Archive for the tag “election day”

Vote — it matters

Barrett Duke writes for erlc.com:

Will Rogers once said, “Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.” How right he was. We all complain about government. Often for good reason. Government tends to restrict us, tax us, penalize us, and generally often makes a nuisance of itself. At times, governments have become so burdensome, overbearing and intrusive that men have risen up against them, overthrown them and established new ones.

That, in fact, is our nation’s story. Our founders and many of our nation’s church leaders argued that the King of England had lost his right to govern them because he was abusing his power. This was a crucial issue to our forefathers. They accepted the teaching of the Apostle Paul that government is a “minister of God … for good.” Its purpose is to punish evil and to reward good. So they created a new government to fulfill this God-given purpose, but they dispensed with the idea of divine right to rule and invested in the governed the right to choose their government.

Their idea was radical for its day. They even wondered if it would actually work. But they trusted God to guide in the affairs of men, and they trusted the people to choose well. Today our nation is a testament to their trust in God and the people. The United States of America has become the envy of most of the world, and the democratic form of government is now the most popular form of government in the world.

But democracies are only as good as the people who are chosen to govern. If the wrong people gain the power of the civil authority, great damage can be done. What happens when the governing authority begins to reward evil and to punish good? It subjects itself to the judgment of God. History is filled with the evidence of God’s judgment on nations for their failure to honor Him with their laws. When nations begin to reward evil and punish good, watch out.

But who ultimately is responsible when the governing authorities no longer honor God through their administration? In a democracy, the people are responsible. After all, the governing authorities serve by their permission. This is why it is so important for everyone to make sure to vote on Nov. 6. I know there are no perfect candidates. There never have been and never will be. You know that, too. But we don’t have the luxury to sit it out. We have a responsibility to help our government fulfill its God-given task. Whether or not it achieves that task is ultimately not the responsibility of those who are chosen, but of those who do the choosing.

Do you want God’s favor on our nation? Does the future of our nation matter to you? What do you want this nation to be like for your children and grandchildren? I think these questions all matter to you. Then, do something about it. Vote. And don’t vote for personalities, parties or even personal benefit. Vote to help our government fulfill its God-ordained function — to reward good and to punish evil. Vote your biblical values. It’s not all you can do, but surely it’s the least you can do. I’ll see you at the voting booth. May God continue to bless the United States of America.

Barrett Duke is vice president for public policy and research of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Nov. 6 will not bring in the Kingdom of God

Jim Wallis writes at Sojourners:

Most people in America, whether they are religious or not, prefer consistency in the faith community to hypocrisy. One of the reasons the fastest growing demographic in religious affiliation surveys is now “none of the above” is that too many people see more religious hypocrisy than consistency.

Religion is not, at its core, politically partisan. But too often religion becomes a political tool; and we see that on both sides of the aisle. That does not mean people of faith shouldn’t have strong convictions or feelings about political issues or shouldn’t vote one way or another; or that there is a moral equivalency between the political parties and it doesn’t matter which way we vote. Elections are important, and people of faith should be voting as citizens and by their most basic values.

But let’s be clear: On Nov. 6, neither a Republican nor Democratic victory will bring in the Kingdom of God.

Elections can sometimes, however, set a framework for what can or can’t be done for the things we believe in. And there are important differences between the candidates at every level up and down the ballots we will cast next week. But people of faith — and their leaders — should be more prophetic than partisan during election seasons. And the moral issues we care about should be more important to us than the candidates or the parties they represent.

… With more than 2,000 verses in the Bible about poverty — and with freeing the poor and oppressed as central components of the Gospel’s “good news” — shouldn’t we consider how the election will affect the poor and oppressed? Or ask how we should treat the millions of undocumented immigrants among us, who clearly fit the biblical category of “the stranger?” In both cases, how we treat “the least of these,” Jesus says in the 25th chapter of Matthew, is how we treat him. Doesn’t our voting have something to do with that? Many of us Christians are “pro-life,” but aren’t the nearly 20,000 children around the world who die every day of utterly preventable hunger and disease just as much a “sanctity-of-life” issue as the approximately 3,000 abortions that occurred in our country today.

… Then there is the care of God’s creation, or the resolution of the world’s inevitable conflicts without the horrible failures and human costs of our endless wars. Aren’t Christians supposed to be peacemakers? We were reminded this week with the stark reality that while God created the physical world to be good, it is also dangerous. And our failure to be good stewards of that which God made is resulting in the increasing severity of storms and devastating changes of other weather patterns.

Don’t all those issues involve biblical values too?

… It’s important to have a dose of humility and recognize that we all have the capacity to be inconsistent. But let’s not use that as an excuse to remain that way. Let people see our religious consistency on the issues, not our political hypocrisy at election time by assigning ultimate biblical values to our different political choices.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Jim Wallis is the author of Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery, and CEO of Sojourners.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: