As I begin writing this cozy fall morning, I am inundated with all the information being passed to us through the media in regards to our upcoming election. True or “fake” news, either way, it is a bit overwhelming at times isn’t it? Especially when something so important to our way of life, our rule of law and our children’s futures, such as an election for the next president of the United States of America, the greatest country ever, is at the forefront. It can be a challenge, perhaps an impossible one, to figure out what is true and what isn’t among the cacophony of voices that seek to move us, the voter, in one direction or another. After all, you and I are not omniscient, only the Lord is.
Each and every election cycle, at least the last twenty years in my memory, we have been told that: “this is the most important election in history,” “If, so and so wins it will be the end of our nation as we know it,” and other things I think you can add as well. Confusion and fear along with misinformation, seem to be the hard road we as Americans have to plod in order to make a wise choice in our effort to exercise our constitutional rights and make our voice heard. If, we intend to make our voice heard.
I say that because many people, but I want to address Christians directly here, hold various views on whether they should vote or not. Nothing in the Bible specifically addresses this topic and so we need to think through the different views and issues involved so we can make a wise decision based on fact’s not fear, truth not lies (Romans 12:9; Philippians 1:9-10).
Some Christians feel that they should completely stay away from all aspects of politics. They feel, in general, that they are only sojourner’s, this place is not their home, heaven is, and so the use of their time is better utilized in missionary efforts, evangelistic opportunities and building up the body (church) of Christ. Others believe, and in a way, its just an addition to what is said above, that any effort on the political spectrum is pointless or at least non productive, considering the Bible teaches that things are going to get worse before the Lord returns (2 Timothy 3:1-7; Matthew 24). Then there are others that believe that they are accountable, not only to God, but civil society as well, in being engaged in a system that can promote justice or deny justice to the poor and unprotected. They rightly understand that our creator is a God of justice and morality, in fact, justice is one of His divine attributes (Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 89:14).
And then there are the issues that we as a people are facing. Does life matter? Should babies be killed in the womb, our elderly euthanized? Is marriage to be between one man and one woman or between anybody that loves each other? Can we determine our biological sex or is that predetermined for us by our creator? Is America, “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” to have a strong immigration system, with national borders to protect our American citizens or open borders and a watered down immigration system that fails to protect its citizens?
Does healthcare matter and should it be a designated right mandated by a vast government or should it be a free market system that understands and protects a persons freedom to determine the level of health insurance they want; treatments and medicines they deem suitable, including all life decisions?
Religious freedom, education, social security, our economy, and many others, are decisions that are going to be made by one party or another, by one president or another.
Sometimes it hard to figure out how we as a church and as Christians should move forward amid such chaotic and confusing times. This book will challenge your thinking, and challenge you to hit the “restart” button on your view of the church and politics.
As Christians we act as a restraining influence in our world. We are the “salt of the earth,” and the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-16). The church, corporate and individually stands for and makes known God’s requirements for mankind, reveals truth, pursues justice, proclaims true and lasting change in the person of Jesus Christ. We are to be in willing subjection to the governing authority since God establishes it (Romans 13:1). Rulers that wield such authority are to be “a minister of God to you for good” (Romans 13:4), and our subjection to it, in part, is for our own “conscience” sake (Romans 13:5). These truth’s help me to not only regulate my behavior under such authority, they also remind me of my role as a Christian in a society, even though I am only passing through, on my way to My kings kingdom!
“For conscience sake.” Is that important in our current discussion? I think so. Not only do those verses teach us that we are to live under these laws, led and governed as our society dictates, generally being led by non-believers, but we are to do so as an act of obedience to our great God and Savior. We are to do so even though, as one writer puts it: “The Christian always lives in a tension between the two competing claims of obedience to the state and obedience to God.” Most of us feel that tension, especially at election time.
Since the authority over us has a right, God given, to demand our respect and conformity, we need to exercise those roles out of a good conscience before our ultimate authority, the Lord Jesus Christ. And in so doing, shouldn’t we exercise our conscience at the ballot box, not for any particular man or party, but with our eyes affixed on the platform they seek to uphold. We want to see biblical morality upheld, life protected, equal justice for all and religious liberty prevail.
So, as a Christian, do we have a valid reason biblically to step aside and not seek to be faithful ambassadors of our Lord in this area? As we spend our limited time in this place, we represent the “official position” of our God before a lost and dying world. Empowered by the Holy Spirit we must not only take the gospel to the ends of the earth, we also must, for conscience sake and in obedience to our Lord’s commands, seek to make His position known in all the areas of governing influence around us. To vote or not to vote, a very important question.
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