The Myth of the Modern Christian Candidate

10000227-00-00-00-00_lgI confess I am not a huge fan of politics.  What I mean is I don’t get all excited about elections or backing a candidate.  I won’t attend rallies or conventions.  It is just something I have never really been into.

The first US Presidential Election I truly remember is the 1992 race between Bill Clinton, George H. Bush and Ross Perot.  I remember taking a mock election in Boy Scouts where I voted for Ross Perot with the comment, “If we are looking for change, let’s go with a ton of change.”  This was my big political insight at the mere age of 15.  Honestly I didn’t understand how the whole system worked, only enough to pass civics class.

Leading up to the 2000 election I remember having a discussion in a college class on God, Politics and Society how we truly needed a Christian Candidate.  I guess George W. Bush and Al Gore weren’t Christian enough for me…who knows.

This Presidential Election will be the sixth one I can vote in, although I confess I didn’t vote in all of them.  I have paid attention and followed the last four pretty closely simply to be an educated voter. I do not affiliate with either party and I am registered as an Undecided in North Carolina. The reasons behind that decision will have to wait for another post.

As a Gen-Xer, cynicism is engrained in my DNA. I look at the US Electoral System and I see how it is run (only from the outside). I watch the news and read about super PACs, fundraising, and deep pocket donors. I have enough years behind me to understand a little more clearly how life works and I am not as naïve as I once was.

As I watch the train-wreck that is the 2016 Presidential Election I have come to a firm conclusion. I now understand that the idea of a Christian Presidential Candidate is a myth. I do not believe that you can live up to the standards of Christ found in the two commandments to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself AND run a campaign to be elected President of the United States (POTUS). It can’t happen.

It can’t happen because a piece of that person has to sell their soul. You cannot serve both wealth and God at the same time, see Matthew 6:24 or Luke 16:13. It takes millions upon millions of dollars to win the election for POTUS. How can someone run a successful campaign and escape nestling up, snuggling or even get in bed with wealth? It can’t happen.

There is also some part of a Presidential Candidate that has to believe they are focal point of the universe. They have to believe the world revolves around them to seek the highest and most powerful position in the world. Show me a truly humble person…truly humble not politically humble…and I will show you someone who doesn’t believe they are worthy of the job. A person with this humility, who puts God above all, even themselves, would never be elected POTUS.

I firmly believe that local politicians can. I believe mayors of small towns and even some state legislators can. However, once big money has to be made, conflicts of interest arise and a part of one’s soul has to be sold out. This is true in all politics no matter how big or small but the larger the office the more these Faust opportunities present themselves.

Maybe you agree or maybe you disagree. Maybe my assumption of what a follower of Christ looks like, a person who follows the greatest commandments of Jesus Christ, goes too far. Maybe a political Christian is someone who exists and my cynicism simply runs too deep to see it.

When I vote…I will vote knowing that there is no “True Christian Candidate” because that person is a myth. We need to stop looking for a political messiah or thinking candidates who can raise millions of dollars are one. Let’s face fact a “True Christian Candidate” is simply a myth.

 

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