Choosing Leaders Print
Written by Larry Ocasio   

"Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times." (Exodus 18:21-22)

Contrary to what Jerry Falwell recently said while endorsing Donald Trump, choosing leaders for political office is much different than choosing a surgeon, teacher or accountant. From the beginning of Israel’s storied history, G-d reveals His requirements for the democratic process of choosing our political leaders. According to the Lord, leaders are to be chosen from among our peers who have demonstrated the attributes of godly fear, a love of truth and hatred of dishonest gain. It’s important to note that in Israel’s initial selection, the men chosen had no idea that they would soon be in an ‘election’ process. These men were selected to lead Israel’s future, not on the basis of speeches, promises or a well-run campaign, but rather, on the way they had conducted their daily lives. 

“Moses said to the LORD, ‘O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’” (Exodus 4:10)

Eloquence of speech does not a good leader make. G-d’s qualifications for a leader do not involve words, but deeds. Moses, who is perhaps our greatest example of leadership, other than Jesus, was such a bad public speaker that he often had to have Aaron his brother give his ‘speeches’ for him. Yet it was this old and stammering Moses that G-d selected to, not only lead the nation of Israel from bondage to freedom, but to introduce to the civilized world the privileges and responsibilities of the democratic process.

Today, you and I don’t have the advantage of having lived closely with those that seek public office; yet, the responsibility for choosing our political leaders remains the same. We must never forget that no matter what our leaders do, whether good or bad, it will invariably affect each of us. There is, therefore, just as much accountability on those doing the choosing as on the individuals being chosen. Because the Lord inextricably links those ‘running for public office’ with the person voting for them, it is imperative that we look closely at the voting records and private lives of those who seek positions of leadership. Then, and only then, can we make an informed, and G-d-honoring voting decision. 

In November of 2016, Americans will once again be involved in electing a new president. Currently, we are in the primary process, trying to decide who the two candidates should be from either party. (For the purpose of this article I will limit my thoughts to the Republican side of the ticket, as I find it difficult to believe that any professing believer would actually align themselves with either Hilary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.) Every single American should be actively engaged in the political process and ready to cast their vote. However, as Christians, our responsibility goes way beyond that of just being a ‘good American’. 

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness...” (Matthew 6:33)

When choosing our leaders, our first priority is not to please man, a political party, or even to vote for whom we believe is best for our nation. Rather, our G-d ordained responsibility is to vote for the candidate that most closely meets the standards of G-d’s Word. It is only by being faithful to this directive that we will manifestly do what is best for our country.

Bible-believing Christians are not at liberty to choose any candidate they desire. Race, gender, emotions, or party affiliation must never come into play when choosing our leaders. And while no candidate is perfect, our G-d-ordained duty is to ‘choose’ the ticket that best follows the principles, statutes, and worldview that is clearly presented in the Scriptures. This command is to be followed by every believer whether we like or dislike the candidate. Consequently, our vote cannot be based on personal opinion or on issues we hold dear. Instead, it must be based solely on G-d’s Word and the issues He holds dear. 

“They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood.” (Psalm 106:37-38)

There are approximately 4,000 unborn babies killed each day in the United States and over 50 million have been murdered since 1973. There is no greater ‘issue’ on God’s heart than the shedding of “innocent blood”.  Subjects such as the economy, health care, foreign policy, and free trade, while important, all pale in comparison to the holocaust of abortion. Throughout the entire Bible, the one common denominator that can be found in every story, promise, or even judgment is the honoring of human life. Because of this, the greatest responsibility that a leader has is to protect the life of the innocent. 

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22)

“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’” (Matthew 19:4-5)

Another ‘issue’ that needs to be clearly thought through when choosing our leaders is the position they take concerning homosexuality and the sanctity of marriage. These are not topics that are up for debate, or from which we need to seek the Holy Spirit’s counsel. The Word of G-d makes it abundantly clear how the Lord feels about these life and death issues and so to vote for a candidate that supports these views is to vote against the Lord.

“…Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32)

By knowingly supporting a candidate or political party that adamantly defends the right to “shed innocent blood” under the guise of ‘choice’ or that believes it is okay for men to marry men and women to marry women, then we are placing our seal of approval on every single abortion and perverse union that is committed under that leader’s term. According to the book of Romans, whether or not we’ve ever had an abortion or committed a homosexual act is irrelevant; simply by voting for a candidate that supports them we have unwittingly linked ourselves to these despicable sins. If we fail to choose correctly on these two clearly defined issues then we have no right to expect G-d’s blessing on any of the other topics we bring to His attention.  

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

America needs Jesus Christ, not Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Neither of these men or their party affiliations has the answer to the devastating problems this nation faces. However, only one of these men (Ted Cruz) has more closely aligned himself with the principal issues plainly defined in G-d’s Word. Donald Trump’s public statements concerning his belief on not just abortion but trimester abortions clearly disqualify him as a “leader” with whom Christians can align. In addition, his adulterous escapades, consistently self-absorbed, and arrogant rhetoric do not reveal a person of godly fear or one who loves truth. 

In sharp contrast, Ted Cruz’s humble demeanor, his consistent public voting record on issues of life—sanctity of marriage and his tireless defense of the US Constitution make him a viable option for believers who hold G-d’s word as sacrosanct. 

“Choose you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.” (Deuteronomy 1:13)

This coming election, there is a clear choice for every one that calls him or herself a Christian. One candidate has a substantial record of wisdom and understanding as evidenced by his staunch support for life and the purity of marriage. The other candidate, while blustery in speech has little else to offer; his lack of public service coupled with his anti-life, and overall unbiblical worldview clearly puts him on the wrong side of G-d’s Word. One man puts his record, and biblical faith up to scrutiny for his peers to judge, while the other hopes his bombastic words and dramatic presentations are enough to get him elected. 

Perhaps the greatest privilege and responsibility of living in America is the G-d ordained method by which we choose our leaders. And while our elected officials will eventually be judged on whether or not they led and judged righteously, you and I will be judged on whether or not we chose our leaders righteously. 

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)