In 100 years, the Baptist Messenger has never endorsed a candidate for public office, including for the highest office in the land, President of the United States. While countless other publications have spilled ink in favor of one person or another, your paper has refrained.

Yet because 2012 is such a momentous year, I would like to break with tradition and announce that we now have an endorsement to make. We, the Baptist Messenger, hereby endorse . . . the Lord Jesus Christ! He alone is worthy of our undying praise and support.

With these heated elections, I am reminded of an important Old Testament story. In Joshua 5, while he was near Jericho, Joshua encountered someone he did not recognize, whom scholars note as the Angel of the Lord. “He looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua approached Him and asked, ‘Are You for us or for our enemies?’ ‘Neither,’ He replied. ‘I have now come as commander of the LORD’s army.’”

Notice the power in that statement, and how easily we fall into the thinking that Joshua, who was a godly man, fell into. We too often seem to ask, “Is God a Republican?” or “Is Jesus a Democrat?” God, however, is not on the side of any political party. He transcends such allegiances.

Throughout the 40 days between Sept. 23 and Nov. 4, Oklahoma Baptists are collectively focused on seeking God. Gregory Reed Frizzell and the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma prayer office have offered excellent resources to help each believer focus his heart on the One Who truly matters.

Following this 40-day journey, we will be challenged first to see the sin in our own heart, then the sins of our neighbors. We are challenged to rely not on princes, but the Prince of Peace. We are drawn to a deeper, more last commitment to morally upright living.

The amount of energy, angst and dollars expended on this election surely are at an all-time high. Yet when the dust settles, one thing will be perfectly clear. Regardless of the election results on Nov. 6, the real course for America will be determined by God. The Bible says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.” (Prov. 21:1)

On Nov. 7, let us each make a commitment to pray for our President and leaders. Let us make peace with our neighbors and be reconciled to those against whom we have sinned, and who have sinned against us.