A Christian Counselor’s view on the Midterms

In case you have been living under a rock, the midterm elections are tomorrow.  If you are from the future reading this there is a big midterm election on November 8th, 2022.  Most pundits believe there will be a “red wave” which will replace the House of Representatives and the Senate with a Republican majority.  There are also several governor races including my state of Oklahoma.  Also, don’t forget about local races which as COVID taught us are very important. 

I voted sticker laying in fallen leaves


This blog may make a lot of you uncomfortable.  Most of us were taught or at least influenced by the phrase of “never fight about religion and politics.”  Not only have I based my business off of both of these controversial topics but I am hoping to outline a bit of why conceding religion and politics is a moral failure.

Before we get into this I want to explain my approach.  One of my favorite podcasts, The Just Thinking podcast, (please check them out) is really big into definitions.  While this may seem elementary, it is incredibly important to define what we mean.  For instance, the question of “what is a woman?” in our culture is an extremely important one.  If I believe a woman is anyone who identifies as a woman then I will have a fundamentally different idea of what women issues are.  

SOME ONE ANSWER THE QUESTION PLEASE!

Here is where I am going with this post.  One, Christ is our only true hope.  No political party, candidate or political movement will ever be sufficient for hope in this world.  Two, there is no such thing as a neutral action.  Morality is infused in every thought, action and deed that we do.  And last, due to morality being infused in everything it is NOT morally righteous to abstain from discussing and participating in politics.  

Let’s start with the first part.  Christ alone is our source of hope.  This world is temporary.  Everything you see on earth including the trees, the grass, the birds in the air, the animals on the ground will all pass away.  Christ is the only being that has walked the earth that has defeated death.  When he bore our sins on the cross the story did not end there.  He rose from the grave in 3 days and defeated death.  His hope of salvation from our sins which put him on the cross cannot be contained to temporary creatures and movements.  This hope should allow you to rest well.  Regardless of what happens on this earth we will rest easy knowing we have been forgiven a debt we could never afford.  This absolutely must be put into context when we are voting.  Even if our politics go astray and our whole republic falls our faith will not pass away. 

If you are a bible believing Christian then you will agree with my previous paragraph.  And honestly if you get nothing else out of this post I want you to stay on that last paragraph.  Faith in Christ is by far more important than politics.  However, while we all await the day we get to worship our Triune God in heaven if you are reading this then you are not there yet.  Therefore, we must tackle things on earth while we are still here.  Which leads to my second point that there is no such thing as a morally neutral action.  Many reading this may have no idea what I’m talking about.  Let’s use a seemingly minor issue like brushing our teeth as an example.  Someone that believes there are three moral choices, positive, neutral and negative, would believe brushing your teeth is a morally neutral action.  I mean you’re not really affecting other people (except maybe people that would thank you for a less offensive breath) by brushing your teeth.  You are not saving the world or making a big impact.  Therefore, many would say brushing your teeth is a good healthy decision but morally it does not make a difference so it is morally neutral.  Some of you may agree with this that there are morally neutral actions.  While I believe there is room for some debate between brothers on this topic I still disagree. Let’s go back to the teeth brushing example from earlier.  We have been gifted knowledge in our culture about the importance of dental hygiene (unless you are a big dental conspiracy theorist). We know that brushing your teeth ideally twice a day leads to far less tooth decay and cavities.  Along with that we know that flossing your teeth daily leads to better dental hygiene as well.  We also know that dental hygiene doesn’t just affect your teeth.  Infections in your teeth can lead to grave health issues and even death. Now here is the principle of why I believe brushing your teeth is a moral decision: our bodies are not our own.  Paul writes to the church in Corinth:

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV  

That is the reason why toothbrushing is a morally righteous decision.  Our bodies as believers are a temple for the Holy Spirit!  The Triune God is inside of our body.  Wow!  Brushing our teeth is healthy for the temple of God.  That is absolutely a moral decision!  Now, I used this example since it is really not a controversial one.  There are plenty more difficult decisions (such as voting) that take more thought, prayer and scripture reading to come to a conclusion.  And even after this there may be a spirit of brotherly debate.  However, I believe it imperative to know that all of our decisions are moral.  No matter how small they may seem. 

I saved the juicy controversy for the last part of this post.  I have already said 1. Christ is our Hope, 2. There are no morally neutral decisions and now for #3. It is NOT morally righteous to abstain from political participation and discussion.  I ordered these reasons out initially.  I absolutely want to stress that the election results tomorrow (although votes will be counted in some states for weeks on end for I’m sure moral just reasons) absolutely should not affect our faith in Christ.  However, we absolutely cannot afford to be quiet or refrain from discussing difficult topics including politics.  I’m not going to go too deep into this topic but our culture was greatly influenced from Christian ideals.  The founding fathers, while not all bible believing Christians, were heavily influenced from the morality of the Bible.  I believe due to this we have been blessed from God in many of our institutions.  For instance, most of our schools, universities and hospitals had their beginnings in Christianity.  Generations have learned to trust these institutions.  This is where I believe our culture became a bit lazy and placed our faith in these institutions instead of our God.  We believe we can trust their word and not have to do any thinking ourselves.  This has turned out to be a grave mistake.  I firmly believe our culture has turned their back on the Creator.  We have learned to worship the creation instead of the Creator.  Do yourselves a favor and read through Romans 1.  I believe God has given our culture what they have asked and has surrendered ourselves to our sin.  The most hot button topic of the day in our culture is “What is a Woman?”  How sad.  We can’t answer one of the easiest and most fundamental questions of our being. 

Our culture is at a crossroads.  Politically we are more divided than ever.  Many have concern over this divide and I believe earnestly try to seek “peace” through toning down the conflict and rhetoric.  While we do need to be wise and loving in our speech, I strongly disagree that taking a backseat in the political discussion brings about peace and love.  Let’s take one of the big topics for an example, abortion. The mainstream position in the Democrat platform is no restrictions on abortion up to birth (and in some cases after birth!)  If you can find me a Democrat politician that is actively campaigning on restricting abortion to the 1st trimester then seriously let me know.  I have not fully researched this issue but I am positive that any forms of restriction on abortion are not the mainline Democrat view.  Let’s contrast that with the Republican position.  The mainline Republican position is abortion should be up to the states to decide.  They also believe there should be exceptions for rape and incest.  Which of these positions is more radical?  Killing a baby up till birth (and sometimes after) or restricting the decision to the states while providing exceptions for rape and incest?  I believe this is not even close to what is a more moral stance.  Now mind you, I disagree with any protections of abortion.  Abortion is morally evil and the baby did not do anything to deserve death.  I believe there is plenty of room for reform in the majority conservative stance.  However, taking the mainline stances from Republicans and Democrats there is absolutely no debate onto which one is more morally evil.  If you are trying to be in the middle of these two stances then do you line up with being okay with abortions in the 2nd trimester?  This makes no sense to me.  You are not being morally righteous by shutting up and not hurting feelings.  We must have ourselves grounded in scripture and let our voices voices be heard.

Now there are many more issues at play including crime, inflation, war, transgender issues etc.  I am not going to tell you that I agree with every Republican on every issue.  I think the Republicans miss the mark often. What I am saying is that not participating in the discussion and process is not morally righteous.  Acting as if we are in our spiritual bubble and don’t need to engage in these topics is wrong.  Your neighbors are being affected by these policies.  We have been given the Word of God for guidance on these topics.  It is time we dig deep and participate in the politics around us.  But the beauty is, whether the wave is red, blue or purple we still have Christ!  Let that be at the center of our politics. 

Truth and Grace,

Johnny Sanders, LPC