Of Presidential Debates and Hoping for Something More

Maybe you caught some of the Presidential debate this week. Maybe you didn’t. In any case, I think we can all admit that we long for something more.

I’m a bit of a political junkie. I read history and politics, follow news sites, and watch Presidential State of the Union addresses. I stay up on election night to hear the results. And I watched the debate this week. I was hoping for something more.

For many viewers, the debate reinforced their disdain for the other candidate. For other viewers, the debate made us long for the Presidential wit and tone of a Ronald Reagan or the gravitas of a John F. Kennedy . But alas, the first 2020 Presidential debate was not that. Few of us who watched finished the night proud of the choices in front of us.

I have friends of both political persuasions who can make philosophical or political arguments for their party or candidate. Some of those I know will never vote for the other party because they can’t support its platform. Some of those I know will never vote for the other candidate because they can’t support him personally.

There is a pretty good chance that members of both parties will read this. Some of you reading this will vote Republican, some will vote Democrat, some will write in a candidate, some will not vote. I’m not writing this to change your mind either way. I’m writing this to remind us all that there is something more.

We are being told that this is the election on which America will rise or fall. This election is the most important in our history. If one party wins, our nation will be fundamentally changed. If the other party wins, our nation will be doomed to racism and hatred. I believe there is something far deeper at stake.

Be warned. Do not put your trust in a politician or party.

Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
    and makes flesh his strength,
    whose heart turns away from the Lord.”

Jeremiah 17:5

You may have good reasons for the vote you plan to cast. But don’t put your trust a politician, or a party. If you do, you might just find yourself cursed.

The people of Judah in Jeremiah’s day were guilty of trusting in kings and international alliances. Instead of seeking God and trusting in him, they relied upon man. The Lord told them that their choice of trusting in man was a curse. I am convinced that Christians in America need to hear this warning.

Our hope does not rest in a politician and a party. When immorality and depravity are rampant, when child pornography is called a documentary, when millions of babies are murdered in the name of choice, when churches preach prosperity instead of the gospel, when sex trafficking is overlooked, oppression is embraced, racism is ignored, hate is platformed, pride is promoted, and what is false is called true, our problems run far deeper than can be solved by a presidential election.

We are a nation in desperate need of awakening and a church in need of revival. Politicians cannot fix our problems, for our problems are not primarily issues of public health, the economy, law and order, or foreign policy. Our problems run as deep and depraved as the human heart.

The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it?
 “I the Lord search the heart
    and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
    according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10

Our problem is spiritual, and it requires a spiritual solution. We need Jesus to intervene.

Don’t read this and think I’ve given up hope. I have not. Nor should you. We should however place our trust where it belongs.

  • We should invite the Lord to search our hearts and lead us to personal repentance.
  • We should pray that God would bring a spiritual awakening to our neighbors and to our nation.
  • We should become evangelists for the good news of Jesus rather than the short-sighted news of politicians and parties.

By all means, vote. Vote your values. But do not place your hope in your ballot cast. Place your hope in the Lord whose kingdom is forever and whose rule is righteous.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Of Presidential Debates and Hoping for Something More

  1. So very true. I pray for a third Great Awakening in our country when all people and all our leaders will hear the words of the great Old Testament prophets and everyone will turn their hearts to our Lord who calls us to justice, mercy and faith.(Matthew 23:23). Meanwhile, each must pray without ceasing to carry his or her cross through the political turmoil and over the bantering. Jesus is not a democrat or a republican. The church is not democrat or republican institution. .As you say, woe to the follwer of Christ who mistakes political rheotric for the voice of the Good Shephard.and follows the wolf in sheeps’ clothing. We must all vote for the candidate who has a vision for the country that best emulates justice and mercy, but do not mistake that for Gospel truth. Meanwhile, pray that all will open their ears to hear Gospel truth. You can recognize it because it will demand humility, compassion, self-sacrifice and most of all praise and honor to Godl.

    Liked by 1 person

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