How We Vote

“Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)

“How do you vote?” If I ask you that question, one would think I’m asking “McCain or Obama?”

One of my laments for the American church is that when it comes time to presidential elections, it seems the church is treating it like it’s a church leader election. A recent poll found that Americans are more likely to think of George Bush as a “Christian leader” than Martin Luther King or Jesus. Most people perceive Christians as single-issue voters (i.e., they vote for whoever opposes abortions or single-sex marriage, but ignore other issues).

Christians themselves know better though. We know that having a super-Christian president might change laws, but won’t change people’s hearts. And we definitely have a Christian in the White House for the past 8 years, and has anything in America changed for the better?

Here’s my gripe. If a Christian’s interest and concern about politics is just choosing which official to put in office, then he/she is not really interested in politics at all. To be a responsible citizen is not just to vote during an election. It is to live as a responsible citizen and look beyond yourselves and into the welfare of others in your community.

In New Testament times, the ruler is not favorable to the Jews. So the New Testament never assumes we can vote a Christian into office. Rather, it points the social responsibility to ourselves, that we need to do right and honor everyone (1 Peter 2:13-17).

So in this 2008 US election, use the opportunity not only to decide who to vote for, but take the opportunity to listen to all the candidates and their concerns about the country, and take the opportunity to listen to other people that have opinions and beliefs and agendas different than your own, and be a better citizen. “Vote” with your ears, your mouth, and your actions towards people around you.