If you are an American citizen, you should vote.
I don’t care who you vote for. Well, I do care, but it’s more important that you vote, no matter what your convictions may be. That’s the way the republic works. Use it or lose it.
This post, however, is specifically for my Christian brothers and sisters in America. Not only do we have the responsibility as citizens of the United States to vote; if we follow Christ, we have the responsibility as Christians to vote.
If you live in America, you have been given a representative form of government and a Constitution that protects your freedom to worship as you choose. This is a gift many Christians in the world do not enjoy. You demonstrate good stewardship of this gift when you fulfill your responsibility to vote.
Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church in South Carolina recently wrote a post, The Church & Politics = A MESS!. Noble correctly ascertains Christians are to be about pointing people to Jesus. Our political leaders cannot save us and will ultimately disappoint us. Politics are not the answer; Jesus is.
When Christians receive statements like this from Christian leaders, I wonder if some get the idea they should shun politics all together. It doesn’t matter how they vote or even if they vote. They now have an official excuse from the pulpit not to participate in an imperfect democratic process, not to engage the carnal culture, and instead to isolate themselves in the name of Christ.
But our faith does not operate in isolation from the rest of our lives. What good is it if it did?
Our convictions as Christians will influence and inform the decisions we make, including political choices. Dr. Erwin Lutzer of the Dwight L. Moody Memorial Church in Chicago writes of the same calling to the Gospel as Noble does:
“We are to be agents of grace, mercy and forgiveness in a harsh and cruel world. We cannot let our cultural revolution obscure our primary calling. We must exercise that calling within the context of our cultural debate.” (from The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage, p. 98, 2004)
Our current presidential election raises new challenges for Christians, especially conservative evangelicals. One candidate says he follows Christ while at the same moves to restrict the religious liberty of Christians. The other candidate says he’s a Mormon, which is doctrinally quite different from an evangelical Christian. There are independent and third-party choices. But when it comes down to who will most likely be elected, what are we to do?
Are evangelical Christians to choose the lesser of two evils?
A wise friend reminded me only God knows the hearts of the candidates. We do not know what they believe only what they say and do. Still we have to choose.
While neither candidate is ideal (will any ever be ideal?), they do have some philosophical and policy differences. I Side With offers a comparison of their views. Think through what you value most as a Christian and choose the candidate who lines up better with that. Not perfectly, but better. And I’m not telling you who that is; it’s your decision.
American Christians are a diverse lot. We have different opinions about what the most important issues are and how best to address them. Some of us will prioritize the social welfare of the poor. Others the protection of the unborn. Others the preservation of Constitutional rights. There is Biblical evidence that all of these issues and more matter to God. Prayerfully consider the choices and vote your convictions.
One more thing.
If we are displeased with the candidates this round, there’s nothing stopping us from raising up better candidates for the future. That’s another gift of a representative government. Involvement in politics at a local, state, or national level is an honorable service. We need Christian people to take active roles of leadership in government, same as we need them to lead in education, medicine, law, social services, the arts, business, media, and commerce.
The notion that Christians should not express political viewpoints or participate in politics is destructive. Please don’t sit out the election.
Pray. Get to the polls on November 6th. Vote your conscience fearlessly and with thanksgiving as directed by Christ. Then trust Him with the care of our country.
Therefore, let all the godly pray to You while there is still time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For You are my hiding place;
You protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory. Psalm 32:6-7 NLT
Woke Up in America by Matt Maher.
How will you exercise your calling within the context of our cultural debate?