Here we go again. It happens every four years. I’m not talking about the Olympics but about the long, drawn-out season of bloated speeches, empty promises, and mud-slinging television ads. That’s right. It’s election season!
Many Christians aren’t excited about their choices for president this year. I know that many have also decided to “sit this one out” and not vote, because they don’t like the candidates.
I can understand that! But as American Christ-followers, we don’t just have a right and privilege to vote; we have a responsibility to do so. Too many Christians waive that right when election time rolls around. And it’s making a big difference in our country—a difference in the wrong direction.
During the election of 2012, several Christians I knew said that they wouldn’t vote because although they didn’t like President Obama’s policies, they couldn’t support Mitt Romney because he wasn’t an Evangelical Christian. Maybe this describes you. If so, you’re probably finding yourself in a similar situation now. So, what should you do?
First, realize that your “non-vote” is still a vote. Someone’s going to win, so you may as well have a say in it. Second, it’s important to understand how to properly—and realistically—evaluate a candidate. Many Christians are looking, hoping, and waiting for the perfect candidate. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, and all of our candidates will reflect that.
In his teaching “Christians and Politics,” Andrew discusses evaluating candidates based on how their values align with biblical values. As Andrew points out, there is a clear difference in our two major political parties in terms of which one aligns more closely with God’s Word, particularly on the issues of abortion and homosexuality (see Lev. 20:13, Ps. 139:13-16, Prov. 6:16-17, and 1 Cor. 6:9-10). Of course, some candidates and elected officials may not agree with all points of their party’s platform, but generally, the vast majority do. Learn more about the platforms by visiting the party websites: www.gop.com/the-2016-republican-party-platform and www.demconvention.com/platform.
Some may say, “There’s more to consider than just these social issues.” Yes, there are other concerns. But what’s most important to God—issues of morality and righteousness, or issues such as taxes and the economy? If, as a country, we align the former with Scripture, the rest will follow: “Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12, Amplified Bible). If we make God our Lord, the Word promises blessings to us. One way to show that God is our Lord is to vote, to the best of our ability, for those who promote God’s priorities.
In “Christians and Politics,” Andrew quotes the old adage, “If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Andrew adds that “the problem with our nation is a lack of morality.” For the sake of America’s future, we must learn from God’s Word what’s important to Him and then vote for candidates who hold similar positions and values. Sadly, most politicians fall short of God’s standards, but we still need to choose those who come closest. God’s Word, not our personal interests, must be the final authority when we step into the voting booths.
Be an informed voter. Instead of voting a straight party ticket because “that’s what I’ve always done,” research each individual candidate. And, don’t stop with presidential candidates, but also vote for local representatives. Your city councilman could become a future U.S. president. Also, don’t forget your school board. Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. What kind of influence do you want their schools and teachers to have? You can decide by voting.
So, don’t sit this one out. Pray. Search God’s Word for direction on how to vote. Then vote for all levels of government and every issue placed before you. Use the power you have to get this country back on track.
Share a comment below if this has inspired you.