Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
I remember a scene in one of the Indiana Jones’ movies in which an old knight described the choice made by one of the protagonists in the movie. The protagonist had to pick the actual cup that Jesus used at the Last Supper. If he made the wrong choice, he would be killed. The man chose a cup that was greatly jeweled and made of gold, saying that this was surely the cup worthy of Jesus. He drank from the cup and immediately began to disintegrate to dust. The old knight simply said to Indiana Jones, “He chose poorly.” Of course, when it came time for Indiana Jones to choose a cup, he picked the simplest and plainest one and drank from it. He chose wisely!
I use this scene from a popular movie to illustrate that life is filled with choices. We make many decisions every day. They may be as simple as what to have for breakfast or as complex as what is the purpose of my life and how should I strive to satisfy it? Somewhere in the middle of all our choices every four years, citizens of our great nation must choose a President. Electing a President is surely not the most important choice we will ever make. I suggest that it doesn’t even come near the top of our list of life-choices. Yet, so much time and effort is expended in the process of making our choice of a candidate for the Office of President of the United States. I believe that the degree of attention given to this choice is commensurate with the increasing size of our Federal Government. The more power we allow our government to have, the importance of the choice of the one leading it grows.
Therefore, in order to make a wise choice we must have an absolute standard by which to choose. Of course, the standard to which I refer is the word of God written. Christians live under God’s word and non-believers will be held accountable to it when Christ returns.
You may be wondering what text of Scripture deals with choosing a president? There is no single text that will instruct you in your choice. Yet there is a general principle by which God has commanded His people to live. He has commanded believers to “Be holy,” Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:15-16. Further, in order to be holy, that is to be set apart to God, Christians are to choose “the good.” The opposite of good which is its absence is called “evil.”
Within the context of leaders governing people, Isaiah spoke God’s words directly to this issue. Isaiah used the word “woe” as a warning of God’s coming judgment upon those who choose evil over good. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…” Isaiah 5:20a. Woe is used four times between Isaiah 5:18-22. We should probably pay careful attention to God’s warning. We should strive to choose wisely in every decision.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian Church and phrased this issue with these words. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worth of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
God expects His people to know good from evil. He expects His people to follow “the good”. “The good” is that which is morally and ethically right. The ultimate source of “the good” is God. He has revealed “the good” in His word. “He has told you, O man, what is good.” Micah 6:8a
The Bible was written to believers but it applies to all people. God does not have a sliding scale. He doesn’t grade on a curve. “All must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2Corinthans 5:10
How is it that we can choose wisely? We choose wisely by choosing that which is good. Christian, remember that you are not electing a pastor. We are voting to elect the President of our Nation. We also know that no one is good but God alone. Yet because all men have degrees of goodness, we can examine past behavior to make our wise choice. May your conscience be held captive by the word of God and may you choose wisely!