Only Jesus can save us
This past week I spoke with a man who could not fathom a Joe Biden presidency. I did not engage in the discussion, nevertheless the man argued President Donald Trump was fighting for our Christian principles and would save our country from certain doom.
In the same day, I spoke with another man who railed against conservative Christians for not standing up for their values because they support our current president. His argument went along the lines of President Trump is a liar, an adulterer, a thief in business, etc.
Now whether you support President Trump or candidate Biden I want you to listen to what I am about to say. Neither one of them is going to save the American people. Neither President Trump, nor Joe Biden will save you.
There is only one who can do that and his name is Jesus Christ. It is time for us to stop talking about politics as though we are choosing a savior.
The truth is regardless of who you are voting for they are a flawed candidate. They tell lies or half-truths, they misspeak, they engage in name calling and slander, they inflate their accomplishments while deflating their failures.
As a result, we must not conflate our civic duty with the bedrock of our religious belief such as the belief there is one Lord, one savior, who is Jesus Christ. There is only one savior who can cleanse the soul of Americans.
That is Jesus, who has already directed us on how we ought to live. In the book of Ephesians God's word tells us through the Apostle Paul how we are to live as God called us.
It tells us to "be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
Our country is divided and our demonization of opponents and our salvific attitudes towards the candidates we like only works to divide us further.
We need to be willing to say from a Christian perspective there are many reasons not to vote for President Trump just as there are many reasons not to vote for candidate Biden just as there very well may be reasons to vote for either candidate.
We need to see each candidate as a person, not as a savior, and people are flawed and by definition cannot save us. Not one of the men fully lives up to the example set by Jesus Christ and that's okay.
In fact that might be the point. That we are all sinners, we are all broken, we are all in need of grace. And grace does not come through a president; it comes through a king, the King of Kings. It comes through Jesus Christ.
Now this is not saying we shouldn't vote. We should vote. We absolutely should vote. In voting we should be guided by our faith too, through prayer and understanding God's word we should vote based on our spiritual understanding.
We should determine where God is leading us and we should do our best to direct the country in that direction. We can also work to heal our country outside of choosing our next president.
We can treat one another with dignity and respect. We can speak of opposition with kindness and gentleness in our hearts.
We can remember after America chooses a president, regardless of whether America makes a good choice or a bad choice, God will still be our God and Jesus will still be by our side offering us hope and salvation.
Hope for the future is not delivered by man, but is a gift from God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us hope these final two months before America's election are amicable, respectful, and dare I say it, peaceful.
Let us pray for our country, for our neighbors, for our elected officials, and for our next president, whomever it may be.
Rev. Brian Hauser is pastor for the Edenburg Presbyterian Church in Knox and Concord Presbyterian Church near West Freedom.