I am amazed at the total disregard of scriptural principle by many preachers when it comes to endorsing candidates for the presidency. It seems as if the latest fad for preachers is to be the next one to put out a public endorsement for a political candidate. From personal endorsements to trying to start a coalition of preachers in a region, pastors have especially thought they need to endorse a political candidate this primary season.
As is always the case, the Scriptures have the answers to every situation in life. Even in the area of endorsing political candidates, the Scriptures give us clear guidance as to whether or not a preacher should endorse candidates. If some of the pastors would slow down and look at scriptural principle, I believe they would see they have no business endorsing any political candidate.
From the very early moments of Jesus’ life, God made it clear that He was not to be involved in politics. The wise men came from the east in search of Jesus. They had studied the Scriptures and knew that the Messiah, the King of the Jews, was to be born. When they saw the star in the east, they traveled to Jerusalem to worship the child.
Because they did not know where the child was born, they came to Herod and asked him, “…Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2) After the angel had warned these men not to go back to Herod because he sought the child’s life, an angel of God warned Joseph, “…Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” (Matthew 2:13) God was setting the foundation very early in the life of Jesus that He was not to be involved in politics, but He was to keep the Kingdom of God as His focal point.
It was during Jesus’ ministry on Earth that He continued to show preachers that they were not to be involved in politics. In Matthew 22:17, the Herodians, trying to put Jesus in a political quandary asked Him, “What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” They knew that Jesus was called the “King of the Jews,” so they thought they could get Him to dethrone Caesar by teaching not to give tribute to Him. Jesus, knowing their deceitful hearts, said in verse 21, “…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Get this, Jesus was teaching them to obey the laws of the land, vote when it’s time to vote, pay your taxes when they are due, but stay busy rendering your service unto God as that is what He called the Christian to do.
For some, you may think this is stretching Scripture a bit, but let’s look at the final account of Jesus’ life on Earth. Jesus was about to ascend back to Heaven. The disciples were still struggling with the thought that Jesus should set up His kingdom on Earth. They had politics on their mind and desired to help Jesus with His kingdom. With the kingdom in mind, they asked Jesus in Acts 1:6, “…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Do you see what the disciples were interested in? They were very interested in the political kingdom.
Jesus, knowing that the disciples were politically minded, said to them in verse 7-8, “…It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Jesus turned their attention away from politics to what He wanted them to spend their life doing, and that was reaching the world with the Gospel.
It is interesting that every time Jesus was faced with getting politically involved, He turned their attention away from the political world to staying focused on endorsing the Kingdom of God. Jesus is not against the Christian voting because it is their responsibility as a citizen to vote, but it is clearly seen by Jesus’ example that the preacher’s job is to stay focused on reaching people for Jesus Christ.
I know the preachers who have gone public with their endorsement think they need to use whatever influence they have to get people to vote for whom they think is the best candidate. But preacher, why do you think you should endorse a candidate when the Scriptures clearly set the principle that you are to avoid being entangled in the political world? Jesus’ example was clear, and His command to the disciples was also clear to stay away from this political entanglement. For a preacher to endorse candidates is at best ignorance of God’s principles.
The Word of God is an amazing Book in that if the preacher will just preach it’s truths, and teach their people scriptural principles, if their listeners are yielded to the Holy Spirit, they will come to the conclusion of what is right and wrong concerning presidential candidates. What many preachers don’t take into consideration is that they are alienating people in their congregation when they endorse one candidate. I ask, is it better to alienate a person you are called to lead spiritually, or to keep your spiritual influence and teach them Scriptural principles so the Holy Spirit can lead them?
Especially in the primary season, you will have several candidates who are worthy of considering, but even the best of candidates are spiritually tainted. The candidate who you endorse as a good Christian just might embarrass you with their promotion of a flash dance video on Twitter. Please explain how you get around that? That is exactly why you should not be endorsing any candidates.
Preachers, let’s get back to doing what we are supposed to do, and that is preaching the Word. People may ask me personally who I plan to vote for, and I will probably discuss the one’s I’m considering, but my public endorsement is for the Kingdom of God. My endorsement is for preachers to stop trying to impress themselves with their perceived influence and get back to what will truly change a country, and that is reaching the lost for Jesus Christ. Every moment a preacher spends his energies endorsing political candidates they are wasting energies that could be used to reach the lost for Christ.
I’m not upset with any preacher, but I am very concerned with this recent fad of preachers thinking that they need to endorse a political candidate. Instead of endorsing the “Caesar’s” of this world, be known as the preacher who endorses one person, Jesus Christ. Remember Acts 4:12 says as it talks about the name of Jesus, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” If you make Jesus your sole endorsement, you will never be disappointed, and you will never lead someone to vote for the wrong person.