My ballot still sits on my desk but I’ll be completing it soon and walking it in on Tuesday to my local polling place. As I shared last week and again, yesterday during my sermon at Quest, I will not be divulging who I am voting for various reasons.
Side question: Do you think “active” pastors [currently serving congregations] should publicly share who they are voting for?
Politics can get heated and messy. You don’t just have to watch the various media and news outlets to know this. You can also sense the tension within the Christian community which I think is perfectly normal and okay as long as we 1] engage in the rules of civility and 2] get off our righteous soapboxes and consider what it means for us to live out our faith and convictions beyond the election season.
Personally, I don’t believe that followers of Jesus should be in bed with either of the two major parties. We ought to remain “Independent” with a commitment to collaborate, listen, engage, and support the political system all while understanding that the political system is not our ultimate Hope or Answer. In addition, we must never lose the courage or conviction to speak prophetically to a group of people because we are lured by the power associated with politics or a political party.
So, how am I voting?
1. As I did last week, I want to acknowledge that Abortion is an important issue for me as it should be for all Christians. But I also want to place Abortion in the context of the larger Pro-Life Ethic of Womb to Tomb. While abortion is a big issue, I don’t see much changing no matter who or what Party is in office.
2. The number of verses in Scripture speaking to the Conversation of Abortion or Homosexuality [the Gay Conversation] can be counted on your hands. The number of Scripture speaking to the treatment of the poor, oppressed, and marginalized exceed 2,000 verses. I want to vote for a president that will place the poor – locally and globally – as a priority.
3. Education. Access to education. Elevation of the public school systems.
4. Diplomacy and the our nation’s international standing. One of the primary jobs of the President is to PROTECT the country at all costs but I want a President that will seek to re-earn the respect of the larger global community – friend and foe. I want a president willing to engage in discussion and diplomacy; a president that will utilize military power as a last resort. A candidate that can inspire global leaders not only to look out for their nation’s agenda but the global agenda of peace and justice.
5. Human dignity. The presence and growth of human trafficking – including children – is egregious and must be put to an end. I want a president that will work with other global leaders to make this a global priority. If they can act urgently to put together an economic bailout plan, imagine what they can accomplish with the same sense of urgency over the global injustices.
6. Candidates that reflect Character, Competence, Courage, and Compassion. I can’t emphasize the importance of these four elements in anyone in leadership.
There are other things on my mind but my head is hurting. After the elections are over, there needs to be some healing time for not only the divided nation but also a divided church.
No matter how things turn out in this historic and polarizing election, I trust in God’s sovereignty. I choose to vote – not based on fear – but based on trust that ultimately, God remains in control.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7