Primary elections have been in full swing, and four more states — Connecticut, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Vermont — go to the polls today. I recently talked with Dr. Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church, about what Christians should keep in mind as primaries continue and the November 6 midterm elections near. His thoughts are a timely encouragement for Christians to remember to cast a vote that flows from a biblical worldview that is allied with God's kingdom, not a political party.
Why is it important for Christians to vote in primary elections?
Evans: It's important for Christians to vote because the primaries will determine what the ultimate options are in the general elections. So if you want to have a say so later, you need to have a say so now. By voting in the primaries you are influencing what the options are later, helping to ensure you are not forced into a situation where your voice is not heard or where you don't have the options that you want.
In your book How Christians Should Vote, you talk about how there is a difference between simply voting down a party line and voting as a representative of God's kingdom. Would you share with us the difference?
Evans: Our ultimate allegiance is to our King of Kings and Lord of Lords — not to political parties. God is the consummate independent. He only votes for Himself. So when it comes to our elections we must ask which party platform, candidate and policies are most closely aligned with God's kingdom values. Not everyone is going to answer the same way, but the question is a great starting place. The kingdom of God triumphs over the kingdom of men, so don't vote solely along party lines without ascertaining God's perspective.
What truths do you believe Christians need to be reminded of before voting in the upcoming elections?
Evans: We need to be reminded that the biggest problem we have is the absenteeism of God. No matter how we vote, if we do not consider how the spiritual intersects with the social, political and governmental, our vote will be a wasted one.
We have so much division in our country, and it seems to be magnified in our politics. How is that division affecting the Church?
Evans: That division is a reflection of the church. The church is supposed to be the one people of God, but we have failed to model unity before a divided nation.
What does it mean for Christians to be unified, especially when it comes to our politics?
Evans: We can be unified in purpose even if we aren't all exactly voting the same. In other words, no matter who you vote for, when you come out of the voting booth, live purposefully for the kingdom of God. That is the key beyond the vote.