Let’s talk about politics. If you are a Christian, is there a right way and wrong way to vote? The answer is yes. Here is how a Christian should vote: (1) know the issues, (2) allow Scriptures to inform you, (3) vote your conscience.
There is an informative narrative in the book of Romans. Paul is not talking about voting rights (back in that day and age people didn’t get to vote for their leaders) but he is talking about personal rights and I think what he says on the subject is applicable to our topic at hand. Let me paraphrase it from the Contemporary English Translation to make it directly applicable. I will place my changes in parenthesis so you can identify them. “We should try to live at peace and help each other have a strong faith. Don’t let (what you do) destroy what God has done. . . it is wrong to cause problems for others by what you (do). . . What you believe about these things should be kept between you and God. You are fortunate, if your actions don’t make you have doubts. But if you do have doubts about what you (are doing), you are going against your beliefs. And you know that is wrong, because anything you do against your beliefs is sin.” (Romans 14:19–23, CEV).
“You should never talk about politics or religion in polite company.” That well known (but very wrong sentiment) is attributed to Mark Twain. With the hostility and incivility that our current political season has generated, it would seem that there is a lot of wisdom in Mr. Twain’s observation. The problem, however, is if we can’t have a civil exchange of ideas, we will find ourselves living in a kakistocracy (a term used to describe a government that is ruled by exceptionally stupid people) rather than a democracy (Though our form of government is a constitutional republic). To evoke real change, there must be the free sharing of ideas.
Those of us who are truly Christian believe that the only real hope for personkind is the message of Jesus Christ. Specifically, “I told you the most important part of the message exactly as it was told to me. That part is: Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say. He was buried, and three days later he was raised to life, as the Scriptures say.” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4, CEV). Believing that, I believe if would be criminally negligent not to talk about it! In fact, Jesus put it this way: “For those who declare publicly that they belong to me, I will do the same before my Father in heaven. But if anyone rejects me publicly, I will reject him before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32–33, GNB).
Now, let me get to the political portion of this article. Those of you who claim to be Christians, if you are more concerned about the political divide we are experiencing, and you are talking about it, posting about it in social media, stressing over it fearing that if your preferred candidate does not win, we are finished as a nation than you are about the spiritual divide (“Your sins are the roadblock between you and your God. That’s why he doesn’t answer your prayers or let you see his face.” — Isaiah 59:2, CEV) and you are silent over it, your priorities are wrong!
The great divides we are experiencing in our world today are not primarily political, racial, social or economic, but spiritual. Because we are not right we God, we cannot be right about anything else! Ally Yarid wrote, “The world wants peace, but rejects the Prince of Peace. The world wants love, but rejects the Author of Love. The world wants life, but rejects the One Who gave His to save theirs. The world desperately wants Jesus, but they are too busy rejecting Him to realize He’s the answer.”
Maybe the first step we can take moving forward is vote your hopefully scripturally informed conscience but stop praying for your candidate to win and pray the prayer than never fails, “Not my will but Your will be done.”