I have written a few articles here on the home page on the subject of Christians’ participation in the public arena. We are praying that as we all exercise our right to vote, that we vote according to our Biblical conscience.
Scroll to the bottom for other information.
In Christ, Dale
The Importance of Voting Wisely
Noah Webster instructed his students:
“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose rulers who will rule in the fear of God… The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty…” History, by Noah Webster, pp. 336-337
Many of the foundational principles of our republic are based in the Word of God, as many of the original signers were adherants of the Bible and the moral values of Christianity.
Exodus 18:19-23 was the Scripture on which our founders based the decision on whom should be elected to public office. In this passage there are three qualities of the individauls elected: vs. 21, “capable men, men that fear God, and men that hate dishonest gain.” One of the ways that we can help our country is by doing our best to elect those of such noble character.
Friends, the statistics are staggering as to the lack of participation from Christians when it comes to voting. Become aware of the candidates and the isssues!
One very helpful tool is The Voter’s Guide put out by the Oregon Family Council. You may secure a guide from them at www.OregonFamilyCouncil.org. Get one and pass it on your friends. Encourage your pastor or the leadership team in your church to have the guides available in the entries and exits of your church building. Another excellent resource is www.wallbuilders.com. David Barton is one of the leading historians in the Unitied States in regards to the spiritual roots of this great country. Some of the men I am discipling are listening to his CDs like: “America’s Birthday,” “Developing a Biblical Worldview,” “Limited Government,” “Five Judicial Myths,” “America’s Godly Heritage,” “The role of Pastors and Christians in Civil Government,” and many more. You may purchase them from his website, referenced above.
“Knowledge is Power,” and when knowledge is integrated with love and put into action we can have a powerful effect. The more we are aware of the issues and the character, capability and the positions of the canadatiates, the more intelligently we can vote.
We have Freedom, Let’s Excerise our Freedom !
Deep In Your Heart You Know Something is Wrong
Have you seen these two billboards off of the 205 and the I-5 freeways? You will see one on I-205 going north from West Linn toward Clackamas Town Center, on the right hand side of the Freeway. The other is on I-5 going north between the Carmen exit and just prior to the 217 interchange on the West side of the Freeway. These signs were placed there by a woman who is a follower of Christ, along with several others who desire to see our Constitution upheld. This gal is an example of someone trying to make a difference in our government by not only praying but by putting her faith in action, (James 2:22, “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Check out www.deepinyourheart.org!
Responding to Questions and Comments
Here are a few questions that I have heard or people have said to me about being engaged in the public process.
Why should we as Christians be interested in influencing our government and culture since it is not eternal?
When John Witherspoon heard this same objection two centuries ago, he promptly responded:
“Shall we establish nothing good because we know it cannot be eternal? Because we know that we shall die, shall we take not pains to preserve or lengthen our life? Far from it, Sir; it only requires the more watchful attention to settle government upon the best principles and in the wisest manner so that it may last as long as the nature of things will admit.” Witherspoon, Works of John Witherspoon (1815), Vol. IX, p. 129.
The fact that something may not be eternal does not release Christian citizens from their duties of stewardship over the civil government which God has provided them. Despite warnings, unwise arguments in recent years have contributed to the neglect of civic stewardship by God-fearing citizens. The current condition of our government and our country is in many ways a reflection of the action—or lack of action—by the God-fearing community. In Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43, the parable of the wheat and tares illustrates that while good men slept, the enemy sowed tares in the field. Jesus never faulted the enemy for doing what he did; the problem was that the good men went to sleep. This parable is talking about the “field” which represents the “world” not the church.
Daniel Webster also cautioned:
“I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe…Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence.” Daniel Webster, Works, Vol. I, p. 403.
Another question I have received lately is about our role in the public arena.
God is in control and we know what the outcome will be so why should we engage in the civic and public process?
We do know that God has untimate control, rule and will work out His purposes whether a king, government or president is righteous or evil. Daniel 4:17b, “…The holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign (ruler, NASV) over the kingdom of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest (basest, KJV) of men.”
We also know that Proverbs 29:2 (NKJV) is true: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.”
Even though God knows the ultimate outcome, this does not mean we cannot affect our surroundings before His ultimate purposes are realized. We live life knowing God will provide for our families but we do everything possible to secure for them a safe, productive, prosperous, and successful existence. We clearly do all we can to be sure our kids have a good education, moral friends, and a healthy diet. We are confident God is in control but we do the business of practical living everyday, being led by the Spirit as we step out in faith! Why would it be different with our responsibilies for our societal needs?
In Luke 19: 11-27 Jesus tells the parable of “The Ten Pounds” which exhorts us to rigorously use and invest our time, money and opportunities here and now, “Occupy until I come” (19:13 KJV). It is also interesting to note that there is a direct correlation between living practically and responsibly in the temporal world because it will have a direct impact on the eternal world. What is even more staggering is that the eternal reward is described as our being in “charge of cities,” 19:17,19), which sounds very practical, earthy and perhaps even political!
“God is in Control but He has Placed us in Charge”
Is there a correlation between the righteous behavior of citizens and public officials and the rewards and punishments upon our nation?
Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
Israel was promised prosperity and prestige if she obeyed God’s laws. (See Deuteronomy 28:1-14.)
The Founders lived with the reality of a principle called “rewards and punishments.” Notice the following statement from the Constitution of Vermont:
“And each member, before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, ‘You do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the rewarder of the good and punisher of the wicked.’” The Constitutions of the Sixteen States (Boston: Manning and Loring, 1797). p. 257, Vermont, 1792, Chapter II, Section XII.
It is noteworthy to recognize that the Constitutions of Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee also had almost identical statements in their constitutions.
Do the laws of our land help determine the behavior of a society?
“In the 1930’s and 1940’s there was a slow accumulation of positivistic Justices on the Court, and not until the 1962-63 decisions were those decisions realized in our culture. Those decisions openly repudiated the transcendent, Biblical, natural-law standards which had prevailed—or had at least not been set aside—since the time of the Founders, and instituted legal positivism as the replacement.” (From Original Intent by David Barton, p. 241).
Have these decisions had consequences? Yes! A good question we ought to ask before we vote for anyone or any issue is, “How will they/this impact our culture for righteousness?”
In Matthew 7:17, Jesus gave a guiding principle about given outcomes stemming from character, “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”