What Is a Christian’s Responsibility in the Ballot Box?
By: The John Ankerberg Show
How should a Christian respond when in doubt about either candidate? Janet Parshall explains.
Ankerberg: Janet, this is a concern I think we hear it a lot news commentators, political analysts, magazines and so on, and it goes like this: A lot of Christians say I don’t like either presidential candidate so I may sit this one out and not vote at all. And when Christians don’t vote, there are some consequences, but I don’t think a lot of folks realize what those consequences are. Let’s talk about, what are the consequences if the folks that are listening to us right now don’t show up and vote.
Janet Parshall: Well, let’s start with the plumb line of truth. Scripture says if you know the right thing to do and you don’t do it, it’s a sin. It calls us to influence and occupy until He comes. So in this American government, the government that we’re privileged to live in, how do we influence? Well, we do it through the ballot box. Now, in the primary session, maybe we have the luxury of saying “that’s my absolute favorite candidate.” But by the time it’s all said and done, you get down to two. Now, though someday will come when maybe we’ll have a viable third party candidate, but for the time being, it’s predominantly a two person race. So when you get to that election you have to stop and say, what is their worldview? Because when we sit it out what we’re saying in essence is our vote doesn’t count, we don’t care to influence and occupy. The other person takes preeminence, and the other person de facto actually gets the vote. So that’s a problem.
The second thing is that, look, sometimes if, particularly if you go back and you read 1 and 2 Kings, if you see what happened in Chronicles, sometimes you don’t get the luxury of saying, “I am wild, madly, deeply supportive of that candidate.” What you have to do is kick in that discernment that we’re called to use. The Bible says that if we ask for wisdom, we will get it liberally, the perfect use of that word, by the way. And what we need to do is to say, “Father, give us the discernment to really be able to hear not just what’s being talked out on the campaign trail. But let me look at the record. Let me see whether or not the walk and the talk match.” And then what we do is prayerfully and carefully step into the booth and say, first and foremost, “God, how do I honor You?” This isn’t about saying what’s in it for me. If we go in saying I want you to lower my taxes, I want you to lower the price of gas, I want you to put a chicken in every pot, then what we’re doing is self-centeredly saying this is about me, when in fact what we’re supposed to do is go back to what the biblical mandate for government is, which is to facilitate good, keep back evil, work for the common welfare. And look for the candidate that will most uphold those standards of righteousness for one simple reason, John; when the righteous rule the people rejoice, when the wicked rule, the people groan.
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