It’s inescapable. The fervor of political campaigning, speech making, debate, commentary, scandal and mudslinging – on both sides of the isle — is enough to make anyone want to escape to a deserted island, isolated from this impending election and the potential consequences for our nation. With our country seemingly more divided than ever and facing so many critical issues, we all long for a strong, proven leader with impeccable character who we can cast our vote for with confidence. Unfortunately, that perfect candidate does not exist… and never has.
“All people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. As the Scriptures say, ‘No one is righteous.— not even one’” (Romans 3:9-10).
I have heard some well-meaning Christians argue that they do not plan to vote in this election because they understand that we are accountable to God for our vote, and they don’t feel they can cast a ballot for a candidate who does not have high moral character and reflect biblical values.
That is a noble argument and I, too, want to vote for a candidate with high moral character who reflects biblical values. But since that perfect candidate does not exist, and Romans 13:1 informs us that “all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God,” then it remains our responsibility to participate in our God-ordained political process and vote.
You may have heard it said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Or as Evangelist Billy Graham once said, “Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote.”
If you don’t feel compelled to vote for an individual, then vote for the candidate who is most likely to support policies that reflect your views on the issues.
Based on the banter in the news and on social media, the candidate’s stands on the issues seem elusive and the first presidential debate didn’t shed much light on the subject. So what is a responsible voter to do? Get educated, pray and vote.
Study the issues
There are a number of resources available online designed to help voters find the information they need, quickly and concisely. These are often compiled from the candidates’ answers to questionnaires, things they have said in public or in print, and based on voting records. Most sites will tell you how they collected their information, so you can decide for yourself how reliable it is. You can also go to the individual candidates’ sites directly.
There is also more at stake than just who will become president. In an email promoting their election site at commit2vote2016.com, Focus on the Family reminds us that “November’s General Election will decide key positions of power in our nation—from the White House and the U.S. Congress to state leaders and lawmakers. Voters will also decide important state ballot measures and local policies. Those who are elected to office will then decide the composition of state and federal courts for years—even decades—to come.”
Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, feels so strongly about the importance of Christian involvement in impacting our nation, that he launched the Decision America Tour and has been travelling to the capitals of all 50 states to proclaim the Gospel, rally prayer for our country, and encourage Christians to vote for candidates with biblical values. He’s encouraging Christians to run for political office at the local, state and federal levels as well.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association published a 2016 Election Special in the September issue of Decision Magazine entitled “Two Visions; Two Americas.” You can read it online here.
To find a wide variety of resources all in one spot, visit christianvoterguide.com/national-voter-guides. Here you will find a collection of links to voter guides from the American Family Association, the Christian Coalition, the Florida Family Policy Council, Vision America, Wall Builders and Priests for Life. You’ll also find a link to the Heritage Foundation’s Congressional Scorecard and information on state ballot measures on Ballotpedia.
Don’t have time for all of that? Then at least check out the comparison of the major-party political candidates’ views reprinted on page ___ of the Good News with permission from the September issue of Decision Magazine.
There is also a concerted call for prayer across our nation. For example, you can join Focus on the Family during the month of October in daily prayer for our nation. Download a prayer guide with 31 specific daily points of prayer here.
Then vote! Our U.S. Presidential Election Day is Tuesday, November 8. You can participate in early voting October 29 – November 5 when registered voters can vote at any early voting site within the county. Domestic voters using the 2016 Vote-by-Mail Ballot must send ballots by October 4 – 11.
However you vote, please take action. The future of our nation depends on it.
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
For more articles by Shelly Pond, please visit goodnewsfl.org/author/shelly/