Theology Thursday: Unity in the Electoral Cycle

Jacob Hicks and Todd Forrest

Polling stations with American swags

If you are going to skip to the end of this article to find out our political persuasion, you may be disappointed. We are not going to tell you who to vote for but instead offer some considerations as American citizens and devout Christians voting in the upcoming election. This is not the first time a country has been divided on an election. Even for the Christian community it has become difficult to sift through all the talk to understand the direction of each candidate. The Bible does not give political advice, but it does give us a pattern for living that speaks into all we do, including voting.

Governments Do Not Change Christian Values

Christian values are governed by God, not a political party. If this is so, how can Christians display love and unity during a political election? As Christians we attempt to choose the best candidates possible to lead the various levels of our government. It is no secret that we live in polarizing and confusing times. Political parties are fighting feverishly for control of the government. Everyone has strong opinions on who should be president. This is reflected in our personal stances on abortion, immigration and global warming as well as many other hot-button issues.

Jesus chose to come to earth and set up His kingdom during a time of brutal Roman domination. He also revealed himself to his people, not when they were a monarchy influencing the whole Middle East, but a time when His own people were beaten down and oppressed. This shows us that we are called to stay true to the Great Commission to make disciples (Matthew 28:19) no matter the political climate around us.

We Value Unity Among Brothers and Sisters

No big secret, but God is not part of a political party. Our two political parties are man-made institutions that seek to marshal their respective groups of like-minded voters to vote for members of their team. Parties have their own interests and goals that they try to achieve, which are not often God’s ends. In contrast to political parties, the universal Church is an organization, a living body, instituted by God to conduct the work of His Kingdom on earth and is not bound by national borders or party platforms (Ephesians 1:18-23). So, the primary focus of Christian faith is love and unity. If the world sees us loving each other, even in our political diversity, and unifying under biblical values, it will truly see Christ in us.

Our Citizenship Is in Heaven

We can get so caught up in what news outlets have to say that we are completely distracted and diverted from our calling as Christians. We were not created to be political juggernauts. We are to take the nature of Christ and be a servant and steward to His creation: human and environmental. When we keep our focus on our heavenly citizenship, we rest in an assurance that all of this will pass away. We will live for just a blink of an eye here on earth. Eternity is the goal. So, we live by biblical principles and we commit to pray. This is clearly articulated in I Timothy 2:1-4 which instructs us about how to be faithful now. No elections in heaven: Thank God!

God Is in Control

Yet despite the trying times we find ourselves in, let us remember that God is sovereign (Psalm 24:1-2, 97:9, 135:6; Colossians 1:17). He is still in control over the U.S., the earth and the entire universe no matter what. He will appoint or allow to be elected whomever he sees fit. Our best testimony is to let peaceful serenity rule the day in attitudes and conversations. We choose joy over conflict. God’s church and our faith will flourish no matter who is in charge because God is in control. Pray, vote and live in unity with one another!

No matter what degree program you choose to pursue, Grand Canyon University can help you earn a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry degree. GCU has been training Christians in ministry since its inception. You can also earn your Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies degree.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.