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How should Jesus followers vote?

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America stands at a spiritual, cultural, economic and political crossroads. Today's midterm elections are perhaps the most significant in decades, the outcome of which can dramatically change the trajectory of our nation, for good or for evil. The political parties and their platforms represent two distinctly different directions for America, as evidenced by past elections.

First and foremost, for a follower of Jesus, choosing not to vote dishonors God. Furthermore, it’s un-American and irresponsible. As Americans, ‘we the people’ have the God-given, sacred honor to vote. Furthermore, we owe both a debt of gratitude and we possess a responsibility to those soldiers, both past and present, who fought and died for our American freedoms.

Every vote is necessary and matters. American citizens need to remember that we have the power to vote the elected officials, who serve at our pleasure, in and out of office. 

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Founding Father Samuel Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, eloquently said, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote ... that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”

With freedom, comes responsibility. How do followers of Jesus discern how to vote and bring their judicial Christian values into their decisions?

Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Church Tony Evans’ sermon series and book by the same name, Kingdom Politics, is a powerful guide to arm Christians with the knowledge and the understanding to make informed voting decisions, based on the word of God, instead of party lines, personal preferences and family history.

Evans explains that: 

“unless God and His Word are the overarching influencer and rationale over how followers of Jesus make our electoral decisions, then we cannot expect God to be the overarching influencer in our nation. Nor can we expect God to pour out His blessings on our country, when He has been similarly marginalized, and at times even dismissed, from the political equation.”

Evans reminds us, that as born-again Christians, we have dual citizenship. We are citizens of the United States, and also citizens of the kingdom of God. He encourages kingdom believers to advance God’s kingdom agenda defined as “the visible manifestation of the comprehensive rule of God over every area of life,” including in the political sphere.

As citizens of America and God’s kingdom, we owe both our allegiance, but when God says one thing about an issue, and a political party or a candidate says another, then we must choose. How do we wisely discern how to vote when we agree with some of the policies of a candidate or political party, but not all of them? What if we are in agreement with the policies and direction of a party platform or policy, but don’t like the personality of the politician running for that office?

As a fiscally and socially conservative pro-life womb-to-tomb Christian who believes in small government, individual liberty, parents' rights, free market enterprise, strong borders, strong national defense and a representative government, by and for the people, the choice for me is very clear.

However, I realize that the choice may not be as clear for others. So it is to the undecided, the "on the fencers" and even the apathetic — the "my vote doesn’t matter" folks — that I offer the following as guideposts to better discern how to make a wise and thoughtful decision on today.

Matthew 6:33 tells us to “Seek first God’s Kingdom, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” God’s word further warns us in Proverbs 14:34, "A nation is exalted by the righteousness of its people, but sin heaps disgrace upon the land." Proverbs 29:2 explains that "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn."

The righteous in this verse is in direct contrast with the wicked. The biblical meaning of righteousness represents the perfect justice of God's law and grace, while wickedness is the opposite.

In a song I wrote decades ago, I lamented, "Searching in my blues, searching in my blues, everywhere all around, injustice seems to brew. Whatever happened to our land where God reigns true?"

Founding Father and Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Alexander Hamilton said, "People get the government they deserve." While our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we had drifted so far from our Godly heritage. By seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness, we can rely on God’s promises that our nation will be exalted.

Pray for God’s will. Pray for Christians and pastors to speak the truth in love about the issues in both the private and the public square. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” The best way to know God’s will and testament is to know His Word because His Word is His Will.

Keep an eternal perspective. The Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 1:17, “If you call God your Father, live your time as temporary citizens on earth.” Recognize that we are ambassadors of Christ, called to be salt and light, to speak the truth in love and to pursue justice and mercy. When we live with eternity in view while eagerly awaiting the return of the Lord Jesus, it’s important to remember that “we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ”. We will be held accountable and answer for our choices, priorities and service to God and others for His glory and purposes. That includes how we vote.

Make a decision to vote based on what God says in His Word. Vote for the candidates, party and policies that best align with Judeo-Christian values. In order to do so, it’s paramount to find out what the Word of God says on the pressing policy issues at the forefront of this election.

The Bible does speak to the following: the role of government, national security, defense and borders, Israel, immigration, the plight of the poor and hungry, the economy, education, energy, economics, crime, corruption, family, marriage, racism, human slavery, national debt, taxes, the rule of law, justice, foreign policy, and terrorism. His word also addresses the rights of human beings, created in the image of God, to life, liberty and prosperity.

Assess the character, integrity and consistency of the candidate. While this is a challenge in cancel culture, with media bias and hateful rhetoric, remember that actions speak louder than words. Character matters.

Research the position of the candidate, their party and their policies on the above and other issues you care about. Closely examine each party’s platform to discover which position best aligns with a Judeo-Christian worldview and the word of God. The Republican and Democratic parties represent differing priorities as well as two distinctive worldviews. This is a key consideration since most candidates, with the exception of a scarce few, like Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, tend to vote in the majority of cases down the line with their respective party.

Leaders who make and follow policies based on these different worldviews change the trajectory of a nation. We have certainly seen this play out to the detriment of our nation since the 2020 election.

President Ronald Reagan reminds us to ask the question, “Are we better off now than before?” In light of his question, here are some issues to consider:

  • Our once-booming economy is now failing. Gas and food prices have soared.
  • Homelessness is on the rise.
  • Chaos and crime in our streets are rampant, especially in many of our inner cities, run by left-leaning officials
  • Our once strong and secure southern border is now overrun with thousands of illegal aliens, some dangerous, flooding into our nation daily, and rampant illegal drug and trafficking enterprises are thriving.
  • Our immigration system remains broken.
  • Our energy independence has been shifted to dependence on foreign oil.
  • Excessive government spending continues to deepen the national debt.
  • Our great American creed of "no American left behind" has been abandoned, as evidenced by the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Over 50 years ago, President Reagan said:

"The issue of this election is whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them for ourselves." 

Remember, every vote matters, including yours, your family's, your friends and your neighbors. It cannot be wasted. In the famous words of John F. Kennedy, "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Do the right thing and vote today and encourage others to do the same!

Donna Rice Hughes is an internet safety expert, author, speaker and media commentator. She is also the producer and Emmy-nominated host of the Emmy-award-winning "Internet Safety 101" PBS TV series. You can learn more about Donna and contact her at her website.

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