Monday, May 21, 2007

picking a President

What is the criteria that you use to pick a candidate? How will you determine who to vote for? Does faith play a part? It's interesting when we look at the leading candidates on both sides.
Hillary Clinton: (Christian) United Methodist
John Edwards: (Christian) United Methodist
Barack Obama : (Christian) United Church of Christ

Mitt Romney: (Heretical-Christian-ish) Mormon
John McCain: (Christian) Episcopalian
Rudolph Giuliani: (Christian) Roman Catholic

Out of all of these leading candidates, Barak Obama seems the most authentic and most sincere about having a real relationship with Jesus Christ. But this causes a real problem for conservatives who are used to voting Republican. Christians on the Right want to vote for a Republican who is a Christian, but all the Republicans who are leading in the polls create issues for the Christian voter.

Is it ok to vote for a Mormon? If not, then you are left with two "less than devout" Republican candidates. So your basic options from a conservative Christian point of view are as follows:

1. Vote for a solid Christian Democrate who you disagree with politically. (Obama)
2. Vote for a heretic Republican who you agree with politically. (Romney)
3. Vote for a pseudo-Christian Republican who you agree with politically. (McCain, Giuliani)
4. Vote for a pseudo-Christian Democrate who you disagree with politically. (Clinton, Edwards)

The options aren't that exciting for the "moral majority" in the 2008 Presidential election. Some of this confusion will get ironed out in the primary elections. If it ends up being some version of #3 vs. #4, the decision will be a bit easier. The Right will go with #3. But how will the Christian Right vote if the options are #1 vs. #2? Or what about if it is #2 vs. #4? Or even #1 vs. #3?

Christians who typically use faith as the primary reason to vote for one candidate over another will find themselves in a pickle as they try to pick a new President.


At 10:59 AM, Blogger ecclesia said...

My question is, are these our only options? What about people like Ron Paul? Do we have to vote Republican or Democrat only? There are other parties. Yes, they are most likely the unpopular party and the ones that most likely won't win, but do you think the Lord wants us to subscribe to a certain party or vote consciously? There are good Christians out there that run, it's just unfortunate they are the ones that, in the long run, aren't the popular candidate because of how conservative they are.

Keep in mind too, that people like Clinton or Obama are "claiming" to affiliate themselves with these "religions," but you really have to look at each and every thing they stand for. Do they really show the fruits or even show they "obedient" to Christ? I'm not saying we have a right to claim they are "saved" or not, however if they are calling themselves Christians, we have a right to hold them to that standard.

But then again, here's how much I've lost trust in these politicians. I wonder if many of them just say what we "want" to hear, but only do what they want anyways and just "give in" once they're in office. I'm not saying all, but most do. Are there many politicians out there backing what they truly stand for or do they "sell out?"

I think, as Christians, we should ask ourselves all of these questions and earnestly pray that the Spirit guide us as to how we vote. If we have the Spirit, we have a conscience. Maybe the Lord won't tell us to vote the "popular" vote, which could be either Republican or Democrat, being they are the two basic parties. Maybe the Lord wants us to vote for the underdog. Perhaps we aren't called at all to be like the world, voting only left or right, but to be different and vote what is "right." Only the Lord can lead us to what is "right," whatever that would be in this election. In my mind, there are more options out there than we might be willing to see. In conclusion, trust the Spirit and be obedient. Don't just give into the majority. It may not have to be just one or the other. It could very well be neither.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Mark said...

ecclesia wrote: "I wonder if many of them just say what we "want" to hear, but only do what they want anyways and just "give in" once they're in office."

I guess if you vote based on issues then you would want the person to keep the same stance on every issue throughout their Presidency as they had when they ran for office.

But if we vote not so much for who has what stance on what issue, but for who is the best person and leader, then they are free to change their view as their perspective in office changes.

My assumption is that views will change based on the changing nature of the country's condition. I am ok with some flexibility. I think sometimes the people running for office don't have all the details about certain issues until they get into office. This is especially true for the office of the President.

So if we assume some flex on some issues, then voting based on issues doesn't make as much sense as voting on strength of character, ability to lead, and overall policy-making intellegence.

I would rather have someone who disagrees with me on issues but is a strong leader who has a morally solid character than to have someone who doesn't have these traits but who does agree with me on issues.

At 10:45 PM, Blogger ecclesia said...

You make a good point. I guess what I'm saying is, even if we aren't making it about the issues, IF a president claims to take a stand on certain things, then changes once their in office, they can lose credibility. I understand there are circumstances that are out of their control, but let's be real. Many politicians who go into office (many times, not all) will say what they think the public wants them to hear, to get the votes. I'm not generalizing to say all because I know that's not fair. To me, that doesn't show a very credible leader. So, with that being said, I think we really need to look closely at everything, while also not ruling out the underdog. I'm simply saying, let's not narrow it down just to the two political parties even. Let's think outside of the box a little bit. Also, let's not forget about the Spirit when making such decisions such as voting. In my mind, voting is a big deal and an awesome right we have. God knows more than we do. We only know what the media is willing to tell us. Let's be smart and use common sense in voting, but let's allow the Holy Spirit to help guide us in making such important decisions when it comes to the future of our country.

Just like in anything else, I think about how we get these ideas in our heads about what we want or what we think is right, or how we think it should be and I keep thinking about the Scripture that says, "For My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are not your thoughts..." And when it comes to choosing a President there's a lot we just don't know. So, I think it takes some discernment in seeking the Lord.

At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think John Edwards seems pretty sincere in his faith. I wouldn't call him a "pseudo-Christian".
-Dave R.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Dave R.,
I agree. But that list of options was from the "conservative Christian" point of view. I am assuming most fundamentalist Christians don't trust John Edwards' confession of faith.


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