The two main political parties in the United States are in the process of choosing their candidates for the 2016 presidential election. Delegates are being chosen for the two conventions, and the delegates are chosen state-by-state with different states having primary elections at different times. The actual nominations will take place at the conventions.
The delegate selection process is a more than half over. So far, no candidate of either party has enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot.
But I think Hillary Clinton has a big enough lead for the Democratic nomination that, barring some unexpected event, it is fairly certain she will be the nominee for the Democratic party.
Donald Trump leads in delegates for the Republican nomination, but there is a good chance that neither he nor any other candidate will have enough delegates to get the nomination on the first ballot. After that first vote, it is anybody's ball game. But since Trump leads in delegates, he has the best chance to win the nomination.
And if the election is between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, most people expect Hillary Clinton to win the election.
But God is able to intervene to determine the next president, and things can go differently than most people expect. God can allow the people to elect a bad president, if that is the people's choice, but God can guide events to work out His long-term plan.
There may be something going on in this campaign I find interesting. I get the impression that liberal Democrats in this country and many people in the world who would prefer a liberal Democrat in the White House would like to see Donald Trump be the Republican candidate, and they may be trying to influence events towards that end. There may be some who are trying to get Trump nominated by the Republican party, not because they think he would make a good president, but because they think Hillary Clinton can more easily beat him and beat him by a wider margin than most other Republican candidates.
Democrats and liberals who want Clinton to be president can cross over to vote for Trump in Republican primaries. Others outside this country may also try in various ways to influence events. Some time ago, Vladimir Putin, head of Russia, seemed to praise Donald Trump saying he could work with him. That seemed strange to me when I heard it, because I don't think a Donald Trump presidency would be good for Putin or Russia, but it makes sense if Putin would like to see Trump get the Republican nomination because he thinks Clinton can beat him and he wants Clinton to be the president rather than Cruz or some other Republican.
Now, I do not know who will win the general election in November. And I do not know what kind of president Donald Trump would be if he wins.
But consider the possibility that Democrats may be voting in Republican primaries to get a candidate they think would be a bad president nominated so their own candidate, Hillary Clinton, can beat him and become president. And the opposite can occur - Republicans can cross over to vote in Democratic primaries to try to get a candidate nominated they think they can beat.
Now, consider what this says about the democratic process for selecting leaders.
Imagine the following scenario. How close this applies to the real situation, I do not know, but it could make a good plot for a movie or novel, maybe.
The voters of one party try to get someone they think would make a bad president, someone with apparent or obvious problems, nominated by the other party. They do this by voting in that party's primary election, deliberately voting for a candidate they think would be bad for the country because they think they can beat him in the general election. And they succeed in getting him nominated by the other party. Now they expect to easily win the election because they think everyone can see what a bad president the other candidate would be.
But something happens. Their own candidate is accused of a crime, maybe indicted, or some outstanding scandal breaks out. So the other party's candidate gets elected after all. They have helped bring into office a candidate they were sure would be a bad president.
Then, in this movie or novel, the candidate can be either a good president or a nightmare - depending on how you want the story to turn out. (No doubt the writer would include the disclaimer, "Any similarity to real persons in purely coincidental.")
Yet, in a democracy, this very thing is possible. It is a possible scenario for making someone the leader who would be the worst possible leader for a country.
But what a process for selecting leaders democracy is! Those under the authority of a leader choose their own leader, as if they know what kind of leader is best. But they don't. Then to make matters worse, they fight and struggle against each other, using every dirty political trick they can think of, to gain the victory for their side, even when it risks making a badly qualified candidate the leader.
That is not God's way. God does not use voting or "balloting" to select leaders. He chooses leaders from the top down. That is the way it will be in the Kingdom of God, and that is the way it should be in the Church of God.
God's way makes sense. In God's government, those higher up are more qualified than those lower in the structure. The most qualified person has greater decision making authority than less qualified people. And those higher up, the most qualified for making decisions, appoint those in office under them, because they are best qualified to choose who those office holders will be.
Paul told Titus to appoint elders (Titus 1:5-9). Why not have the elders elected? Paul knew that Titus's judgment would be better than that of the collective membership.
The greatest of all is God the Father. There is no one in the universe wiser or more righteous or more qualified than Him. And he has the greatest authority.
Under God the Father is Jesus Christ, and Christ has more wisdom and righteousness than any created being, any man or angel. He is most qualified to rule the universe directly under God the Father.
In the Church of God, God appoints the top human leaders. Why? Why not have the ministers elect their leaders? God has the wisdom to know which men are most qualified to lead in the Church. He is better qualified to make the appointments than all the ministers together. Ministers who want to vote cannot read the minds of the men they want to vote for, and even if they could they do not have the wisdom to make the best decision. Only God has all wisdom and knowledge to make that kind of decision.
Every few years we in the democracies of this world get an object lesson in the fruits of voting to choose leaders. But in the Kingdom of God, as it should be in the Church of God today, those in office will be appointed from the top down.
As we in the Church of God watch what is happening, it can be tempting to become very emotionally involved in the outcome. We may perceive one side or the other as being "better" for the country. But whether our personal views could be classified as "conservative", "liberal", or something in-between, we must keep in mind that NO side is righteous according to the standards of God's word. Politicians, candidates, and elected office holders in both parties need to repent, along with the vast majority of our general population in the United States.
One party may be farther along in sin and unrighteousness in its views and policies than the other, but it is just a matter of degree. And if the more unrighteous party is in office, that may mean that our decline as a nation will be more rapid. But our decline is inevitable in any case, unless we repent as a nation, and that seems unlikely.
And God knows His own timetable. He knows how soon and in what manner He intends His punishments to fall on our nations if they do not repent. And thus He knows if the nation should decline and weaken more rapidly or less rapidly. As we weaken through unwise leadership, we are being set up for a fall, and God knows when He wants that fall to occur.
But we can pray that God will guide the outcome for the best long-term results according to His will.
Here are links to related chapters or sections in Preaching the Gospel:
CHAPTER 8 - GOVERNMENT IN THE CHURCH OF GOD