Guest Author - Dountonia S. Slack
How do I know which candidate to support? All the Candidates sound the same, is there any real difference? Does my vote really matter? Don’t I have the right not to vote? How many Christians actually vote, anyway? There is no excuse for not exercising our civic responsibility to vote. We are blessed to live in a country that allows us the freedom to choose those who will represent our interests in government. However, the key is to make choices for governmental leadership based upon research of the candidates’ character and convictions, the political party’s platform on the issues, and the biblical instruction of those issues.
Let’s face it, the background of candidates matter. I want to know if he/she cheated on a test, his/her spouse, or to get ahead in Corporate America. It is important to know the candidate’s positions on the issues and compare it to his/her voting record to ensure that lip service translates into action. And, as a Christian, I need to know whether a candidate’s home and professional life line-up with Biblical standards. The Bible tells us in Luke 16:10: "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."
Ben H. Bagdikian is quoted as saying “In the US, voters cast ballots for individual candidates who are not bound to any party program except rhetorically, and not always then. Some Republicans are more liberal than some Democrats, some libertarians are more radical than some socialists, and many local candidates run without any party identification. No American citizen can vote intelligently without knowledge of the ideas, political background, and commitments of each individual candidate.” We cannot just blindly vote along a particular party line simply because our parents/race/celebrities have voted that way. We must be responsible with our vote and make informed choices based upon God’s Word. Because, “when the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan” (Proverbs 29:2).
There are no perfect candidates and there is no perfect political party. Yet, we have a perfect standard that we must live by. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, we are encouraged to pray, petition and intercede on behalf of our governmental leaders “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Founder Noah Webster said: “In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide…look to his character… When a citizen gives his suffrage [vote] to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country.” We are called to use our God-given wisdom to cast our votes responsibly to get our country back on the right track – the track that leads our country back to God.