November 4, 2014
Below are a couple studies written by my dear friend and ministry colleague Frank Erb who ministers God's truth and grace, in the Great State of California. I thought his studies might aid you in casting your vote today. Make sure, if you have not already done so, to get out there and vote.
Proverbs 28:12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.
I trust that you will find the below studies encouraging.
Should We Vote?
As we approach another election day, I have heard from some friends that they will definitely vote, and from others who say they won't even bother to do so. This brings up an important question: "Are we, as followers of Jesus, obligated to vote in public elections?"
The Bible does not directly address the question of voting, probably because voting as we know it was unheard of in biblical times. Nevertheless, some today would say that it is our obligation as Christians to vote since we live in a representative republic where voting is a civic duty, and so we must vote because God commands us to submit to our government leaders (Romans 13:1-2). Others would say that they feel free before God to abstain from voting, or maybe even a conviction to not participate in worldly government. Since there is no explicit biblical command regarding voting, and since our government makes it optional, I consider this decision to ultimately be a matter of personal conscience between each person and God.
At the same time, I believe it is foolish for us to not vote whenever we can. Here are six reasons:
- First, God has blessed us with a unique and wonderful privilege. No people in history have had the opportunity to participate in their government as we can. Why would we neglect such a gift?
- Second, the decisions our elected officials make can have an enormous impact on many people for good or for bad. Our vote is a way for us to uphold justice and righteousness, which God calls us to (Proverbs 21:3, Galatians 6:10).
- Third, who in this world is in a better position to select good leaders than those who humbly and prayerfully submit to God and seek His wisdom (James 3:13-18)?
- Fourth, for God’s people to abstain from voting is to invite tyranny, especially in a culture that seems to be increasingly hostile to people who follow Christ.
- Fifth, just as Paul claimed his rights of Roman citizenship to avoid unjust punishment and advance the Gospel, so we would be wise to take advantage of all our rights to further God's work in the world (Acts 16:35-40, Acts 22:25-29, Acts 25:6-12).
- Finally, someone who does not vote does not have any right to ever complain about or criticize any decisions our elected officials make. This alone should be enough to drive many to the polling place!
What do you think? Can you think of any other reasons to vote ... or not?
Below is the second study entitled: "Who Should We Vote For."
WHO SHOULD WE VOTE FOR?
I remember reading through the statewide voter guide before the 2003 special election for California Governor. Among the many candidate statements was one from Kevin Richter of Manteca, who described his qualifications as simply, “I breathe.” As bad as that was, it was better than the statement from candidate Trek Thunder Kelly of Venice, California, which began, “Dear Voters, Please vote for me, thus breaking the Seventh Seal and incurring Armageddon.” No, I didn’t vote for either of these guys, though 1,505 other people did.
It’s not always so easy to know who or what to vote for or against.Here are some simple suggestions to consider if you haven’t already cast your ballot:
- An online search will yield lots of information about candidates. Just enter their name in a search engine or on Youtube.
- Focus on a candidate’s proven values and character.
- Check out their leadership history and how they've voted or spoken on important issues.
- Don't believe any campaign advertisements or mailers until you've checked their accuracy. And if they contain twists of the truth, what does that say about the person or group who made the ad or mailer?
- If there are election races or propositions that you don’t know anything about (which is probably the case on today’s long ballot) it’s better to skip them than to cast haphazard votes.
We would be especially wise to follow the advice that Moses received regarding the appointment of leaders to assist in governing the Israelites:
Exodus 18:21 “You shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens."
Notice that these leaders were to be:
- out of all the people – Common people who understand common issues.
- able - Proven to be qualified for the task.
- fear God – Humbly submitted to God and His word.
- of truth – Completely honest, all the time.
- hate dishonest gain – Without a hint of corruption or greed.
- leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, of tens – Fit for this particular position.
May God guide you as you prayerfully cast your ballot!
Hope this encourages you to make a difference today. Feel free to share this with your friends!
State Minister, Capitol Commission, AR