The toxic climate surrounding this year’s presidential election is, even by political standards, unfathomable. I suppose that’s bound to happen when you have two candidates who are equally unfit for the office they seek (albeit for very different reasons). The angst felt by voters who are forced to choose between two candidates with no moral authority is real and understandable. It’s led some to wash their hands of the process altogether. Others have engaged in various mental and moral gymnastics to justify backing their candidate. Still others can, without violating their conscience, cast a ballot for one of the nominees. At the end of the day, Scripture has some painfully explicit directives for Christians regarding their attitude toward the next president.
They are to submit to the winner of the election recognizing that all authority comes from and is ordained by God (Rom 13:1, 1 Pet 2:13-14). They are to pray for (1 Tim 2:1-2), respect (Rom 13:7), and honor (Rom 13:7, 1 Pet 2:17) their new leader. And lest we think the current candidates are exceptions to this, remember that all these commands were originally given to Christians living under the Roman Empire. Our candidates look like angels compared to Nero. To recap: submit, pray for, respect, and honor – I don’t know about you, but I have a long ways to go.