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faith over politics: prioritizing unity in an election year

Here we go again…


The American political machine is humming, and with an election just months away, discourse about the right path forward for our country is dominating conversations and social media.  I consistently hear two polarizing statements:


“This election is about the future of democracy as we know it.”




“This is the most important election of our lifetime.”


The underlying assumption for both of these statements?  They seem to suggest that we cannot get this one wrong, or else the stability and future of our country is at stake.


I certainly never want to suggest that nothing is at stake with Presidential elections, because who we elect has a lot to do with philosophies of life, approaches to important financial institutions, personal freedoms, future legislation and all sorts of other things.  Depending on who you’re talking to, approaches to social injustice or the plight of the unborn are precisely why we care about politics and candidates.  Elections have consequences, they do matter.


However, the questions I want to propose to people who want to remain Biblically resilient in a fallen and fragile world is this:  How much does an election outcome matter to your individual faith and hope, and how much does it matter for the unity of Christians and the churches they worship in?


During an election season, the level of emotion and fervor never ceases to surprise me.  Deeply held beliefs about the way life should be have a way of exposing what we really care about.  Quite frankly, as a minister in a local church I really do wish the spiritual convictions of people matched the depth and breadth of their political convictions.  If so, Satan would be in trouble!

crucial questions


For the individual Christian, ask yourself these questions:  If your particular candidate or party does not win, can you be a person of intense joy and hope?  Could you remain a deeply passionate Christian, hopeful that Jesus has already overcome this fallen world?  Here’s a sticky one – could you look at your brothers and sisters you disagree with politically and continue to love and appreciate them?  Could you envision your love for them growing more deeply with each passing year?


Here are some crucial questions for churches and leaderships to ask:  Is your church prepared for the various ways Satan will attack many of your members before and after a contentious election?  Have the folks in your congregation been trained to think and live counter-culturally, engaging with but not putting their faith in the things of this world? 

There is so much that could be written about this, but I simply want to offer you three simple, biblical ideas that can help guide us spiritually through the upcoming election cycle.

be prayerful


It’s tough theology, but God seems to have no problem asking Christians to pray for, respect and submit to leaders who they passionately disagree with about life (Romans 13:1-7).   Why?  Mostly because He is constantly training our hearts to not rely on earthly ambitions for our hope, and to desire and need Him only. 


Prayer is practically and consistently aligning out hearts with His version of life, and the scriptures to pray for our leaders are numerous (Psalm 2:10-11, Proverbs 21:1, Job 12:23-25, 1 Peter 2:17, 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Romans 13:1).  In calling us to this, God is assuring us all leaders serve under His sovereignty, and no matter what happens, He will ultimately be the one who takes care of our needs.  If our first century brothers and sisters could sincerely pray for leaders who often were downright cruel, evil and even killing them, is there any reason we shouldn’t commit to praying for our leaders, no matter who gets elected?


Pray for our political leaders, pray for all the candidates, pray for wisdom to prevail, pray you can be surrendered no matter the outcome, and most of all, pray for your brothers and sisters you don’t agree with.


do better at teaching a biblical worldview


This is the humbling part.  In the absence of an increasingly thick and robust Christian worldview, reliance on politicians or earthly systems grows.  Why wouldn’t it?  We are designed to strive for something significant and transcendent, something that matters.  Political issues pull on the same heart strings that issues related to God’s righteousness do, but we often set politics up as an unhealthy idol, thinking we are just being spiritual. 


Do we really have a fully developed and functional Biblical worldview?


A recent study by the Barna Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University revealed that a mere 6% of U.S. Adults have a Biblical worldview. Keep in mind that MANY confess to be Christians and attend church, but less than 10% are guided solely by a scriptural narrative of life.  They found the most common worldview is “Syncretism,” the idea that people blend secular ideas in with Biblical ideas, forming a new mutated version of truth and life. The most alarming part of the study was the statement that “Worldview seems to be caught more than it is taught in the United States.”[i] 


Is it possible that in a post-Christian America most church-goers put more hope in politics and secular solutions than in living a Kingdom centered life?


Nothing short of a foundational Biblical worldview will produce a healthy view of earthly politics.  Parents and churches must find ways to do a better job of equipping people with a holistic view of God and His reign in this world, or secular politics will fill the void.


understand the nature of our battle


“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Ephesians 6:10-17


This really is where the work is for us as Christians.  Do we believe this passage in Ephesians?  If we say YES, then we have to admit that so much of our struggle around political outcomes is a result of a an overly earthly view of the battles we are engaged in.  Our battle is NOT with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces in the heavenly realms. 


There is no real way to live a Biblically resilient life if we can’t clearly see that we are engaged in a deeply spiritual battle.


Some reading this article may feel like I don’t see the value in politics or voting, which is not true.  Those who know me understand I have strong and deep convictions about God’s design for the family, abortion, the freedom to live and express my religion, and the insidious way Satan is infiltrating the church with progressive theology.  In reality, the crucial question for Christians regarding earthly politics is not only around what we believe or how strongly we believe it, but is has to do with how surrendered we are about the outcomes.


Can we just admit that politics, by its nature, draws lines between people and groups?  In contrast, the message of Jesus cut across all of those earthly lines, drawing all people into a different kind of Kingdom – one based on grace.  It is fine to be involved politically, so long as we start and end with a theology that allows us to be hopeful and gracious people, no matter how things go for us here on earth.


In the elections of 2016 and 2020, I witnessed far too many Christians tethered to this world in an unhealthy way.  Relationships were fractured, some ended.  Ultimatums and worldly loyalty tests were far too common.  There was very little room to disagree with each other and remain in a relationship of unity and love.  Some even left their church community based on disappointment or unmet expectations.  It was as if the “flaming arrows” coming at people were shot by their brothers and sisters, not an enemy like Satan who lies, deceives and divides people any chance he gets.  We make this too easy for him.


As we enter the heart of this political season, let’s be active and responsible citizens of this world, making the most of our ability to vote and influence the direction of the country we live in.  However, when the dust settles, let’s be the first to remember that God is firmly in control, and that our real citizenship is not here, but in the Kingdom of God. 


Daren Overstreet

Daren Overstreet is a Senior Leader at

Anchor Point Church in Tampa, Florida.  He has been in ministry for nearly 30 years, and holds a Master’s Degree in Missional Theology

You can contact him at

[i] American Worldview Inventory 2021, Release #1: America’s Dominant Worldview Syncretism.  Accessed April 25, 2024.


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