Tomorrow is Election Day. For most of us, we are thanking God that it has come-but not for the reason of being able to choose our leaders-but rather as a sign of relief. Election Day means the end of all the political ads on TV, the taking down of political signage on all the front yard lawns, all supporting candidates for their respective offices. But you see, I don’t see many people thanking God for the privilege of voting. Yes, it is a right guaranteed by the supreme law of the land-the U.S. Constitution-but as Mel Gibson so eloquently put it in the film The Patriot, “an elected Congress can trample a man’s rights as easily as a king can.” In today’s age, most of my generation in the church has taken our right to vote for granted, that it means nothing to check those little boxes on the ballot. But what if I were to say that by voting, you are giving God a voice in the making of our laws? That we are giving God a way to speak to the people in Washington D.C. what the right way is to go?
Some of you may think of what I’m saying here is to use politics in the spreading of the gospel, but that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that the Body of Christ needs to become involved in the process of choosing our leaders. Why? Because that is how the Founding Fathers originally set up our government. See, when I look at what the Founding Fathers wrote about government and religion, they never meant for the church to be completely excluded from the government, but what they did do was put out some very precise responsibilities for each entity-mostly for the Church, however. You see, the Founding Fathers wrote that any religious body could practice its faith without fear of reprisal from the government, and the religious body could not have a direct say in the making of the laws of our country. But the Founding Fathers never meant for that so-called “wall of separation” to mean that the two could not interact with each other. What it meant was that each entity had a supposed realm of freedom and responsibility with which to do their respective duties, but they could never take on the role of the other. The religious body could not make laws to govern a country and the government could not take on the role of guiding someone spiritually-why? Because each had its own experience with which each entity had a good amount in doing.
The Founding Fathers, however, wanted this “wall of separation” to be a one way permeable wall. In which direction though? We can see this in the 3rd Article of the Northwest Ordinance published by Congress in 1787, which says this on the matter of religion:
“Religion, Morality, and Knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged.”
The Congress wanted the values of faith to be ever present in government. They never wanted religion apart from government. We have seen in history what happens when the Body of Christ pulls back from being a public voice in the square-chaos and decadence follows everywhere because the values of faith are no longer there to guide them in living life. Alexis de Tocqueville said this in his book, Democracy in America:
“Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions. I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion-for who can search the human heart? But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to every rank of society.”
To wrap things up-yes I know we can never bring the nation and the world to Christ through politics. But maybe through our voting and choosing people who will vote on certain hot topic and other issues according to biblical and godly values-we can cause the nation and the world to pause in their everyday life and wonder what is so different about America? And, then, we can carry out what 1 Peter 3:13-15 says:
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…
This verse is speaking to our actions in the service of God. If you want to see the right and good things done in this world, don’t just talk, but live your words and beliefs. This, in response to seeing our daily lives, will cause others to be curious and drawn in by it. And if you are driven to do what is good and you vote for people who share that same drive, then God’s voice will surely resound through the Body of Christ.
So, Body of Christ, rise up tomorrow and give God glory through your voting tomorrow.