“Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,
and to God the things that are God’s.”
(Matthew 22:21 (ESV)
(This post is an update of an original that ran 4 years ago.)
The presidential debates are (mercifully) over and November 8th is rapidly approaching. And while there will, no doubt, be more cringe-worthy moments and some grand revelations that comes out in the next two weeks, chances are, you’ve already made up your mind and know who you are voting for – in fact, with early voting, you may have already voted.
But here’s something to think about: Has your faith influenced your decision at the polls this year? Interestingly, the Family Research Council reports:
many believers don’t even consider their Christian values when voting, often choosing candidates whose positions are at odds with their own beliefs, convictions, and values. A study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life a few years ago showed that 62% of Americans say their faith has little to do with their voting decisions. That’s tragic because Jesus expects us to influence every part of culture and society as salt and light-including the democratic process.
Too often, we connect ourselves with a political party, and then begin to project our values and beliefs into that party. We think, ”Well, if I believe this, and I’m a member of the party, then surely the rest of the party believes it too.” We look to the “religious right” or the “progressive party” to affirm and fight for our values, when in reality, neither party can perfectly represent that which makes up the Christians hopes and expectations. We must remember that we are sojourners here, that our nation, while perhaps the best experiment in freedom and liberty man has known, is governed by fallen man, and is, as such, liable and even prone to fall and fail at times.
The Family Research Council goes on to say,
Obviously, Christian “rulers” would have Christian values, right? Not necessarily. There are a lot of folks who use Christian lingo, but when you look at their positions and votes and their associations, it becomes evident that they do not line up with biblical values. That’s why it is so important to do your homework on the candidates. Don’t just listen to their campaign rhetoric, look at their records in office. Don’t just watch their political ads, look at their positions on the issues. Think about this: Every candidate has his or her own set of values and positions on important issues. Don’t you think that where a candidate stands on moral issues is far more important than the party he or she belongs to or the campaign ads and promises? Shouldn’t we vote for candidates who share our moral values?
So I encourage you to vote your values. This may be a risky vote, because it may mean voting for a third party candidate, (which seldom has a chance to win a national election), or even leaving the ballot blank. The point isn’t who wins or loses, but rather, our loyalty must be with the Lord Jesus; we must vote in a way that would honor and glorify Him. This means, at the very least, voting for those who protect and defend the sanctity of human life, especially that of the unborn. This means voting for those who protect and defend marriage as between one man and one woman, and will support the central institution of our society, the family. This means voting for those who will defend the freedom of religion, the freedom of religious expression, religious practice, and religious assembly.
Be informed. Be diligent in your civic duty. But most of all, be faithful in your walk with Christ.