Summary: God is ultimately in control over who is elected and how they govern. Therefore, we can look to Him for the security and welfare of our nation.
As you all know, on November 7th millions of people will be going to the polls to elect a new President. And so, this excruciatingly long process, these seemingly endless political campaigns, will finally be over. No more debates, no more ‘attack ads’, no more speculation over vice-presidential picks, no more appearances on ‘Letterman’ or ‘Oprah’ or ‘Regis’ or ‘Rosie O’Donnell, no more speeches, no more campaign rallies, no more conventions. It will all be just be a fading memory.
In just two days, we’ll cast our ballots, the election officials will count them up, and we’ll be done. We will have decided, as a nation, which of these two men will become the leader of the free world, perhaps the most powerful human being on the planet, and which of them will become a footnote in the history books, the answer to a question on ‘Jeopardy’.
Probably most of you are planning to cast a ballot on Tuesday. You may still be uncertain who to vote for. Or, you may have decided, but you may have made the wrong decision. So let me tell you how you should vote. I’d been hoping that Larry King would ask me to come on his show to reveal my endorsement, as he did with Ross Perot, but the call hasn’t come yet. So, I’ll just share it with you. After all, what’s a pastor for, if not to help people with decisions like this? Here it is: when you go to the polls on Tuesday, I urge every one of you to vote for – George Gore. I mean Al Bush. Did I say Bush? I meant Ralph Buchanan.
No, I’m not going to issue an endorsement [although many ministers have done so, at least implicitly – amazing how God could be on both sides like that]. I’m not going to do it because it would have several bad effects. It would render your financial contributions non-tax-exempt. It would make probably half of you mad at me. [Not that I’m opposed to that on principle, I’d just rather save it for something really important]. But the most important reason that I am not endorsing a Presidential candidate, and will never endorse any candidate for public office from the pulpit, is that it would be wrong. It would be an abuse of my position, it would be an illegitimate exercise of spiritual authority.
Because it would imply that there is only one possible “Christian” choice; that the question of who should be our next President has only one right answer for a believer in Christ. It would say that to vote for one of these men is an act of faithfulness and obedience and devotion to Christ, while a vote for the other is a sin. And that’s just not true. A Christian, in good conscience and for good Biblical reasons, could vote for either Al Gore or George Bush (or for Nader or Buchanan, for that matter).
I’m not saying there are no differences. There are deep philosophical and personal differences among the candidates. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter who is elected. It matters tremendously to our country, and to the world, who the President is. And I won’t pretend that I don’t have strong personal feelings on the matter. But it would be wrong for me, or anyone, to say that my preferences are necessarily God’s preferences, and that therefore if you’re a Christian you should vote like me.