Very likely the upcoming election could be the most crucial our nation has ever faced. Never before have we been at such a crossroads regarding the direction we will head with respect to traditional Judeo-Christian ethics and values. As evidence of the gravity of this election, prayer groups are meeting across the nation praying for our country and the election, and Billy Graham, the world’s best-known evangelist, who has always steered clear of politics and has befriended each standing president for decades, is running full-page advertisements in a number of newspapers across the country, urging voters to vote for candidates that support biblical values of life, marriage and religious freedom . Here is one of the pleas from Billy Graham:
“The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren, and this great nation is crucial. As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this could be my last.
I believe it vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge
you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6th, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.”
All Christians, but especially those in leadership roles, have a high calling to speak the truth from the Word of God. Dietrich BonHoeffer, who faced the atrocities of a Nazi prisoner of war camp, said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.” There is an ongoing struggle for the soul of America and it appears to have reached a crisis point which may well determine the future “greatness” of this nation. Many people look to pastors and Christian ministry leaders for guidance on important moral and social issues. Could we possibly do any more or any less than vote for candidates who most closely reflect our own biblical values? As Dr. Graham so eloquently stated, there is so much at stake for the future of our families and nation. As citizens of this great nation, we are afforded the right to choose the candidates (executive and representative) who best reflect the vision we hold for a constitutionally based government and who most closely embrace the biblical core values that have molded our nation. Andrew Jackson, on his deathbed, pointing to the Bible on his nightstand, said, “That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests.”
Erwin Lutzer, pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, recently wrote an article entitled “How Should a Christian Vote” emphasizing that “whether we are enthusiastic about our political candidates or disappointed with our choices, we should not shirk our duty as good citizens.” I would add that we need to value our vote and vote our values. Pastor Lutzer wrote, “In my opinion, we should vote for the person who best represents our convictions on the following issues” (I have added a few verses to his):
1. Character and Integrity
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people mourn…The king by judgment establishes the land but he that
receives gifts overthrows it…If a ruler listens to lies, all his servants are wicked” (Pr.29: 2,4,12).
2. Sanctity of Human Life
a. “In sin my mother conceive me” (Ps. 51:5–indicates that life begins at conception).
b. “For you have formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psa. 139:13)
c. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you” (Jer. 1:5…God speaking to Jeremiah)
3. Marriage: One man and one woman
a. “And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man” (Gen. 2:22).
b. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22)
c. “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same
way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a
depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper” (Ro. 1:26-28).
4. Freedom for Religious Speech
a. “So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, but we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard'” (Acts 4:18-20).
b. “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so…” (Psa. 107:2)
5. Racial Equality
a. “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26).
b. “…and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priest to our God” (Rev. 5:9,10).
c. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
6. National Security
“And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night” (Neh. 4:8,9).
7. Taxation and Government Spending
“We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards…we are forcing our sons and daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but it is not in our power to help it, for other men have our fields and our vineyards” (Neh. 5:4,5).
8. Support for Israel (my addition to pastor Lutzer’s list)
a. “And I will bless those who bless you (Abraham and his offspring). And the one who curses you, I will curse. In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3).
b. “Blessed is everyone who blesses you and cursed is everyone who curses you” (Nu. 24:9…Balaam’s prophecy regarding Israel).
“Whether our preferred candidate wins or loses, we have a God-given responsibility to pray for our leaders and to support them in whatever way we can. Paul, addressing the Romans when Nero was on the throne, wrote: ‘Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God’ (Ro. 13:1). “Vote with prayer, seeking wisdom from God, keeping your biblical values in mind.”
Our political candidates often close their speeches with, “And may God bless America.” It’s easy to say this, but it will only happen to the extent that the people are willing to bless and honor God. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psa. 33:12). “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Ann Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, said, “How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?” She’s spot on! The answer for our individual lives and the society of our nation lies in the lordship of Jesus Christ. As Andrew Jackson said, “The Bible is the rock on which our republic (must) rest.”
So, do your homework, check out the candidates on biblical issues, pray, and get out and vote. And, if you think your vote doesn’t really matter, consider this: In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German! In 1941, one vote saved the Selective Service System just 12 weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked! And, in 1923, one vote gave Adolph Hitler control of the Nazi party! Never underestimate the power of one! Please exercise your privilege to vote in this election, and vote based on your biblical world view.