November 5, 2018
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU VOTE FOR SOMEONE
Many millions of Americans will cast votes for the mid-term elections. Will you be among them? Or maybe you have you already mailed in your ballot?
What a privilege we have in our country to participate in selecting our leaders! This is an opportunity that most people throughout human history could not have even conceived of, and is one that we should be very grateful for and take very seriously.
As Samuel Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, said in 1781, “Let each Citizen remember, at the moment he is offering his vote, … that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society, for which he is accountable to God and his Country."
Before we vote for someone, therefore, we would be wise to take time to investigate five aspects of a candidate’s life and work: 1) their reverence for God, 2) their proven character, 3) their platform, 4) their experience/voting-record, 5) their endorsements/opposition.
1. Reverence for God
Government leaders who desire to humbly follow God and live according to His word will have His help and wisdom and courage to guide them in the many important decisions they will make.
“Reverence for the name of God, a punctual attendance on the public and private duties of religion, as well as sobriety and purity of conversation, are especially incumbent on those who are honored with places of power and trust.” - John Witherspoon, Founding Father of the United States
2. Proven Character
Government leaders are entrusted with enormous responsibility and face huge temptations, so they should be people of excellent personal character.
“Those who wish well to a state ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. Is it reasonable to expect wisdom from the ignorant; fidelity from the profligate; or application to public business from men of a dissipated life? Is it reasonable to commit the management of public revenue to one who hath wasted his own patrimony? Those, therefore, who pay no regard to religion and sobriety in the persons whom they send to the legislature of any state are guilty of the greatest absurdity, and will soon pay dear for their folly.” - John Witherspoon, Founding Father of the United States
The stated platform for each candidate and their party are easily found online. Do you agree with it and find it to be according to God's word?
"The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.” - Charles-Louis De Secondat, philosopher who influenced the Founding Fathers and U.S. Constitution
Most elected officials have a history of experience or votes that demonstrates how they will continue to lead. Would you want to live or work in the district, city, county, state, or company that they formerly led?
"We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." Attributed to Aesop, 620 – 564 BC
Sometimes the most helpful indication of a candidate’s agenda are the people or groups who endorse or oppose them.
1 Corinthians 15:33 "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts good morals.'"
Not enough time to do all this research? Please don’t let that keep you from voting tomorrow. Even a very quick online search or brief call to a trusted friend can help. We who are followers of Jesus must participate in the process, to the best of our ability, so that our voices are heard too! We pray, and we do our best to vote wisely. And even if you've already mailed in your ballot, as I have, then please join me in praying fervently that God guides the other voters too, and bestows abundant mercy and grace upon our state and nation.
“Let us, whenever we shall have the opportunity of using the right of voting, use it as in the sight of Almighty God, knowing that for everything we shall be brought into account, and for that amongst the rest, seeing that we are entrusted with it. And let us remember that we are our own governors, to a great degree, and that if at the next election we should choose wrong governors we shall have nobody to blame but ourselves, however wrongly they may afterwards act, unless we exercise all prudence and prayer to Almighty God to direct our hearts to a right choice in this matter. May God so help us, and may the result be for his glory, however unexpected that result may be to any of us!” - Pastor Charles Spurgeon, 1857.
Your Missionary/Pastor to the California State Capitol and beyond,