One of the greatest privileges we have as citizens of this country is the right to vote. Not only can we vote for the different candidates for all kinds of offices, we are assured that the one’s we vote for can be elected to the office. Sometimes the person running will tow the line of the particular party they are a part of, but it is often the case that a candidate will come out with some statement that sends the party officials running for cover. They will do everything they can to disassociate themselves from that person. This year in the different states it has been interesting to see some candidates set a course that upset many of their cohorts. In both the cases I’m thinking of their fellow party members came out strongly asking them to withdraw their names from consideration, feeling that their continuing as candidates would lead to more people not voting for anyone in their party. Neither of these two have stepped aside and both are in very close races and may be able to win their elections.

In some ways, I believe the refusal of these men to step aside has been good for the country as a whole. Now they both said some things that I wouldn’t say at all. But it is worth something when they refuse to follow the lead of the party officials and set out on their own course. That streak of independence may well serve them and their constituents well in the future.

Have you voted already? I haven’t yet but think I will before the election day. If you’ve already voted, great. I hope you voted thoughtfully and for the good of the nation instead of just voting for what you feel might be good for your bank account or your personal wealth. It is extremely bothersome to me to hear people talking about voting to make sure all their benefits continue as is with no regard for what it may do to their children or grandchildren.

A bigger question to consider is this, should everyone be allowed to vote or even encouraged to vote? I’m not suggesting we go back to the day of the “pole tax” and people not be allowed to vote who weren’t able to pay their taxes. I’m not suggesting that people not be allowed to vote if they aren’t property owners. I don’t believe our sex should affect our right to vote. At the same time, I’m not at all certain that the notion of every person voting is a good thing. Should a person be allowed to vote whose mind isn’t working correctly and who has to be guided in every choice by someone who will assist them in what they are to do and even for whom they will cast their vote? Someone may cry but that person has been a great citizen for 70 years and may have served in the armed forces to protect our country. That is certainly true, but if their mind isn’t working well now and the person who brought them to the voting place has to assist them with every move, is the vote really the person who has served well for many years or is it the vote of the one who is guiding their moves?

Should a person be able to vote who has paid no attention to what is going on in the country and knows absolutely noting about the candidates or what they stand for? Usually this person votes based on some emotional feeling of what the person looks like on TV. Sometimes they will simply vote for the ones in a particular party with no real thought or information about what they personally believe or think. I’m for the right to vote but a vote should count for something. I realize that most everyone is saying we all ought to vote to exercise our rights as a citizen. But when someone says, “I don’t think I’m going to vote since I don’t really know anything about the different candidates or what the issues are” my thoughts are, “Well, you’ve made a good choice. Either don’t vote or become informed so that the vote will count for something.”

I’ve heard people say that if Jesus were on earth he would vote every time. I wonder where you get that notion. Nothing in his life that is recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John indicates he was interested in who was elected or even who the next Caesar would be. His mission was so much higher than the things of this earth that a vote seems like an empty action. The bigger question it seems to me is, “Does Jesus want us to vote in the situation we are in as citizens of the United States?” He hasn’t given a direct answer that I can see. We are citizens both of this country and citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). As citizens we ought to do our best to make the country better and to protect the lives of the innocent. If you haven’t voted but plan to do so, think twice or three times before you cast your vote. Ask yourself how would God want me to vote in this election? Would he want me to vote mainly for money issues involving my own personal needs? Would he want me to vote to protect the moral background of marriage and family? Would he want me to vote to protect unborn children? Would he want us to vote for the help of the weak, elderly and handicapped around us?

Well who do you think I should vote for? What difference does it make who I think one should vote for? I’m simply praying for God’s guidance and that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I’ll vote the way I feel is closest to what is moral, caring, practical and for the good of the cause of Christ.

About leoninlittlerock

Preaching minister for Central church of Christ in Little Rock. Author of over 20 books including: When a Loved one Dies, Spiritual Development, Skid Marks on the Family Drive, Challenges in the church, To Know Christ and A Drink of Living Water.
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