Joseph Parker: God’s Word, Politics, and Discernment

Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a Light to my path (Psalm 119:105).

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9-10).

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14).

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Present-day political races are not about being a Democrat or a Republican. They’re not about left or right. They’re not about conservative or liberal. And they’re not about being racist or not racist. 

They’re about good or evil. They’re about what is right or what is wrong. They’re about what lines up most closely to the Word of God or what in greatest measure goes against the Word of God.

One may ask, “Well if these issues are true, how can you have people who say they love the Lord on both sides of the political aisle?” How can “believers” be on both sides of the present-day political picture?

One critical word that helps us see and understand matters correctly is discernment; specifically, biblical discernment. What does God’s Word have to say about the cultural issues that guide people in their thinking and in their perspectives? What are the cultural issues that help people to decide who they will support and vote for?

The reality is, so many believers have not sought to diligently determine what lines up most closely with God’s Word. Many have not bothered to do their due diligence to find out and really research the issues in relation to the counsel of God’s Word.

The truth is, many “believers” are spiritually dull. They really have no great commitment to finding out what honors God and what does not. Many simply go with the flow of the crowd they run in.

How then have many decided on how they wish to vote?  Sadly, many have made this determination not by prayer and the study of the Word of God in relation to issues but have made their decision based on their personal preferences, their family’s traditional political persuasions, their community’s norms, and perspectives, etc. Some even decide on whims and feelings.

Sadly, some people vote for extremely shallow reasons. I don’t like his looks. I don’t like his personality. I don’t like her wardrobe. In reality, for too many, the Word of God has little to no influence in their decision making.

How tragic.

It is for these and other related reasons that some people who say they love God will find themselves on the completely wrong side of issues. They find themselves acting and voting against the Word and the will of God.

A true disciple and follower of Jesus Christ is to be guided by the Word of God – period. No other allegiance is to come before his or her commitment to Christ and God’s Word.

In the matter of lining up to support an issue or a candidate, it is the responsibility of a follower of Christ to find out what God’s Word says about the matter.  Once this person knows what the Word of God says, this individual should decide where he or she stands so as to stand aligned with the Word of God.

For the true follower of Christ, the Word of God is always the bottom line.  Always.

There are no perfect candidates running for any office in our nation. The only perfect man is Jesus, and He is not running for office. He is God, and we don’t vote on that office.

So a wise and God-honoring strategy for voting is to look at the person’s character as best you can. Look at what that person stands for. Find out the party platform the individual supports and to which he or she lines up. Also, look at his or her track record or history, and see what this person has done in the past. And observe what the candidate is doing – today.

Know, too, that a person’s vote is a seed. It is a tool to help accomplish a given task. So how we each vote is actually very, very important.

When we vote for a person, we are seeking to help that person come into a position of leadership, a position of influence that can affect the lives of many people. So whomever we vote for, we take responsibility for helping that person do what he or she seeks or will seek to do. In other words, we take part of the responsibility for what that person does in office once we vote for him or her and that person receives the office.

As you vote for candidates in any given election, ask yourself these questions:

“Am I supporting and helping a person who seeks to honor God in the way they will govern in office? Or am I going to be an accomplice to a crime or wicked actions and activity?”

We are each wise to take the Word of God in evaluating the candidates, their lives, and what they stand for. 

God’s Word is the bottom line.

Photo credit: justgrimes (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved

Joseph Parker serves as the pastor of Bethlehem A.M.E. Church in Winona, Mississippi, and the Director of Outreach and Intercession with the American Family Association. He has been in the ministry for almost 40 years and hosts the radio broadcast, “The Hour of Intercession,” on the Urban Family Communications Radio network.

The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.

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One comment

  1. So, has God drawn the ” line in the sand, ” so that ” on-the-fence ” Americans who call themselves Christians can ” CHOOSE THIS DAY WHOM (THEY) WILL SERVE ” ? ? I am 73 years old. This is the MOST clear-cut presidential election in my lifetime, AND similar to a few other, extremely critical elections in America’s HISTORY.