A Richer Reality

Today is Election Day—a day when we clearly demonstrate the distinction between Christians and non-Christians. Today we show the world that our religion makes a practical difference. What do I mean by that, you ask. Don't Christians and non-Christians alike make their way to the election booth? Don't both of them pull the lever? Don't both watch the returns? Yes, that's all true. Christians share a common duty with their fellow citizens to participate in the democratic process. In fact, Christians ought to be the first to take that responsibility seriously. A friend of mine recently said she wasn't going to vote. She couldn't fully support any of the candidates, she told me, so she was going to boycott the voting booth. Well, I gently reminded my young friend that voting is a duty of citizenship. God has graciously given us a government in which we can participate, and it would signal supreme ingratitude for us to neglect that privilege. Where we part company with our non-Christian neighbors is not in whether we vote or not but in the way we view the whole matter of voting. Most nonbelievers are secularists: They believe this world and this life is all there is. They see earthly powers—the power of the people or of the government—as the ultimate force shaping history. But Christians believe in a much bigger reality. We believe in an unseen spiritual world, which is just as real as the physical world. We know there are heavenly powers as well as earthly powers. In fact, we know that heavenly powers are actually the ultimate force shaping history. When we call Jesus the King of kings, that's not just religious phraseology. It's a confession that Jesus reigns over all nations and rulers. Jesus is the One who holds in His hands the destiny of nations, whether they rise or fall. He is the One who puts political leaders into office. No political force can stand against Him. As Proverbs says, "The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes." What does this mean in practical terms? It means Christians know their civic duty doesn't stop with voting; they have an even more important duty to pray. On this Election Day, Christians ought to be turning to God in earnest prayer that He will guide the outcome of the election through His sovereign power. Praying isn't just a pious exercise. It's a concrete way in which we express our conviction that the election is not decided by people or by politicians or even by the media, powerful as all these things may be. The election is ultimately in the hands of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And that's why Election Day is a time when Christians demonstrate that they are truly different from their non-Christian neighbors. When we pray for the election, we express in a practical way our belief in an unseen world.


Chuck Colson


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