Billy Graham, John Piper Call on Christians to Vote

Influential Christian leaders are increasingly speaking up and telling Christians to vote in the presidential election next month.

John Piper and Billy Graham are the latest figures to encourage believers not to sit this election out and to vote biblical values.

"The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren and this great nation is crucial. As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could be my last," said evangelist Billy Graham in an emailed message Thursday. "I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel."

Like many Christian pastors, Graham urged voters to choose a candidate who will protect the sanctity of life and the biblical definition of marriage.

"Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God," the retired evangelist, who met with GOP candidate Mitt Romney last week, said. Graham met with President Obama in 2010.

Also rallying voters is Piper, pastor for Preaching & Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

"Having read several articles by people who don't plan to vote in the presidential election, my conclusion is: I'm going to vote," he wrote in a blog Tuesday.

His reason:

"Barring catastrophe, Obama or Romney will be president (yes, I know you may see it as a catastrophe even if either does get elected). The likelihood that both presidencies will be identical in the good and evil they do is infinitesimal. One will very probably do more good amid the bad, even if only a little.

"We can be part of that guess, or sit it out. God promises wisdom to those who seek it. So the likelihood that prayed-up, Bible-shaped Christians will tip the scales toward the incrementally worse regime is small. Therefore, the likelihood that we will waste our time voting seems small."

Piper admitted it's not the most inspiring rationale, but he still believes it's compelling, especially "in a fallen world that is not my home."

Other well-known Christian leaders who have called on Christians to vote and to vote biblical values include Greg Laurie, Max Lucado, and Franklin Graham.

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