Mt Soledad
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Christian Citizenship Council
of San Diego
San Diego
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Prov 29:2)

“After the Election – the Heavy Work Begins”

Every major election seems to cry out as being the most crucial in our lifetime.  Every election cycle is pregnant with obfuscation, bold promises, political correctness, vile attacks, and at times – brilliant clarity.  A Presidential election in particular brings out the most protracted battles because of the significance to the nation, as well as the impact on down-ticket offices at the state and local levels.

Voting is what I call the entry-level ticket in exercising our citizenship duties.  It’s obviously important, and we must consider it carefully, but in reality it’s just the beginning of our responsibilities. 

You may be a single-issue voter, or one that considers a wide range of concerns before casting a ballot.  You may have relied only on your spouses’ voting guide, or been personally involved with an election campaign.  Whatever you did, the 2nd of November initiates a new phase of personal “heavy work” responsibilities towards those the Lord has placed in authority over us.   

Post election, it’s tempting to be taken captive by one of two attitudes – “my guy won, things will be taken care of, I can go back to my life again,” or “the bad guy won, hope is lost, next time we’ll get the right guy in.”  Neither of these mindsets is appropriate.  Whatever the circumstances that resulted in a person being elected to office, they become responsible to the public to properly exercise the authority and duties of that position.  Even more significantly, they are responsible to an Almighty God to which they will eventually give an account for all their decisions and actions.   We on the other hand, need to keep in mind that God placed them in their position (Rom 13:1) as a blessing for our good, or as a curse providing an incentive for us to get more involved.

Fundamentally, the role of government is to punish evil and commend good (Rom 13:4).  If we are not willing to work with elected officials to show them what is evil and what is good – who will?  If we do not express our views and concerns about what are good or bad decisions – who will?  If we don’t encourage them, and at times correct them to ensure good is done – who will?  Whether “our guy” won or not, we have a continuing responsibility to provide wise counsel to our leaders.  For those we have great confidence in, we’re to provide encouragement, support, and sometimes gentle correction.  For others we’re to do the same while remembering the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8).  Beyond this, we have an even higher calling to pray for those in leadership (1 Tim 2:1-4).  We’re to be diligent to seek the Lord’s favor on them, to protect them, to encourage them to not compromise what is good, to seek out and listen to godly advice, and to call “evil” for what it is.

These are not to be one-time efforts, but a life pattern reflecting our interest, concern and needed involvement.  In a wider realm, we should be working with those of like mind in our churches to establish Christian Citizenship Ministries under proper pastoral oversight to better inform members on how to bring greater godly influence to government and society.  We should write letters, send e-mail, and even meet as often as possible with our elected representatives to share our thoughts and to find out how to better pray for them.  There is much that can be done, and November 3rd is a good time to start.
However you become more involved, remember it’s not hopeless.  Christian morals and values formed this nation, guided it throughout most of its’ history, and continue to provide a restraining effect on much of the legislation and regulation that occurs.  For this blessing to continue and to grow, our active attention and involvement is needed as we seek God’s will to be done.  May we be faithful to our “heavy work” high calling towards our leaders, just as we pray they will be faithful to theirs.

Frank Kacer
Executive Director, Christian Citizenship Council of San Diego

First published in the November 2004 issue of Good News Etc.