Choosing an American Leader

Voting strictly on religious beliefs is not always the best way to choose a presidential candidate to support

Charles Wendell “Chuck” Colson, a Christian leader, Prison Fellowship Ministries founder and former Special Counsel for President Richard Nixon during the Watergate era, recently wrote a column about whether Christians should consider voting for a non-Christian presidential candidate.

Colson declares that there is “no religious test for public office,” and to “stop criticizing candidates for their religious convictions.”

People get wrapped up in this issue. Not to say that a leader with a strong faith in God should not be voted into office, but it is almost like Christians arguing about the color of the carpet, or the new guitar being used for worship.

A Christian leader could be the preferred choice, but Christians should not vote for a president based solely on his/her religious standards. Leadership is much more than what a person says they are. It is more about the actions they take to stand for morality and integrity.

Barricading ourselves against those who may not have the same beliefs could run the risk of not putting someone into office that would benefit our country greatly. Also, common sense tells you that not everyone is honest in their approach to power, so even “Christian” leaders can put on a front to get other votes. Politics is almost like reality television sometimes, creating a persona for the camera, perfecting every line of the prompter and practicing an Oscar speech.

We want a president, leader, captain and commander that will “do justice, restrain evil, and preserve order,” Colson said.

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn,” Proverbs 29:2 says.

Even a non-Christian, moral and ethical leader has the ability to do this, and choosing them over a faith-based leader who is not competent would be a better choice.

America is a country that allows the people to vote for their leader, a privilege that other countries who are chained and shackled by a dictator do not have. Just look at the recent uproar in Libya that led to the brutal murder of three decade long tyrannical leader Muammar Gadhafi. Christians and non-Christians alike should cherish this privilege of chosen leaders with the utmost importance, taking everything into account, not just religion.

“How soon we forget history … Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master,” President George Washington said.

We need to pass along a sophisticated knowledge of government to generations after us so their decisions become focused on the real error in government before we vex our country even more. Government can either build up a nation or burn it down. Christians should value a candidate on their motive for improvement and their ability to lead or even the strongest faith can be shaken. A person of faith may be most qualified in the realm of faith, but not necessarily in the essence of leadership.

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