Does Your Vote Really Matter?

         An estimated 25 million Christians didn’t vote in the last election. Yet, many Christians are “praying” for better days in this country. What if God is saying part of the journey to better days starts at the ballot box? Friend, if you call yourself a follower of Jesus, voting is your conscientious, civil, and Christian duty. When evangelicals consider voting there are myriad of reasons why they might not vote, and while I cannot address them all here, I want to address a couple and offer a different perspective, while also telling you why your vote should matter to you, matters to this country and I believe matters to God.

Only God can save this Nation

         There’s this idea that seems to circle among potential evangelical voters just before elections and it is, “Politics can’t save this country, only God can do that.” And while I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, I wholeheartedly disagree with the sentiment it communicates which is, “So, why vote at all?” Politically speaking, our goal as Christians engaging the political process is to see a nation exalted through righteous governing (Prov.13:44; 29:2) and rejoice because of it! This is biblical. And this kind of righteous governing may not always occur with the right motive, because imperfect and even unsaved men and women are often leading. And on the other hand, we can’t have a theocracy. And so we shouldn’t be deterred from voting, or remain neutral on the issue just because the candidate isn’t perfect, or we believe he or she has ill motives. We need to take a lesson from Matthew, the writer of the first Gospel. He observed something very interesting in the life of Jesus. He saw Jesus’ ministry under scrutiny by the elites of his day, the Pharisees, and he records Jesus indictment against those elite men as being: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”[1] It’s obvious here that Jesus made a lot of enemies. You know, just people who didn’t agree with the way he was doing things. But what did he say? He said, “Look at the actions, or deeds I have done. Judge me based on those, rather than based on what you wished I had or hadn’t done and the way I did or did not do them.” Jesus was a man of the people, and He made a point to the crowds of people listening to him, reminding them that they should look at the deeds done to and for the people. They should judge him based on that record, rather than the record they had fabricated for him. The people’s offense at the way He was doing things, kept them from seeing what He was doing.

         In a perfect election, we would like to see men and women’s names on a ballot that represent us in every way, even down to their motives. Yet, we must remember that when it comes to voting, we are voting that person’s record. Their actions and deeds. One last point worth making when it comes to the Christian being sure their vote matters, is made in remembering the wise words of MLK. In 1963, during an address at Western Michigan University, Dr. King said,

“But we must go on to say that while it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important, also. So there is a need for executive orders. There is a need for judicial decrees.”[2]

         While it is true that we cannot change a man’s character—only God can do that – there are ways to legislate the heart which has yet to be redeemed by God, or sadly will never be redeemed by God. And this ability lies in the hands of the U.S. citizen on Nov. 8th.

What Kind of Battle is this Country Facing?

         When it comes to casting our vote as believers it can be easy to think “Our nation isn’t in a physical crisis, it’s in a spiritual crisis. We don’t have a problem of conservative representation; we have a problem of evangelization.” Friend, can I just encourage you: it’s both. But often evangelicals will excuse themselves by saying it’s a spiritual problem, there’s no physical answer. Why? They say, “Because our battle isn’t against flesh and blood.” But wait. Can you tell me if it was Peter who told Jesus not to go to the cross, or was it the spirit of Satan? It was both. And while Jesus was violent towards and also addressed the spirit, did he not also address Peter as a physical human being? He did and voting is no different. The events we are currently watching unfold in our nation are spiritual and must be dealt with spiritually. But these events are being carried out in and manifesting through physical vehicles (people, curriculum, borders, medical care, and money). When you vote, you are essentially exercising a spiritual discipline by voting authorities into place who will resist evil, advocate your values, and legislatively displace the enemy’s agenda. And as a believer, you are doing this alongside your everyday call of being salt, light, and winning the lost to Christ for the Glory of God. Let’s turn now to just some of the issues being voted on November 8th.

The Issues at the Ballot Box

         There are several issues being voted on November 8th. You know what they are, but sometimes, one issue crowds out the others depending on the season of life you are in. Let’s briefly revisit some of them.

Border Crisis

         The statistics of what is happening at our southern border are shocking. We are literally being invaded by countries to the south. Texas is just one example of a state being absolutely overrun; the illegal migrants crossing their border are being dispersed all over the nation, leading to every state becoming a “border state.” While the Trump administration expelled 83% of migrants crossing the border under Title 42. Under Biden only 36% of those migrants are being sent back to their country of origin.[3]

         According to BBC news, “Between fiscal years 2020 and 2021, the number of unaccompanied minors who were detained, quadrupled, rising from 33,239 to 146,925.” These are children without parents coming through the border—so sad! And by taking them in, we are encouraging and exacerbating the crisis. In 2021 there were a record 1.73 million recorded migrant encounters at our U.S. border, while it’s currently being forecasted that we will see over 2 million in 2022. Migrant encounters at our border went from right around 90,000/month in 2021 to 240,000/month at present. And many of these are trafficking fentanyl into our country.[4] According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern district of CA, between October of last year and June of this year, roughly 5,000lbs of the roughly 8,000lbs of fentanyl trafficked into our country during this last fiscal year was found at the San Diego border.[5] Anyone who wants to blame the fentanyl crisis on anyone else other than the cartels and migrants is wrong, I’m sorry, but they are just wrong. As for the seriousness of this drug, according to the U.S.D.E.A. “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.  Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose.  Without laboratory testing, there is no way to know how much fentanyl is concentrated in a pill or powder.”[6] Friends, this is just an overview of the crisis at our border, and one of many issues on the ballot Tuesday. This is serious. This is one reason why you and I must vote. We are voting for the protection of our children, citizens, border patrol agents, general culture, and democracy.  Like you, I am in favor of legal immigration, but an open back door allowing evil activity ushered in unchecked must be stopped.

Inflation

         What about inflation? The Fed’s desired interest rate for the country is around 2%. We are currently sitting at 8.3%,[7] while in June of this last year we experienced as high as 9.1%.[8] Rent this year has climbed from the normal 3% annually experienced increase to a whopping 7.2%[9], food prices have climbed 13%, with cereal, baked goods, and milk all around 16% higher than a year ago. Eating out has gone up about 8.5%.[10] The average American’s pocket is empty with 64% of America living paycheck to paycheck.[11] The current economy has been ravaged by government spending and zero accountability. But things can change if we want them to. If not, then we will live and be indicted by our choices. As Abraham Lincoln said,

Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.[12]

         Friends, we cannot turn our backs on the fire raging in our economy. We must face it and address it with our vote, by voting fiscally responsible, America-first business leadership into office.

Youth and Education

          Another issue facing America at present is the relationship between our youth and woke school curriculum. While government-funded schools may not care what your kids are taught due to the deafening sound of their first-loved cashflow, there’s a group of people who do. Did you know that the largest coalition of concerned people in America are not Democrats or Republicans? They are parents. During the pandemic, parents were able to see exactly what their kids were learning in school due to online learning. Much to their surprise and disgust, they found that their children were being indoctrinated with woke curriculum such as Critical Race Theory, anti-family language, grooming, sexualized reading material, and gender affirmation without parent’s consent or foreknowledge.[13] In the last two years, Americans confidence in public school systems has fallen from 41% to 28%. In addition, there were more than 1.2 million kids that ended up leaving their public school to participate in other educational programs. According to Real Clear Opinion, 71% of Americans want to be able to choose the school their children attend which is the highest number ever recorded, and 80% of parents say they will vote for someone outside of their party if they align with their educational values. With parents dishing out 770 billion taxpayer dollars a year for this sort of education, something must give. Believe it or not, just recently in Williamson County, TN, the School board just voted against allowing alltaxpayers to have a voice in the selection of instructional materials for kids in the county. Their policy currently says that complaints against board approved materials for the clasroom “may only be made by a current WCS parent/guardian, employee, or student.” This excludes, as one grandparent noted, “Grandparents of students. Many relatives of students. [and] Parents of young children not yet in school.”[14] Issues like this have to change. Thankfully, States like Arizona are spearheading a pro-parent, school choice program that raises $6,500 for every k-12 child in Arizona to put towards the institution of their choice. Amazing. We need more leaders like this today. And we have the chance to make it happen Tuesday, Nov. 8th.

 Israel

         What about Israel? Israel has been a significant ally of the United States at least since its recognition as a State in 1948. President Harry S. Truman at the time was the first world leader to recognize the nation– only eleven minutes after it achieved its statehood on May 14th, 1948.[15] A few decades later, President Richard Nixon was pivotal in rescuing Israel out of its dire situation during the Yom Kippur War. On the second day of the war in 1973, then Prime Minister, Golda Meir called the president and said, “Mr. President, if America doesn’t help Israel in the next 48 hours, Israel will not remain standing.” Nixon responded, “Golda, when I was a child, my mom used to read Bible stories to me every night. One time she got to a place where God fought for Israel and saved the nation. She paused and told me, ‘Richard, I want you to promise me that if you ever have a chance to save the Jewish people, you will do so!’ Then she moved on to read the rest of the Bible story. Golda, for the first time, I know why I became President of the United States of America.”[16] Since then, the U.S. has developed a vibrant relationship with Israel where we have supported them economically, militarily, scientifically, and regionally as a democratic state with national sovereignty.[17] To ensure the blessing of both Israel and America in far too many ways to count, there must be leadership in place who values the role of Israel in these last days and their prayerful future in Yeshua, their hoped for Messiah.

 Why Your Vote Matters: A Conscientious, Civil, and Christian Responsibility

         After looking at the above issues, as a believer, your conscience inevitably calls you to do something, because you cannot un-know the issues set before you. And as a citizen your freedoms beg you to exercise what was purchased by others for you and your progeny’s future—your voice. And as a believer, your vote matters to God, because America matters to God.

         In the words of Susan B. Anthony,

Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.


Sources:

[1] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Mt 11:19.

[2] https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/martin-luther-kings-response-to-you-cant-change-the-heart-through-legislation/

[3] https://www.texastribune.org/2022/09/19/u-s-mexico-border-arrests-record-2022/

[4] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-61989673

[5] https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdca/pr/fentanyl-seizures-border-continue-spike-making-san-diego-national-epicenter-fentanyl

[6] https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2022/08/30/dea-warns-brightly-colored-fentanyl-used-target-young-americans

[7] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/nov/02/fed-interest-rate-increase-inflation

[8] https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/inflation-cpi

[9] https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/10/13/business/inflation-cpi-report

[10] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/01/business/food-prices-profits.html

[11] https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/23-of-the-us-population-now-lives-paycheck-to-paycheck-301536811.html

[12] https://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/quote-archive1/election-dayvoting

[13] https://www.heritage.org/education/commentary/parents-lead-the-nation-school-choice

[14] https://fox17.com/news/local/book-review-policy-excludes-taxpayers-from-weighing-in-on-public-school-materials

[15] https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/education/presidential-inquiries/recognition-israel

[16] https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/27068-the-miracle-called-israel/day/7

[17] https://www.state.gov/the-united-states-israel-relationship/

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