I’ve seen, and participated in, a lot of discussion concerning the upcoming election. As with all presidential elections, they are vital and important to the direction of our nation.
As Americans we have the God given gift of electing our leaders. 236 years have passed since the founding fathers of this nation, already in full revolt, signed their names to a public declaration of Independence. Our nation was born by those who had the courage to throw off the chains of tyranny, and try a new way. This great American experiment has persevered through the fires of bloody civil war and numerous wars, including invasions of our land. This Republic has weathered many challenges, by the grace of God, and only as he permits we continue.
Some of my Christian brothers and sisters will vote for Obama, citing his health care agenda or other social programs, perhaps, as the reason. Others will vote for Romney, citing his pro-life and traditional marriage stances as their reason. Others choose either candidate by no conviction of faith, but rather in adherence to party loyalty and ideals. One thing is certain, on which I agree with Dr. Russell Moore, you cannot sit this one out. He was quoted in an article for the Washington Post:
“Christians who boycott voting are opting out of civic responsibility and neighbor love,” said Russell D. Moore, dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Moore said abstaining on Election Day is “more akin to Pontius Pilate washing his hands rather than John the Baptist taking on the powers-that-be” — a form of utopianism, he said, “in which Christians find no candidate pure enough to be trusted.”
Dr. Moore makes a great point; no candidate is pure enough to be trusted. No one is a replacement for Christ. Are you being paralyzed by holding candidates to a standard that they cannot match? What standard do you use to choose your candidate?
I take a pragmatic approach. I have to decide who will stand for most of what I hold dear. This ignores party politics mostly, though I do have my ideas of how our nation should be governed. I do in fact have a political philosophy. But that philosophy must be subservient to what the Bible calls for. So then I ask, who will champion certain things that I cannot compromise on? Such as, abortion. I cannot vote for a candidate who approves of the murder of unborn children. Regardless of other policies, the United States of America is missing 50 million citizens because of abortion. How can I vote for a candidate who approves of this?
I vote based on the principles laid down in the Bible. The candidate can be democrat, republican, green, tea party, independent, etc. Whatever their party affiliation, do they affirm and champion biblical values? If yes, then they get my vote. If both candidates affirm biblical values, I can move on from non-negotiable moral issues to matters of preference. However, in this election Romney, though an unbeliever, is the pro-life candidate. Other than that, the two men are remarkably similar.
I’d rather we had other choices, but we don’t. I can’t sit the sideline until the next one. The present election is always the most important, as I do not presume the nation will be the same after a given President’s term. It won’t. The nation will be different.
Joshua’s call to the nation of Israel is ringing in my ears:
“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14-15 ESV)
Will you serve the gods of your comfort, your ease, your political party idolatry, the idolatry of your free will in the vote; or will you instead put all things at the foot of the cross and ask the Lord whom you should vote for?