I hear a lot about "electability" today in the Republican primary race. It seems a lot of people are talking about voting for a candidate who doesn't best match their values, priorities, etc. because they think that candidate can best beat President Obama. I have some real mixed emotions about that whole issue.
I understand in the pure, "world's" sense, the logic of thinking that way and not "throwing away" a vote . . . but where does God come in to it all? What does it say about Christians who think that way? To the world they are logical and using common sense, but I wonder what God says about it. Some may say they are using the brain God gave them to make their decision and be practical . . . but I wonder.
Where is the God of the impossible in all this thinking? Where is faith? Where is a belief in a God who can, in days, upturn entire nations and regions in revival? What does it say when we vote for a candidate who marginally and questionably supports our values, instead of one who unashamedly has supported them and lived them through decades of visibility in the public sector?
Might it even be possible that God is watching and testing His people. After all, it is His people who He says must turn from their ways and call out to Him for Him to hear and heal their land. What if it is maybe like a time the Holy Spirit nudges you to do something illogical or irrational in the world's eyes (help someone, give someone money or the benefit of the doubt, etc.) and you get "burned". The world shakes its head and says, "Maybe you won't be so naive next time" . . . when maybe God is saying, "You were faithful, now trust Me."
I think that often there is something much bigger at work than what our limited understanding can fathom. At the heart of God is the issue of the faithfulness, and faith, of His people. When I read through the Bible I find example after example of God's anger at His people compromising with the world, though what they did seemed "logical" and "common sense" to those around. Take some time and start to think about different events in history you are aware of that mirror what I am saying.
How about Saul keeping back some of the enemy's goods because of the people, and not doing what God said. It cost him a kingdom. Think about Abraham and Sarah "helping" God out with Hagar—it cost our world a lot of turmoil. Think about Peter caving to the pressure from the Jews. It cost him a public tongue lashing from Paul. Think about the people of Israel wanting a king. It cost them the chance to have God be their king. We could fill hundreds of lines with more examples of people doing what was "logical" and "wise" in the world's system of thought and it grieving or angering God's heart.
On the flip side, what about Abraham offering up his son through whom the promise was to be fulfilled? It earned Him God's tremendous favor. What about Gideon leading an army of 300 against over 100,000 enemy? It was a great victory for God's people. What about the woman "wasting" a perfume worth a year's wages on Jesus' feet, to the complaints of the disciples? She will be remembered for eternity for it. What about a young virgin agreeing to carry a baby from God at tremendous cost to her in this world? It earned her a privilege beyond measure. What about a man building an ark for decades of his life when those around him probably mocked him? It saved him, his family, and all mankind.
I am a little leery of the word "electability" being thrown around more than the word "God" and "faith" and the concept of honoring God first and trusting Him with the results. I don't know who we will end up seeing in the Presidential race opposing President Obama, but I know that I, for one, at this time and based on what I currently know, am going to vote for Rick Santorum. He appears to be a strong Christian candidate who, by all accounts that I have read, embodies (and doesn't just tout) the values of our faith, who seems humble yet uncompromising, who has a wife who has chosen to stay home and raise and school her family at the sake of her career, and who seems to understand foreign policy through a Christian world view and lens. I'll just trust the results to God, and know He is always at work. I just know, for me, that I can't let the world's "wisdom" be a stronger pull to me than my faith. From there it is a short road to caving on most of the issues facing us in this culture. I would rather honor God and "lose" in the world's eyes, than "win" in the world's eyes and compromise my faith. My God is very, very big and I can trust Him with the results. May He just see my heart pure and my trust and love for Him being the driving force in my life. I am not saying anything about other Christians who don't vote for him, that is between them and God, I am just saying that for me I want to let my faith have more power than human wisdom. There may be other reasons to vote for a candidate than electability, and God may show someone them, but I want to be sure that, in my heart, I never compromise who I feel best represents the values and faith I believe are most important to God.