A presidential election will be held in the United States within a few days of the mailing of this issue of the Standard Bearer. As a presidential election, it will be of importance to all citizens of the United States, including believers and their children. It will be significant for the true (instituted) church.
It is not fitting that a minister of the gospel of the Lord of lords and presidents, or a magazine devoted to the only good news in the world on November 5 or any other day, engage in partisan politics.
In this election, it would be impossible for a Reformed minister and magazine to play partisan politics, even if this were proper. The incumbent is openly and convincingly portrayed by the ungodly world itself as a promiscuous fornicator. The challenger, divorced and remarried, is living in adultery according to the Word of God.
The incumbent vigorously promotes the legitimizing and legalizing of the vile wickedness of homosexuality and shamelessly defends the cruelest form of the murder of half-born babies. The challenger had to be pressured by the right wing of his party to accede to an anti-abortion plank in the platform.
There is no biblical basis, or Christian motivation, for voting for either of the candidates.
It is reason for gratitude that voting is not part of the calling of the Christian as regards the ordinance of civil government. That it is the Christian’s calling is a bromide solemnly dispensed at the time of election by preachers who have not investigated the question in the light of Scripture.
The calling that Christ gives the Christian citizen in government is threefold according to Romans 13, I Peter 2, and other passages. First, he must honor the civil rulers on account of their office. For a short while, during this present, passing age, Christ loans them some of His own authority. He is pleased to use them to keep some outward order in society, so that His church can exist and do its work of preaching the gospel. Ignoring the personal depravity of the rulers, the believer must stare fixedly at their office.
Second, the Christian’s duty is to submit and obey in all matters that do not require him to disobey the Lord Jesus. The qualification is fundamental. The true church in the United States will be compelled to pay attention to the qualification in the near future as it has never had to before.
When antichristian rulers demand that the church not discriminate against women by excluding them from office; when they forbid church and believer to condemn homosexuality; when they legislate that the Christian school hire the practicing homosexual (thus putting the fox in the henhouse), the Spirit of Him who is truth and light in a world of lie and darkness will compel us to say, “We must obey Christ rather than man.”
But never may the Christian rebel. Christ the Lord forbids revolution unconditionally. This must be impressed upon “conservatives” with urgency in our day. In times of morally despicable rulers, grossly unjust policies, and persecution, it is always a danger that outraged conservative Christians resort to earthly force.
There is no room in the Protestant Reformed Churches, because there is no place in the kingdom of Christ, for tax resisters, members of private militias, and weapon-hoarding zealots waiting (and practicing) for the opportunity to shoot it out with the federal government. “Put up again thy sword into his place…. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:52-54).
Christ the Lord has reserved to Himself the right of judging and destroying unjust rulers, His unfaithful civil servants. He wants to take care of Antichrist Himself (II Thess. 2:8).
Third, the calling of the believer is to pay his taxes, all of his taxes. For the money exacted of him by state decree is no longer his, but theirs.
Voting is not an aspect of the Christian calling in the sphere .of civil government.
The day will come when the Reformed Christian refuses to vote on grounds of conscience.
If we vote in this election, it will be without enthusiasm. The standard of the choice will be the lesser of two evils. Which man and party are less radically opposed to the law of God, e.g., the law that sexual relations are limited to one male and one female in marriage? Which, therefore, is less the foe of the family?
Which candidate is less eager to subvert fundamental justice in the basic service of the state, e.g., protecting unborn human beings, innocent before the law of the land, and executing abortionists, suicide- assisting doctors, and other murderers?
Which man as president would be less inclined to appoint lawless (the euphemism is “liberal”) supreme court justices who will create laws to conform to the wishes of an increasingly unrighteous people, rather than judge laws in accordance with the Constitution?
Who is less likely to oppress the Christian workingman and the Christian school, because he is not so completely in the pocket of the ungodly labor unions?
A precarious stance at the voting booth.
But one that we can still defend before the Lord of our conscience.
Our confidence on November 5 regarding political and social developments in the United States will be that Jesus Christ is Lord. He is sovereign over this mighty nation, this important election, and these candidates for office.
This will be our only confidence. We have no confidence in the American people, in the main political parties, or in the candidates.
Confidence in Christ affords perfect serenity with regard to the outcome of the election. It protects us from discouragement. It guards us against any undue joy.
Jesus Christ will be Lord on November 5.
The ascended Christ sits at the right hand of God governing the, presidential election in the United States. He decides who will be president, as He decides the makeup of the congress and the composition of the supreme court. He will give us the man of His will.
What will move Him will be His reading of the counsel of God concerning the last things – how this election fits into God’s plan for the endtime. Christ will be opening the book with the seven seals (Rev. 5).
This by no means implies that the better, or even less unworthy, man will win. Christ raises up the basest of men to rule the world’s great nations (Dan. 4:17). That Christ will be Lord on November 5 certainly does not assure the United States of four years of divine blessing. Christ gives rulers in His wrath – self-aggrandizing rulers who deceive, oppress, and ruin, just as an unrighteous nation deserves (Hos. 13:11).
But neither does the fact that Jesus Christ will be Lord on November 5 mean easy times and happy days for the church. The days of relative earthly ease for the church in the United States are fast coming to an end. Just in time to keep the church from fatal compromise with the pleasure-madness of the world and with the un- Reformed ways of the apostate churches.
The most ominous feature of the election of 1996 is the indifference of the majority, or near majority, of American voters to recognized lack of all principle; disregard for truth; flagrant immorality of personal life; and support of homosexuality and abortion in one who runs for the highest office in the land. Regardless of the outcome, this election will be the judgment of the United States as a nation. The people will not so much be judging as judged. All Christian influence and restraint are repudiated and cast off. The nation now gives itself over, with abandon, to the worship and service of Man (Humanity, of course, to a feminist society), the real – and terrifying – god of the United States.
There is no turning back. The scoffers are wrong when they allege that all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. So are we wrong when we suppose that all things in the United States will continue pretty much as they have been in the past 50 years, or even 200 years. The schools, the media, the false church, and the spirit of Antichrist control the mind and behavior of the people and drive the nation, with all of Western civilization, to its end in the beast of Revelation whose number is the number of Man.
As determined by God and governed by His Christ.
This will mean hard times for the true church.
Every kingdom of Man, when it has developed somewhat, notices the rival kingdom of Christ in its midst – the light of truth, principle, integrity, holiness, and life in the midst of its falsehood, moral squalor, and death. In the confession and conduct of, the citizens of the Kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of Man hears and sees, first with irritation and then with hatred, the Lordship of Jesus Christ, true God.
In this, too, Jesus Christ will be Lord. The church is effectively delivered from the temptation to become worldly. Christ accomplishes, in His persecuted people, the full measure of His suffering at the hand of the world. And the world fills its cup of iniquity, so that Jesus Christ can come in the body, on the clouds, to take vengeance on the wicked and to glorify His saints.
The prayer of the Reformed Christian, as he votes on November 5, is not for the victory of either Democrat or Republican.
His prayer is, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.”
Through the election of November 5.