Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm praying for you, Mr. President

So, it's that time of year again. Elections are coming up. People are wanting to know where I stand and what I think. Who AM I going to vote for?? Well, I'm not. Truth be told, I never have voted nor do I intend to. Now, I know I'm going to get a lot of grief for this entry. But it's okay. I'm used to it by now. When you believe radical things like I do you get used to being in heated discussions. :) Let me share. This is my third election that I am eligible to vote for. My first one was when I was 18. I didn't vote, simply because I was too lazy. I was registered in a different county and didn't want to go through all the trouble of getting it changed. Silly, I know, but true. My story really starts with the election of 2004. I was 22. With the war in Iraq it seemed like this election was very heated and very important. And I had every intention of voting. I did my research, looked into each candidate and was going to vote. But then I started praying about it and reading my Bible. And something was very, very unsettled within me. I kept praying and reading. Something just didn't seem right. The day of election came and I drove to the place I was to vote. I sat in the parking lot for a good half hour, watching people walk in and out, praying, wondering. Finally, I started my car and drove away. And I have been at peace about it ever since. So, what was it that made me not vote. Well, one reason, it hurt my conscience to do so. As I read my Bible, I tossed aside everything I had been taught. Everything that had been ingrained in me since I was a child. "Vote. It's your American duty." "How will God's will be done if the Christians don't vote?" And I tried to see it through the eyes of Jesus. I didn't see him getting involved in politics. He realized that He was not a citizen of this world but a citizen of a higher kingdom. He told us to pray for those in charge and to obey our government. And that is all I read about being involved in the government. But the question was still on my mind, "If the Christians don't vote, how will His voice be heard??" And then I started reading 1 and 2 Kings. I saw how God's sovereignty is in no way effected by our actions. God knows all and is in control of all. I hope this is all making sense! I have lots of thoughts running around my head and am hoping they are coming out right. So, I don't vote. Quite simply, because I don't believe God wants me too. As I look at this years election I see that both McCain and Obama claim to be christians. So, if they are both brothers in Christ how am I to support one and offend the other? How am I to wear the t-shirts, post the signs, whatever, for one? I just couldn't do that to another brother. God has already declared who is going to be the next president. I feel my job is simply to pray for both McCain and Obama, as their sister it is my job. I have no idea who will win the election. But I find peace in knowing that He does. I encourage you to read your Bible on this subject. Toss aside everything our American culture has told you and seek His will. If you read and pray and still feel the need to vote. Then do! God forbid, you do something you feel is wrong. Which is exactly why I don't vote. Hope that explains a little about why I'm so quiet when it comes to politics. Let the comments begin!

Running the race by His grace,


Paprika said...

You're a brave woman!! I appreciate the fact that you're willing to look into what He says and that that takes top priority, regardless of what's normal. That is refreshing to hear. Nate and I were actually just talking about politics last night, and it is indeed a complicated subject. I agree that we are told to pray for our leaders. So key.

Marie said...

Sorry dear. I disagree with you on this one. I don't have time to really get into the nitty gritty (people are waiting to use the computer) but I vote because these issues affect me directly. We live in a different type of government than that of Jesus's time. The citizens had very little control over what was happening. That's not the case now. I know his message was to preach about following him, not changing the current situation, and I still think I put my Christian faith before my American citizenship. I still care though (because as Americans we are given the right to care, unlike so many other countries!)I care about what kind of schools my daughter will go to. I pay taxes, therefore, I don't want my taxes raised for unnecessary reasons. I don't want to see unborn babies aborted, so I vote pro-life as much as I can. I am paying a lot for healthcare (and watching millions of Americans suffer without any insurance) so I want that to change. I know both candidates are Christians. I don't doubt it, but I just agree with McCain's policies more than Obama's. I am glad you put yourself out there. It's a great feeling, don't you think? :)

niKnox said...

Love your thoughts - I was just thinking about something similar today! I was wondering the same thing - what Jesus would think of all this political stuff - and I thought he might not be involved either - His wisdom would probably see beyond all these little details that we focus on. He'd see straight to the heart/the core of it all and I bet he'd say something profound that redirect our focus back onto loving each other - regardless of politics. I am all about voting and using the power of choice in the best ways we can... but I am not such a fan of all the negativity and judgment that can come with politics. I saw some article today in a Baptist newsletter that was clearly pointing out one politician is "more Christian" than another. I tossed it in the recycling bin without even finishing - how can we even know these things? They are both, after all, politicians - how would we ever be able to judge this? Anyways, I really enjoy the conversation and your thoughtfulness!

Amanda said...

First, let me just make it clear, that I am not trying to convince anyone. I'm not the holy spirit and that is not my job. I'm just sharing. :) I had one thought while I was reading through the comments. And that is: Is prayer not enough to cause change? One of my favorite praise songs goes like this:
Can this nation be changed? Can this nation be saved? Can this nation be turned back to you? We're on our knees. We're on our knees again.
It says we're on our knees not we're at the polls. I'd much rather petition to the Master of all things than petition to our government for change. I understand all the sin that is in our country and our government and, of course, I care too. Now, I'm not trying to offend anyone here. Just saying exactly how I feel. So, the thought is still on my mind....Is prayer not enough??

lovestained said...

I absolutely think prayer is enough. And I also think the Lord has a definite purpose for each individual. So through prayer you may find the Lord instructing you not to vote, Amanda. And through prayer I may find the Lord instructing me to vote for a specific person because it's where he places my heart. He made each of us differently for different purposes. We don't know if your position in not voting is completely intentional by the Lord. Who could change the course of many things if enough people do it, and maybe that's what His intention is. He knows, and only He knows.

Marie said...

Amanda I hope you'll keep the dilogue going. This is fun! I love a good debate...

(Now I feel kinda bad about writing that post on your wall about how you better vote this time. I didn't know that was the reason or I wouldn't have put that. You can delete it if you want. I really don't want to be your personal stumbling block with these issues that we disagree on. I don't want to get all judgy-wudgy on you. I just like to talk about stuff. Hope that's ok. Tell me if it goes too far.)

Washburn said...

Great post and wonderful comments.
While it is true that I do not vote (not really that big of a surprise), it goes a bit deeper than just that. But since the post is about voting I'll stay on topic. :D I think we can all agree that God is in absolute control of our world, down to the smallest detail. And the Bible clearly states that God chooses those whom are to rule over us. This includes every single one of our presidents. But have you considered that God also chose the ruler of China, where God's children are persecuted daily? He elected Sadam, Nero, and many other realllllly bad guys. So the question is "Why". The answer? Well, that takes some stepping back to see. Here's a little known fact. We wimpy little humans tend to think that we actually "Know" something about how this world should run. We don't. The truth is, the only way we can do anything well is when God enables us and wants us to do it. God IS our life, after all. He should be consulted on everything! This is the highest form of caring for our world! Prayer is taken so lightly these days. Example:

Jimmy "Dude, I just lost my job and someone stole all my savings! What am I gonna do?"
Derrek "Man, that stinks. Would you mind if I asked the President to help you out?"

How would you respond? I give you a second to let that sink in............ okay. Lets move on.
Did you realize that God didn't want the Children of Israel to have a King? Why? Because HE was their King. But man whines (as man often does) "Awww, we're supposed to be the children of GOD, and EVERYONE else has a king. Why can't we? Please God, please please please please please..."
And God let them have their way. How would the world be different if everybody was a born-again Christian? Would we need government the way it is now, or even at all? Why are we not pushing for that? Why are we, God's ambassadors, more focused on fleshly ways to solve problems than spiritual ones. I wrote a song a long time ago that said "If you build a heaven here on earth, the unsaved are still going to hell." Abortion is not a problem, it is a symptom. War is not a problem, it is a symptom. Crime is not a problem, it is a symptom. Voting is not a solution in a spiritual sense. Praying is a solution. Obedience to God is a solution. Don't get caught up in the things of this world. Cause it's all just gonna burn away. If you want to make the lives of your fellow citizens better, share Jesus with them, because regardless of whether we have a "good guy" as a leader or a "bad guy", It's all pretty much the same. We need to lead people to Christ like mad before they all die off.
This is why I do not vote. Because it pales so much in comparison to prayer. Moses turned the tide of war by lifting his hands to God, not by forging a better battle plan.

The Lord's blessings to you all,
(sorry bout the long comment :D )

Washburn said...

That comment I made was with a warm soft tone. Not a harsh one. ;)

Amanda said...

I love my husband. He says things so much better than me!