Saturday, April 18, 2009

Christian Voting Must be Biblically Based

It is always interesting to talk to people to hear their criteria for choosing who to vote for in an election. With the 2009 elections coming up on 22 April, it is time again to hear the ideas of people. People have different reasons for why they vote for certain political parties.

Most people look at financial issues, hence, their political outlook is mostly for personal gain. How can the government make my life better? This of course shows a dependence on the government. This is also not just an issue for the poor! The rich have the same thoughts. They would like a government that will ensure that their riches don't get squandered on unnecessary taxes, or will at least see to it that the money of the rich will keep on growing.

As Christians, we march to the beat of a different drum… a heavenly drum! And that drum is not beaten by us, the Christians, but by the Lord of the universe, Jesus Christ Himself. It is very much a Lordship issue, even in deciding who we will vote for in a political election.

God is not uninterested in politics! This is not that one sphere of life where God leaves man to his own devices. This is not a no-go zone for God! "The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein. (Ps 24:1)" To think that God can be excluded from any sphere of life, no matter how corrupt it has become, shows a naivety that does not belong with clear thinking people.

Politics, essentially has nothing to do with power. It primarily has to do with justice and care for a nation. It is exactly the quest for power by politicians that nations end up like Zimbabwe, DRC, Middle-East and China. Politics is about the good of the country, not about the individuals leading the country. As Lord Acton once said: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." This is too much of a reality in our modern world not to take notice of it.

So, how does this choice of who to vote for affect Christians? When we look at who gets the vote in South Africa, it makes one wonder how many Christians actually march to the heavenly drum! Up until our last elections, it has been the ANC and DA as number one and two parties respectively.

Those results are quite perplexing, considering that about 70% of the population claims to be Christian. Why is this perplexing? Well, if one looks at the South African Voter's Guide, it becomes clear that these two parties stand antithetically opposed to Biblical Christian values.

savotersguide In all of life, Christians are admonished by the Scriptures to obey God. Why is it that they think it would be acceptable to disobey when they vote in elections?

Christians simply do not not have the luxury of making up their "own minds" on issues that have been clearly spelt out in the Scriptures. That is on any issue in life. Yet, it is true that the Scriptures do not tell us who to vote for. However, that does not give us an escape route to vote for parties that do not stand on the Lord's side!

In making up our minds who to vote for, there should be a clear procession of thought on the issues. As Christians, our decision must be guided by clear Biblical mandate first. That means, where the Bible speaks clearly, we have to follow. If the Bible is clear on the issue of murder, we cannot vote for a party that supports abortion, ala ANC and DA. The Bible is clear on murder. You get the point! Therefore, Biblical moral issues must be adhered to first in our decision before any other issues that are based on conscience or expediency.

So, issues such as abortion, pornography, homosexuality, prostitution and the like must take precedence in your decision who to vote for. The Bible is clear on these issues. There are clear commands and Biblical doctrine on each of these issues and other moral issues. As a result, issues of conscience, on which the Bible has no clear teaching, must play second fiddle to moral issues. Even more so, issues of expediency such as simple economic issues.

If Christians do not use their votes towards establishing Biblically righteous government, they are indeed using their votes towards evil. And, perpetuating evil in this way is clear disobedience against the clear statutes of God. "Without virtue, a society can be ruled only by fear, a truth that tyrants understand all too well."1 Already, the ANC is planning to amend the South African Constitution if they win a two-thirds majority.

Voting by a Christian must result in a better country with justice for all. A better country can only be seen as a righteous country. It does not have to be a country where all its citizens are Christians, but it will be a country where the people understand what is right and what is wrong, and where the law and its application brings true justice for all.

There are many Christians that vote for both the ANC and DA. They vote for the ANC as the so-called liberators from apartheid, and others vote for the DA as a so-called strong opposition to the ANC. With the upcoming elections, there will also be the breakaway party, COPE. When you look at the SA Voter's Guide, you will realise that COPE's policies are exactly the same as that of the ANC. In fact, of the 8 issues in the guide, the ANC and COPE get 0/8 and the DA get 2½. The ½ of the DA here is only because of stated policy, disregarding their poor voting record in parliament.

Remember, voting is a Christian duty. In a democracy, your vote can actually effect change. Your vote can move this country closer towards justice and righteous government. Don't throw that vote away by denying a party perhaps just that one vote it needs to have someone put into parliament. Further, don't waste your vote on the memories of so-called past liberation or on the promise of so-called strong opposition, especially when both of these sides stand for very much the same when it comes to moral issues.

Let your vote count towards righteous government, and vote for a Christian party such as the ACDP or CDA.

Christian, do not support and perpetuate immorality by giving your vote to parties that do the same! Do not vote through fear, but rather let your vote reinforce Christian Biblical values!

Notes

1. Colson, Charles and Pearcey, Nancy, How Now Shall We Live?, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, 1999, p373.

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