OCTOBER 2012 - VOTE YOUR VALUES

Every four years this country comes together to vote on our national government leadership.  We select our president, vice-president, some senators, and all our representatives to Congress.  What a great opportunity that is.  This nation, governed by the people, takes a moment and makes a statement about who we are and where we are going.  Our selections say a lot about what we believe to be important. 

We search for leaders.  We search for statesmen of integrity.  We choose who will lead us.  Attached to that opportunity is a significant responsibility.  We must vote our values!  We need to search for godly men and women to lead us, whenever possible. 

While it is not appropriate to endorse a person or party in an article like this, it is very appropriate to remind everyone to vote their values.  In fact, when God’s people do not do that, they are in danger of rebuke by Jesus himself.  In Matthew 15: 7-9, Jesus was doing just that when the people were talking about and worshipping God and then living as if it didn’t matter, doing whatever they wanted.  Listen to Jesus’ words,  “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips,  but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’”  The last part of that is a quote from Isaiah 29:13. 

Jesus has made it astoundingly clear!  We can say all the right things and even worship God while doing so, but if we don’t live as we talk and worship, then we are hypocrites.  When applying that principle to politics, God’s people must be very careful.  We should participate in the process as faithful servants who vote our godly values because they come from the Creator and guide us on life’s journey, as individuals, as churches, and as a nation. 

Occasionally, people say they vote for a party for various reasons, regardless of the candidates.  When taking that approach, values don’t mean much, and party means more than anything else.  Faithful Christians need to pray and study and know what God’s values are, and then step up and be heard in the electoral process, based on those values. 

Some might say, “What does it matter?  I am only one vote.”  That is true, but it doesn’t take much to figure out that if all of God’s people stood together on God’s values, it would make a difference!  Add them up.  Let God’s values be heard.  Your vote does matter, especially in close races. 

Sometimes the choices aren’t clear.  There may be two candidates who stand for godly values.  There may be no candidates who stand for godly values.  When that appears to be the case, praying for the Spirit’s guidance is crucially important! 

There are some basic values that should always be clear.  They are fundamental to the roots of Christianity in this nation.  They are reflective of  who we are and of what is important about this life and this earth that God has given us. 

1. The Right to Live—Everyone who has been conceived has the right to live.  That includes unborn babies and those who are infirmed.  God’s people are to help the defenseless and those who cannot speak for themselves.  Anyone who cannot accept this basic right of existence should not be leading men and women, especially in a national office.  Does life begin at conception?  Assume for a moment that we can’t know, then shouldn’t we be erring on the side of caution and not kill the unborn?  We do know that God gives very high value to the unborn.  (Jeremiah 1:5; Isaiah 49:1; Job 31:15; Luke 1:41)

2.  A Commitment to Judeo-Christian Values —Have you noticed in the last few years how many, with the media’s help, regularly paint Christians in an unfavorable way?  We are told we are intolerant, extreme, homophobic, prudish, and unfairly trying to make everyone believe like we do.  Those comments, and others, would be laughable, if they weren’t so serious.  This nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles that are now under attack by many.  We need leaders who will continue to stand for those principles for life, including marriage being between one man and one woman. 

3.  Appointing Judges Who Uphold Godly Values in Law—Our great nation was built on godly values.  It was structured so we have a balance of power to protect those values and so leaders would rule wisely and justly.  When any of the three branches of government, including the Supreme Court, takes over the role of another branch, the balance is in jeopardy.  In recent years, when judges have legislated from the bench, Christian values have often been attacked, and occasionally removed from law. 

4.  Upholding the Principle of Work=Reward—Unfair, or immoral, taxing and government spending schemes that perpetuate laziness go against godly principles that say a worker is worthy of his hiring.  In other words, pay a fair wage and let a man, or woman, reap the benefit of their labor so they, not the government, can take care of their family and improve their lives.  II Thessalonians 3:10 says that if a man does not work, he shall not eat.  That kind of incentive is crucial as people connect with God and do their best as they reflect his glory.  (Matthew 10:10)

There are many other godly values, but those are very important as we select those who lead us.   May all of God’s people unite around a godly worldview for this great nation.  Let us rise up and be counted for righteousness, fairness, and godly values.  When we do, the stinging rebuke from Christ will not be in the picture. 

So, here is a plan for discerning how to vote your godly values.  1) Pray for God’s guidance; 2) Research what the candidates are saying.  Look behind the rhetoric and find the truth; 3) Have the conviction to vote for candidates who best stand for God’s values; 4) Vote!