Today is voting day in Tennessee, but in a country where the voter turnout is less than impressive for even a presidential election, it’s not likely that today’s primary election will draw out even 15% of registered voters. That figure bespeaks the apathetic pulse of this country loud and clear, but what is most disturbing to me is that the same hands-off attitude is prevalent among Christians. The widespread belief that politics and biblical beliefs don’t mix has led many people to keep their hands out of the dirty business of politics, believing all the while that they are taking the higher road by not getting involved. I couldn’t disagree more, and I want to explain why.
As I look back through the Old Testament, it is undeniable that God placed men who loved him passionately in positions to make a difference in the political infrastructure of the ancient world. The two most notable examples that pop into my head are Joseph and Daniel—and two men with more integrity and faith would be hard to find! Both of these men were used mightily of God, as they stood uncompromising and faithful in the midst of a political climate that was anything but friendly toward their religion. The kingdoms of the Egyptians and the Babylonians were filled with every kind of wickedness, yet Joseph and Daniel served God anyway! They didn’t run away, using their relationship with God as an excuse for refusing to get involved in the politics of the day. Instead, each man in his own way served the king faithfully while at the same time remaining faithful to God. It was because of this that God was able to use each of them as shining lights to bring Him glory to two cultures that were dark in sin. Similarly, God used prophet after prophet to speak to the political leaders and beg them to turn from their sin and honor God. What a far cry from the hands-off policy so many of us adopt today!
I don’t know where the belief that politics and Christians don’t mix originated, but it certainly wasn’t from the Bible. Quite the contrary, I believe it is our duty to serve God in every area of our life, including the political arena. In this country we have been given the right to vote, and I passionately believe that that right should be exercised to elect men who will protect the values that the Bible embraces. Don’t read into that statement that I believe morality can be legislated—obviously only God can change the heart of a person to want what is right. But still, I believe from the examples in the Bible that it is God ordained for His people to be involved in the political environment. And regardless of your stance on the issues, it is our God given responsibility to pray for our country and for our leaders. We might not feel like we can change the course our country is heading, but do you think Daniel or Joseph did either? The point is that we do what we can. We can all pray and we can all vote. And after we do what we can, we rest in the knowledge that it is all in God’s hands.
I know this is a deviation from my usual kind of post, but it is something that I am passionate about and I wanted to share. I do hope each of you takes advantage of your right to vote whenever you get the chance, and more importantly, I hope that we all will be faithful to lift our country up to God in prayer.