I don't think I've ever felt more conflicted about a presidential election than I have about this one. The level of invective and hysteria from supporters (even Christian supporters) of both main candidates is astonishing. I want to make a wise decision, but I'm finding it hard to filter out what I need to know. And then there's the fact that I live in the reddest of states -- it hardly matters if I vote at all (except locally).
One of the things that has always puzzled me is how Christians who believe fundamentally the same things can come to completely opposite conclusions about an issue. You see this all the time in theology, in how we address cultural issues, and in politics. I know sincere Christians who will vote for John McCain. I also know sincere Christians who will vote for Barak Obama. They have all approached the election seriously and with prayer. They read their Bibles and study where the candidates stand on the issues they care about and make their choices. Is one set of believers right and the other wrong? I don't think so. I think Romans 14 applies here -- to avoid passing judgment on a brother or sister who disagrees with you, and to follow your conscience. And guess what -- on Nov. 5 God will still be God.
We live in trying times. Of course I want to make a wise decision about who I vote for, but I have to remember that God is in charge and is working out his plan for the world.
What I hope for is that, no matter who is elected, Christians will exhibit love and respect for those they have disagreed with about politics. More than ever, the church needs to be the church -- the hands and feet of Jesus in this world.
Peace. And vote.