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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,
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