they have also worked so diligently studying the Word as we crafted songs that would come straight from the Bible.

We have set aside hours of songwriting but we have spent more time on Bible study than anything else.  That process caused our worship team to know the Bible more and that was a worthwhile pursuit!

Don’t Sacrifice Theology for Creativity

What has been unique¬†in each¬†process is that we have fought the urge to use trite, “Christianese” sayings in these songs. ¬†In the attempt to get an easy rhyme, we could feel the temptation to¬†sacrifice theology. ¬†Never sacrifice theology for the sake of creativity.

Never sacrifice theology for the sake of creativity.

Our job is to help disciple people through worship music (Col. 3:16).  Fight to make sure that music for the Church is biblical instead of poetic.  If it can be both, great!  But if you have to choose one, make sure you always choose the Bible.

It honestly has burdened me concerning certain Christian music produced¬†in recent years. ¬†While I used to loathe the lack of quality concerning musical production, the CCM community has made leaps and bounds over the years. ¬†And why shouldn’t it be quality? ¬†Of all people, the Body of Christ should be playing and singing with excellence (Ps. 33:3).

I am no longer concerned amount the lack of quality in Christian musical production, I am concerned by the lack of commitment to the biblical message.

Good Music with Bad Theology

I have listened to songs on the radio that lack real biblical depth.  I have sat in worship services where I felt like the band was highlighting themselves more than Jesus.  I have listened to lyrics in church gatherings that are  filled more with mystical, New-Age thinking than pure, biblical truth.

If you write music for the Church, if you are a band in a Christian genre, or if you are speaking on behalf of God to a religious gathering through the medium of music, make sure that you are correct in what you sing.

I’d rather hear good theology sung sub-par than bad theology belted out to the masses. ¬†I’d love to have both, but I know what I’d rather choose.

I’ll take pure,¬†biblical¬†doctrine over catchy, snappy, or trendy any¬†day.

In fact, I believe there are some Christian and worship bands out there today that originally wanted to go mainstream. ¬†They desired to be a generic artist on a larger platform. ¬†They did not have what it takes to make it in that arena, so they “Christianized” their lyrics and became legends in the Gospel music genre.

Church people are so used to encouraging anyone in church with any level of degree with musical talent (“well, God is a lot more concerned with the heart…” “I guess you could call that a joyful noise…”), that when we see a group or an individual with decent talent, we sometimes check our head at the door because our ears are so inspired.

In fact, you can see this trend every time that you hear a Christian artist described as, “If you like this secular band, you’ll love…If you like this music from this raunchy entertainer, this is the Christian version…” ¬†Don’t even get me started on this one.

Don’t check your head at the door just because your ears are inspired (or shall I say tickled [2 Tim. 4:3]?).

The Power of Music

If you listen to Christian music, listen to biblical Christian music.  Realize that these are short abbreviated sermons, and some of them are just plain awful.  They are not biblical.  They have a form of godliness but deny its power (2 Tim. 3:5).  Find some music that will push you more into the Word and not music that mystifies your theology.

If you are writing or performing Christian music, please get in the Bible.  Many people will listen to Christian singers more than they listen to their trained pastor who is not ashamed in accurately teaching the Bible (2 Tim. 2:15) and that scares me to death.

You might think I am being too harsh, but I want you to respect this power.  Music has a way of changing emotions (1 Sam. 16:23) and that is an extremely powerful characteristic.  Hours after a sermon, someone could still be humming a tune he or she heard.  They probably are rehearsing the lines from the music more than they are a sermon, so we must be careful what we allow to go on repeat in our minds.

Artists, you must be careful wielding this powerful tool called music. ¬†Your lyrics are on repeat more than just in someone’s ears. ¬†Take that responsibility seriously and provide the Church with biblical thoughts to get stuck in their¬†heads.

Know Jesus Before You Write Music About Him

If you are listening more to the musical trends in culture than you are the voice of God through Scripture, don’t presume to speak for God.

You could be confusing the masses.  And even though you may not see yourself as a teacher, you have assumed that role in this arena and therefore will experience a stricter judgment (James 3:1).  Tread cautiously with those rhymes and those lines.

If your Christian song lacks such theological depth that I could replace “Jesus” for “baby,” you need to go back to the drawing board and get into the Bible.

If your song lacks such depth that I could replace “Jesus” for “baby,” you need to get back into the Bible.

Give us some depth, saints.

The Bible is the accurate description of an infinite God, and I promise that you will not run out of material when you get lost in those pages.

If you are going to write music about Jesus, at least get to know him.

Babylonian Worldview

The Apostle Paul clearly warned believers when he wrote, ‚ÄúSee to it that no one takes you through hollow and deceptive philosophy, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not¬† according to Christ‚ÄĚ (Col. 2:8).¬† The word ‚Äúphilosophy‚ÄĚ literally means ‚Äúthe love of wisdom.‚Ä̬† Wisdom is not a bad thing.¬† Hollow and deceptive obsession with wisdom is a bad thing.¬†¬†

Within our culture, you will be barraged with an onslaught of attempts at gaining wisdom completely devoid of God.  The deceptive part about that attack is wisdom apart from the All-Wise one does not exist.  

We are unable to obtain wisdom apart from the giver of wisdom.  

The fear of the Lord is the very first step to knowledge which leads to wisdom (Prov. 1:7).  Someone with true discernment will seek God’s wisdom versus turning to the teachings originating from this fallen world (Prov. 17:24).

Wisdom that is comprised of the best human traditions always falls short.  God’s Word is sufficient.  It has been tested and tried over the years, and the closer one scrutinizes the biblical claims, the more that person will find that the answers are true and reliable.  The Bible does not need someone to defend it Рthe message defends itself.    

In our culture, you might be labeled as a backwards hick if you claim to believe the message of the Bible.  If you choose to live and to think godly, you will be persecuted at some level (2 Tim. 3:12).    If you are to maintain credibility with those around you, your worldview must be backed by more than heartfelt faith.  While that faith is essential to your salvation, you must begin to think through why you believe what you believe.

One thing I have encouraged people to do is to use their minds and their hearts when it comes to religion.  Many of them were spoon fed religion as a child by their parents and believe what they believe based upon family tradition.  Once they enter into college, they are spoon fed humanism and postmodernism by professors, and many students have not thought through the questions these professors propose.  In light of these forces in their lives, many students jump from worldview to worldview based upon who the current authority is in their lives.  

A faith that is not personally possessed is not real faith.  

Faith by association is not genuine.  I encourage you that regardless of what you believe, you need to own it.  You must not only know what you believe.  You must know why you believe what you believe.  

Daniel and Company

Students on many college campuses find themselves in the same situation as a young man, Daniel, and his friends did years ago.  His nation Israel had been captured by the idolatrous Babylon.  The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, took the best and the brightest of the young adults from Israel in order to assimilate them into the Babylonian worldview for a short period of time (Dan. 1:3-4).  The king knew this fact about a culture: if he can sway the worldviews of the best and the brightest of a nation, the rest of the people will not be far behind.  Not only was the king promoting his worldview’s agenda, but also he was subverting these Jewish young men from the worldview that they had come to possess internally.   

This story is very similar to our culture.  The best and the brightest are prime for mental molding, and people with every possible worldview imaginable are eager to do the instructing.  The worldview of our generation will affect the future of this world.  If you believe the Bible, you must acknowledge that spiritual forces are at work around you.  A struggle is taking place for the minds of each and every person (Eph. 6:12).  Forces are assisting your ability to maintain a biblical worldview, but opposing forces are also retaliating by attempting to infiltrate your belief system.

How did Daniel and his friends respond?  They resolved that they would not be defiled by the king’s provisions (Dan. 1:8).  Daniel stepped out on faith.  He decided that even in an idolatrous culture, he was going to remain unmoved.  In the midst of a pagan society, he was going to remain faithful to God.  No matter what temptations or obstacles would come his way, he decided to remain steadfast to God’s commands.

If you are a Christian, you will have to resolve to do the same things.  You will have to prepare to meet challenges as you express a biblical worldview.  In your attempt to remain untainted by the ideologies of the world, you will have to commit to allowing God to shape your mind and thinking.  You must commit to an authoritative source.   

Romans 12:2 says it best:

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 

For anyone who feel as if their worldview is a minority within their culture, how are you utilizing God’s Word to renew your mind? ¬†If you aren’t filling your mind with truth, the lies will find a vacancy in which to occupy.

This Is Santa’s Big Scene

It was an honest mistake. ¬†When the singer forgot the line to the song, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but when the vocals came back strong, the irony floored me. ¬†At this particular gathering, a group of musicians were entertaining a religious group gathered to celebrate Christmas. ¬†They sang sacred and secular tunes. ¬†No problem there.

As they sang, “Silver Bells,” the crowd of Southerners sang out nostalgically about this white fluffy material called “snow”¬†that is rarely ever experienced in our geographical location.

“Hear the snow crunch
See the kids bunch
This is Santa’s big scene
And above all this bustle
You’ll hear
Silver bells, silver bells
It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas day”

Those are the lyrics of the song, but the singer must have lost the place in the song and so the first two lines of the second stanza were lacking lyrics.  While the singer searched feverishly through the lyric sheet, finally the spot was found and the vocal burst into the microphone:

This is Santa’s big scene! ¬†And above all this bustle you’ll hear…

I don’t know why, but the lyrical slip caused a legitimate twitch in my soul.

The Problem with Santa

I think I cringed because the blunder revealed a true reality for many of us concerning Christmas.

Christmas has become Santa’s big scene, and Jesus has been reduced to an honorable mention.

If that statement offended you or caught you off guard, please be patient with me. ¬†What I am about to share with you is a question I have been asked numerous times. ¬†I am not posting this to create controversy, but I want to share some responses I’ve given during healthy dialogues with others.

We don’t celebrate Santa at our home. Before you label me a holiday heretic and a Christmas curmudgeon, I would appreciate you to consider some of my reasonings.

If your family celebrates Santa, I am not here to confront you.  In fact, you can discontinue reading this post at any time.  If you are still with me, I want to encourage you to think though.  I do want you to evaluate the state of Christmas with me:

  1. Listen to radio stations¬†and notice how often songs focusing on Jesus are played. ¬†The majority of songs on secular (and even some sacred) stations are focused on nostalgia over nativity. ¬†Santa, reindeer, Frosty, and the gang are preferred over Jesus. ¬†Christ is so offensive in our times that we focus on the most peculiar things as a culture regarding the “holidays.”
  2. Observe decorations and notice how commercial and cartoonish the whole ordeal has become.  Decor is designed to make children obsess over the make-believe rather than believe in the one who should be their obsession.
  3. Consider the time and realize how much of this season is focused on temporal trinkets rather than eternal value.  The most wonderful time of the year has turned into the most stressed time of the year because we are too busy making sure we will go in too much debt for too many people.  We are so focused on stuff that we neglect focusing on Jesus.
  4. Evaluate your teaching and understand that much of what we teach children is a North Pole version of Karma which teaches kids to be kind in order that they get stuff from Santa rather than be pleasing to Jesus.  We try to enforce a version of morality upon them based on what Santa will give rather than what Jesus has already given.

I know that these traditions may appear harmless.  I believe people have good intentions, but regardless of motives, we must consider the danger regarding our celebratory practices.

If we are not careful, we can teach our children to cherish Santa and forget Jesus.

Losing St. Nicholas

Santa Claus is a lesser depiction of an actual stalwart servant of Jesus. ¬†Nicholas was born in A.D. 280 to godly parents who taught him the ways of the Lord. ¬†After their sudden death, he inherited his family’s wealth and decided to do something good with it. ¬†He helped out some families with gifts and some traditions said he passed some of those gifts¬†down a chimney. ¬†He was a preacher and theologian. ¬†He was persecuted for his faith and beaten severely. ¬†There is also a story in which¬†he punched a heretic in a council meeting ‚Äď that’s my kind of Santa (more of his story can be found here)!

St-Nicholas

If you read the actual story about his life, he is much more noteworthy than the counterfeit fable.  For a man truly committed to making much of Jesus, he would have been devastated to know that Christmas was spent making much of him.  Santa Claus has become for many an honest distraction from Jesus.

Things to Consider

I am regularly asked by young parents regarding the Santa Clause dilemma.  A growing number of adults feel pulled from every side concerning what to do.  Traditions and expectations lean one way, and for many, convictions lean the other way.  No matter how you decide to celebrate, you need to wrestle with certain issues.  Regardless of your stage of life, I ask you to consider these things:

  1. Evaluate the message you are communicating. ¬†Children imitate what their parents celebrate. ¬†In fact, they imitate adults whom they love. ¬†For whatever reason, I have always been fascinated at how perfect strangers can come to my children and ask them about what they are asking Santa for Christmas. ¬†If Santa, gifts, and sugar is all I¬†teach my kids about, I can’t¬†bellyache when they become hyperactive gratification-addicts. ¬†Consider what you talk with them most about regarding Christmas (Deut. 6:7).
  2. Consider what your celebrations say to families not as fortunate as yours.  Imagine the school assignment after Christmas break: share what Santa brought you for Christmas.  Through writings, drawings, and presentations, the rich kids apparently got richer and the poor kids stayed behind.  If we reduce Christmas to what Santa brings your children, then apparently the rich kids are also the nice kids while the poor kids are the naughty kids.  This type of reasoning does not aid our culture at all.  We must teach our children to display contentment with their family and with others (1 Tim. 6:6-8).
  3. Earning your children’s trust is of paramount importance. ¬†Above all else, you want your children to trust you (Prov. 23:26). ¬†I want to live in such a way that they never have to doubt my credibility. ¬†While many people will see the myth of Santa Claus as fun and harmless, I have known stories of children who learned to distrust their parents as a result, especially if the reasonings for Santa were the same as the reasonings for Jesus (more on this in a moment). ¬†Children associate things differently than adults. ¬†Throughout the challenges of their lives, I want them to be sure that my voice can always be trusted. ¬†Make sure you earn and maintain¬†their trust. ¬†Considering this issue, you must consider how your actions determine¬†your family’s ability to stay obedient to the 9th and 10th commandments (Ex. 20:16-17).
  4. Don’t ruin another family’s tradition. ¬†If you are a family that doesn’t celebrate Santa Claus, don’t ruin it for other families. ¬†If you do celebrate Santa, don’t demonize a family that does not. ¬†Even if you have valid reasonings for your convictions, you lead your family and let them lead their family (Deut. 4:9). ¬†You aren’t responsible for how others¬†raise their kids.
  5. Someone¬†else’s¬†decision is not necessarily a criticism¬†of your decision. ¬†If the next generation in your family doesn’t celebrate just like you did, that doesn’t mean they think they are better or wiser than you. ¬†They are just doing things the way they think they ought to be done with their kids at this point in time. ¬†Provide them the freedom to do that.
  6. Differentiate between Santa and Jesus at all costs. ¬†Too many parents teach stories about Santa without acknowledgement that they are robbing attributes from¬†Jesus. ¬†Parents teach that you better be good because Santa is watching and knows what you are doing (omniscience), he can be everywhere at once (omnipresence), he can be near to¬†us (immanence), he does not age (infinity), he does good to all people (providence), and so on and so on. ¬†With this figure, you cannot see him, but if you don’t believe in him, you will not get good stuff from him. ¬†Then one day, you tell them that all those things were made up about that invisible being. ¬†What stops them from thinking you were making the whole Jesus thing up too if the reasoning and motivation for both individuals has been the same?

We decided not to celebrate Santa in our home. ¬†I am hesitant to share that because whenever I am asked about it, I am treated as if I partnered with the Easter Bunny to kill the Tooth¬†Fairy (which, by the way, we don’t celebrate either :/). ¬†If I’m honest, I believe I have gotten more eyes rolled from the church-going type at the fact that we don’t celebrate Santa practically than I would if we neglected to celebrate Jesus practically. ¬†People can be oddly¬†passionate about Santa Claus.¬†¬†If you feel as if you must become a Santa evangelist to those who don’t want to partake, you may be taking it too seriously.

When asked about Santa Claus by a listener, John Piper submitted this question¬†boldly, “My question is this: How could we possibly even think of giving our children a bowl of bland, sugarless porridge when they are offered the greatest meal in the world? Why would we give them Santa Claus when they can have the incarnation of the Son of God?”

As we began our family, abstaining from the whole deal¬†was a conviction that we had. ¬†We were going to tell our kids about Santa, but we were going to tell the truth about Santa from day one. ¬†That doesn’t mean we don’t have fun or let our kids have an imagination (if you know my kids, you shouldn’t worry about that). ¬†We watch movies about Santa. ¬†We sing songs about Santa. ¬†We go and take pictures with Santa (when he doesn’t look too creepy). ¬†We also have warned them not to talk about it with people outside our family in respect to their traditions. ¬†They have honored that promise. ¬†At our home, we celebrate Christmas, but we don’t make a big deal about Santa.

While Santa is fun and harmless to some, he has become an idol for many.

If he isn’t your idol, then you shouldn’t let that statement offend you. ¬†If he is going to be present in your celebrations, have at it, but don’t let him crowd the babe in the manger. ¬†If you can have fun with Nicholas and worship Jesus, let that be after¬†thoughtful and prayerful consideration. ¬†Regardless of where you stand, make much of Jesus on Christmas and every other day because he is a greater truth than any story we could ever make up.

Closed Curtain and Clear Conscience

If you haven’t heard, there’s a presidential election coming up. ¬†In case you were wondering,¬†not every American is thrilled concerning the slate of candidates. ¬†Whether your beef is with deleted emails, recorded conversations, the first spouse options, Aleppo ignorance, Supreme court justices, Benghazi, the Apprentice, what they stand for, or what they stand against, we got a situation on our hands.

As an evangelical, this election has had its fair share of controversy among leading voices:

  • Russell Moore and many like him have called for Christians to vote for a 3rd party candidate rather than the lesser of two evils.
  • Robert Jeffress has been relentless supporting Trump and having to cover his bases by claiming he is not electing a Sunday school teacher.
  • Jerry Falwell Jr.’s obsession with Trump has divided Liberty University.
  • Wayne Grudem keeps reversing his stance on supporting Trump.
  • Paige Patterson is voting based on what he doesn’t know about Trump in comparison to what he is sure of regarding Clinton.
  • One group¬†of evangelicals can’t seem to vote for Clinton due to her aggressive stances against clear biblical teaching.
  • Another group of evangelicals can’t seem to vote for Trump due to moral behavior and unclear positions.

This election has shown the divide between those who perceive themselves as a citizen primarily of an American democracy or a heavenly kingdom.

What is an evangelical to do? ¬†I can’t tell you who you should vote for, but I would like you to consider these suggestions:

#1. Decide to Vote

Even if you aren’t spellbound with any candidate, you still have an opportunity to vote and that is a good thing. ¬†Can you imagine a Christian in another place or another time who lived under tyrannical times and comprehending that you had the ability to have a say so in the election of¬†your next leader and yet you stayed home in objection? ¬†The next president will make significant calls concerning religious liberty and judicial morality. ¬†It doesn’t really help to¬†abstain from voting and then bemoan the outcome. ¬†Government is established by God (Rom. 13:1; Tit. 3:1), and so it makes sense to be a part of the processes that are setup¬†while we have the opportunity.

#2. Pray Through the Issues

Study and pray.  Know what is at stake.

Like it or not, we all vote for a person and not a party.

You may say you are voting for a party, but you are electing a person into an office.  So look at each person and what he or she supports.  Think critically.  Pray strategically.  Seek to honor God with the gift of your vote.  If you are discouraged with the caliber of candidates, then pray through those feelings.  You might find yourself praying for the hearts of Americans that have created this unique election with our ever-increasing polarization by our inconsistent political and personal stances.

#3. Close the Curtain

When you have worked through your issues and made a selection, close the curtain and vote. ¬†For all of the benefits of social media, the system has really clouded the political process and upgraded the degrading rhetoric between citizens. ¬†If you want to publicly support a candidate, have it. ¬†If you want to remain quiet, that’s your choice. ¬†Social media has a way of making the quietest of people in person to be some of the loudest online. ¬†Be careful if and how you debate. ¬†In an attempt of winning an argument, you can lose an audience.

The beauty of the system is that you can be a closet supporter of someone and everyone doesn’t have to know who you have chosen. ¬†Well, one person does…

#4. Vote Coram Deo

Coram Deo is a Latin phrase that means “in the presence of God.” ¬†The theological implications is that all of life is lived where God can see it. ¬†While no one else can see who you vote for in the election, never forget that God can see your ballot. ¬†Vote with prayerful conviction that allows you to rest in¬†that.

Your goal in the presidential election should be to vote with a closed curtain and a clear conscience.

If you have a certain stance that directs your vote or if you have a certain issue that you hold dear, vote and vote in confidence that God sees your selection but more importantly, he knows your heart. ¬†If you have godly motivations for your selection, then trust God’s discernment and trust the process.

Make a wise decision and trust God with the results (Deut. 1:13).

#5. Accept the Results

In just a few days, an incumbent will be recognized. ¬†If you are one of those people who is¬†happy with no one on the ballot, your next step is easy ‚Äď pray. ¬†If your beloved candidate loses, pray. ¬†If your camp succeeds, pray. ¬†Scripture commands us to pray for our political leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-4). ¬†Then, do your role as an American citizen to portray your character¬†as a heavenly citizen and strive towards gentleness and compassion (Col. 3:12).

Regardless of your theology, we cannot escape the sovereign hand of God over all political processes. ¬†We get to vote, but nothing happens without his say-so (Rom. 13:2). ¬†He installs and removes all leaders (Dan. 2:21). ¬†“The Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes” (Dan. 4:17).

There are two dangers here: we can glorify or demonize a politician.

Your candidate is not the Savior.  And their candidate is not beyond the grace of the Savior.

There is a healthy balance. ¬†Don’t put your trust in a ruler you love (Ps. 146:3), but also honor the ruler¬†you despise (1 Pet. 2:17). ¬†If you believe the incumbent president¬†to be wicked, it is understandable¬†to moan (Prov. 29:2), but do so in a way that doesn’t curse the leader (Ex. 22:28; Ac. 23:5).

If I am thankful for anything this election season is that it has truly clarified positions.

The religious right’s failure was putting their hope in the promises of politicians rather than the Prince of Peace.

Maybe this type of election has been a wakeup call for many.  Maybe it has clarified the boundary lines of spiritual citizenship.  Maybe he will be president.  Maybe she will be president.

Regardless, I know who will still be King of kings (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16).