Monday, November 5, 2012

A Word to Christians on Voting

I sent this email out to our congregation. If you are not on our email list, here it is:

As you know, tomorrow, November 6 is Election Day. For those of us who have the right to vote, it is both a tremendous privilege and responsibility. As this historic event approaches, let me ask you to do two things:

1. Pray. Ultimately, God is King and all rulers serve at his pleasure. He will determine the outcome of this election (Proverbs 16:33). Our prayer should not be merely for our comfort, but for the prospering of the gospel and Christ’s church. Ultimately, all of our prayers should fall under the heading of “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

2. If you are eligible and have not done so already, vote. As you vote, think biblically. The Christian faith affects how we think about everything. You cannot divorce your faith from who you are. As Christians, we are not merely to be concerned about ourselves, but to think of the interest of others (Philippians 2). That means our approach to the voting booth should not be, which candidate will benefit me? But which candidate will promote true justice. Voting is not our attempt to impose our power on others, but to promote justice and defend the rights of those who cannot defend themselves (Proverbs 31:1-9). For more on this, check out my earlier blog post.

Make no mistake—we will not bring about the kingdom of God through political means. We will not “Christianize” America through political force. The state cannot and should not do that. Sunday, we sang the 200 year old hymn, “Lead On, O King Eternal.” It sums it up well: “For not with swords loud clashing, nor roll of stirring drums; with deeds of love and mercy the heavenly kingdom comes.” The hope of the world (and America) is not political force, but the reign of Christ. It is through our love and evangelism that we invite people into this reign. At the same time, we are called by God to seek the welfare of the place where we live (Jeremiah 29:7). Voting responsibly is one of the ways we do that.

For His glory,

Mark Bates
Senior Pastor

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