by Bob Dasal
A study indicates that in 2000 more Christians based their vote in the national election on economic issues than moral issues. What should be the priorities for Christians? Do pastors have a responsibility to not only encourage their people to vote, but to challenge them to develop their political viewpoint on solid biblical principles? I want to try to answer the questions from the perspective of my own personal pilgrimage as a Christian and an American.
Now, what is the proper relationship between Christianity and politics? How should Christian principles and values guide us as we make political choices? I grew up hearing that religion and politics don't mix; that people should keep their religion and their politics separated. I still believe "religion and politics" is a powder keg. The difference now is I believe the stakes are too high for Christians to stay on the sidelines.
Also, we must understand there is a difference between "religion" and having a personal relationship with God through Christ. If I have the latter, then every facet of my life and living is affected and directed by that relationship. The Apostle Paul put it this way, "For to me to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21). Inevitably my Christianity affects why and how I should vote.
Where a candidate stands on moral issues must weigh heavily in a Christian's considerations. While a secular society may not like it, we know from the Bible and from history, that "blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord" (Ps. 33:12). It's important to know where candidates stand on economics issues, but for Christians, it's even more important to know where they stand on the critical moral issues of our day. Pastor Mark Tackett, pastor of the Bethel Church in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, said, "I tell my people to take their Christianity with them into the voting booth."
Republicans, Democrats, Independents, etc., agree this election is pivotal in the life of our nation. Turn on your television or radio, or read the newspaper and/or news magazines and you'll find them full of political rhetoric and advertising. Over the next two months it will increase ad nauseam!
There's a potential danger of people being so turned off by the hoopla leading up to Election Day that they will stay home. Oh, how I pray that doesn't happen, but that the Christian community will become well informed and then go to the polls on November 2nd and vote for those who stand for and live by the principles on which our country was founded. If our children and grandchildren are to have the opportunity to live in a county where Psalm 33:12 applies, Christians must go and vote for legislators, governors, congressmen, senators, and a president that believe and practice biblical values.
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