Summary: Teaching that prayer is always the way to really make your voice be heard.
We have an election this coming November. And so far it has been an excellent example of modern American political campaigning. There has been vast confusion, accusations galore, an abundance of mudslinging advertisements, both real and false personal attacks and, of course, there has been the attendant “media circus”.
As I thought about this upcoming election, it occurred to me that everyone who is voting will be doing so in the belief that their candidate is better and that the other candidates are either:
• less competent,
• less qualified, disqualified, or
• a willing or unwitting agent of Satan.
And that reminded me of a story I read several years ago in Reader’s Digest:
A candidate for city council in a little town was doing some door to door campaigning, and things were going pretty well, he thought, until he came to the house of grouchy old man. After the he gave his little speech, the old man growled, "Vote for you? Why I’d rather vote for the devil!" At this point, the candidate realized he didn’t stand a chance of swaying the old man, but with a smile he said: "I understand. But as it seems your friend is not running, may I count on your support?"
When we cast our votes in any elections, we do so under the belief that we have the power – thru our vote – to effect change. And, in America we need to be reminded that our votes can be far more important than we might suspect.
• In 1645, just one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.
• In 1649, just one vote caused King Charles 1 of England to be executed.
• In 1776, just one vote gave America the English language instead of German.
• In 1845, just one vote brought the State of Texas into the Union.
• In 1868, one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.
• In 1876, one vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency of the United States
• In 1876, one vote changed France from a Monarchy to a Republic
• In 1943, one vote gave Adolph Hitler control of the Nazi Party and changed the course of human history
• In 1960, a single vote change in each precinct in Illinois would have made Richard Nixon the president, rather than John F. Kennedy.
Our votes do make a difference. And we who are Christians should honor this sacred privilege and vote at every opportunity. BUT, that said, we need to realize that there are 2 inherent weaknesses in our semi-democratic process. There are two problems that plague the voting public.
The 1st Problem is that we are voting for mere mortals. Neither Superman nor Jesus is running for public office.
I don’t care how moral and upstanding any politician is that we vote into office… they are still a sinner. They’re still prone to the same weaknesses and sinful tendencies and the same temptations as the rest of us.
These politicians are not God… they ARE human. They do not walk on water. They do not perform miracles… and they will disappoint us.
The 2nd Problem: When we Christians vote, we often cast our vote under the mistaken belief that the candidate, or the party for which we vote has the power within themselves to change the course of our city, state, or nation.
The problem is that’s not true. And it has never been true. And some of our best politicians have recognized this. On June 28, 1787, Benjamin Franklin addressed the George Washington as the Chair of the new United States Constitutional Convention as it was struggling with that great work. He wrote:
In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings?
In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered.
All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?
I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?