Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Christians & Voting

We in the US have been focused on one thing on this Tuesday. Voting. I don't know if you have already voted, plan to vote today, or have decided not to vote because you are tired of having to choose "the lesser of two evils" or the Candidate who will "do the least damage to the country."

I know that these are the "Mid-term Elections" and that these are often not seen as important as the four-year Presidential Election. At home, I have been hearing much about Republicans and Democrats and about the merits or lack of merits of each party. I'm sure that almost all of us are turned by the frequent negative and often distorted ads, run by Candidates, trashing their opponents instead of "selling" themselves and what they themselves are passionate about. I get it if you are so turned off by politics that it does not even seem worth it to get out in the rain, take off work, or what discomfort you may have to put up with, to vote.

But there are Bible verses that tell us to "Honor the government" and to "Render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Periodically, the Government asks for our vote. Many lives have been given for this privilege and many people risk their lives to enter this country so they can have the right to vote. These give us some powerful reasons to take time out of what we may be doing, to vote. Yes, I know that, like me, some us live in states that make it more difficult to vote and that allow us only one day to vote. I also live very near Ferguson, which has made national headlines because of the Michael Brown shooting and the way this sad case has triggered the racial unrest that has festered in Ferguson for a long time.

I know very well that many among you, my brothers and sisters in Jesus, strongly identify with the Republican Party and see the Democratic Party as indifferent and even hostile to Christians and the things that Christians hold most dear. I have heard these feelings uttered, over and over, in local churches and Bible studies. I have read them, repeatedly, on Facebook statuses and posts, all over the internet, and reflected in causes and TV ads. Like so many of you, I share your value for the sanctity of human life (from conception to death) and for the sanctity of marriage and the family (as between male and female as created by God). But, as I read my Bible, I see the God also is very concerned about many things that the Democratic Party generally concerns itself with. He identifies with the poor, orphans, widows, immigrants, the disabled, and racial relations. Yet in voting for all Republican Candidates, I believe we overlook many issues that break God's heart and on which He has spoken. But if we vote for all Democrats, we also put the unborn, marriage, and the family at risk. I used to feel that following Jesus in the matter of voting, meant that people like myself are in a no-win situation. But are we really?

This post does not tell anyone how to vote. That is between you and God, not between you and anyone else. But so many of our precious brothers and sisters in Jesus, worldwide, are deprived of the right to vote. Their regimes do not allow free Elections. I realize also, as a woman, that many, especially among Progressives, are concerned about a "war on women." Yes, I know that things are not ideal for women even in the US. Men who are guilty of rape, domestic abuse, and sexual abuse, are often not held accountable are get off "too light." I get that. But many women throughout the world would gladly trade places with women in the US or other women in any other Western nation. So many of them are stripped of basic human rights, are little more than property and voting is just a dream to them. Just do some research on the Internet.

True, the Candidates you vote for may not get in. They may end up having to give concession speeches. The Candidates I voted for may not get elected. But for the high price that was paid for our right to vote, we need to exercise this right, knowing that no matter who gets in, ultimately it is God Who works through them to get His will done, no matter what their stance on the issues.

This is my take on this. Sincerely,

Lisa DeSherlia

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