If you are like me, the past political year has put you on an emotional roller coaster. If you are like me, you believe that your faith influences every single thing you do. Your faith is not separate from your everyday life: interactions with others, the way you conduct your business, even the way you vote.
What I am not going to do is tell you who to vote for. By this point, I believe everyone is tired of being told how to vote and who to vote for. A short scroll through Facebook will show anyone how aggressive this election year has gotten. If you criticize something about one presidential candidate, someone will automatically assume you are voting for the opposing candidate. If you state your beliefs about why you are supporting one candidate you are sure to receive a string of aggravated comments from supporters of the opposing side. I will tell you that I used to be the world’s worst at getting involved in what I like to call “Facebook Wars.” I thought that if I could just repeat my views and values enough times, if I could just argue it the right way, my Facebook friends would understand why I believed what I did and why I supported a certain candidate. It took some time but I eventually came to understand the fact that the majority of people weren’t going to listen to me and try to understand my point of view unless they had a personal relationship with them. In other words: Maybe 2% of my social media friend list.
Don’t misunderstand me and think I am trying to persuade you to never voice your political opinions. I actually think our spiritual leaders should tackle this topic much more than they do. The point I am trying to make is that it takes tact. If you have passion but no tact, you aren’t going to be able to fluently convey your message. Others will only see you as another opinionated piranha. They will shut their ears and turn their noses. This is really a very natural reaction.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are many Christians who are refusing to vote. The first reason I’ve heard is they claim Christians have no place in the political arena. “Politicians are snakes.” “Politics are worldly, so we should stay out of it.” If all Christians voiced their beliefs by casting their vote at the ballot box, this country would be in a VERY different state than it is today. Do you remember the story of Jesus and the coin? He said to them,“Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Luke 20:25 Jesus paid taxes. Taxes are worldly. Caesar is worldly. Yet, Jesus did it. Why? Romans 13:1 says: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. We are to obey authority unless it opposes God’s law. If presented with a case in which you have to choose between man’s law and God’s law, always choose God. This message is taught to us anytime there is mention of persecution in scripture. Jesus’ example with the taxes shows us that although we are set apart from the world, we aren’t excluded from the world. We don’t live on an island set physically apart from the rest of everyone else. We are affected by what our elected officials decide while in office.
The second reason I have heard for “sitting out” on election day is that neither of the candidates are their first choice. Neither of these candidates were my first choice. Second or third. At all. I see many flaws with both of them, but I see one as much more evil than the other. “I can’t vote for either of them. They’re both evil.” I will always choose to vote for less evil than more of it. Candidates will always have a difference on something that is debated within the culture. This is when we need to let our voices be heard.
I mentioned earlier that I’m not here to tell you who to vote for. My purpose for starting this blog was never to advance a political party or endorse a presidential candidate. I endorse God and his values. I read my Bible to educate myself on how HE feels about the issues of the day. How does God feel about life, marriage, political correctness, debt, relying on government for our needs versus relying on Him, etc.? The Bible gives us answers to all of these. On election day, I will cast a vote for the candidate I feel stands closer to Jesus than the other. We can’t vote for Jesus, but we can try to get as close as possible.
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