Democracy and elections

The concept of democratic government has taken root in a few countries around the world. But it is by no means solidly entrenched in human thought, and needs all the appreciation we can give it. It needs the nourishment of dynamic ideas and the support of active workers.

It also needs persceptive voters, tireless volunteers, and willing financial contributors. These are all vital to the maintenance of a vigorous democratic process.

And there's another way of participating in the democratic process. It's prayer. Prayer can help us gain the perceptiveness, tirelessness, and generosity our countries need. It can also help us take the tremendous burden off elected officials by having us learn to make decisions ourselves rather than leaving them just to representatives.

Prayer can also be vital when problems arise during elections. For instance, it may seem that a merely self-serving person will be elected to a position of power. In this case, we can turn to God for help. His law, applied with conviction, does something nothing else can -- it establishes the divine government in human affairs.

I had occasion recently to prove the power of God's law when a friend asked me to pray about a troubling situation: A group was attempting by political means to gain control and dishonestly manipulate the financial affairs of an organization to which the woman belonged.

As I reached out to God, this truth came with startling simplicity: "Why, evil doesn't have any real support from any quarter. Could dishonesty or greed motivate man -- the real man, who is the spiritual idea of God? Could they ever be given licese by God's government?"

I saw that the divine government is eternal and can never be interrupted or manipulated. Mary Baker Eddy n1 describes this government in her definition of "heaven" in the Christian Science textbook: "Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul." n2

n1 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 587.

My friend and I discussed these ideas and concluded that justice on our part was called for. We had to acknowledge that even those scheming for power were in reality God's expressions, children of the one divine Principle. Greed is no part of man's nature, so it could be no part of theirs.

Soon thereafter my friend phoned, happy and grateful, to say that despite what seemed a solid phalanx of support behind the person whose plan had included despotic control of the funds, not one member of this group had been elected to any position. The threat had vanished like air from a pricked balloon!

When we are tempted to be anxious about an election, it can be helpful to think of God's elect, the Christ, the spiritual, God-commissioned selfhood of everyone. Referring to one who lives the Christly life (Christ Jesus lived it more than anyone before or since, but we all can do so to some degree now), Isaiah wrote, "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him." n3 It is Principle, God, who elects. And we can ratify that election through lively obedience to God's law of justice.

n3 Isaiah 42:1.

In practicing this law it is important to have a proper assessment of evil. Evil of any nature has no office, no officeholders, no resources. It can have no policy, no power or prestige. Having no organization, it has no adherents. Evil has no intelligence to convert or subvert a right cause.

The truth that God governs man is bedrock. The claim that evil is fact es ephemeral -- in fact, nothing.

Through prayer we can realize the certain jurisdiction of good, the presence of God in human affairs. As we live under that government we will see increasing evidence of stable, democratic government worldwide. The qualities of those seeking office will gradually become more God-derived. Wisdom, honesty , right judgement, intregrity, compassion, will be increasingly common.

The infinite government of the kingdom of heaven exists here and now. The voting place is every heart into which some semblance of love for God, for good, is instilled. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord is our king. Isaiah 33:22

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