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To Vote or Not to Vote... What does God Expect of Me?

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In November’s election, every eligible adult will cast a ballot…at the voting booth or by staying home.   None of us can avoid being partly accountable for the election’s outcome.  My vote or my refusal to vote will still count on one side or the other of each issue.  Whether or not I like the presidential candidates and/or I disagree with some candidates’ beliefs, I should still get out and vote. 

God expects me to have Christian influence on elections, and He did not say to vote only when the candidates are God-fearing, righteous people who live out their faith.  If I wait until at least one candidate in each contest is a committed Christian, I will probably never vote again.  Instead, God would have me to identify the election issues, study each candidate’s positions on the issues, pray, and then vote for the person at each level who is most likely to move our nation, our state, our city, and our schools in God’s direction.  With an estimated 90 million Christians eligible to register to vote in America, it is estimated that no more than 51 million of us ever vote.1   When we Christians return to God and take responsibility for our sin (and our voting), our land will begin to move back toward God.  

To those of you who don’t like either presidential candidate this year, remember that many offices (not just president) are being decided November 8.  The late Christian leader Phyllis Schlafly has said, “…the future of our country depends on people like you participating in political action.  Help some candidate get elected.  Make sure you vote against the wrong one…some people object to voting what they say is the lesser of two evils—I just remind them:  somebody is going to be elected to those offices and Jesus is not on the ballot.”   By not voting, I let others decide who represents me, and most likely the candidates least agreeable to me will be the winners while I will have lost a great privilege by refusing to vote. 

The Bible instructs us to “render unto Caesar [the government] what is Caesar’s…” (Matthew 22:21) which can be applied to my responsibility as a citizen of this great nation.  Whether I am paying taxes or voting, I have a responsibility to do my part.  It is not right for me to expect others to pay my tax obligation, and it is not right for me to expect someone else to decide the outcome of elections. Someone will be elected whether I vote or not, but by not voting, I place the responsibility of choosing our representatives upon other people, and that, Christian friend, is irresponsible.

Let every Christian be responsible and vote as God directs us in November.  Even if you disagree with my position, join me in praying that every person who is elected, whether likeable or not, will lead us toward the will of God. 

 
 
Larry Shields
Associate Pastor of Administration

 

1 One Vote Matters video, www.ChristianVoterGuide.com
 
 
Posted by Larry Shields with

Kickoff Sunday

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Our annual Kickoff Sunday, which we celebrated on August 21 at Faith Baptist reminded me of how far our church has come in dealing with the “majors and minors” of Christianity. When I came to Faith over 7 years ago I was surprised one day when a few people asked me to take a stand against staff members who were wearing their shirts untucked. And I didn’t know what to say when I heard discussion about whether the large, majestic pulpit or a smaller, simpler lectern should be used on stage. There was conflict and division over worship music styles. Guests were even occasionally stopped and questioned about their clothing or intent to walk into the worship center with a coffee cup in their hand. Perhaps the most haunting thing was the constant discussions among the leadership about who Faith Baptist was in our community. Other large churches had established their identity, but Faith didn’t know how to define herself.
Thinking back on Kickoff Sunday made me smile. There was freedom. I saw suits, ties, polo shirts, tshirts, slacks, jeans and varied choices of clothing. Our speaker wore blue jeans and a sport coat. Guests were met and greeted in the parking lot, at the doors and all over the worship center as they entered. Our combined services the past few years have been predominantly blended, led with a choir, piano and organ. This service was a predominantly contemporary service led with a band and contemporary stage set. I imagine it was a very different combined service than what most of our members came expecting. And yet, when the singing began voices filled the room with praise to our Lord! The speaker spoke 50 minutes (a no-no in most churches), and then the invitation appeal carried the service even longer. And yet, I saw no one leave. The room was filled with responses, and the altar filled with people who came forward in response. There were many salvations and rededications. The Family Life Center was filled with people laughing, shaking hands, introducing people and visiting during the meal after the service. I did not hear one negative word about the style of music, stage set, whether a shirt was tucked in, the length of the service or other “minors” that Satan could have used to divide our unity and our goal of worshipping and “making disciples” unto our Lord Jesus Christ!
I love both of our worship services. Both the blended and the contemporary services lead us to the throne of Christ each week! I am so glad that Faith is a church seeking to Experience Faith through E3. It is not only our theme, our goal, our motto and our definition of a balanced and healthy Christian life, it has been adopted in our constitution and has helped define our mission as a church. I am proud that we have a very unified and gifted staff, strong Pastor Overseers who lead the church and that many people who focus on the main things rather than being tempted (as were the Pharisees in Jesus’ day) to major on minors of self opinion rather than on the kingdom.
I have enjoyed seeing some of these same characteristics in the 3 churches I have pastored the past 23 years. I am blessed to pastor Faith Baptist Church! I thank God for our spiritual growth, maturity and unity in Christ! I think God was smiling on us Kickoff Sunday. I know this pastor sure was!

Posted by Craig Lile with

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