George A. Bowers Sr.: What’s a Christian to do?
As we approach Election Day next Tuesday, many Christians are discouraged about our two options for president. Neither candidate reflects the beliefs that most of us could enthusiastically support. Faced with this dilemma, some are considering sitting out this trip to the polls and simply not voting at all. Let me share with you how I came to my decision to do otherwise.
For me, not voting is a non-starter since I am well aware of the unique privilege we have been given in this country to participate in the governmental process in this most significant way. Other than prayer, my vote is the most powerful tool I possess to influence our nation and to not employ it would be an abdication of my God-given responsibility. Not voting would also devalue the lives of countless men and women who sacrificed their lives to purchase and preserve this precious privilege for me. So I will vote next Tuesday. But for whom?
We must realize that unless Jesus runs for office, no candidate will ever be perfect. Even if he did, I doubt he’d get elected and I even wonder how many of those of us who profess to follow him would actually support his candidacy. I’m thankful that his eventual rule will not need democratic approval.
Unfortunately, however, this lack of perfection seems to have sunk to new lows with the two current presidential candidates. The one bright spot is a running mate who is an outspoken Christ follower with a record that demonstrates his beliefs. I’m encouraged by the possibilities of his godly influence on the most powerful office in the world.
But since neither candidate is ever ideal, we are always forced to choose one that is closest to it. For me, that requires examining their platforms. Christians should scrutinize every plank since they all have varying degrees of morality attached. This evaluation is always challenging and usually involves weighing some faith issues against others. Jobs, taxes, national defense, immigration, religious liberty, LGBT stances, and stewardship of creation are all important considerations for every Christian in this election. Prioritizing these issues in weight of relative importance helps to sort through this complex process.
Our nation’s founders recognized that governments were instituted to protect certain God-given inalienable rights and the first and most important one they listed was life. Without life, none of the others matter. Protection of human life ought to be the chief concern for every American leader.
I grieve that our nation kills over 3,000 of its unborn children every day. Since 1973 the lives of over 56 million babies have been “legally” snuffed out before they ever drew their first breaths. This equals the combined populations of 26 of our 50 states and all were helpless innocents. While Christians should be concerned about what will happen to 11 million illegal aliens, this pales in comparison to the slaughter of over five times that many defenseless children and catapults the abortion issue to the top of a Christian’s political priority list.
I am thankful that one platform advocates for the lives of the unborn who cannot speak for themselves but I grieve that the other openly favors allowing infanticide to continue, and enthusiastically supports Planned Parenthood even after they were caught selling body parts of aborted babies. With one vacancy on the Supreme Court already and others expected soon, I pray for justices who will give these children opportunities to live and make their own choices instead of being slaughtered by the choices of others. We have the promise of pro-life picks with one candidate versus the certainly of pro-abortion justices with the other. Other moral issues such as same sex marriage and transgender bathroom mandates will also be decided by the next appointments to the highest judicial bench and raise this stake even higher.
Economic plans, faithful stewardship of natural resources, and other issues also deserve consideration but even a casual reading of God’s word reveals that economic blessings follow faithful moral obedience. I encourage every Christian to weigh the platforms of each candidate and support the one that most accurately reflects Biblical teachings. Ultimately, we’ll each have to give an account for how we used the high privilege of our vote. Praying and voting, George
George Bowers Sr. is the senior pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of seven books, including his devotional collection, “Blessings.” He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.