Friday, May 13, 2016
To Vote or Not to Vote, That is the Question
I know many intelligent people, most Christians, who say they will not be voting this year. They cite many reasons.
1. There are no viable candidates.
2. The candidates are immoral.
3. The candidates say things they shouldn't say.
4. The candidates don't know anything about being president.
5. The candidates are only interested in self aggrandizement.
6. The candidates are not godly people.
7. The candidates are liars.
8. I want to vote my conscience, therefore I can't vote for either candidate.
The list goes on and on and on, so I won't continue to list the reasons. You see what I am saying.
Given the reasons above and others, are these good reasons Christian voters should sit the election out and not vote?
I plan to vote and here is why:
1. I am an American citizen, and I am registered to vote. Voting is a civic duty and a privilege that our fore-bearers fought for and some died for. I owe it to them and my country to carry out my civic duty to vote.
2. While it is true, that as Christians neither candidate is what we would all want in the White House, we must remember that we are not voting for a pastor or elder. The office of pastor/elder is a much higher calling than the POTUS. So, yes, we would prefer to have a godly man that would hold up godly principles in the White House, but obviously, we are not given that choice in this election and we are not voting for a pastor to lead us.
3. We as Christians are commanded to go out and make disciples. One of the guiding principles that I am going to use when voting is this: Which candidate will be more apt to maintain our freedom to follow that command of Christ? We need to vote for the one who will be more apt to not make laws that restrict that freedom.
4. Other Biblical Examples:
We see in the kings of Israel, that God gave them the leaders they deserved based on how they as a nation blessed Him. We know that whoever we get as a POTUS is who God intends for us to have and it will be for His purposes alone. However, that does not absolve us of fulfilling our civic duty to vote.
We see many godly people who worked for wicked kings, not all by choice, but all willing to do what God wanted them to do. Daniel, Esther competed to be the king's wife, Nehemiah was the cup bearer to the king, and others to name a few.
Esther strikes me the most. She was willing to become a wicked king's wife, which was no doubt repugnant to her, in order that she could be in a position to sway his intentions that one of his henchmen had against the Jews. No doubt in my mind that joining the competition to be the king's wife was not in line with her conscience, but she did it anyway so that she might have an influence in the future for the good of her people.
We are not asked to marry either of the candidates running for office. We are just supposed to vote. It makes sense to me to vote even if the candidate does not line up perfectly with what my conscience says, but with a view to a wider purpose...that perhaps this candidate will do more to retain our religious freedom to assemble, worship and share the gospel than the other one will.
I want to challenge you all to think about the ramifications of not voting and the possibilities of voting for an imperfect person, but one who so far seems to want to maintain our religious freedoms.