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“This presidential campaign is crazy. It seems to be a wide-open race. It is confusing and polarizing. Does the Bible provide guidance for me in how to choose a candidate in this process?”—Dan
Bear in mind, the Bible does not specifically outline an ideal form of government or provide much direction for how rulers (especially in a democracy, which doesn’t appear in Scripture) are to be identified.
Its emphasis is primarily on how God’s people ought to live whether the government is theocratic, monarchical or totalitarian.
Scripture does speak to the relationship between individuals and the government.
Jesus indicated there are obligations to both God and human authority (Mt. 22:21).
He had some things to say about character, including anger management, moral rectitude, faithfulness, integrity and dignity (see Matt. 5:21ff).
Of course, he also emphasized that our ultimate allegiance belongs to God (Mt. 22:37-38)
Paul agreed that the believer’s “citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20). Nonetheless, he also affirmed the legitimate role of government to establish and enforce the law for the common good (Rom. 13:1-7).
Presumably, your choice of a leader might be guided by seeking the one who will govern by established rule of law.
One might reasonably expect that desirable political leaders would exhibit an understanding of the truth of these biblical principles. We should expect of a candidate, for example, that he or she avoids actions which demonize opponents and polarize the country.
We ought to look for a leader who practices civility, insists on fairness and bridges the chasm of partisan politics for the good of the nation.
This leader would be a statesman who actively pursues peace while addressing hard issues with thoughtfulness and openness to divergent views as well as with pragmatism and optimism.
A highly desirable candidate might be the one who is humble yet confident, seeking to do what is right, good and true before God (II Chron. 31:20).