Rock the Vote
The other day, while surfing all of the interesting opinions, pictures, theologians, and news on Facebook, I came across a quiz that promised to tell me who I should vote for in the upcoming presidential election. Because I haven't had the time or desire to sit down and watch any of the debates, I decided to take the quiz and see if the virus infested malware site could tell me who I should cast my vote for in November. I thought that maybe I could skip past all of the debates, save myself some time and allow the internet to help me arrive at my decision. 

The site offered me a series of questions on the issues of the day. Abortion, Marriage equality. Dope. Immigration. Taxes. Religious freedom. And of course the most important issue of them all...guns. I answered every question and even answered the "bonus" questions. According to my feelings on all of the matters I was told that I should vote for......

That led me to write this blog, as a pastor of a growing church in one of the most politically liberal states in the union. How should a Christian vote in a three ring circus? What if the offerings are between an obnoxious elephant and a hee-hawing jackass? One thing is for sure, none of the current candidates will flange up perfectly to the Scriptures because none of them are Jesus. 

However, one thing is clear, if you are an American, you have a right to vote and that right should be executed each and every election cycle. And this brings me to my reason for today's blog in the first place. The three ring circus we call an election these days is an opportunity for Christians to ask themselves why they hold to certain convictions and whether or not they are biblical. Each election is an opportunity for us to hold up a mirror and ask ourselves why we believe what we believe and why we live life the way that we do. 

There are many issues to think through - guns, marriage, abortion, civil rights, taxes, war, immigration, health care, and so on. But why do you think the way that you do on each of these issues? I was sort of scared to find out who the quiz would consider a match for me. There are a few candidates who I believe are utterly crazy, power hungry and narcissistic. I was hoping that I would not see my own reflection in any of their flaws. 

Christian, you are called to be salt and light on this earth. The taste of salt and the brilliance of the light is not found in politics but rather the application of the Gospel to all spheres of life - including politics. This election cycle is an opportunity for each of us to find out what governs us - is it fear or victory? Are we ruled by racism or the inclusiveness of the Gospel? Do we find our hope in a mortal person or in the One who has conquered sin and death? Are we out to create a moralistic society or one that is changed by the Gospel? 

I would encourage every Christian to vote. And as you vote consider these few things

Examine the promises and convictions of your candidate with the truth of Scripture.

For instance, there are many pragmatic and thought provoking questions about instances where abortion should be an option - but in the end, the Scriptures are clear that the taking of human life is sinful, science and the Scriptures are clear that human life exists in the womb, therefore abortion is sinful. The argument about this issue and many others begins and ends with Scripture. Compare what your candidate says with what the Scriptures say and be informed by God's truth. 

Try to determine who is most qualified for the job.

Since the first televised debate between Kennedy and Nixon, many have based their vote on the most shallow of concerns. Forget what they look like, how well they speak, or what news networks tell you to do. Instead, ask yourself, who will make the best leader? Who has experience? Who has kept their word? Who has integrity. To be sure, it is very possible that all of the candidates up for election will not flange up with Scripture on at least one issue. After you have decided what the most important issues are, you may end up with a tie. Both may be bad choices or good choices. Now you must determine who will make the best leader. 

Keep first things first - don't blow your witness because of your politics. 

Never in history could so many people be heard in such large numbers. Now, if you have access to the internet you can be heard by the entire world! Most of us will only be heard by our friends, family and the other people that follow us on social networks (neither friends nor family). Be winsome, be kind, be loving, and look out for your neighbor. If Jesus were on this earth today he might say that out of the heart flows tweets, instagrams, blogs, and statuses. Facebook asks that important question, "What's on your mind?" Jesus might say, "What's on your heart?" Check your heart at the door of the Gospel and pray if there needs to be change. 

Finally, regardless of who wins, pray for your leader so that you might live peaceably among all people. 

No matter who wins, Jesus still sits on the throne in heaven. God was ruling when Jesus was put on the Cross and he continues to rule when you are in the voting booth. Paul wrote these words to the young church when they were under the rule of men who would kill them for sport. If they were to pray for Nero, we can certainly pray for any of the candidates that are up for election in this cycle. 

I leave you with the words of Micah and pray that they might be a source of comfort and wisdom for you as you make your decision this year and as you interact with others during this season, 

"He has told you, O man, what is good; 
      and what does the LORD require of you 
                  but to do justice, and to love kindness, 
      and to walk humbly with your God?"

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