Many men have made the following observation: we–the people–always get the candidates that we deserve. That perspective is put forward by both unbelieving and believing political pundits. For Christians, the conversation relates to our worship and how our worship relates to our culture.
The biblical principle is that we reap what we sow. The candidates on our ballots are the cream of the crop, so to speak, the fruit of a culture.
Many Christians bristle against the connection. We would like to be counted differently than our unrighteous neighbors. In one sense, we are. We get into heaven by faith in Christ, not by citizenship of any nation, including the United States. Believers are saved even if the national ship sinks.
But in another sense, believers are responsible for the hole in the hull. We want to be counted different because we have isolated ourselves and privatized our faith. No wonder, then, that we have candidates who privatize their faith. We, the people of faith, have modeled how to keep it quiet and then we complain, in private, that we don’t have more faith-driven men to vote for.
As Americans, we get the candidates that we our culture produces and culture takes its shape from worship. As American Christians, we have not worshipped in such a way that honors Christ as Lord everywhere. We are to be salt, but the taste we’ve left on our neighbors is bland. We hide our light under a basket and then complain that it is so dark around us. Nominees for office are likewise wishy-washy and undiscerning but, when we locate their birth certificates, we see that they have our last names.
One Sunday of sin confessing will not altar one Tuesday of vote casting. But what we do Sunday after Sunday will inevitably affect who makes it on our ballots in years to come. If we really want to change our government, our culture, our country, our county, it doesn’t end at church (or in the voting booth), but it most certainly begins with us, with our repentance.