Now That We Know Who's Running for President—What Next?

Months ago (it seems like years now, doesn’t it?) when Ben Carson announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President, the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists released the following statement: “While individual church members are free to support or oppose any candidate for office as they see fit, it is crucial that the Church as an institution remain neutral on all candidates for office. Care should be taken that the pulpit and all church property remain a neutral space when it comes to elections. Church employees must also exercise extreme care not to express views in their denominational capacity about any candidate for office, including Dr. Carson” (NAD/Michigan Conference email 5-4-15). The fact that Dr. Carson is a practicing Seventh-day Adventist no doubt necessitated this official ecclesiastical pronouncement.

But thirteen months later Ben Carson and the rest of the twenty or so candidates for the major political parties’ nominations for president are no longer on center stage. Rather as the result of primaries this week across the nation it seems clear (certainly to the press and political talking heads at least) that the presumptive nominees for President of the United States from the two major parties are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In keeping with the North American church’s position of political neutrality and its advice that pulpits and pastors maintain that neutrality in their public communications, this blog will obviously not be taking or advocating political sides.

That does not, however, mean that we as a people (pastors and parishioners alike) should remain silent in the face of blatant attacks on or denials of deeply held moral values or biblical truths. Political neutrality is not moral neutrality.

Russell Moore, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and recognized chief policy spokesman for the denomination, raised eyebrows when a Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) interview with him was posted on the CBN website June 3. When asked what he would pray for were Donald Trump to become President, Moore replied: “‘My primary prayer for Donald Trump is that he would first of all repent of sin and come to faith in Jesus Christ. That’s my prayer for any lost person. . . . And the same thing would be true in terms of Hillary Clinton.’” (http://religionnews.com/2016/06/05/southern-baptist-leader-donald-trump-a-lost-soul-who-must-repent/)

While I disagree with the premise that all occupants of the Oval Office must be born again Christians (our nation has been well served by presidents not of my own evangelical persuasion), who could challenge a Christian’s prayers for all presidential candidates this election year to come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and humbly but confidently follow Him in their exercise of the presidential office? While the office of President is not a Christian or even spiritual office, it is still a position of powerful moral influence for this nation and for the world.

But perhaps Russell Moore made his most thoughtful point when in the interview he acknowledged: “Regardless of what happens in November, my primary focus is not November 2016—my primary focus is 2017 and preparing the church to be a church which is going to have to be a sign of contradiction regardless of whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is in the White House.” (Ibid.)

“A sign of contradiction”—isn’t that what Jesus was signaling when He replied to the Roman governor, “‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight. . . . But now my kingdom is from another place’” (John 18:36)? As radical followers of Christ, we take our marching orders—not from a political party nor from a charismatic leader—we obey the uncompromising directives of the Most High God. There are political positions held by both major party candidates that the disciple of Christ chooses not to embrace. We don’t need to picket or protest the candidate’s appearances. But now more than ever in history we need to pray for the nation we will all wake up to the morning after the election. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

Comments

I am confident that God is still in control and whoever becomes president will be there because God wants that person there to help fulfill His plans. He is still the God who said he has power over human kingdoms and can give them to anyone he chooses. (Daniel 4:17, 4:25, 4:32. 5:21 and Daniel 2:21 where he says he makes and Unmakes Kings. also see Jer.27:5, and Job 12:17-19, Isaiah 40:23 Therefore even if I don't like who gets to be president I don't need to worry because "no authority exists without God's permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God." Romans 13:1 Maybe Trump or Hillary will be put there "for such a time like this". (See Esther 4:14). Biblical history involving God's appointed (Esther, Joseph, Daniel and so on clearly documents God's control of human events.). It will be true in our election as earth's history nears the end of time. We need to participate as our abilities permit knowing that God has given us all knowledge to be prepared now and in our future and TRUST. that He will make kings or unmake kings according to His plan to redeem us.

Very, very Scripturally said...

Hey Dwight Old Friend. God bless ya and keep up the work for God. Forerunner ( Christopher Hudson) had some very interesting video On Trump which I was leaning toward cause Hillary ... Well just say we are in trouble no matter what. But you might also find this very interesting when it gets time to vote. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0cLrTBYGF8&index=49&list=PLdoBp3HqoudH46NDYncTN9jaQWX2IwTwd PART 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Dqw2hqDbSg&index=50&list=PLdoBp3HqoudH46NDYncTN9jaQWX2IwTwd PART II You are the one who introduced me to Chris, Dwight and he has been a God send too me. Thank You

Dwight! This video By Forerunner 777 Kind of shook me up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Dqw2hqDbSg&index=50&list=PLdoBp3HqoudH46NDYncTN9jaQWX2IwTwd

I recall the story of Job where God, The Almighty, allowed Satan to control events in the life of Job. Although it was not God's will what happened to Job during the process. Just like this U.S.A presidential campaign and the thousands of other campaigns God allows Satan to have his way, but it does not necessarily mean whatever happens during the process is God's will. The result of Satan's mingling in Job's life brought Job closer to God. Likewise, whoever runs for political offices may be through the manipulation of Satan; however, the result can be God's will with Christians' diligent prayers, fastings and counsel. The current U.S.A. President and the one preceding him presents challenges to us as Christians. The results of these challenges can be what God wills if we put aside loyalties to humans and stay loyal to Jesus Christ, led by the Holy Spriit through prayers, fastings, counsel, assembling and study. I despise when political candidates take to the pulpit to address congregations. And, yes I have seen it happen a few times in churches. Not good. So I agree that congregations should remain political neutral within God's house of worship. Lastly, I really like how Pastor Nelson addresses current issues facing us in this society. He is a person who tries to do God's work on this earth. We need to keep our pastors, their families as well as all of our brother and sisters in Christ in prayer. Happy Sabbath!

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