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Sunday, October 02, 2016

Voting for President

Well, the presidential elections in the U.S.A. are about a raucous as an election could get.  I really cannot imagine it getting any worse.  Neither of the leading candidates are well liked.  Most Americans feel as if we are forced to choose between two bad choices.  (I would be one of them.)

But I had lunch today with a couple from our church.  What ensued was a discussion about the election and the candidates that was revealing for me.  One of my lunch-mates announced that he would not vote for anyone for president.  He surmised that he would just leave the ballot for that election unchecked when he votes.  I found myself admonishing him to not squander his vote.  

Moreover, as we talked about it, I began to see that Christians have a duty to vote.  Living in a democracy is a privilege granted to us by none other than God Himself.  (Just ask those who don't live in a democracy.)  I'm not sure that many Christians in America would see it that way.  We may know it is a right - which women and those of African heritage have had to fight for.  But even I have sometimes felt like voting was more of a burden than anything.  

We often resign ourselves to the conclusion that our vote doesn't matter.  After all, I'm just one person among about 300 million people.  If I don't vote, my vote won't be missed.  Of course that argument makes common sense.  Things of this world can make common sense though - and still be wrong.  It just seems that my vote won't be missed.  But the truth is, if enough people took that attitude, it could change the outcome of the election.  Conversely, if enough people vote, that could change the outcome of the election.

Romans 13:1 tells us that "... there is no authority except that which God has established.  The (human) authorities that exist have been established by God."  

To our modern way of looking at things, this makes no sense whatsoever.  There are evil dictators.  There are lame leaders.  There is corruption and bureaucracy.  We reason that God does not establish them as authorities in our lives.  But alas, we reason ignorantly.  For God's Word is true.  Throughout the Old Testament, we see places where God did indeed use ungodly authorities to punish Israel for having turned from Him and His ways.

So is God punishing America today, by giving us two bad choices for president?  Maybe.  The truth is that I don't know.  God doesn't share such things with me.  But He has shared with me that it is possible.  He has shared with me the fact that He has acted in this way before.  And He has told me what to do about it.  I am to be obedient, submitted, and God-honoring in every way.  If the Lord has given me a vote, who am I to squander because I'm apathetic about the candidates?

So what should a good American Christ-follower do?  How should we respond to the unpleasant circumstances that we find ourselves in?  The first thing we should do is register to vote.  Make sure you have registered and are ready to exercise your legal right to vote.  Then educate yourself on the choices.  Maybe you don't like them.  But you owe it to God and to your fellow Americans to educate yourself on the merits of each choice.

 I'm on Facebook.  I watch TV.  I understand there are strong, passionate arguments for why Hillary Clinton can't be trusted or is "not a nice person."  I also understand those strong, passionate arguments that Donald Trump is a blowhard who believes his own lies.  Nevertheless, these are our choices.

We need to consider the fact that the powers that be - whether they be in the worldly realm or the spiritual realm - have given us these two choices.  A few short months from now, one of these two candidates will be installed as the most powerful leader in all of the free world.  One of them will lead the largest government in the history of the world.  

One of these two candidates will be in control of your future here on this earth.  And God says that it will have been His choice.  But He has nominated you to exercise your voice in the matter.  So consider the implications.  Get on-line.  Read comparison sights that compare and contrast the candidate's respective plans and points of view on the key issues of the day. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, we should vote, it is a gift from God. I suggest voting for a 3rd party, like the Constitution Party. Thanks.