An Open Letter from Dr. John Ankerberg Concerning Voting in the Presidential Election
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg; ©2012|
|Many people have asked Dr. John Ankerberg who he feels Christians should vote for in the upcoming elections. This open letter provides his answer.|
Thank you for contacting us regarding your thoughts on the issue of the presidential election. To be clear, I wanted to personally reply with where our ministry stands on this important issue.
First, we encourage all Americans to exercise their right and privilege to vote. One of the great opportunities of our nation is the ability to take part in choosing the leaders of our government. This includes becoming informed on the issues of the candidates in order to vote for those you believe most closely correspond to your personal values as a Christian.
During the past quarter century, no presidential election has been won by more than ten million ballots. But every federal election held during the same time period has included at least one hundred million people of voting age who did not vote. When people are uninvolved in the political process, government can begin to make changes that stand against the will of the majority of its people. Proverbs 14:34 observes, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Christians are called to express their vote in a way that supports their spiritual values.
One evangelical leader wrote to challenge his supporters with this series of questions: “At what point will we be willing to defend what we believe? Will we object if the state tells pastors what they can or cannot say from the pulpit? (In Sweden an evangelical pastor who preached on Sodom and Gomorrah was convicted of ‘verbal violence’ against homosexuals and sentenced to a four-week prison term.) Will we be willing to get involved if the government revokes all tax deductions for charitable giving? Will parents object if their children are routinely indoctrinated in homosexual ideology or occultism in the public schools? Will we object if the state assumes ownership of our children and tells us how to rear them, or else lose custody?”
As Christians, we are called to live as “salt and light.” Matthew 5:13-16 teaches:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Salt is a preservative that is rubbed into meat. We are to be rubbed into society to keep it from decay and corruption. I encourage you to be “light” by voting your values.
Second, as a non-profit organization, we are not allowed by law to officially endorse a political candidate for president or any other office. However, we can and do speak about the moral issues God wants us to live as Christians. The purpose of our organization is to present and defend the truth of the Christian faith.
Rather, we encourage Americans to examine where candidates stand on issues, including those that may oppose what is taught in the Bible. For example, the Bible speaks very clearly that marriage should be between one man and one women (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5,6) and premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality (1Corinthians 6:9, I Timothy 1:9-11), are sinful.
On the issue of abortion, Genesis 1:26-27 reveals that humans are created in God’s image and are of infinite worth to Him. Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:5, and other passages further highlight the importance of life at all stages, including preborn children in the womb. Proverbs 31:8 calls us to speak out on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves, a principle that can apply to preborn children under the threat of abortion.
Other issues of importance are also at stake in our culture, including religious freedom, the role of government, the economy, jobs, and education, to name a few. Believers are called to investigate these important issues and vote for candidates who most closely support their values derived from Scripture.
Third, we wish to be clear that a Christian can vote for a person of another faith or of no faith at all. I would rather vote for a non-Christian leader who promises to support policies which uphold my biblical values, than a self-professed Christian who will not.
Philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” It is a fact of history that Adolf Hitler was elected to office in a regular democratic election by a peace loving German society. How was such a man ever elected to the highest office of the land? Hitler himself tells us. He said, “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.” He went on to say, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” Today in America, we are being told many things. We need to think. Are we being told the truth? What evidence have we seen that persuades us we are being told the truth? If what we know does not add up, then we should not believe them.
We don’t want to see the tragedies of history repeated in present-day America. Hitler began with lies that were later reflected in his nation’s laws. In America, we have politicians and a secular media actively trying to influence what we think, trying to persuade us of the policies and values they believe are best for our country. What are they basing their views on? Why should we believe them? We must inform ourselves regarding the past voting records of candidates and choose the representatives who best reflect our Christian values and the evidence at hand.
Dr. John Ankerberg and The John Ankerberg Show