Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Few Biblical Principles for Voting

"Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper" (Jeremiah 29:7, NIV)

These are some biblical principles that I keep in mind as I prepare to vote:

1. The government exists in order to protect innocent people from those who would harm them (Romans 13:1-7). In a democratic republic, ordinary citizens are more responsible for their government than are the subjects of a dictatorship. We are responsible for seeking good leaders and just policies.

2. God's people have an obligation to seek the good of their communities, even if they are a minority within it (Jeremiah 29:7). We may not win every battle--in fact, we may lose most--but love for our neighbors will prompt us to continue our efforts to benefit them.

3. Many political decisions are matters of applying wisdom to differing circumstances. For example, sometimes wisdom demands that taxes be raised (Genesis 41:28-36). At other times, it requires that the burden be lowered (1 Kings 12:1-17). We need humility and wisdom from God to know the best course of action. Also, we need to be gracious toward those who do not see things as we do. They may not have as much information as we do, or they may have more. We need to be open to learning from those we see as our political opponents. Sometimes they are right.

4. On most political issues, God's people can remain silent. However, when an issue involves an unjust threat to innocent human lives, we cannot keep quiet (Esther 7:3-4). We will speak up for them. We will use our influence on their behalf. They need people who will defend their right to life; and we cannot remain aloof.

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