Special Commentary by Dr. Eric B. Herfert, DC
Why do I vote?
This seems like a simple question, but the answer to the question is much deeper than most of us ever choose to think about. Do I cast my vote in elections “to win,” when “winning” requires me to vote for individuals opposed to the Word of God and opposed to submission to Jesus Christ? Does how I vote require me to temporarily set aside the commands of God? Or do I vote to voice my “God quickened conscience” to a “fallen world” and “a corrupt government” regardless the earthly consequences to my happiness… my prosperity… and my life? By my actions in how I vote, who I am trusting in to rule over the affairs of men… The Sovereign Creator of the Universe or mere men? Who is my king and who is my Lord when I “pull the lever in the booth”? Am I voting according to the Word of God as quickened by the Spirit of God… or I am voting my pocketbook… the lesser of evils… or for the most popular candidate? Do I cast my vote according to the timeless principles and commands of God’s Word, or am I being carried away by fads, greed, and idol worship? By my actions in something simple like voting, who do I believe gives me the ability to prosper… My Creator… government… men… myself? The answer to these questions will explain a lot about the heart and character of the American Church and the hope of any future revival in our nation.
Some Christians sadly have given up on voting because they believe that their vote doesn’t make a difference. When we think this way we are missing the point about our privilege of voting. Winning isn’t the point for a believer. The point is actually faithfulness to God and testifying to His glory. With this mind, are we, as believers, trusting in God when we vote on an issue and choose a leader? Are we willing to risk being thrown into the “fiery furnace” of culture and societies wrath, and are we willing to suffer hardship and persecution when our choices are unpopular with our culture and the ruling elites… or are we worshiping Caesar, institutions, and mortal men? The three Hebrew children mentioned in the Book of Daniel wouldn’t bow to the king’s golden image even though the king had already made them rulers over many of his subjects and threaten them with sure death. Earlier these same men, along with the prophet Daniel, refused to eat from the king’s table and they refused to partake of his delicacies… they honored God! Over and over again in history we have seen Christians choose to side with God and His Kingdom and civilization changed for the better even though those individuals in the crisis many times had to suffer much hardship. We have also seen over and over in history the Church as a whole refusing to stand up and take the path of less resistance and society quickly slid into immorality, chaos, and destruction. What would history have been if the German Christians had as a whole stood up to Hitler and the Nazis? What of the light of God’s Church during the reign of depots like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc? Would their faithful testimony have changed history? What lies in our hearts and the consequential outcome of history will be revealed in the coming months. Who are we trusting in and who are we obeying? Will we shine the light of Jesus Christ and His Gospel into the political process or will it be politics as usual? Do we want Jesus Christ as our only king and hope, or are we like the Israelites in Samuel’s time, wanting “a king like other nations to rule over us,” trusting in mere men, and wanting to indulge our passions? Do we want God’s freedom provided for in Christ and His commandment to, “love one another,” or will we continue to covet what doesn’t belong to us because we are not thankful for the Lord’s blessings and not trusting in God’s provision for our lives?
The Commandments and Voting
Will we endorse by our electoral choices evil, and thereby passively approve the continued to taking of what doesn’t belong to us… namely our neighbor’s possessions by individual and government stealing? Do we believe that God blesses each of us by His plan and that what we work for belongs to us, or do we believe the king and others have right to steal from us? The voting booth will indicate a lot about this matter and the hearts of God’s people. What do we actually believe about giving to the poor? Does charity happen by us each individually being moved with compassion, or is it an act of a socialist government “done at the point of a gun” with “threats and brute force?” Will we continue as individuals to covet our neighbor’s spouse and then act out these evil desires by committing adultery, engaging in immorality, and tempting others to do likewise? We will acquiesce regarding the sanctity of marriage? Is marriage sanctioned by God or by men? Does marriage represent the relationship of Christ and His Bride, or is it just simply a civil agreement with no spiritual mystery? Who married Adam and the Patriarchs, God or the king? Whose word is final here?
Will we continue to impugn our neighbor’s integrity through our false witness, through our wicked plans to exalt ourselves, by plotting our evil schemes, and then covering up our sins? Will we vote for leaders who do likewise merely because they are on our team? How will we react to the muddy slinging and lies that are so typical in political campaigns and politics? Will we endorse men and women who engage in such tactics? Will we continue to approve the taking our neighbor’s life through our support of immoral wars and acts of government brutality to secure for ourselves a false sense of protection and security? Will we continue to murder our neighbors by harboring hatred in our hearts for those who don’t do and give us what we want and supporting others whom do likewise when we vote? We will vote for hatred and unforgiveness as a matter of national policy? Do we believe that God is our only protection, provider, and strength or are men and governments? Do we believe in and practice forgiving our enemies as Christ forgave us, or are we the enemy’s pawns who promote destruction and bloodshed on individual and national levels? Does the golden rule only apply to individuals and not to politicians and countries? Will we continue to dishonor our parents by exalting and honoring ourselves in our support of political candidates? We will withhold our love and respect for our parents by allowing elected leaders, the government, and other strangers to provide and care for our parents in their time of need and in their old age? Do we take seriously God’s command about “the religion that He approves of?” Do we take seriously God’s command to love mercy and justice and to walk humbly before Him when it comes to the implications of our vote?
Most important, are we exalting things, men, and ourselves when we vote, or are we exalting Our Creator when we engage in politics and the choosing of our leaders? Does our vote reveal that in truth we are really withholding the love and obedience that are due and belong to God alone, and rebelliously giving these to idols of prosperity, pride, and depravity by choosing a leader who will give us what we want? How we as God’s people vote on taxes, issues, and how we vote in choosing representatives, executives, and judges all reveal what is in ours hearts. Sooner our later what is in our hearts will come out and be revealed… even in a voting booth! But we can’t lose sight of the eternal truth that God rules over the nations of the world and the affairs of men, and His arm is not too short to subdue His enemies and judge the thoughts and actions of men. Do we believe this when we pull the lever and choose a leader and decided on an issue? Do we still believe Our Creator raises up nations and various peoples for His purposes, and that He brings down nations and individuals also based on their faithfulness to Him? He chose Pharaoh to rule Egypt in order to magnify Himself for the entire world to see. Our Lord judges all things, even the simplest acts like voting according to His purposes. In view of all these questions, are we voting to proclaim the truths living in our “God quickened consciences” or are we voting to win? Are we guided through prayer and trusting in the Lord, or are we simply making our decisions by a voter’s guide? Have we sought out the truth regarding our leaders, their character, and their actions, or do we just accept what the media tells us when making our choices? Do we think that our vote only has earthly ramifications, or does it impact eternity and proclaim Jesus Christ’s lordship over all creation… even to heavenly hosts and the spiritual powers and rulers of this world? Lord Jesus have mercy on us all and help us to turn to you whole heartedly so that we can see correctly and choose and act according to what is right in your eyes. I pray that your people will honor you in all that they do!