THE DILEMMA OF VOTING AS BELIEVERS
By Colleen Donahue
What do we do when as believers our political parties espouse things that go against the Word of God, or what we perceive to be the will of God? This dilemma has brought a lot of anguish to voters everywhere in both parties who are trying to sort out which party best coincides with belief in God. We want to participate as citizens in our democracy and still stay true to our faith.
It was helpful for me when I realized that neither party had the moral high ground. The moral issues are not settled “en masse” through laws. Every individual has a God-given conscience and as we respond to God speaking through that conscience, we make the right moral choice.
The parties within any government are man’s attempts to govern themselves apart from God. Therefore, we don’t accomplish God’s will through man-made laws enforcing with we think God would want. Human governments seek to control behavior from the top down. No sooner is a law made, then people are figuring out how to get around it. Jesus, on the other hand, transforms us from the inside out and that is how real change is made.
OUR MAIN QUESTION
As believers, we have allowed the kingdoms of this world to define us. We’ve accepted their limited and divisive views and have morphed into looking like everyone else. While it’s easy to do “our Christian duty” and vote against the “sin of (fill in the blank)”, that is not what we are called to do.
Ultimately, we are not called to solve the world’s problems. We are to draw our entire life from Jesus and manifest that life to others. The only question we really need to answer is “How do we love as Christ loves?”.
HOW DOES THIS HELP US IN VOTING?
Jesus told us that “good fruit will not come from a bad tree.” Therefore, studying the character of each candidate (despite their party) should be our primary focus. While it’s true we are always making a choice between two flawed candidates, we can study their overall character and evaluate what they have done to help the most people.
Since neither party deals with the moral issues “by the Spirit”, it leaves us free to vote for the candidate who is truthful, loves the people they hope to serve, and who can work with others to get things done. For the more people who have a steady income, a home, healthcare, and opportunity, the more all of us in our country will thrive together.