The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
—Proverbs 1:7

Do you think God cares about whether our country goes in the direction of righteousness or unrighteousness? Do you think God cares if we continue to slaughter unborn children by the million? Do you think God cares whether or not we promote immorality and the destruction of marriage? Do you think God cares if we embrace the worship of false gods? Has anything about God’s nature changed in 3,000 years that would make Him more tolerant or inclusive of other beliefs and behavior that are contrary to His Word? Has God changed His mind?

Just as Josiah determined the spiritual and moral direction of the nation by the policies he enacted, you and I vote for righteousness or unrighteousness every time we go into the voting booth. Every leader who is elected will bring a set of values with him into office. And I believe it is very important that we as Christians be at the forefront of selecting leaders who will enact policies that will bring God’s favor rather than God’s wrath upon our country. How do we go about doing that? Before we vote for any candidate we should ask, is the candidate a Christian?

Now, I don’t believe that being a Christian automatically qualifies anyone for office. In fact, in my opinion some of the worst presidents have been born-again Christians. However, given the choice between a competent Christian and a competent non-Christian, I believe there is great reason for Christians to prefer Christians.

John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, said that we ought to prefer Christians as our leaders. He said, “It is the duty as well as the privilege and the interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Notice that the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said America is a Christian nation. Today if you say America is a Christian nation you’re treated like an ignoramus. But John Jay said we should “select and prefer Christians” as our rulers. By the way, John Jay was not ignorant of Article Six of the Constitution, which says, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” That’s talking about a government-imposed religious test. Obviously we don’t want the government deciding who’s qualified to run for office based on their religion. I believe anybody in America is free to run for office. I believe a Hindu, a Buddhist, or an atheist could run for president of the United States. But we’re not talking about a government-imposed litmus test. We’re talking about a personal preference.

As free citizens of the United States, we can choose to vote for any candidate based on any criteria we choose. To suggest that voting for Christians is un-American or wrong is to betray a complete misunderstanding of the Constitution.

***
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How a Christian Should Vote ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.