>Ok – so some might think I am nuts for jumping into this – but please bear with me…
For years, the roll of Christians in the public square, particularly in politics has been transformed – In the first century of our nation, preachers boldly preached not only the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the clear application of God’s Word on the Christian’s life. Among the many areas these bold preachers would address was politics. Their firm belief was that Christians had a duty to not only vote, but to vote based upon their claimed values.
Early in US History, several state constitutions actually stipulated that elected officials profess Christian faith!
As an example, the Delaware Constitution, Article 22 (adopted Sept. 20, 1776):
Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house,
or appointed to any office or place of trust . . .
shall . . . make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit:
“I ________, do profess faith in God the Father,
and in Jesus Christ His only Son,
and in the Holy Ghost, one God, Blessed for evermore;
and I do acknowledge the holy scripture
of the Old and New Testaments to be
given by divine inspiration.”
While the US Constitution later in Article VI forbids such a religious test for state and national officers, the fact is – our early nation saw the importance of faithful people filling the important offices of this country.
Systematically, the Christian values this nation was founded upon have been eroded. We can place the blame on many different factors -but my firm belief is that the primary reason – “Christians” have been more and more willing to ignore the values they claim to hold, instead casting votes based on simple emotion, our pocketbooks, or out of fear.
I have even heard some say, in response to bad governmental leaders, that God ordains leaders (from Romans 13). Unfortunately, this is a cop-out – as God also allowed this nation to be formed as a representative republic -that means that we CHOOSE our leaders. What kind of leaders might we expect to have if we are willing to vote contrary to the very Word of God?
Just look at the Old Testament history of Israel – when they essentially “voted” first to have a worldly “king” just like “everyone else” – then their continued seeking after the world instead of their amazing relationship with God – their leadership just got worse.
Early voting started today in Arkansas for the incredibly important November “mid-term” elections. If ever the vote of committed and unabashed Christians was important, that time is now. I won’t tell anyone, in my official capacity as pastor, who to vote for (though I enjoy such private conversation between friends) – I do unhesitatingly proclaim that we should vote our values. So what are yours? What is most important to you? Where do those running for office stand on your issues? If you fail to ask these questions – then what is the point of voting? More importantly, if you fail to ask these questions, and then vote accordingly – what gives us the right to complain?