Published October 30, 2012

Paul's Epistle...
"Your Influence"

Do you believe God has placed you here to influence the world around you?

You should. Christ said Christians are to be "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world." So we should let our lights "so shine among men..." (Matt. 5:13-16.) That means we are to exert whatever Christian influence we have – for good – on the world around us.

Why, then, do so many Christians overlook – or simply ignore – one of the most fundamental opportunities we have in our country to affect society at large (of which we are a part)?

I'm referring, of course, to voting.

Should you and I, as Christians, vote in the November 6th elections?

I don't think we have any choice in the matter. Yes, of course, we should. In fact, we must. And I think it pleases God when we do exercise this duty that I believe is literally God-given.

"Paul, isn't that a bit overstated?"

No, I don't think so. Rev. Edward G. Palmer, a noted author and biblical scholar, put it this way: "Christians have a duty to vote in each election. That duty includes voting for God's interests and not voting against them. It is clear in Matthew 6:33 that we are to ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.'" In this presidential election the difference between pro-God and anti-God policies is more stark (and should be more obvious) than ever, as is clearly reflected in the two party platforms.

"There is no question that Christians should vote," says Rev. Billy Graham. "The very fact that there is moral ambiguity in politics indicates the need for Christians to participate in the elective process. Every nation stands in need of moral and righteous leadership. Proverbs 14:34 says, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.' In addition, the New Testament indicates that we have a responsibility to government since God has established governing authorities for our good (Romans 13:1-7)."

Simply not voting is a cop-out, not an option. "Christians who boycott voting," says Russell D. Moore, dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, are "more akin to Pontius Pilate washing his hands rather than John the Baptist taking on the powers-that-be..." One of the two major presidential candidates will be the next President. "None of the above" is not on the ballot.

Never have I seen the spiritual forces of evil and their human minions fighting so hard, so broadly, so viciously against candidates who have taken moral, Godly stands. But that shouldn't be surprising. The Apostle Paul says that we as Christians are a "a fearful smell of death and doom" to those who don't know Christ. (2 Cor. 2:16 LB). They're terrified. They're nauseated. They can't stand the things of God. And, therefore, they can't tolerate candidates whose stands, taken on the whole, are pro-family, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and, especially, pro-God. As you know, one party didn't even deign to mention God in their original platform this year and booed when a reference was finally included, despite a vote to the contrary, merely for political expediency. Such people know only secular political power. They know nothing of God's power or His righteousness.

And this is very important: Be sure to pray earnestly regarding this election. The Presidential Prayer Team has these recommendations:

18th century British statesmen Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." And that applies well to voting.

Christians comprise a huge potential voting block – powerful enough to ensure the election of leaders who would enact legislation based on Christian principles. But it is as a precious gift left unopened, an opportunity squandered, if we don't actually vote.

Think about this. One day you will stand before God. Everyone will. What if He were to say to you, "I had a candidate for you who would have been able to help end the horrible sin of abortion, yet you stayed home from the polls. I had a candidate who would stand for marriage as I ordained it — between a man and a woman, but you didn't bother to vote for him. I had a candidate who would curb the unending government assault on Christian values and beliefs, but you didn't think it was important enough to affirm him with your vote. Would you explain that to Me, when I gave you the opportunity to vote and help make a difference?"

I assure you, I don't want to hear such a question.

God sovereignly chooses, for reasons only He fully understands, to rely on His people — we who are Christians — to effect His will in such crucial matters. And the method He has provided, as imperfect as it may seem at times, is voting. As the old song says, "We are His hands..."

Make no mistake, this election will be determined by Christians — those who vote ... and those who don't.

- Paul

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