How many times have we heard, or said, “I don't talk about religion or politics?”
For me and my house, voting is a matter of faith. We are told that voting is our civic duty, and it should be, but for Christians, it is also our religious duty. My vote demonstrates loving my brother as myself because the outcome of an election affects everyone. Romans 13:4 tells us that the governing authority is God's servant to do us good, but if we don't elect a good authority, then what? So how do I vote? How do I make my choices?
Our national motto is “In God We Trust.” Do you know what that means? Do you really trust in God or is it just a nice phrase we quote when our patriotic feelings are stirred? Do you say the Pledge of Allegiance? When you say you believe America is one nation, under God, what do you really believe? Does it matter? Does it matter that we elect governing authorities who honor God by how they govern and by the ideologies they embrace and the policies they pass into law?
There is so much more to trusting in God than just repeating the phrase. Trusting is a wholehearted commitment. For a Christian, (and this is supposed to be a Christian nation, is it not?) it means using the Bible, God's Word, as our standard for living. God's Word is to determine our world view. We are to live as children of light (Ephesians 4-5), not children of darkness. I use the perfect lens of God's Word to evaluate the culture around me. What are society's norms? Do they agree with God's Word or are they opposed to it? What things influence or dictate my beliefs, my choices, my behavior?
When it comes to voting, I look at the candidates to try to determine where they stand on matters addressed in the Bible. Candidates typically belong to one of several political parties, the main ones being Democrat or Republican. The Bible says a lot about darkness and light, evil and good, Satan and Christ. There are basically two kingdoms in this world: the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Jesus is the Light of the World, the Way, the Truth and the Life and is the ruler of the kingdom of light. Satan is a murder, a destroyer, a thief and a deceiver, is the god of this age, the ruler of the kingdom of darkness.
The Bible also teaches us about the danger of being double-minded or lukewarm in what we stand for. In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus addresses the church in Laodicea. He tells them, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Joshua challenged the people of Israel in Joshua 24:14 "Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." And the people responded, “We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God."
During election season, signs supporting candidates of the two political parties can be seen in lawns and farm fields all over our state. Some signs support the party of the kingdom of darkness and some support the party of the kingdom of light. We have a choice to make.
The choice of whom to serve is now on us. Will we vote for members of a party that mostly honors God in their party platform or for members of a party that mostly dishonors God in their party platform? A party that honors God openly or a party that rejects God? Will you choose life or death; blessings or curses? Know what you believe and why you believe it and vote accordingly. Choices have consequences and so do our votes.