1 Thessalonians 5:21
In less than two weeks, all citizens of the United States of America can choose to be part of the electoral process to elect their next president.
As a Texas-born American—who has lived abroad, yet participated in every national election since coming of age—I have a vested interest in the process, especially in light of the unprecedented way this election cycle has unfolded. To my dear friends around the globe, please allow me to speak to my compatriots for a moment.
The apostle Paul’s advice to the Thessalonian church provides direction for people of faith as we approach this monumental election. Paul’s terse rhetoric in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 falls under the heading of “Various Exhortations” in the New King James Version of the Bible where he admonishes:
“Test all things; hold fast what is good.”
Transcending nearly two millennia, Paul’s warning is universally appropriate for gaining perspective on our 21st century day-to-day realities of life—including the 2016 election.
DISCERNING THE STATE OF AFFAIRS
⇒ Franklin Graham, President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, calls the 2016 election “the most important of our lifetime.” (1)
⇒ Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List (an organization advancing pro-life leadership), plainly states, “It’s frankly irresponsible to stay on the sidelines right now, given where the republic is heading.” (2)
⇒ Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, warns, “2016 is a very critical point in the survival of America, not just another election.” (3)
⇒ Gary Bauer, former Under Secretary of Education and Chief Domestic Policy Advisor during the Reagan administration, gravely warns, “it is our last shot to save Western civilization.” (4)
There is no doubt that the presidential election on November 8, 2016 has global implications.
RECOGNIZING THE DICHOTOMY
Foremost, it is imperative people of faith discern that the candidates in the 2016 election do not merely represent two divergent strategies for leading our nation.
The Republican and Democratic candidates represent two conflicting and diametrically opposed ideologies embodied in their respective party platforms that will unquestionably produce vastly different outcomes impacting not only our children and grandchildren, but generations yet unborn.
• One party platform overwhelmingly embraces the Judeo-Christian worldview; the other does not.
• One party platform proposes to strengthen productivity and rebuild national pride as well as international dignity; the other seeks to diminish national identity embracing a global agenda.
• One party platform espouses limiting government encroachment; the other seeks to continue expanding intrusion into our public, corporate, personal and even religious scope of life.
As we approach the final days in this election cycle, it is imperative that we, as people of faith, are informed. Use the following links to read about relevant information regarding party platforms:
TO READ THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM, CLICK HERE.
TO READ THE DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM, CLICK HERE.
An abridged comparison by Franklin Graham of both Republican and Democratic Party platforms is accessible by CLICKING HERE.
Grasping the implications of this information is crucial as we elect local officials as well.
Our country cannot afford a presidential election won by default.
Every registered voter has the privileged responsibility to be engaged in the election process.
My wife and I both have a parent that chose to immigrate to this great nation and become naturalized citizens.
Our parents followed the rigorous legal channels to gain citizenship. Our parents ingrained in us from an early age that the privilege of living in the nation with the motto, “In God We Trust,” came at great personal sacrifice—not only to themselves—but the many who gave their lives to keep us free.
Never forget—it is every bona fide citizen’s civic duty to vote.
Please understand the critical nature of your privileged responsibility to be engaged in popular culture.
I am weary of people whining that that they can’t support either candidate. There has never been a perfect candidate—get over it!
The issues as outlined by the respective party platforms define this election and loom larger than the candidates.
The issues are crucial to the future of the United States and by extension the whole world.
The outcome of the election on November 8 will determine who the next president of the United States will be. But even more importantly, the results will define what kind of country we are left with when the election is over.
Apply the apostle Paul’s formula to “test” each party’s platform against the principles of God’s Word and “hold fast” to the one that best conforms—and then, participate in your privileged responsibility to vote.
Charles E. McCracken
(1) Franklin Graham, “From Franklin Graham: The Most Important Election of our Lifetime”, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, September 30, 2016.
(2) Katie Glueck, “Why America’s Christian leaders tolerate Trump”, Politico, July 24, 2016.
(3) Chelsen Vicari and Troy Anderson, “2016: America Hangs in the Balance”, Charisma Magazine, July 7, 2015.
(4) Tim Haines, “Gary Bauer: 2016 Is The ‘Flight 93 Election,’ ‘Our Last Shot’ To Save Western Civilization”, Real Clear Politics, September 9, 2016.
1) The Gutenberg Bible, (Yale copy). By Aaron Gustafson, Chattanooga, TN [CC By-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Wear it proudly on Election Day—the official “I Voted” sticker! By Dwight Burdette (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via contact form. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.