Monday, November 03, 2008

My Thoughts on the Eve of the Presidential Election

I’ve noticed lately how emotionally invested people are in the two candidates for president. It’s a bit scary, really. If their candidate wins, they think he will be able to solve just about every problem that faces this nation. If their candidate loses, they think our nation will be doomed. Of course leadership is important, but so is individual responsibility.

Another mistake is thinking that money will solve all the problems in our nation. In the Memphis newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, on November 2, 2008, Kerry Hayes stated, “Everywhere in Memphis, the lingering specter of segregation and wealth inequality is nakedly visible. As the economy is dragged further and further down, the agencies and schools tasked with confronting these challenges find themselves further and further deprived of resources” (page V1). In contrast to the statement by Hayes, Chris Toshach stated, “Now there are campaign promises of relatively free mortgages, free education, free health care . . . free everything. . . . I don’t hear anything about personal responsibility” (page V3). After hearing about the waste/loss of food and laptop computers in Memphis City Schools, I don’t think throwing money at the problems there will solve them. Personal responsibility is needed on the part of parents, students, and school employees.

If the majority of people in our country elect bad leaders, then that choice of leadership reflects on the choosers, obviously. I am quite worried about the lack of a good moral framework among many voters. Our traditional, Judeo-Christian moral absolutes seem to be shunned or ignored by many voters. Moral relativism is in vogue, and chaos has resulted. One is reminded of the time of the judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25, NKJV). There was an unfortunate progression. As the Israelites grew tired of the chaos, they desired a king to end it—not God, but a human king. Notice 1 Samuel 8:7, 19-20: “ ‘They have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.’ . . . Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, ‘No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.’ ” How many times have we heard candidates say, “I will fight for you”? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear the candidate say, “Let’s fight together for what is right.” As people around the world tire of the chaos, they may be quite open to the leadership of an impressive man that we read about in Revelation. God will let them have what they want, just as He did before King Saul was chosen: “So the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Heed their voice, and make them a king’ ” (1 Samuel 8:22).

No matter who is elected, we as Christians will still have personal responsibility to be salt and light in our individual spheres of influence.