This is the first in a three part series on the Christian vote.
In 2012, the American voters elected Barack Obama for a second term as President of the United States. If you think our country is in a better place because of that decision, then you probably already know who will get your vote in 2016. The rest of us are wondering how it happened and how we can avoid it at the next election.
Americans are frustrated with our government and our political system.
One of the reasons is that it doesn’t seem to matter if you vote Republican or Democrat; our government continues to support an agenda which goes against our values.
Tax dollars continue to be funneled to Planned Parenthood while our VA system fails to provide many of our military veterans with desperately needed healthcare.
The government infringes on our constitutional rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to own a gun, and the right to personal property. Then they tell the entire country that we must accept gay marriage, even though marriage does not appear anywhere in the constitution.
Also not in the constitution: The Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Education, all of which run roughshod over the rights of individual states to govern as the people of those states see fit.
We can make a change…if we want to
The U.S. Census bureau tells us there were almost 219 million people of legal voting age in 2012 yet only 126 million ballots were cast. 92.8 million people walking the streets of America did not participate in the 2012 election. A good number of them never even registered to vote.
It’s been estimated that 20-30 million Christians sat out the last presidential election. While these statistics are difficult to get, it sounds like a reasonable estimate given that over 70% of Americans profess to be Christian.
Imagine the impact on the election if an additional 20 million Christians voted.
Ponder for a moment the impact of 20 million voters who couldn’t be bothered with elections in years past who decide that now is the time to step into the ring. If those 20 million citizens united to vote with Christian values in mind instead of the latest media expose’, it’s a game changer.
If we demand, with our vote, that only those who demonstrate our shared values will be elected, the “politics as usual” that we have grown to accept would be over.
If we let those values guide our voting, we might just elect a person who values every individual, a person who is more worried about pleasing God than pleasing men.
Is 20 million voters enough to make a difference?
Republicans like to accuse Democrats of letting illegal immigration get out of control because they actually like the Hispanic vote. Hispanic voters tend to vote democrat, even when they aren’t legally supposed to vote. Supposedly, there are enough illegal Hispanic voters to change the course of an election.
True? I don’t know but I do know this: The Pew Research Center estimated in 2014 that there were 11.3 million Hispanics here illegally. If 11 million potential new voters is enough to excite a political party, or terrify depending on your side, then 20 million Christian voters of like-mind hitting the poles will definitely get some attention.
Christians are citizens of heaven
Some Christians believe that, as citizens of heaven, we do not involve ourselves in worldly politics.
Jesus taught us that though we are not children of the king’s of the earth, we are to honor the government. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are not citizens of this world. Even so, we are to participate in the government. We abide by the laws and we pay taxes.
Matthew 17:25c-27 “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
Paul’s letter to the Roman Christians tells us the same:
Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves… Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
We in America have been blessed with a system of government, through the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and the amendments. If we are subject to the laws and punished for breaking those laws, then we also are called to participate in the process. We are not “rebelling against what God has instituted” when we use our vote to make changes in the government. Rather, we are working within the framework laid out for us by the founders, who were Christians.
If the persecuted Christians around the world were suddenly blessed with the right to vote, do we imagine for a second that they would simply decide to sleep in that day?
Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice, when the wicked rule, the people groan.
I consider it an act of love to our fellow citizens to be involved in the process and make sure that we are being ruled by the righteous and not the wicked.
Finally, part of our citizenship is to pray for our leaders.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.