Christianity and the Presidency

Michael Youssef

8/21/2011 12:01:00 AM - Michael Youssef

There was a time when Americans sought presidents who did not just claim to be Christians; they also looked for candidates who reflected Christ in their daily lives. This does not appear to be the case anymore.

Leading into this election, the secular media mocks candidates who have a genuine faith in Christ – and heaven help candidates who seek to live out their Christian faith. In fact, today, some in the media have reached such a low point that true Christian faith is viewed as a liability rather than an asset.

In the past, some candidates have used Christians to get nominated and elected, but once in the halls of the White House, their aids refer to evangelicals, the very people who elected them, as “nuts”.

Understandably, some Christians feel jaded by politicians who claim to be Christians and yet act and govern in a way that communicates that they are ashamed of the true Christian faith.

The current President claims to be a Christian, yet he hardly goes to church. He forgets to issue an Easter proclamation, but he never forgets a Ramadan proclamation. He mocks some biblical passages and he seldom quotes the Bible, but he is forever quoting what he calls the “holy Qur’an.” He is all for aborting babies, changing the order of God’s creation by undermining the Defense of Marriage Act, and having government bureaucracies take over the church’s charitable role—and the list goes on and on.

Christians are not looking for perfection in a candidate; we know that only one perfect man/God ever walked the earth. But we are looking for candidates who are truthful and whose claims match their lives.

From my experience, American Christians are very forgiving when our leaders experience moral or ethical failures – but only if these leaders are truly repentant and exhibit humility. However, when leaders cover up their moral and ethical failures with self-righteousness, that does not bode well with us and we feel betrayed.

No one can see into another man’s heart. While I don’t have a dog in the fight, or a preferred candidate, I would caution my fellow believers to understand that what a candidate believes deeply will be reflected not only in their lives, but also in their policies—impacting our nation. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).