When I was in the 4th grade, I was elected class president. It didn’t take long for me to prove that I really wasn’t up to the job. I can hardly imagine that anyone wants to take a job in politics in America today. The elections are just a few weeks away. Most of us just can’t wait until those commercials are over.
There are a lot of people telling us whom we should vote for. Particularly if you are a Christian, you will have a lot of people telling you that certain candidates are the clear choice for Christians. I try to stay away from partisan politics as much as I can, but as a pastor, I do think that there are some guidelines I can suggest for how a Christian should approach the voting process.
Be involved. I do believe that Christians should vote and be involved in the political process. Electing officials is a complicated process. However, when we refuse to participate, we are allowing those who don’t share our values to dictate all of the choices. Find out as much as you can from reliable sources about the candidates in the election.
When choosing a candidate, character and intelligence should matter more than political party. I don’t think a Christian should be a slave to party politics. The complicated way that we do law-making means that no party or individual will do everything the way you think it should be done. A candidate who has integrity and intelligence will work to do the right thing not just the expedient thing.
Recognize that on most issues, there is no simple “Christian” position. Left-wing Christians tell us that we should be in favor of every program that supposedly “helps the poor,” and right-wing Christians want to support anything that puts God in public life. Many issues like these do not have clear answers. Honest Christians disagree about many political issues.
Insist on the truth. Be fanatic about it. It’s pretty clear watching only a few campaign ads that groups and candidates are willing to lie as part of the political game. It is a sin to lie, even if the lie helps your favorite candidate to get elected.
Pray for the candidates and the process. One specific command in scripture is to “pray for the king and those in authority” (1 Timothy 2:2). We should pray for our elected officials and for the whole political process.
These are just a few guidelines I believe that Christians should follow as they evaluate candidates and prepare to vote in the November election. May God guide us with His wisdom.
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC