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Two equally dangerous temptations lie before Christians come Election Day. The first temptation is to ask our government to do what only Jesus can do. I call it the “political savior” complex.
Vote for me, and I’ll fix the economy, eliminate corruption, lower healthcare costs, keep ebola at bay, and pretty much make the world a beautiful, happy place. Believe in America. We are God’s chosen people. Our best days are yet to come. Nothing will stand in our way. A vote for me is a choice for heaven on earth. (Cue patriotic anthem of choice)
Can God use our elected officials to keep the peace, protect the weak, and promote the general welfare? You bet. But we must remember that only Jesus can make all things new (Rev 21:5). Only Jesus can bring the kingdom of God to pass on earth (Mark 1:15). Human government is a good gift. Just don’t expect it to save you or anyone around you anytime soon.
Here’s the second temptation. Respond to the ultimate futility of human government by becoming an apathetic cynic.
Democrats are clueless. Republicans are stupid. Washington is a mess. And I’m sick and tired of robocalls reminding me to vote tomorrow. I’m just going to hunker down with my job, my friends, my church community, and ignore American politics. I’m not going to read anything, listen to anything, or vote, for that matter. Why bother trying to make a difference?
Confession: I am pretty sympathetic toward folks who fall into this second temptation. And it’s why I appreciated a blog post on The Gospel Coalition titled, “3 Reasons You Should Care About Election Day.”
Read the blog post. Then go vote tomorrow. It’s a God-given responsibility (Matt 22:21).