FROM THE PASTOR
I know how I am going to vote on November 3. The issues of protecting unborn life and judicial appointments at all levels supersede all the other noisy issues in my judgment. It is not my job to tell you how to vote, but I hope to convince you of the importance of both preparing to vote and then going and doing it.
There are at least two solid reasons that every American Christian should participate in our election process. One is an obligation and the other a privilege.
We are citizens of a representative republic. This kind of government is rare in human history and rarer on earth today than most of us think. The key issue in a representative republic is that the citizens hold the authority of the government. We chose representatives who do most of the actual work, and we also help select officers at various levels of government. That is the essence of what we will do in the upcoming election. Those we select serve under our authority.
Our special kind of government is not necessary for Christianity to thrive. For 2000 years the Christian Church has faithfully served her Lord under every kind of system of government. We have reason to value ours, but God can get his will done through almost any kind. Some of them are much simpler for the Church than the one under which we live. A monarch rules by right of birth or conquest. A dictator rules in his own authority backed by a small force loyal to his person. The Church has done just fine under both kinds of top-down rule. She simply has to submit.
Our system is designed to function from the bottom up. This is why we must get involved. The citizens are expected to participate in a representative state. Each one of us helps craft the system that dominates our shared life. As one wise observer has said, “We get the type of government we deserve.”
With authority comes responsibility. Our system gives us each a degree of authority. We may not feel it, but it is real. We are expected to fulfill our part in this shared political system.
Now, I expect my vote to be outnumbered at the ballot. I don’t cast many winning votes in California. That is fine, because my act of voting is not to save the government under which I live. My act of voting is to honor my Lord, and be rewarded by him. I have the privilege of fulfilling a task assigned to me, by the Lord of heaven and earth. Obedience puts me in a situation to receive whatever benefit he sees appropriate to bestow.
God tells us that he lifts us and throws down rulers and kingdoms. “There is no authority except from God.” I take that to mean he controls the outcome of each election. He already knows what will happen this time because he has decreed it. But we do not honor him by sitting idly by waiting for him to do something. This is a truth that applies to so many areas of life. God determines the outcome, but we please him by serving in the process. We have the privilege of being coworkers in his divine order.
So, to fail to vote is to reject a responsibility laid upon us as Christian citizens in this nation, and to miss an opportunity to please our Lord through obedience. You do not have to cast the deciding vote to do your job. You do need to exercise your authority carefully. So, please do your research, mark your sample ballot, mail your vote in early if you wish; just vote.