Judging the Presidential Candidates
Which candidate is qualified to be President?
Discerning the qualifications of candidates for civil office is an essential responsibility of any citizen who casts their vote. It has been said that people elect those most like themselves, that the leaders we elect for civil office are a reflection of the electorate. What a sobering reality! We certainly have not done well at this business of elections.
Even more, for the Christian citizen it is of paramount importance to elect those who meet the qualifications set forth in Scripture.
For far too long, Christians have followed the wisdom of the world by electing the “lesser of two evils” or the “the most electable candidate” or the candidate that seems to be “mostly conservative”.
Yet to understand what the Bible teaches about the qualifications for civil office, is just as important as churches selecting qualified leaders for their church, or a godly woman choosing a godly man to be her husband.
One example from the Bible that we can use in order to sift through the current batch of candidates for the office of the President of the United States is what the apostle James wrote in the third chapter of his epistle. While not the usual list of qualifications found in other areas of the Bible, it offers a real insight into what we should be looking for:
Is He a Man of Wisdom and Understanding?
“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation (or good life) his works with meekness of wisdom.” James 3:13 ESV
What a powerful combination James gives to us as the most important qualification for leaders: Wisdom and meekness.
It reminds us of what Paul says in his letter to the Romans: “…not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12.3 ESV
Go ahead and start your checklist!
Which of the current candidates meets this two-part qualification? Which candidate has spent his life learning the wisdom and knowledge that begins with the fear of the Lord? Which candidate understands that it is not about him, but about the ideas of liberty, self-government and limited civil government that come from the wisdom that is above?
Is He a Man Not Driven by Selfish Ambition?
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” James 3:14-16 ESV
The Christian citizen is a step ahead of his non-Christian neighbor on this one. He understands the depth of his own sin and his desperate need of a Savior. The American Christian should be quickly able to discern the man who seeks office from primarily a selfish ambition because he knows the root of selfish ambition is a love of self above all else. What about you?
Our nation has reaped the whirlwind of the disorder and vile practices from electing leaders whose primary motivation is selfish ambition. From the selfish ambition of rewarding themselves or funneling millions of taxpayer dollars into private banks and corporations as payoffs to their supporters or from the selfish ambition to be a “king“, isn’t it about time we elect men who are filled with wisdom and the fear of God and not full of themselves?
Get your checklist out again! Who among the candidates, Republican or Democratic, are disqualified because of their selfish ambition?
Is He a Man who is a Peacemaker?
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:17-18 ESV
…peaceable, open to reason, full of mercy, impartial! What a powerful list of qualifications! But that is what God’s Word tells us must be a prerequisite for those we would seek to be our leaders.
What a novel approach to civil justice in our country and for foreign policy around the world!
Get out that checklist one final time: Who among the candidates meets the Biblical qualification of peacemaker?
But don’t ask us to make election decisions for you! This is your job and it is a requirement that God gives to every Christian who reads his Bible. We hope you take your responsibility seriously!
Real Ideas from the Bible
Explicitly Christian Politics simply put is an idea that the Word of God has something to say about every area of life, including politics. Isn’t it about time that we gladly embrace what the Word of God has to say about Presidential politics?
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