Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Voting is a duty to preserve God’s gift of Liberty
By Karen Lees, CSG student
“Choosing not to vote isn’t rebellion. It’s surrender.” – Author unknown
In the election of November 2012, over 90 million eligible voters did not vote. It is estimated that up to 50 million of those were Christians. Sadly, many of them had not even registered. This is not only disgraceful, but Christians are accountable to God for neglecting the responsibility of maintaining His precious gift of liberty.
After the November 2012 election, Rev. Franklin Graham said, “If Christians are upset, they need to be upset at themselves… If Christians would just vote, then elections in this country would be much different.”
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” -Proverbs 14:34 This verse affirms what has been proven by the fallen nations throughout history: What makes a nation great is measured by a people who do what is right by God’s standards, not what seems right in their own eyes. Our founders secured and protected these standards in our founding documents and referred to them as “natural rights.” They designed our government upon the foundation that all of our laws should conform to these natural right standards. Candidates who stand first for this standard of truth certainly will not get into office unless God’s people vote for them. If we have corrupt and lawless rulers we are doubly responsible since we, unlike many other nations in history, have the freedom to vote.
It is irresponsible to be an uninformed voter. Research the candidates to know if they align with natural rights on important issues. Do they uphold the natural and fundamental rights to life, liberty, and property? Instead of relying on deceptive political ads, read the party platform of each candidate to see what that candidate has agreed to promote. Did you know these platforms have been re-written and have changed drastically, some in just the last four years? The two major parties now have very different visions for America. Read to find out what they really are. They are readily available online.
Many Americans did not participate in the 2016 primaries but watched to see who the party candidates would be. If the choice of candidates is undesirable to Christians, the lack of involvement during the primaries is the reason why. Still, many who are opposed to making a choice between “the lesser of the two evils” blame the system and believe they are no longer bound by duty. But no matter how undesirable the choices, it still does not relieve us of our responsibility to vote.
In an interview with Billy Graham’s Decision magazine, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council commented, “Voting for a third-party candidate or writing in someone not on the ballot does nothing to address the dire state of the nation. We are a two-party system…we may not like it, but that’s a reality. A third party candidate is not going to win. The reality is that one of the candidates representing the two major parties is going to be elected president – period.”
Many candidates will not fit into our personal idea of Christian perfection, but may be exactly the one God has chosen as someone He can work with to be a leader to carry out His plan on the earth. Daniel 2:21 says “He removes kings and establishes kings”. As God’s people with the freedom to vote, we have the unique honor and privilege of partnering with God in this process. That is why it is so important to pray for discernment. As His sheep, we are to hear His voice, especially in the last days. We love to sing “God Bless America” and on our courthouses and currency it is inscribed “In God We Trust” but if we really trust Him and want Him to bless America, we’ve got to be willing to give God someone He can work with!
Proverbs 21:1 says the Lord can control a king’s mind as easily as he controls a river. Even kings who did not know God were used by Him, like King Cyrus, who was known for his extraordinary compassion, his ability in human rights, strategy, and to build and manage large cities. He was chosen by God to be the leader who restored Israel at that point in history. Even though he did not know God, he had the attributes God was searching for and his heart was open to hearing Him. U.S. Presidents have even reported having what they believed to be divinely inspired dreams before making a major decision.
For Christians, voting is not just a right. It is a duty and a stewardship we owe to God for the blessings of liberty. One for which we will have to answer to Him and to future generations.
In his 1803 election sermon, Rev. Matthias Burnet said, “To God and posterity you are accountable for your rights and your rulers. Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you!” Rev. Burnet echoed Proverbs 29:2: “When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.”
We are the stewards of liberty in our Republic. Future generations will look back and point to us if we fail to keep it. To quote Center for Self Governance President Mark Herr, “We are stakeholders in a self-governing society. But without our personal engagement, we are going to lose it.”
Check the deadline in your state for registering to vote before the November 8th election and if you are not already, get registered and vote. Now is our opportunity to help preserve God’s precious gift of Liberty.
The Language of Liberty series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. The authors include administrative staff, selected students, and guest columnists. The views expressed by the authors are their own and do not reflect the views of CSG. They may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org To learn more, go to CenterForSelfGovernance.com.