I am earnestly concerned about the slow cooking idea that is beginning to circulate among evangelicals regarding this year’s election. I recently read an article about pastors encouraging their congregations not to vote this year. They are arguing that Christian voters have no other option except to either stay at home or vote for a third party. They say we can’t vote for someone who promotes gay marriage nor should we vote for someone who follows Joseph Smith. Beware little flock! Beware of the planet owners. Stay inside this November…
But should Christians follow this advice?
I openly confess that I am writing with an agenda. I propose that if you do not vote this election year, you will be unfaithful to your duty as a Christian citizen, a failure as a clear thinking individual, and will be responsible contributing to a mindset that fuels immorality and wickedness.
The idea that Christians should avoid the polls this year because of their religious beliefs is a disgrace that is blinded by misguided conviction. This trumpet is blown by pastors who think they are calling their brothers and sisters to victory but are actually calling them to retreat while thousands are being killed on the battlefield. If you are an evangelical considering staying at home this election season, please consider the following points:
1) There will always be beliefs a presidential candidate holds that we will disagree with.
It should be our prayer that every president would believe in the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. I wish every presidential candidate would turn from their sin and seek the kind face of God. But Eden is gone and along with it went the perfect president. If we are honest, every presidential candidate will believe, do, and promote things that we disagree with. Yet we can rally behind a candidate with our vote even if he falls drastically short of the ideal.
Christians are in the world and Jesus calls us to continue to remain in the world and help change it. But you and I can’t change an election by remaining on our couch, even if the cushions are stuffed with conviction.
2) There are more important issues at stake than baptism of the dead
I fully agree that Mormonism is wrong and leading many people away from the one true and living God. However, I am not baptizing the dead but I am trying to save the living. It is no secret that Barack Obama promotes abortion. It is also known that Mitt Romney is not fully pro life. He believes abortion in the instances of rape is permissible. He does not hold the Biblical position. But it is clear that Mitt Romney opposes Roe vs. Wade. It will only take one more pro-life supreme Court justice to turn the tide against abortion. The next president doesn’t determine everything about this issue but may have the opportunity to appoint new justices. This alone should awaken a flame in us to care about voting. This year you are given the option to help save lives and promote the sanctity of life. 5,000 abortions is better than 5 million abortions.
3) Not voting is voting
Last month, a famous pastor tweeted, “Been told not voting for Romney is a vote for Obama. That’s alright since that must mean not voting for Obama is a vote for Romney.”
While this is a cute quip, it makes a poor math equation. Let me attempt to write on the chalkboard:
- If Dick votes for Obama, and Jane does not vote, then the tally is 1 to 0.
- If Dick votes for Obama, and Jane votes for Romney, then the tally is 1 to 1.
- If Dick and Jane vote for Obama while Spot stays in the dog house, then the tally is 2 to 0.
- See Obama win, watch Romney lose.
Or, for those who favor a third party, if Dick brings all of his friends to vote for Obama and Jane and all of her friends vote for Ralph, then the tally is 1,000,000 to 300.
Although we may wish it were not true, to vote for a third party has the same outcome as not voting. While it may sound reformational to write-in a ballet and say, “I’m voting my convictions”, it is actually the equivalent to firing a blank. It makes a loud noise and produces nothing. You win the battle of conviction but lose the war of reality. Christians cannot afford to pittel away their vote this year. We are people who redeem the time because Christ is drawing near.
4) You are responsible for your vote or lack thereof
If Christians do not vote, someone else will, and they might vote for killing babies or marrying homosexuals. There are many issues at hand such as: abortion, big government, bankrupting health care, international relations and military disarmament. And like it or not, you and I are responsible for what we say or do not say.
The Christian voter who stays at home should be ashamed that he did not consider all the issues at hand and stand for what they could. God has given the American Christians a simple opportunity to impact their country. To neglect this blessing is to insult God. If you have the God-given opportunity to vote for babies to have a chance at life, and instead you neglect that because you disagree with a man’s view of the Trinity, you are the most pitied of all men.
I fully heartily agree with the recent article Denny Burk wrote in the SBTS Towers,
“At the last judgement you will not be able to claim ignorance about your duty to defend innocent human life. Remember, more than 50 million innocent human lives have been snuffed out legally since 1973. If somehow you were unaware of this fact before reading this essay, you now know better. You are accountable for this knowledge, and your vote should reflect it.”
5) Consider Courage
If you will allow me to take it up a notch, we finally must consider courage.
Do you think it is brave to “no show” when thousands of soldiers have given their lives to make the polls available to us? They were valiant to give everything for the freedom we are taking advantage of. Yes, because of their valor we are free to sit on our rumps. But I cannot. And if you sit, you must know that there is no courage in making the election a spectatorial event. There is no impact. There is no boldness. There is only shame. There is no valor in not voting.