Christian Voting 101 – How to Choose the Right Candidate

by Kenneth Copeland

When it comes to politics, generations of church people in America have said, “We’re just hoping and praying the Democrats can fix this mess….We’re just hoping and praying the Republicans can fix it.”

Well, the politicians are not God. Besides, they’re only here to govern, and the government cannot create or change a thing. Real change—whether in the political, economic or spiritual realm—only happens when the Church begins to pray and believe God. We’re the ones with the real authority, and we’ve been given that authority by the Name of Jesus. The only problem is, we haven’t known what to do with it.

Politics Is More Than a Party

I once asked the Lord how Christians should go about choosing political candidates. He responded with this question: Did you ever notice that people who support abortion, those who have a lifestyle of some sort of perversion and those who walk the borderline of the law all the time, are never split between political candidates?

Instantly, I saw what He meant.

Over the years, I’ve always noticed how people who rallied around abortion, pornography, homosexuality, drugs, alcohol and so forth, all ended up in the same camp when it came down to election day.

Why?

For the most part it was because the biggest thing in their lives was a particular “sin” lifestyle. So, naturally, they were looking for a candidate who would give license to that lifestyle. But we know that Jesus bore all “sin” on the cross. Therefore, we don’t practice or make a lifestyle out of it. We resist it. We resist sin the same as we would sickness, disease, poverty, and so on.

What’s more, when we fail to resist sin by not voting, or by voting for the wrong reasons, we join forces with those who are serving an unrighteous cause. Now when it comes to taking a more public stand against sin, oftentimes Christians are too quick to grab their picket signs and protest at the local abortion clinic, adult bookstore or city hall.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a time to rally together and protest. But we must follow God’s prescribed plan in order for it to succeed.

I remember when neighborhood convenience stores in America started selling pornographic magazines. A lot of church people got mad, grabbed signs and started picketing the stores. I also remember, however, hearing a store owner report how he didn’t have much business until “all those Christians started coming down here and raising so much fuss. When they came, I sold out of magazines over and over.”

Church people had the right heart, but their plan backfired.

The truth is, as believers our power and authority is not in picket signs. It’s in the Word of God and in prayer.

The Real Power Brokers

To answer my question about selecting political candidates, the Lord took me to 1 Timothy 2:1-2 where the Apostle Paul explains our responsibility as citizens of heaven…and citizens of earth: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

Where the Church has messed up in the whole political process is the thanksgiving part of Paul’s instructions.

Think about it. When your candidate doesn’t get elected, how diligent are you to pray for those who do get into office, let alone, give God thanks for them? Oh, we may pray for a handful of elected officials now and then. But how long is it from the time we stop praying until we turn around and start shredding them to pieces in our conversations?

Well, in God’s Book, that doesn’t work.

Yes, we have “say-so” with God. Yes, we have “say-so” in this earth. But we only earn that “say-so” when we fulfill our responsibility to pray over elections and candidates, hear God on how to vote, then do it.

It doesn’t matter whether the person we vote for gets into office or not. What matters is our obedience. We should pray and make petition and intercession for all men, kings and men of high authority, then give thanks for them. That doesn’t mean we have to fast and pray 40 days and 40 nights each election year. We can simply begin by spending 10 to 15 minutes each day praying for our authorities.

The point is, intercessions and thanksgiving should consistently be the main focus and effort of our petitions. Because real spiritual power lies in consistency—praying in the Spirit day after day, standing on the Word, praising and worshiping God concerning our authorities.

Remember, we’re the ones with the real authority around here. We’re the ones with the “say-so.”

The question is…What will we say?

 

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