The founders of our nation believed in separation of powers. They feared the outcome if too much power resided in a single place. They knew the susceptibility of the human heart to corruption. Therefore, they diffused power so that when corruption occurred, as it surely would, that corruption could be contained by power in other places. Thus they established three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.
Over the history of our nation, however, this separation of powers has begun to break down. The executive branch, particularly through the many agencies (e.g. the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, etc.) that have been created over time, has grown enormously in size and power. The Judicial Branch as well has gained more power – as evidenced by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which has effectively prohibited any democratic resolution to this divisive issue. Conversely and commensurately, Congress and the states have lost power.
Presidential campaigns now start, in practical if not official terms, also most as soon as a presidential election concludes. It is a year and a half before the next presidential election and yet candidates from both parties are already campaigning. Throughout my lifetime, presidential campaigns have gotten longer and longer.
Presidents of both parties have increasingly issued “executive orders” which bypass Congress alter the direction of the government, and therefore the country, on a variety of issues. Presidents also nominate replacements to vacancies on the Supreme Court, as well as all federal courts. Therefore, as the power of the judicial branch has increased, it has made the executive branch even more powerful.
As more and more power has moved to the presidency, citizens who do not trust in God have come to put more and more hope in the person who holds that office. For Christians, this should not be so. Our hope is in Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the executive we believe most determines the course of our lives. Yes, we act as responsible citizens. This means we get informed about the candidates and issues. And it means that we vote with the best interests of the country in mind. But we Christians are not in search of a savior. We already have one.
The secular folks cannot help but put more and more trust in their choice for the next president. And they do this no matter to which party they belong. Don’t fall into their way of looking at life. Survey the candidates, yes. Vote, yes. But place your hope only in Christ. Faithful obedience to Him is the only sure guarantee of a blessed future for ourselves and our children. And this guarantee is good no matter which direction the country takes.
Through Christ we’ll either be blessed in the midst of blessing or blessed in the midst of cursing. Either way, He will take care of His people. Compared to Him, the president of the United States has a very small role to play.