Importance of voting

Published 4:55 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I’m going to do something today that I seldom ever do. I’m going to write on voting and politics. However, let me be very clear. My concern is not about who you vote for, only that you vote. It is both our Christian and American responsibility. And in other faith traditions, it is also your tradition and American responsibility.

First, these are complex times. What is the political illness that is affecting our country? It is what the late Sen. Thomas Hart of Missouri called the “simples.” The “simples” is that tendency on our part to reduce all of life’s problems to the simplistic level. The “simples” view all of existence as if it were “black and white,” “good and bad,” “right and wrong.” And those citizens who are sick with the “simples” are very rigid in their opinions and very inflexible in their stance.

There is only one way. It is as simple as that.

As we vote, we are to rise above partisan politics and discern which candidates seem to have the best grasp of the complex issues of our day and the way forward for the “common good” of all,

Second, Christianity is a conviction, not so much opinions that we hold.

We never seem to hear this enough. The one basic conviction we have as Christians that holds us together is the conviction that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ offers us and others abundant life. That is our conviction.

Everything else is opinion. To even suppose that all Christians share the same opinions on political or religious issues is ludicrous. So, as we prepare to vote, let us remember that Christians hold wide and various opinions on issues, candidates and the election. Some Christians have reduced Christianity to one group of moral or social issues only. Other Christians say that if you don’t support this party, candidate or position you are not Christian. Remember, Christianity is a conviction we live and not so much opinions we hold.

Third, Christianity is about our faithfulness, not about judging the faithfulness of others! Regarding the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican in the Bible, the publican is a far cry from the pharisee.

Being in the presence of God, made the publican extremely sensitive to his own sinfulness. While beating his chest and confessing his sin, he received God’s forgiveness and left the temple extremely joyful and determined to live faithfully.

Anyway you read that story, the message is the same — God holds us responsible for being Christian ourselves and not for judging the faithfulness of the pharisees  around us.