More after the break.
Here’s how I describe this line:
- I will not question people’s faith (whether they are a Christian or not) because of their political beliefs and how they vote.
I will not use Scripture to try to prove that my candidate is the one to vote for. This is heresy–twisting the scriptures to say what you want them to say.
Similarly, I will not say ‘Jesus would vote for…’ any particular candidate. This is the same kind of heresy. You are putting words in God’s mouth. If this doesn’t give you pause, if that doesn’t make you stop and think, my recommendation is that you make a word study on ‘reverence’ and the phrase ‘fear of God’ and see if that is helpful. Personally, I love Jesus enough not to disrespect him by saying he says things that he doesn’t.
The only allowable conclusion to be drawn here by any believers is this: All believers, those who profess a faith in Christ, need to pray and vote and support political candidates (or withhold their support) according to their own conscience, whatever they believe God is telling them to do. That is sacred and private, something between God and you.
My political views are fairly obvious, but I will state them for the record: I have always voted Republican. I do not agree with all Republican candidates on every point. Many times I have had to ‘hold my nose and vote’ for the candidate whom I found least objectionable. Here is one example of where my personal beliefs differ from those of the party I am most likely to vote for: I am a fiscal conservative and believe we should keep taxes low and government intrusion in our lives at a minimum. On the other hand, I also believe we should take care of the environment, the Earth that our Creator has so graciously given us. I’m saddened that I often have to pick between fiscal responsibility and ecological responsibility, because I believe both are important, but I pray and I vote according to my conscience on the matter.
There is no ‘Christian candidate’ for president of the United States. Anyone who tries to convince you that there is only one clear choice that is acceptable for believers is guilty of deception.
I want you to think for yourself and believe for yourself. I will absolutely not question your faith if you are voting for someone else.
Now, when I see folks who I think might be being blindly carried along by what the media is telling them or who might be misinformed and potentially making a bad decision, I’ll speak up if it seems right to do so at the time. I care about people and I want them to think for themselves.
Often it helps to be presented with both sides of an argument. The American media, for the most part, has made it very clear that they will only serve up one side of the argument. Thoughtful, well-reasoned research is something to be valued and should be sought out.
Use wisdom. Learn to think for yourself and detect when people are pressuring you to think a certain way. Learn to recognize media manipulation. You’ve been given a wondrous gift in your brain and your will. Use them!
Study the issues. Seek God’s will on these things. Refuse to spread heresy. Be kind and civil to those who think differently from you. Stand up for those who are being attacked and abused for their political beliefs.
Use your brain and be kind to your fellow man, who is also made in the image of God. Respect that image, no matter what lapel pin they have on their shirt or what bumper sticker they have on their car. 🙂