Last week, Chuck Colson talked about voting being both a civic and sacred duty. And I couldn’t agree more.
And if we truly care about our country, we ought to do more than just vote. We ought to put our faith to work. One way to do this is to get involved in the political campaigns of the public servant of your choice, from local mayoral candidates to congressmen to presidential nominees.
You might even consider running for office yourself. That’s what John Tyler Hammonds did. John is just 19 years old and a freshman at the University of Oklahoma. But that didn’t stop him from running for mayor of Muskogee, a city of 38,000 in northeastern Oklahoma. He won with 70 percent of the vote! Clearly, with God’s help, big things are possible.
Of course, even outside of political campaigns, there’s a lot of work to do. Tragically, no matter who is elected president, it looks like abortion is going to remain legal for a long time. This means that we should be working at pregnancy care clinics, helping young women in crisis pregnancies find solutions that don’t involve taking the life of their unborn children.
And no matter who occupies the White House, some 2 million people will remain behind bars in America’s jails and prisons. Some of you should be volunteering in prison, bringing the love of Christ to desperate men and women—and helping them when they get out to find homes, jobs, and churches. And speaking to policymakers and lawmakers about bringing biblical principles to bear in the criminal justice system.
Above all, be creative! A colleague of mine is planning to have monthly fund-raising tea parties. The money will go to a different charity each month—charities that are working hard to heal our culture.
If you’re an attorney, you might consider volunteering for an organization that works to protect the rights of Christians under attack from activist groups.
If you have teenagers, encourage them to take on leadership positions. They could lead a Bible study, run for student council, or mentor or tutor young children.
You can strike a blow against wrong-headed policies both by donating your time and your money. For instance, if politicians refuse to support school choice for poor students while at the same time putting their own children in private schools, hold a pizza party. Let the proceeds go to a scholarship fund for poor children. If you and your friends can get just one child out of a violent or failing school, I promise you the angels will rejoice.
Besides being fun and worthwhile, these kinds of activities will help you light a candle instead of being tempted just to curse the darkness.
Sometimes it’s all too easy to fall into a mindset that if your candidate or party loses, everything is lost. Well, it’s not.
So, what do we do when the election is over? Yes, we’ll cheer if our candidates win and probably moan a bit if they don’t. But then, the next day, let’s roll up our sleeves and remember, win or lose, we still have to be salt and light in our culture.
We need to put our faith to work—and that means rolling up our sleeves after November 5th.
From BreakPoint®, October 28, 2008, Copyright 2008, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. “BreakPoint®” and “Prison Fellowship Ministries®” are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship