Guest Author - Dountonia S. Slack
Followers of Christ are not Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Constitutionalist or isolationist. We are Christian. Therefore, we are apart of a different culture; called to be salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16); and, value what Christ values as it is spelled out in the Word of God. However, when it comes to exercising good citizenship, while we sojourn on this earth, we have a tendency to make decisions based upon standards other than the biblical standard we claim allegiance. In the voting booth, especially, we exercise our “rights,” follow familial voting patterns, or make our selections based upon media sound bytes without taking the time to research who the candidates are and what they represent.
Because almost every aspect of human life has found its way onto the governmental agenda, those we choose to govern over us – their personalities and beliefs, their virtues and vices – will affect what they do to and for us. “Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . [I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces,” (President James A. Garfield, 1876).
While we understand that only God is in control and no matter what happens at the polls, there are no mistakes and everything happens according to God’s purpose (Romans 13:1-7). Yet, when we have a sound theological basis for the campaigns/issues that we support, we send a clear message to the world that our faith, values, and beliefs will not be compromised. We will lift our voices in unison to say that the Christian culture is more important than my socio-economic status, ethnic group, or gender expectations. Now, this does not mean that we would politicize the church or impose our religion upon others, but this does mean that we have a responsibility to live godly and faithful lives using the Word of God as our guide in order to be the conscience of the nation and a witness of Christ no matter what the political climate is.
Hence, the bottom line is that our vote should reflect what we believe. Sending mixed signals by being Christian but not Biblical confuses everyone and devalues the significance of making choices based upon a biblical worldview. Christ followers die to self daily, are becoming less concerned with self proclaimed rights, and seek to do the will of the Father – just like Jesus. Jesus was not concerned about political/religious/cultural agendas; He gave His life for the Kingdom Agenda so that you and I might have life. We live in a post-modern world where everything is subjective – the definition of life, the distinction between a male and a female, the difference between religion and worship – our Christian walk should not be one of them. We have a duty to cast a biblically educated ballot that leaves no question as to who and what we stand for – Christ.