Nov. 7 Elections & Beyond: Christians Have A Responsibility To Vote
A former beloved pastor of ours used to make the following statement on the Sunday before election day. “Every Christian citizen has the responsibility to attend church, read the Bible and vote. This coming Tuesday we have a state wide election in Virginia that will be for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. Additionally 100 House of Delegate seats are to be voted for as well as hundreds of local offices in every city and county.
What is sad is that there are evangelical Christians who believe that they are Biblicly discouraged from taking part in the election process. Some will quote Paul’s letter in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 as their reason. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (NASB)
Paul was not saying that Christians should accept the dictates of government that went against the teachings of Jesus Christ. It certainly was not true in Paul’s case, who according to tradition was beheaded in Rome because he refused to be quiet and obey laws requiring worship of the emperor and other actions that would go against the teachings of Jesus Christ. Eleven of the twelve original apostles were put to death for standing against what they knew as Christians was wrong, and the twelfth one was exiled. The history of what Christians went through in the first century is full of stories about martyrs who gave their lives rather than forsaking their faith. They refused to blindly accept the dictates of governing authorities and laws that violated scripture.
Of course we must always pray for people in government and their decision making. However, in the United States we do have the privilege of making our voices heard and the right to elect our leaders. We also have freedom of speech when our leaders do things that we believe are harmful not just to our faith but our society as well.
Christians have a responsibility to know who the candidates are in all elections and what they stand for. If a candidate is with a party that supports the idea of abortion and a definition of marriage that is in violation to what they believe is taught in scripture then they need to opt for a different candidate. In Virginia and the nation as a whole those are two of many issues that separate the party beliefs of Democrats and Republicans. Of course there are other issues, some that polls tell us are on the minds of most citizens. Concerns about terrorism, immigration, taxes, jobs and a myriad of other things. Here too a Christian needs to examine carefully the candidate and what their party stands for.
It is true that on election day there are people who are undecided and I used to tell my students that that is why dedicated poll workers are important and always needed. While most people know how they plan to vote when they arrive at the polling place, it is estimated that five percent do not. That can make a difference in most elections. Many a time at the polls I have had a neighbor come up to me and show me a sample ballot with an office whose candidates they are not familiar with. They trust me to give an honest answer about whom I consider best and I am pleased to do so. Even with elections here just a few hours away there is definitely a need for poll workers in many places and it would be a glorious thing to have Christians fill those vacancies. Check with your local political parties if you wish to get involved. It is never too late.
I also have no reservation as I write this saying that I will vote Republican for each office. The division and corruption caused by the Democratic party gives me as a Christian no other choice. I urge all Christians to go to the polls not just this Tuesday, but every election day.