The Lancaster region has been given an amazing opportunity. Two Christian brothers, who love God and His Word, each feel called to run in the District 36 primary election race for the Pennsylvania State Senate. This race provides the opportunity for these two men to demonstrate to the watching world how their faith is lived out in the way in which they treat one another as competitors in this race.
Both men hold positions which are almost identical on the issues. Both are pro-family and pro-life; both proclaim that faith in God is the centerpiece and the absolute guiding reality of their lives.
Now the dilemma these men face: Each man appears to truly respect his opponent as a man of integrity and honor; they even profess to like one another; they have served together in the State House of Representatives. So how will each present to the voters his strengths in a way that would cause the voters to choose him over his opponent?
The way of the world is to search the opponent’s record and to exaggerate some aspect of that record to make it appear as though the opponent is not a man who would represent the electorate with integrity and/or competence. To do this, is to walk in unbelief. It is to say that although I am a man of faith I do not have the faith to believe that God will honor my campaign; I must use a non-Christian, non-brotherly approach to distinguish myself from my competitor. This is the way of the biblical King Saul,who when he saw his assets being depleted, made a ‘good judgment call’ and offered the sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel. In so doing King Saul lost the anointing of God even though he went on to win his next battle.
Faith is not just taking the biblical position on issues; faith is expressed in how we make our everyday decisions. Faith says, “I will honor God’s ways in the manner in which I characterize my opponent and I will trust God for the outcome. No matter how close the race I will not betray my faith by resorting to the ‘arm of the flesh’ to give me an unfair advantage over my opponent.”
Pray for our Christian brothers, Gordon Denlinger and Ryan Aument, who are locked in a tight race. Pray that they would each demonstrate that true faith walks in love even toward the competitor. And pray that where they have betrayed love in the way they have conducted their campaigns they would have the faith and courage to repent publicly, knowing that God’s anointing is on what represents His heart .
Pray! The world is hungry for genuine faith that is lived out in the market place and is not just a position to be espoused.
E. Daniel Martin