Conscience, Christ, and the Ballot Box

As I said in a previous blog post, my conscience is convinced that I must vote for Mitt Romney. That has predictably generated some discussion. It’s not surprising that there are various brothers and sisters in Christ who agree or disagree, some of the latter including dear friends whom I love a great deal.

In this post I would like to clarify a few matters and offer a prayer for the election tomorrow that I hope many can echo in their own prayers.

1) Accountable to God for Our Vote. When I put our voting responsibilities in the light of Judgment Day, I am not invoking God’s wrath against those who vote for someone other than the Republican candidate. I am however reminding us of our accountability before God. As Christians we must do all things, including politics, in the fear of the Lord. Sins of commission and omission may bring fatherly discipline and a loss of reward on the great Day. The very fact that we are redeemed by the blood of Christ demands that we be holy (1 Peter 1:15–19).

2) No Excuse Not to Vote. In the blog post, I addressed two groups of people. My strongest words were reserved to Christians who do not vote for any presidential candidate. I believe that to fail to vote is to remain silent when God has given us a political voice to speak against abortion and immorality. Regardless of whom you mark on the ballot, the Christian should vote. The lives of millions of children are at stake, and God calls us to stand for the orphan in the political and judicial system (Isa. 1:17).

What Dietrich Bonheoffer wrote concerning the Nazi holocaust is equally true of today’s abortion holocaust: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

3) Need for Unified Opposition to Evil. The other group I addressed was believers who intend to vote for a third party candidate in the presidential election. I have empathy for them. I recognize the righteousness of supporting third party candidates where the main parties have lost their way. I also long to see godly and experienced Christians running in the primaries to gain Republican nominations.

However I do think that in this present election so much is at stake that we cannot afford to be fragmented among various presidential candidates. The Obama administration is not the run-of-the-mill liberalism we have seen in previous years. It is driving our nation full speed over a cliff of socialism and immorality into an abyss that is profoundly anti-Christian.

I understand that some believers have scruples of conscience against voting for Romney because he is only a moderate conservative and also not a Christian. My aim was, and is, to persuade their consciences that Christians need to use common sense. I freely admit that we don’t have an ideal candidate, but this is a time to stand together against evil that the other party advocates so blatantly with its bold stand for unbiblical, homosexual marriage and its unabashed support for abortion.

4) Sovereignty, Responsibility, and Urgency. I have full confidence in God’s providence over all things. Whoever rules the United States in 2013 will be appointed by God. At the same time, God’s sovereign providence does not remove our moral responsibility, nor the suffering that poor choices bring. We should foresee these consequences and be motivated to choose wisely. There was indeed a strong tone to my exhortation and it was a tone of urgency. God’s sovereignty does not make us passive or emotionless, but empowers us to take action.

5) The Supremacy of Christ. Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 17:14), including all Presidents of the United States. Even though the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing, God has enthroned His Christ and He will reign (Ps. 2:1–9). All men, whether kings or beggars, must bow the knee to Christ or suffer His wrath (Ps. 2:10–11). But because this King shed His precious blood, all who trust in Him, no matter how sinful they have been, will be blessed by God (Ps. 2:12).

 

Let me close with a prayer for election day.

Our Father, Lord of heaven and earth, Thou art very great. We praise Thee for Thy name is above all blessing and praise. Thou canst do immeasurably above all that we ask or think. Thou hast made the heavens and all their host, the earth and seas and all that fills them, and the angels of heaven do worship Thee.

Thou hast blessed our nation with an abundance of food and wealth. Thou hast revealed Thy law and gospel in Thy Holy Scriptures. Thou hast sent Thy Son to give His life a ransom for many. Thy servants have testified to our people.

Yet, O God, our land is bathed in the blood of innocents. We have taken Thy gifts, and made them our idols. We have hardened our hearts, and listened not to Thy commandments. We have turned Thy holy gospel into a license to sin. We have celebrated that which Thou dost condemn. We are a proud nation, and Thou dost hate pride.

Have mercy, O God, have mercy upon us! Thou dost not change, and therefore Thy people are not consumed. Forgive America for its many sins. Forgive each of us for all our sins. In wrath remember mercy. Thou didst promise that for the sake of ten righteous men Thou wouldst spare wicked Sodom. O God, hear the prayers of those who delight to fear Thy name, and do not give this nation over to a lie.

Thou art the Most High, who doth rule over the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever Thou wilt. If the heart of the king is in Thy hand to turn it as Thou pleasest, certainly then Thou rulest over the votes of the people. Direct their votes, we pray Thee, to those that will govern our nation with wisdom and lead us in ways that are right. Grant to us a president, senators, representatives, judges, governors, and other officials who will do us good and not harm. Give us a government under which Thy people, Thy church whom Thou dost love, may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Yet, Sovereign Lord, our deepest prayer is that Thou wouldst do whatever is necessary in the United States so that Thy name be hallowed, Thy kingdom come, and Thy will be done, both here and throughout the world, now and in all generations to come. Glorify Thyself in Thy church and in Thy Son now and forevermore. Amen.