By: Michele D. Shoun
Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus . . . and whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:17, 23
When Paul wrote these words, he may not have had voting in mind. As a Roman citizen, he had more privileges than some — to own property, make contracts, marry, and migrate —but the right to vote could be exercised only when in Rome. And it's doubtful he was able to participate in civic life while under house arrest or in prison.1 In a sense, his situation was similar to that of many Christians today living under repressive regimes. Although most modern nations hold elections and have universal suffrage, many deny their citizens the ability to vote their consciences.
IF THERE IS NO JUSTICE FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE HUMAN BEINGS,
THERE CAN BE JUSTICE FOR NONE.
Those of us, however, who do enjoy free and fair elections must not take voting for granted. It's our right and responsibility. For Americans, the "whatever" of Colossians definitely extends to participation in government — voting and beyond.
We all might take a lesson from God's instructions to the exiles in Jeremiah 29:5-7 — to build homes, settle in, plant gardens, marry, raise families . . . and seek the peace of the city wherever we live.
But for whom should we vote? What are the values we can bring to the voting booth that accord with Jesus' name? How can we be sure our votes serve Him and not men?
The best leaders submit to God's sovereignty and acknowledge their need of His help.2 They know they're accountable to Him and persevere in obedience (see the examples of Israel and Judah's kings).3 But even the most secular leaders can exhibit qualities that are commended by God in Scripture, such as:
Humility — Deut. 17:18-20; 2 Sam. 6:20-22
Wisdom — Deut. 1:13; Prov. 28:2
Courage — Esther 4:16
Impartiality — Deut. 1:16-17; Ps. 82:2-3; Prov. 24:23; Is. 10:1-2
Justice — Ps. 58:1; Prov. 17:26, 31:8-9; Micah 3:1; Rom. 13:4
Compassion — Deut. 10:17-19; Luke 18:18-23
Truth — Ps. 101:7; Prov. 17:7, 29:12
Temperance — Deut. 17:16-17; Prov. 31:3-5; Eccl. 10:16-17; Hosea 4:18; Rev. 18:9
Integrity — Ex. 18:21; Prov. 28:16; Is. 1:23; Micah 7:3
Such leaders would assuredly serve the best interests of everyone in the communities, the states, and the countries where we live.
What about a candidate's stance on abortion? How important is it, compared to issues such as the economy or the environment?
THOSE OF US WHO DO ENJOY FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS MUST NOT TAKE VOTING FOR GRANTED.
One could make the case that all issues affect the sanctity of human life, but none is more foundational than the right to life itself. If there is no justice for the most vulnerable human beings, there can be justice for none. Candidates ought not to pit "interest groups" against the unborn.
Some say, "If you're really pro-life you'll join the [fill-in-the-blank] cause!" But these are often the same people who refuse to also speak for the unborn. Why should the tiniest of little ones be forced to wait at the end of the line behind those with more money or a louder megaphone?4 Too many are being killed every day!5
Countless times in Scripture God decries the perversion of justice and shedding of innocent blood.6 He hates violence.7 Isaiah 59:7-8 describes people who run toward evil and hasten to commit murder and yet foolishly expect to find peace. The way of bloodshed does not yield peace or prosperity. Peter called our Savior the "Prince of life" in Acts 3:14-15. In their jealousy and rage, the rulers chose to release a murderer and kill the "Author of life" instead! In service to our Prince, when we go to the voting booth, may we all love what God loves and choose life.
Read more @ http://www.lifemattersww.org/Portals/0/Documents/LifeMatters122.pdf:
Michele Shoun has been with Life Matters Worldwide since it began in 1984. Her current position is publication specialist, which covers writing, editing, and designing publications for print and the Internet.
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_class_in_ancient_Rome, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Rights.
2 2 Chr. 20:6, Ps. 2:10-12, Psalm 72, Dan. 4:31-32; 1 Kings 3:9-10, Prov. 8:16.
3 Lev. 4:22-24, Rom. 13:1-6; 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles.
4 Mark 10:14, Luke 9:46-48.
5 Prov. 24:10-12.
6 Ps. 94:6,21, Prov. 1:10-19, Jer. 22:1-5, Micah 3:9-11.
7 Ps. 11:5.