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MIKE RUFFIN: Politics and religion should mix!

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Mike Ruffin

Mike Ruffin

“Righteousness exalts a nation…” (Proverbs 14:34)

Early voting in North Carolina, as in other states, has begun. We’ve already seen negative advertising for various political positions that we’ll not soon forget.

No one knows what all of the ads will say, but I can tell you what you will likely see.

My guess is that these races will showcase principle giving way to lust, a most ungodly trait. That kind of campaign reminds me of something the Apostle John once said, “For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world”. (1 John 2:16)

A lot of people will tell you that religion and politics do not mix. In fact, I remember a campaign once in which a candidate was accused of “wearing religion on their sleeve”. The implication was that he was using the cloak of religion to win public office. In other words, his faith was not genuine and even if it was, it had no place in politics.

Obviously, Christians, just like anyone else, can be blinded by ambition and exercise some pretty poor judgment, especially in their quest to win public office. In fact, the Bible records that the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest Christians and elected leaders who ever lived, once admitted, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:15,18)

In spite of what the world may say about the dangers of mixing politics with religion, there isn’t a better place for a Christian to put his faith into practice than politics. Such conduct may raise questions among political pundits, but God sure likes it. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation.” (Isaiah 52:7)

One of the greatest lies in our world today is that faith and character are not important for leadership. But God’s Word tells us that character, faith, and leadership are inextricably linked. In fact, Paul wrote a wonderful letter to Timothy about some of the more important qualities that our spiritual leaders should have. Perhaps we should place some of these same high standards upon those whom we elect to public office. After all, a leader who exhibits self-control, is peace- loving, gentle, honest, charitable, lives wisely, and enjoys a good reputation is needed as sorely in government as he or she is in the church. (1 Timothy 3)

Billy Graham said, “The moral meltdown in our country in part results from a failure in leadership. A leader’s moral character, first of all, influences the way he or she does his or her job. There simply is no such thing as an impenetrable firewall between what we do privately and what we do publicly. Can someone who consistently lies or deceives or cheats in his personal life be trusted in a business deal or a courtroom or a political agreement? Of course not.”

When election time rolls around in November, even during early voting, examine the personal character of those who seek your vote. Elected officials bear a special responsibility to exude the highest standards of moral and ethical conduct. Jesus words continue to ring true today: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)

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