By Lonnie Wilkey
Our nation may be more divided now than ever before in my lifetime. I was just a child and teenager in the 1960s and early 1970s when our nation faced racial strife and conflict over involvement in the Vietnam War. I can recall there was a lot of tension in those years, but what we see today seems far worse.
Our country is in trouble. Racial tensions are high and there is a movement among liberals in leadership to further that divide. Who could ever have dreamed that in the United States we would have elected officials who want to do away with law enforcement and allow an “anything goes” environment?
Some of our constitutional rights are in danger if the liberal element in our society has its way. Add to the mix the fear and uncertainties caused by the worldwide pandemic and it’s little wonder that many Americans are anxious about the future.
With the upcoming election between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, my anxieties have not been relieved by either one of them. To be honest, I turned off the first presidential debate on Sept. 29. Instead of watching two grown men debate like adults, I felt like I was watching my 7-year-old and 5-year-old grandsons. I can understand children yelling at each other and not letting the other talk much more than I can the two men who want to lead the United States of America.
I have been reading a devotion book this year written by Billy Graham. In a recent devotion he noted that the late Vance Havner once said, “Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair. It will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.”
In another devotion, Graham recalled that someone once said that, “worry is the interest paid on trouble before it becomes due.” Graham then called on his readers to remember Psalm 55:22: “Cast your burdens on the Lord and He will sustain you.” Good advice from possibly the greatest evangelist and soul winner of our generation.
His words of wisdom have helped me stop worrying about what I cannot control. The only say I have in the upcoming election is one vote among millions of others. I can only vote my convictions and trust God that His will be done.
I have come to the conclusion that I cannot vote for an individual or a political party. I can’t focus on the “who.” I have to focus on the “what.”
What do I mean? Politicians come and go. Political parties change. What a party believes and endorses today might not be the same as it was 50 or 25 years ago. It’s up to every voter to look at the issues that really matter.
I would encourage you to read the article on page 4 about recent research conducted by Lifeway Research.
All voters seem to agree that improving the economy and fighting the pandemic are key election issues in November. Evangelical Christians also point to a number of other key concerns. These are the “what” of the election we need to think about seriously.
The top two issues for most Christians are the candidates’ views on abortion and protecting our religious liberty as defined by the Constitution of the United States of America. Evangelicals also cite the ability to maintain our national security, personal character and ability to address racial injustice as key concerns.
It boils down to values and beliefs. President Trump has appointed a nominee to the Supreme Court who is pro-life. See story on page 4 about Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Like the president or not, Trump probably won the election in 2016 because he promised to appoint more conservative Supreme Court judges and he has kept that promise.
America is fast becoming a very liberal nation. The Supreme Court is crucial in maintaining some sense of moral fiber in the country. And, even that is not a guaranteed certainty.
American voters have a decision to make. Will we stand by idly and watch the country we love move further and further away from what has made this country great or will we do something about it by voting? Trust me, those who disagree with that viewpoint will swarm the voting booths in November.
For those of us in our 60s and older, we won’t be affected as much by the direction Americans choose to take in November but our children and grandchildren could be adversely affected for decades to come. Are we willing to let that happen? I hope not.
So, when it comes time to cast that ballot on Nov. 3, don’t be as concerned about the who or the political party as you are about the what. The “what” is the end result.
Between now and Nov. 3, pray as never before. No matter how bleak it looks now, God ultimately is in control.
And it wouldn’t hurt to remember II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Pray fervently for God’s healing hand upon the United States of America. He’s our only hope. B&R