Faithlife Sermons

2020 Election Sermon

Notes
Transcript
Turn to and read Psalm 119:105. Pray.
Opening: In the early years of our country Election Day sermons and Political Sermons were common place.
In an article entitled, “When the Sermon Reigned,” the writer states:
Beginning in 1634, and every year after 1640, the annual election day in Massachusetts was crowned with a sermon before the General Court by a prominent minister. It was clearly expected that the need for community obedience to God would be the subject of the hour...
One such message was preached by Charles Boardman, pastor of the Third Congregational Church of New Haven, CT on May 5, 1830. The title of his message was:
The Duties and Embarrassments of Rulers. A sermon addressed to the legislature of the State of Connecticut at the annual election in New Haven.
However, in recent years, that practice has fallen out of favor in most churches in the United States. The culprit? The Johnson Amendment.
In 1954, the IRS code was amended to prohibit pastors or churches from explicitly saying they support or oppose any individual political candidate by name. (This amendment was introduced by then-Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, [which is why it] is often called the Johnson Amendment.)
In other words, I, as pastor of this church cannot tell you who to vote for nor can we “officially,” as a church, endorse a particular candidate. Otherwise we would risk loosing our tax exempt status.
As a side note: South Charlotte Baptist Church has never applied for official tax exempt status from the IRS nor do I, as pastor of South Charlotte Baptist Church, ever plan to seek official tax exempt status from the IRS.
With that being said…We are on the verge of the “greatest election in our lifetime.”
I recently saw some very compelling reasons why I, as a pastor, should preach about politics:

You need to see that the Bible speaks to all of life, including politics.

2 Timothy 3:16 KJV 1900
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV 1900
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

God cares about secular governments and their leaders.

Turn to and read Romans 13:1-7.

Preaching the “whole counsel of God” will involve preaching about civil government.

If the Bible is our “final authority” for faith and practice, then we should, as we get ready to vote in this election - and any election - should consider God’s Word.
Psalm 119:105 KJV 1900
NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.
How can God’s Word guide our voting?
We have been given a wonderful privilege - the privilege to vote. We have the opportunity to elect our representatives. We have the opportunity to affect the direction of our country. But, the question remains, “How should we vote?”
We cannot base our vote simply upon the charisma, personality or character of an individual candidate (although I wish we could)!
Would we have voted for an individual who was “head and shoulders” above everyone else but who relied upon witchcraft to make decisions? (Think Saul.)
Would we have voted for a strong military leader who was also an adulterer and murderer? (Think David.)
Would we have voted for the individual who had such a successful administration that world leaders came from all over to learn his methods but who also was a polygamist who had hundreds of wives and countless mistresses? (Think Solomon.)
Whether we are talking about the presidential election or some “insignificant” local election, it is impossible and would be unadvisable to choose a candidate based solely upon their personality or their rhetoric.
Instead, as I have stated in the past, I believe individuals should look at something that is a little more foundational.
In our country, there are currently two main political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. Each party has a “platform,” a foundation upon which each party builds its policies.
One of the platforms says this...
All platforms are snapshots of the historical contexts in which they are born, and parties abide by their policy priorities, rather than their political rhetoric;
Have you ever taken the opportunity to read the platform of each party? They are both available online and can be easily found.
While the platforms for each party are quite lengthy - the Democrats’ is 92 pages long and the Republicans’ is 67 pages long - I would encourage you to at least read the “Preamble” from each party’s platform.
By and large, the candidates from these political parties are going to abide by their party’s platform. That is why we often see individuals within these parties pushing hard to have their personal agendas added to their party’s platform.
Before giving you some Biblical principles, and comparing them to each party’s platform, I would like you to remember that the United States of America has been singularly blessed by God. The United States of America is not simply an idea.
The closing of the Declaration of Independence states...
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved;
From there, the signers of the Declaration of Independence put their plan in action and for the past 244 years we have been a nation of action - not just ideas!
One political party begins their platform with this: “America is an idea…” and ends the preamble of their platform with, “We pray, as Langston Hughes [a Communist] did, ‘O, let America be America again—the land that never has been yet—and yet must be—the land where every man is free.’”
Whereas the other party begins their platform with this: “We believe in American exceptionalism. We believe the United States of America is unlike any other nation on earth.”
Yes, I understand that the United States of America is not perfect - it never has been. However, I choose to believe that the United States of America is still the greatest country in the world!
One of the Biblical truths that I believe that we should keep in mind is this...

God blesses the hard work of individuals.

Proverbs 13:4 KJV 1900
The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: But the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Proverbs 14:23 KJV 1900
In all labour there is profit: But the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 KJV 1900
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Many times individuals consider work to be a dirty, four-letter word. However, God created mankind to work. Before the fall of Adam and Eve, God had given Adam a task:
Genesis 2:15 KJV 1900
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Again, God created mankind to work.
Paul, in the New Testament, reaffirms what is generally considered to be the Christian work ethic.
2 Thessalonians 3:10–12 KJV 1900
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
1 Timothy 5:8 KJV 1900
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Bible Commentator, John Phillips, wrote:

Love, compassion, and a helping hand should indeed be extended to the poor, the disabled, the aged, and the infirm but not to the able-bodied person who feels that society owes him a living.

The Republican party platform states...
Government cannot create prosperity, though government can limit or destroy it. Prosperity is the product of self-discipline, enterprise, saving and investment by individuals...
The Democrat party platform states...
Democrats commit to forging a new social and economic contract with the American people—a contract that invests in the people and promotes shared prosperity...
We should support that party and their candidates who seek to limit government’s control and who seek to give the American people the opportunity to best to benefit from their work and industry instead of supporting a party that believes in the socialist economic policies of shared wealth and shared prosperity.
True story...
In 1620 Plymouth Plantation was founded with a system of communal property rights. Food and supplies were held in common and then distributed based on equality and need as determined by Plantation officials. People received the same rations whether or not they contributed to producing the food, and residents were forbidden from producing their own food. Governor William Bradford, in his 1647 history, Of Plymouth Plantation, wrote that this system was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. The problem was that “young men, that were most able and fit for labour, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense.” Because of the poor incentives, little food was produced.
Faced with potential starvation in the spring of 1623, the colony decided to implement a new economic system. Every family was assigned a private parcel of land. They could then keep all they grew for themselves….
This change, Bradford wrote, had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. Giving people economic incentives changed their behavior….
Once the Pilgrims in the Plymouth Plantation abandoned their communal economic system and adopted one with greater individual property rights, they never again faced the starvation and food shortages of the first three years. It was only after allowing greater property rights that they could feast without worrying that famine was just around the corner.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/11/27/private-property-and-the-pilgrims/

Religious Liberty

1 Timothy 2:1–2 KJV 1900
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
“…That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
The First Amendment of the US Constitution states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
For 244 years, the people of the United States have enjoyed religious freedom and religious liberty. And I praise the Lord for that!
It’s interesting that the platform of both parties “supports” the first amendment.
The Republican Platform states:
The Bill of Rights lists religious liberty, with its rights of conscience, as the first freedom to be protected. Religious freedom in the Bill of Rights protects the right of the people to practice their faith in their everyday lives...Ongoing attempts to compel individuals, businesses , and institutions of faith to transgress their beliefs are part of a misguided effort to undermine religion and drive it from the public square...We pledge to defend the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard religious institutions against government control.
The Democratic Platform states:
Religious freedom is a core American value and a core value of the Democratic Party. Democrats will protect the rights of each American for the free exercise of his or her own religion.
However, they go on to state:
We will reject the Trump Administration’s use of broad religious exemptions to allow businesses, medical providers, social service agencies, and others to discriminate.
That statement goes directly against their statement to protect the rights of each American for the free exercise of his or her own religion.
Also, the Democratic Platform mistakenly states:
Democrats…recognize... the paramount importance of maintaining the separation between church and state enshrined in our Constitution.
Ladies and Gentlemen, nothing of the sort is “enshrined” in our Constitution! The phrase, “separation of church and state” is not in our Constitution. It was written by President Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut in which President Jefferson assured them that the free exercise of religion would never be interfered with by the federal government.
As I stated just a few moments ago, for 244 years, the people of the United States of America have enjoyed religious freedom and religious liberty. If we would desire to continue to enjoy those freedoms and liberties than we should vote support that party that truly understands the meaning of the First Amendment and will seek to protect it!
Closing: This is just a couple of Biblical principles that apply to our upcoming election. There are many others that we could look at if we had the time. I will say this, if you have specific questions regarding other issues, please send me an email or a text message. I would be more than happy to speak with you. However, as a Bible-believing Christian, I believe that it should be fairly obvious which candidates we should support in this election.
Allow your decisions to be guided by Biblical truth and Biblical principles. Don’t allow mass media, social media to determine your vote.
I would like to end with a couple of final thoughts:

How you vote does not determine whether you are a Christian or not.

4 years ago I preached a similar message before the presidential election. An individual who was attending SCBC at the time made this comment: “I can be a Christian and vote Democrat.” I hate that they came away from the message thinking that. I hope that there are none here this morning who are thinking that. How you vote does not determine whether you are a Christian or not.

How a person votes should not determine our love for them.

Matthew 22:37–40 KJV 1900
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Allow me to give a personal testimony: My oldest sister will be voting for Biden/Harris. Politically, we disagree about a lot of things. But, you know what, I still love her and I know that she loves me. I saw her a couple of weeks ago at my mother’s birthday. My love for my sister is not determined by her political persuasion.
Make sure that, whether you agree with someone else or not, that you still show them the love of Christ. No one is going to enter Heaven based upon their voter registration. It is only going to be through the shed blood of Jesus Christ!
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