How God Wants You To Vote

Ken AshfordElection 2008, GodstuffLeave a Comment

I really didn't think the Bible touched very much on American politics, but apparently I was wrong.

The Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK), a 15-year missionary to elected and appointed officials on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and chairman of the Committee on Church and Society for the Evangelical Church Alliance, America's oldest association of Evangelical ministers, missionaries, institutional chaplains and organizations, offered this advice today to Christians as they prepare to vote on Tuesday, November 4: 

"The Bible offers clear and simple guidance to Christians on how to choose candidates for public office, including how to choose a president. In Deuteronomy, Chapter 17, verses 14 – 20, we are instructed to select leaders that meet these ten criteria:

Deuteronomy 17 is the chapter which says that people who sacrifice sheep to God, or believe in other faiths, shall be stoned to death, so…. it's politically relevant to today, I guess.

1.   He /she is to be the person God wants in this position. (Dt 17:15a) This can only be discerned through prayer.

Well, the prayer part is editorializing a bit (it's not actually in Dt 17:15).  But we'll let that go.

2.  He/she "may not be a foreigner." (Dt 17:15b) In other words, a candidate must be familiar with our values, convictions and way of life.

That's fine.  The Constitution says the same thing — about being a citizen, etc.

3.  He/she must not be power hungry, but rather a true "public servant" who has demonstrated humility and a servant's heart. (Dt 17:16)

Actually, Dt 17:16 talks about having "multiple horses".  But in any event, I think both Obama and McCain fit this criteria nicely.  Obama was a community organizer; McCain served his country in Vietnam.

4.  He/she must be a moral person, committed to his/her spouse and family and understand and practice fidelity in all things. In other words, he/she must demonstrate he/she keeps a promise. (Dt 17:17)

Ooops.  McCain divorced his first wife after she became disabled in a car accident. 

5.  He/she must be personally familiar with the Bible and keep company with God-appointed pastors and teachers. (Dt 17:18)

Well, I guess Obama takes his hits here with the Reverend Wright thing (if one swallows the strength of that "association", which I don't), but McCain — has anyone ever seen him in a church?

6.  He/she must give regular, routine, methodical attention to the teaching of Scripture (Dt 17:19a)

I suspect both Obama and McCain are screwed here.

7.  He/she must be open and willing to submit to the entirety of what the Bible teaches, not just select portions of it. (Dt:17b)

The irony here, of course, is that this criteria is cherry-picked from the Bible.

8.  He/she must maintain a humble and teachable heart and mind, and be honest about his/her failures. (Dt 17:20a)

I think, in all fairness, both candidates are equal (equally good and equally deficient) on this factor. 

9.  He/she must not subordinate his/her principles to an extreme political ideology or constituency. In other words, he/she must be a person of deep conviction who does what is best for the country, not for the party. (Dt 17:20b)

McCain picked Palin to appease the conservative wing of the GOP and to capitalize on the Clinton women.  'Nuff said.

He/she must have a long-term plan to leave a lasting and positive legacy for future generations, and not govern simply for the moment out of political expediency. (Dt 17:20c)

McCain picked Palin to appease the conservative wing of the GOP and to capitalize on the Clinton women.  'Nuff said.


And finally, Rev. Schenk concludes:

"I urge Christians to take these instructions very seriously and to carry them into the voting booth. Once at the polling station, take whatever time is necessary to pray and compare each candidate to these criteria before making a choice…."

Nice sentiments indeed.  I just urge Christians to pray before they get into the voting booth, if at all possible.  Because I have a feeling it's going to be a busy day, and we'll need to move things along.