In a few days Americans will go to the polls and pull a lever to elect leaders to run our country (Truth be told many have already voted through absentee balloting and early voting). We are truly a privileged people. Christians in centuries past had to put up with maniacal dictators who persecuted and martyred our forbearers. They had no say in who lead them. Even today, there are many places in the world where Christ followers are suppressed and oppressed. Because of our freedoms, I hope you will avail yourself of the right to vote. Being a good Christian means being a good citizen, rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s, (Mark 12:17) so go out and vote on Tuesday, November 8th.
This has been a very long and crazy campaign for the Presidency of the United States. Many Christians are confused about who to vote for. Hilary Clinton’s policies are so unchristian. Donald Trump personality seems so unchristian at times. That being said, a sample of Internet sites from and for Christians will yield a multitude of reasons to vote for one candidate or another. Many times we are told to pray and seek the Lord’s leading as to who we should vote for. I do believe we should pray. However, I don’t think we should so much seek a leading as we should seek discernment. We need discernment to see through the media’s hoopla and the candidates’ smoke and mirrors. They are, after all, politicians. But there is more.
As Christians we have been given the infallible, life-changing, inspired Word of God. From these Scriptures we can discern, at the most, which candidates we should vote for or, at the least, which candidates not to vote for. It seems to me that there are five timeless truths in Scripture that give to us guidance that should be a tremendous help.
These truths are:
Principle #1 – A commitment to a pro-life position – All life is sacred in and out of the womb because we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27-28). The life of the innocent unborn is indeed precious. The Scriptures teach us that God supervises our creation in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16) and that He has a purpose for us from before we were born. In Amos 1:13, God promised to judge the Ammonites for their mistreatment of the unborn and their mothers. God is clearly on the side of the unborn, so the person we vote for should be of that persuasion as well, both in their personal and political convictions.
Principle #2 – A commitment to a pro-traditional family position – From the time of Creation, God has defined marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:22-25 & Matthew 19:3-6). Same sex marriage and or polygamous marriages are outside of God’s design. A society cannot survive without strong traditional families. Every effort should be made to hold this Biblical model up as the standard. What’s more, any deviation of God’s original design for the family is both dangerous and destructive to a society. The person we pull the lever for should share God’s view of marriage and the family.
Principle #3 – A commitment to a pro-Israel position – God promised Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you. And I will curse him who curses you.”(Genesis 12:1-3) This Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional and carries through to today. It behooves our nation then to bless Israel, to support her. This is a Biblical conviction we should embrace and hold to. It doesn’t mean we don’t confront Israel’s evils and faults. Israel doesn’t get a free pass to do whatever it pleases. However, it is clear that the Jewish nation is still the apple of God’s eye and we and the person we vote for should see them that way.
Principle #4 – A commitment to a pro-Judeo/Christian values position – Proverbs 14:34 tells us that “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people”. The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount reflect what the Lord means by righteousness. Psalm 94:20 asks, “Shall the throne of iniquity which devises evil by law, have fellowship with You?” The Lord says He will have no part with the kingdom/nation that legislates evil behavior. As Christians, we should support those who share our values. We live in a pluralistic country, but we are under no obligation to vote for those who don’t share our Judeo/Christian values. These values are a major foundation for the goodness of our land. America’s goodness is dependent on its Judeo/Christian Foundation.
Principle #5 – A commitment to a pro-compassion position — Psalm 9:17-18 tells us, “The wicked shall be turned into hell and all nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten, the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.” It is clear that God cares about the poor and needy. The Church should have that same concern and so should those we vote for. Turning our back on those who are genuinely in need can result in God turning His back on us as a nation and a people
I encourage you to use these five simple principles to discern and to determine which candidate would best govern according to our Christian values. As believers in Jesus Christ we are told to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”. Thus, we don’t vote a political party but our Savior’s priorities. We cannot vote our color, but His creed. We don’t vote our ethnicity but His ethics. We don’t merely vote for “A Change we can believe in”, we vote according to “God’s Unchanging Word that we can count on.” We don’t vote “Country First”, we vote “Christ’s Kingdom First.” We don’t even vote according to our pocketbook, but rather, we must vote according to His principles. In the end, our prayer is not for what we want but what He Wills.
If you aren’t sure where a candidate stands, Google that candidate and the principles above. Check out their web page and look at their positions carefully. As Election Day looms ahead of us let’s be sure we search the Scriptures, search the internet, search our hearts and on Tuesday, November 8th search out our polling place and vote. For a helpful site see here http://2016election.procon.org/view.source-summary-chart.php. For my full take on the election please see https://nycshepherd.com/2016/10/05/election-angst/.
As a citizen of the United States of America I am grateful for the privilege of voting to elect our public officials. As a citizen of heaven I am grateful for the knowledge that the Lord ultimately selects our leaders. Daniel 2:20 tells us that the Lord “changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings”. He is always in control. First, foremost and always you and I are committed to follow whole-heartedly only one person. That person is our Lord, Jesus Christ. He is our only real Hope both now and eternally.
Pastor Dave Watson