Today we have a privilege that is a rarity in history – voting. The relatively brief American History of involving the populace in the selection of our leaders is all that we have ever known. It is, however, not the norm of history. Dictators, kings, groups (of various origin), and even anarchy dominate history. You and I are privileged to have a voice as to who governs our affairs. It is even possible for one of our own – a believer – to occupy a position of leadership within our government. With that in mind, here are a few compiled (ideas incorporated from others) reminders for believers as we go into this final weekend of campaigning.
- You are voting for a president, not a pastor. I have heard people say, “I can’t vote for either of these men.” It is true that I would not elevate either of these men to a position of leadership in our church, but that is not what we are voting for. One man mildly claims Christianity, but displays Islamic affections. If you argue that he is neither Christian or Muslim, a strong case can be made for humanism, hedonism, or atheism. Our current president governs as if there is no God. The other candidate is clearly immersed in a cultic view of biblical Christianity. Mormonism wants to be part of the mainstream of Christianity, but any person doing a thorough review of their belief system realizes they are radically different. In spite of my distaste for cults, I would much rather be governed by a man who recognizes the Judaistic God and promotes biblical values.
- You should vote.Matt. 5 speaks of the believer as “salt” and “light.” I believe this applies to our vote. When you fail to express your desires by voting, you are surrendering to the belief system of those who do vote. It has often been noted, “if you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain.” There may be more truth to that than what you thought. God sent the Holy Spirit to restrain evil – perhaps the compiled votes of believers could do the same in the United States.
- Your vote should reflect biblical values. During the last election many people voted for a leader based upon their affection for a race or for the promise of “hope and change.” They voted with their emotions rather than their intellect – especially their biblical intellect. You should be an informed voter. Believers cannot sanction abortion, same-sex marriage, an education system that excludes God, and many other values that conflict with the Bible. While we could discuss the pros and cons of socialism vs. capitalism, the moral decisions are non-negotiable.
- God sets up and takes down kings. Daniel irritated King Nebuchadnezzar when he told him, “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding” (NASB). God is sovereign and will do as He wishes. I fear that a nation that has excused God from school, government, and society will reap what we have sown. I will do all I can to promote God-fearing leaders, but God may give us what we deserve. My vote is an expression of my desire. God’s vote is an assertion of His will. He may be using these events to bring about His sovereign plan.
This election and the ensuing president will make a difference in our nation for the next four years, but all believers must acknowledge that no man is the savior of our nation. Psalm 33:12 (“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”) was directed to Israel, but it applies to us. I will expend energy promoting voting and voting biblical values, but my primary purpose is to turn men back to God. That is the only place true peace can be found.
Doug Wright is pastor of Keystone Baptist Church, Berryville, VA.