Faithful Politics

Being faithful with our politics, not political with our faith.

A Christian Perspective On The State of the Republican Primary

We’re less than a year from the 2012 President Election—just a matter of months from the primaries—and the Republican Party just can’t seem to get their act together.

In one corner, we have the Governor of Texas, James “Rick” Perry, conservative Republican, seemingly walking in the footsteps of his Texan predecessor, George W. Bush. His ideas are traditional, and many Republicans would find it easy to rally behind him. Too bad he can’t seem to muster coherent thoughts under pressure. His memory lapse in Wednesday night’s primary debate left his worldwide audience cringing, as he struggled to remember the third federal agency that he hopes to shut down (as it so happens, the answer he was looking for was the Department of Energy).

In the other corner, we have Mr. Herman Cain, restaurant CEO and former pizza-man. His would-be presidential bid is collapsing amidst the multitude of sexual harassment allegations—true or not, his bumbling responses leave you wondering about his competence and integrity. Even prior to the emerging allegations, his surging ratings are curious, given that the man lacks a certain charisma and sophistication.

Then there’s Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts, and the top contender for the Republican nomination. Yes, he seems to have grown up a bit from the 2008 elections, but many are left questioning the depth of his conservatism. Doesn’t his Massachusetts healthcare reform seem remarkably similar to Obamacare? And how will his Mormon faith fair the eyes of his evangelical conservative voters? Does he stand a chance against the incumbent President?

And these are just the top contenders. One glance at the list of Republican candidates reveals an interesting, if not disappointing array of individuals. I for one don’t see an obvious candidate from a Christian perspective. Where’s our hope?

My point in all of this is not to undermine or disparage the Republican Party as a whole. Rather, I’m trying to make a point that these candidates are not God. They’re just men. And they’re not trying to lead God’s favorite nation. They’re just running for the President of the USA. I believe in patriotism, mind you, but I also believe in keeping our nation in its proper perspective. And what is that perspective? The realm of the temporal. The United States will fall. Maybe not this decade, maybe not the next, but sooner or later it will fall. The Bible tells us so—the book of Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah all make it clear that nations come and go, but God, his word, and his people endure.

All that to say, yes, the Republican Party is a little troublesome, but I’m not too worried. I’ll do my part, I’ll pull for my candidate, but in the end, I’ll remember that he’s just a man. End of story.

[And lest you think this essay is an indirect defense of the incumbent President Obama, think again. It’s quite easy, in fact, to question his presidency on a number of fronts, but that is a topic for another article.]


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  1. So, they are all “just men” and America will eventually fall. God uses “just men”. May he raise up many who will serve him and the nation well. As to our eventual demise, your capitulation to this fatalistic perspective may cause others to fail to take action that can not only prolong our days but improve them. If we serve the God of the universe who restored Israel time and again, why should we not rather take the pattern of the fall of nations as a call to humility, deeper reliance, and healthy and vigorous self evaluation that could result in our becoming a greater contributor to the wellbeing of the planet?

    • You’re absolutely right, and I fully agree with you that we hold a responsibility to steward the gifts God has given us–in this case, a comparatively free and democratic nation. We can make the world a better place, and God has called us to do just that.

      At the same time, I believe scripture shows that in the end times, Israel will stand alone. There is no prophetic role for the United States.

      Conclusion? Keep cultivating our country, working hard to elect Godly, principled leaders, but understanding in the scheme of things that the United States (and consequently any one of the hundred of elected leaders) are just a ridiculously tiny blip on the radar of eternity.

      Thanks for your comment!

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