Because I grew up in a communist country where the Communist Party selected the candidates and there was no opposition, I greatly appreciate the democratic process and I try to vote in every election. My wife and my children have heard me lecture about democratic elections, and even though I have never asked them for whom they voted, not voting is a major sin in our household.
However, lately I have been asking myself if I would be able as a Christian to run anybody’s political campaign? While the elections of my childhood were decided before the votes were cast because there was only one candidate, I find that political offices these days are decided by the vast amount of money raised and by making sure that you describe the opponent as negatively as possible. It is not the presentation of the truth being brought to the surface, but how negatively the opponent is presented.
I have lived in large cosmopolitan areas and in small towns. I was able to see plum assignments on various boards filled not because the person was qualified, but because the person was connected. I lived in neighborhoods in which we were told that we needed to make some political contributions in order for the snow to be plowed the right way. I was told that in some circumstances, the best approach was to be completely silent because that particular person had vast influence.
I quicken to say that I have also seen the opposite of the preceding paragraph. I saw gifted people who gave their best time and talents to significant and insignificant boards, people who really understood that they were public servants serving the public which paid their salaries, and I have seen politicians whose integrity was proverbial.
My concern is that truth seems to be a commodity in politics that is getting scarce. Ideology trumps the truth, connections sideline the truth, fundraising makes people blind to the truth, and radicalism gains greater magnetism than the truth. When all these things take place, it is the people that suffer in the long run.
What will it take for truth to win in political elections? It will take people refusing to accept lies from politicians, the politicians to adhere to the promises that they make during their campaigns, and people who run the political campaigns to make a commitment to live the truth and not destroy the opposition.
Apostle Paul tells us that the governments (and politicians) are ordained by God, but prophets are those who remind the government when they become idolatrous and when they are no longer honoring their God-given position by serving the people in truth and righteousness.