Politics seems to be the leading topic at dinner tables, in break rooms and even church parking lots these days. Most of us have watched the debates and studied the candidates, and we have formed opinions on who best represents our values.
But politics can be a tricky game for Christians. Who should we believe? How can we separate fact from subterfuge? How can we put our faith into action as it relates to politics?
These are important questions. And so I thought this month, as we accelerate into the primary season, it would be a good idea to take a look at Christians and voting so that we can examine this important issue from a biblical perspective.
It is important to note that the Bible does not speak directly to how Christians should vote, but it does offer specific guidance on what to look for in leaders.
Moses, for example, was instructed by his father-in-law Jethro to seek able leaders who fear God, love truth and shun covetousness (Exodus 18:21).
Therefore, Christians who desire leaders who exhibit these character traits should be governed by two key fundamentals of our faith: discernment and godly wisdom.
Too many people seem to get caught up in the whirlwind of politics, allowing anger to shape their vote. I would suggest that decisions made in anger rarely work out. Further, we should never attack others who hold differing views or opinions because it is impossible to reflect the love of Christ while simultaneously attacking those with whom we disagree. If we want good leaders, we must have good motivations when choosing them.
In the book of I Samuel, Saul was hailed as the man who should lead Israel. He stood head and shoulders above all the rest and was handsome and came from a rich family. But, as king, Saul’s lack of character led to his destruction and he is one of the great tragic figures of the Bible. The people wanted a quick solution to their problems and things only got worse.
The Saul narrative should serve as a reminder to Christians that we cannot afford to look at candidates from a trivial perspective.
That’s why I am encouraging believers to spend time in prayer about their vote, especially this year. We need wisdom and discernment if we are to honor Christ with our vote.
I Thessalonians 5:21 tells us, “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” In this verse, we see that we need God to give us the judgment needed to recognize what is true and what is not.
In this regard, I try to make the motto “Not I, but Christ” define all that I do. And I think this is a great summary statement for voting Christians. You see, biblical truths should not be shelved just because we’re standing in a voting booth.
A few years ago, Dr. Billy Graham encouraged Christians to “vote biblical values” and that is certainly wise advice. And Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote in a column, “With our votes we can elect godly men and women who will make laws that conform to biblical values.”
Dr. Graham and Dr. King understand that voting is consequential and we need to always vote with the mind of Christ, as best we can.
You see, when we are informed and on our knees before God, we will be equipped to vote in ways that are pleasing to Him — and that’s all that matters.
Our nation is at a spiritual and moral crossroad. We cannot afford to take this election casually. I am praying that Christians everywhere will take a focused, prayerful look at the candidates so that we can all honor Christ with our vote.
However, as important as elections are, what’s much more critical is that we be about the business of calling people to a relationship with Jesus Christ — and that is exactly what we continue to do in this ministry.
We carry on planting churches, training pastors and reaching out to hurting people in our nation. City by city and town by town, we are raising up churches that:
• are grounded in Scripture so their congregations are living holy, humble, yet bold lives within their communities so that they can point people to the living Christ.
• are wise representatives of God within the culture, standing up for godly values such as biblical marriage, biblical morality and the preciousness of all life, born and unborn.
• raise up congregations that are active and alive within their communities through food distribution programs, park and school clean-up days, youth and family outreaches and many other ministries that allow them to touch lives that need Jesus.
• proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in every way possible.
America needs our prayers, our devotion and our participation. But most of all, it needs a spiritual awakening. That is why we continue to preach the risen Christ and champion Him above all else.
You continue to have a huge part in this ongoing effort. Once again, I humbly thank you for your continued friendship and support.
Your friend in Christ,