CHARACTER QUALITIES CHRISTIANS SHOULD LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE


As Super Tuesday rolls around…What Character Qualities should Christians be looking for in the Presidential Candidates?

 

When Moses was appointing leaders to officiate over the Israelites, his father told him to “look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe” (Exodus 18:21, ESV)*

Jesus tells us that a good way of knowing if a leader is trustworthy is a fruit test. “By their fruit you will recognize them…every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matthew 7:16-17)

*- All scripture is in the New International Version unless otherwise specified.

 

LOOK OUT FOR BAD FRUIT

Jesus warns his disciples of leaders who look good on the outside, but on the “inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” (Matthew 23:25)

Greed

A greedy person will say to himself “I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones” (Luke 12:18) rather than giving to the poor or to God.

Jesus tells us that “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Self-Indulgence

Bad leaders will enjoy being rich and popular: “walk around in flowing robes”. (Mark 12:38)

They enjoy and indulge when they “have the most important seats” and the “places of honor at banquets”. (Mark 12:39

“They devour widow’s houses”. (Mark 12:40)

And their talk and “prayers” are for “a show”. (Mark 12:40)

 

A GOOD LEADER WILL DISPLAY GOOD FRUIT

  • Hate pride and arrogance” (Proverbs 8:13)
    • “A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways. (Proverbs 21:29)
  • Hate “evil behavior” (Proverbs 8:13)
    • “A man who commits adultery lacks judgment” (Proverbs 6:32)
    • “He who sleeps with another man’s wife” will not “go unpunished” (Proverbs 6:29)
  • Hate “perverse speech” (Proverbs 8:13)
    • None of their words are “crooked or perverse.” (Proverbs 8:8)
    • “he who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19)
    • “A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.” (Proverbs 11:12)
    • “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (James 1:25)
  • Integrity “guides them” (Proverbs 11:3)
    • Unfaithful followers walk in the ways of “duplicity” (Proverbs 11:3)
    • Speaks truth and does not lie (Proverbs 12:19)
    • “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint
  • Has a “wife of noble character” (Proverbs 12:4).
  • Has patience and “great understanding(Proverbs 14:29)
    • A quick tempered man displays folly” (Proverbs 14:29)
    • “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension” (Proverbs 15:18)
    • “A patient man calms a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18)
  • Honor the Lord with your wealth” (Proverbs 3:9)
  • Does not acquit the guilty
    • “Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent – the Lord detests them both.” (Proverbs 17:15)
  • Acknowledges God in everything
    • “in all your ways acknowledge him” (Proverbs 3:6)

 

LITMUS TEST

Jesus warns that false leaders “do not practice what they preach.” (Matthew 23:3)

As you decide to vote for a candidate:

PRAY THAT GOD WILL OPEN YOUR EYES TO TRUTH AND THAT YOU WILL NOT FALL FOR DECEIT

“Save me, O LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.” (Psalms 120:2)

 

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Declarations…The Current America


“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America.  Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.  The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” – Vaclav Klaus

I heard that a reporter asked a man on the street, “What is the greatest problem in America?”.

The man replied, “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

The reporter then congratulated the man, “You are exactly right! Those are the two biggest problems!”

 

The Book of Proverbs speaks to the dangerousness of the average American. Wisdom, in personification, warns, ““How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?How long will mockers delight in mockeryand fools hate knowledge?23 Repent at my rebuke!Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,I will make known to you my teachings.24 But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke,26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

28 Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord.30 Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

A Lesson From Merry and Pippin


With the decline of our once great nation, one often wonders, “What can one individual do? What can I do to make a difference? One vote won’t really do much, why do it at all?” When the Founding Fathers created this nation they understood our sinful nature and puts checks in the government to stop its tendency to abuse power. This was done by placing the political power in the hands of citizens who were themselves trained by Christian churches with biblical morality. However this task often seems overwhelming and impossible. What can one person do to make a difference among millions?

“J.R.R. Tolkien provides an answer. In a scene from The Two Towers, Pippin and Merry entreat the peace-loving Ents (ancient trees that walk and talk) to join the battle against the forces of the evil Sauron [and Saruman]. When the trees refuse, Pippin tries to solace Merry by saying, “Maybe Treebeard is right. We don’t belong here, Merry. This is too big for us. What can we do in the end? We’ve got the Shire. Maybe we should go home.” Merry replies with desperation in his voice, “The fires of Isengard will spread, and the woods of Tribru and Buckland will burn. And all that was once great and good in this world will be gone.”” (Understanding The Times, David Noebel, 480.)

Merry sure understood correctly. If we don’t act while we still have the political freedom to (freedom of speech) then some day a power-play of political correctness will eliminate our freedoms and enslave us. All that was once good of Western civilization will be eaten up by the fires of Humanism. We can’t let our assumptions that our country has already “gone too far” dictate our freedoms left. We cannot get swallowed up in the flood of millions. We need to fight for every inch left of free soil in this land!

The decline of law…Harold J. Berman


Originally the West’s legal system was rooted in “the structural integrity of law, its ongoingness, its religious roots, [and] its transcendent qualities.”1

However, he explains further that these foundational beliefs are disappearing very quickly, and this from “the minds of lawmakers, judges, lawyers, law teachers… [and] from the consciousness of the vast majority of citizens….The law is becoming fragmented, more subjective, geared more to expediency and less to morality, concerned more with immediate consequences and less with consistency or continuity. Thus the historical soil of the Western legal tradition is being washed away in the twentieth century, and the tradition itself is threatened with collapse.”2

1- Harold J. Berman as quoted in David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times, 312

2- Harold J. Berman as quoted in David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times, 312

 

Chuck Colson: Rebelling Against Authority


Scripture plainly commands us to obey the government and civil laws (Romans 13:1-2; 1Peter 2:13-14). But many revolutions headed by Christians (most notably the American revolution) seem to contradict this by stating that it is okay to disobey authority in the said circumstances. Isn’t this a clear conflict?

“No. But to resolve it requires understanding a major biblical purpose of government. The origin of government goes back to humanity’s first sin, when to keep rebellious Adam and Eve away from the Tree of Life, God stationed an angel with flaming sword at the entrance to the Garden; this was [the first cop]. Thereafter the Bible makes clear the government was established as God’s means for restraining man’s sin… Moses’ parents are cited approvingly for their decision to hide this child from Egyptian officials”. – Chuck Colson in Loving God

With this view then, if the government is infringing upon God’s laws it is appropriate to disobey the authority. However, when the government is not, it is inappropriate to do so. And, it is also inappropriate to not show respect to the authority in power as stated by Paul (I myself have, unfortunately, convicted of this). That is not mature revolution, it is immature revolution.

Separation of Church and State…. History Through the Eyes of Faith


“In a formulation associated with Lutheranism [and other right wing Protestant churches], the intentions of God are said to be a sword that has two edges, the church and the state. They work together when wielded by God’s authority, i.e., those who are in authority are God’s chosen ones to rule. On the left wing, the Free Churches try to be precisely that-free from the state. They say that the nation-state and the community of believers are never the same and that their foundations are entirely different. This view is most notable in those of the Free Church expression known as “the peace churches.” They are pacific, but their pacifism should be seen not merely as an opposition to war alone but to any and all actions of the state binding on the community of belief. They would see the Lutheran “two-edged sword” as indistinguishable from Catholic medievalism, and they oppose the notion of a sacral society (“Christendom”) in all its parts. Or the centrist Protestants, things are not quite so clear. Reformed and Presbyterian churches tend not to see the church and state bound as closely as the Lutherans and Anglicans, but they do see the proper role of secular authority as supportive of sacred purpose. While believing in the institutional separation of church and state, they nevertheless seek to promote the impact of religion on society.” – History Through the Eyes of Faith

Seperation of Church and State


Ephesians 1:22-23

22 And God placed all things under [Christ’s] feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

 

Since Christ fills everything, and the church is the fullness of him, then there can be no separation of church and state. I think  the church is symbolic, in this passage, of all Christians, not a certain denomination. So Christians, according to the Bible, should not have to separate their views from their job, schooling, or politics. This is because they, in Christ, fill everything in every way. Therefore, in contrast, their views should soak their job, schooling and politics.