How should Christian’s vote? There are a few guide posts for believers to follow:
- Spend time in the word. Neither party leads with a divine agenda, so the way for a Christian to vote based on biblical values requires a biblical worldview. Acquiring a biblical worldview actually requires some knowledge of the Bible.
- Do your research. Too many of us go to the voting booth based on how our parents or grandparents voted. The political parties today are no longer the parties of our parents. They’ve changed in ideology and agenda. Far worse, too many of us vote based on what is said on entertainment talk shows like The View, David Letterman, or Jon Stewart. When we do this, we make our vote meaningless. Seek out real news organizations; there are plenty nonpartisan organizations that provide factual data.
- Survey the issues. There are social issues (e.g. abortion, marriage, immigration, poverty, and healthcare), there are fiscal issues (e.g. size of government, entitlement programs and the economy), and there are constitutional issues (e.g. the role of the three branches of the federal government, your local city or state governments, and the role of the individual). Although this is a short list, you should have an informed awareness of all of them. Defining your belief system may not come all at once, but the journey is worth it.
- Prioritize what God finds important. No politician will agree with your informed conscience on every issue. We must understand that voting is an imperfect science, especially when it comes to voting based on values. You must prioritize the issues and vote for the person that embodies most of what God finds important.
Ultimately, the role we play as Christians is to be salt and light wherever we are. That means we are commanded to change the atmosphere and to be ambassadors no matter who is in office. We must maintain God’s standards while we speak truth to the culture around us, and then do so with an “attitude of humility, love and forgiveness,” said Rev. Tony Evans.
The History of Democrats & Republicans
Your voting habits may be influenced by your perception of the parties. You may remember that Democrats were the pro-slavery party of the South from which the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws, lynching, and the like, plagued blacks in America for decades.
You may also identify the fights to end “whites only” accommodations in schools, employment, and public transportation as the southern Democrats who were responsible for keeping blacks systematically oppressed after Reconstruction in 1877 all the way to the passage of Civil Rights legislation in 1964. The Democrats have a checkered past when it comes to blacks in America.
You may also be influenced by the belief that Republicans are racist and only care for the rich in this country. Indeed, Republicans share the blame in why Reconstruction efforts ended and actively sought the southern racist Democrat’s vote thereafter to the detriment of blacks. After all, when the southern Democrats began to curry favor with blacks, many of the Democratic leaders fled to the Republican Party and its compass and compassion for blacks did change. And indeed, Republicans are seen as only caring for big business and not for the poor.
Republicans have not done themselves many favors after freeing the slaves and implementing the Civil Rights Amendments, namely the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. Blacks originally all voted with the Republican Party but left for Democrats bit-by-bit after Reconstruction ended in 1876.
And so, there is a history for each party but you must allow the current culture to influence your learning and not the past. Line up your research results with the word of God and then you’ll be on your way to matching your biblical worldview with your vote.
(All of what I believe can be found in my new book, The Prodigal Republican: Faith and Politics which is available on-line at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or WestBow Press.)
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