2018 | Week of October 22 | #1278
Are you prepared to honor God in the November 6 election? Maybe you’ve never thought about an election from that perspective. If not, perhaps this commentary will challenge you to do so as you ponder your opportunity to vote in the fast-approaching midterm elections.
The groundwork for this approach is laid in understanding that government isn’t man’s idea, but God’s. It’s one of His three social or civil institutions He gave mankind, along with marriage and family and the church. That means government isn’t inherently evil.
In addition, God gives nations the kind of government He ordains for them. America has been blessed with a representative form of government that requires the knowledgeable participation of its citizens to work well and right. An important part of that participation in our Republic is voting. If you think about that, it’s really a remarkable gift to be entrusted with casting votes for people who will govern us.
We honor God in an election when we take our responsibility seriously and prayerfully. We honor Him when we take time to consider carefully the issues that matter to us and to consider them from God’s perspective. We honor God with our vote when we know as much as we can about the candidates before we cast a ballot.
I realize preparing to honor God in an election can test our mettle. It’s not always easy to get reliable information about the candidates or their positions on the issues. But if we believe honoring God is important, then we do everything we can to prepare ourselves.
As you think about honoring God in this election, I challenge you to consider what issues are especially important to you. Do you have line-in-the-sand issues, issues so important to you that if the candidate is wrong on those issues, no matter how good he or she may be on other issues, you can’t vote for that candidate? If you have issues like that, and many people do, are you sure your positions on the issues are biblical? Voting our biblical values means we know what God’s Word says about the issues of the day.
For Christians, it seems to me at a minimum we ought to look very carefully at where a candidate stands on life and marriage. US Supreme Court decisions have forced abortion on demand and same-sex marriage on the entire country, but those decisions don’t make either of them right and haven’t and won’t stop the issues from being fundamentally important to people and rightly so since life and marriage and family are foundational, core issues, not peripheral or even so-called “social” issues.
God’s Word is clear on both life and marriage. He doesn’t equivocate on either of these issues. As Christian voters, these two issues should be of very high importance to us; and we need to be sure how we are thinking about them honors God and His Word. We should certainly look for candidates who come as close as possible to believing what God says about these matters.
While candidates have a responsibility to communicate to us who they are and what they believe, we have a responsibility to do the best we can to verify what they or others speaking on their behalf tell us about them and their positions on issues. That’s not always easy to do, but two important resources we have are prayer and the Holy Spirit. We need to ask God to reveal to us the truth about candidates and to trust Him to do so through the Holy Spirit and His Word.
We also need to utilize election resources that are available to us. We need to check online voter guides, read literature on the candidates, watch debates and forums, listen to ads, look at endorsements, check candidate websites and social media pages, look at vote scorecards for incumbents, and talk to people who are politically knowledgeable and engaged. Doing all this takes time, but it also gives a much more complete picture of the candidates and helps us discern their character and their truthfulness.
As we pray, read God’s Word and trust the Holy Spirit’s guidance related to elections and also take very practical steps to ensure we are prepared to vote, we are honoring God. If you don’t believe God, cares about how you vote, I urge you to rethink that. We are to honor Him in everything we do. Why wouldn’t that be true for how we use the gift of voting for those who will represent us in the government God has given us?
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”