Monday, October 29, 2012

Do You Vote Your Values?


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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Friday, October 19, 2012

Evangelist encouraging values voters

Dr. Billy Graham is using newspaper ads to urge people to "vote for biblical values" November 6.
The full-page Wall Street Journal ad ran yesterday and made its debut in USA Today today. Similar ads are expected to follow in as many as a dozen states over the next few weeks. The honored evangelist is urging people to make their ballot decision based on biblical principles, including support for the nation of Israel, life, and traditional marriage.

The WSJ ad simply features a photo of Dr. Graham holding the Bible. His brief plea makes no mention of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. "Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God," it states.

On American Family Radio's "Today's Issues" program, Dr. David Jeremiah recently shared that the idea originated from a one-on-one visit with Dr. Graham's son, Franklin Graham, in North Carolina.

"He said, 'Let me talk to my father.' The next day, I was leaving Boone to get back on the plane and come home, and he called me and … said -- and this is so funny because Franklin calls his dad, Dr. Billy Graham, he calls him 'Daddy' -- he said, 'I talked to Daddy about this, and he thinks it's a great idea. And Dr. Jeremiah, he wants you to make it happen,'" the pastor details.


Dr. Jeremiah explains he soon found donors who "were just extremely thrilled to be able to help" remind people "that there's a moral climate in this nation that needs to be changed."

"Well, we're at a tipping point, really; there's no question about it," Jeremiah asserts. "If we have another four years of moral slippage in our national politic [like] we've had in the last four years, it may not be possible for it to be turned around."

Dr. Jeremiah recently released a seven-minute video with the same message as Dr. Graham's newspaper ads: vote values ( see earlier story).

The Shadow Mountain Community Church senior pastor and Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries founder says he personally thinks about the kind of nation his children and grandchildren will inherit if the country does not make a turnaround in the near future.

This story was originally printed at: http://onenewsnow.com//culture/2012/10/19/evangelist-encouraging-values-voters#.UIGVzZ-fsMM.mailto

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Monday, October 1, 2012

A Time to Celebrate Life

On July 31, 1987, I was shot in an attempted armed robbery by a gang member near the USC campus in Los Angeles with a 12-gauge shot gun.  The gun shot literally blew my right leg off.  I now walk on a prosthesis with the assistance of a cane.
As a result of the shooting, I became acutely aware of how very fragile life can be.  We can be here today and literally gone tomorrow.  That’s not just a cliché.  It’s very real.
As a result, I try my best to live each day as if it is my last.  I work hard, but I play twice as hard.  It has become imperative to touch, feel and smell all the roses along this journey.  It’s not a dress rehearsal.
One of my greatest joys each year is celebrating life with my father.  We take a father /son trip each year to some far off place where we reflect on God’s blessings, on life in general, and most importantly on the value of relationship-ours in particular.
Take a moment and let the people you really love know it.  Let’s not take each other for granted.  Tomorrow is not promised.  Celebrate.