Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Value Voting

We are now experiencing the conventions of both political parties. We have heard speeches, promises, vision, and political half truths and twisted facts. Sorting things out is an indomitable task. Yet, we have this constitutional responsibility to be informed and exercise our duty by voting. It is the cornerstone of the democratic republic.
However, many have lost confidence in the system and have failed to vote. Some have expressed their dismay with all candidates and have dropped out to the electoral process leaving things to fate and those who are adamant about their agenda.
I attended a meeting recently regarding “value voting.” They quoted a statistic that concerned me. There are 350,000 pastors in the USA and Ohio has 17,000. They determined that of those 17,000; 10,500 were Bible believing and values based based on the Scriptures. It is an alarming fact that one third of pastors who are influencing congregations no longer hold Biblical values.
To demonstrate the fact: in 2004 there were 300,000 more votes cast in rural counties in Ohio than 2008. In 2008, 300,000 voters did not vote in Ohio’s rural counties. Obama won Ohio by 195,000 votes. Could those 300,000 votes made a difference to the other side? Very possibly. It is not the major cities that determine which way Ohio goes; it is the rural counties that swing the elections.
As Christians, we are not called to be Republican or Democrat. We are not called to support one party or the other. We are called to be salt and light. We are to influence our culture with the values of the Bible, the values God has established in his word. We are to uphold the absolutes in a culture awash in relativism. 
The reason people can support such a wide variety of positions and believe they are all right is that there is no absolute truth. Positions can shift as the tide of popular opinion sways. Thus, gay marriage results from popular opinion rather than truth. Agendas that express anti-biblical truth are easily supported from pop culture since there is no under pinning of truth. Even the Constitution is under attack since it provides a rock solid reference point.
To be a “Value Voter,” a person looks at solid values. For Christians this means looking at the values of scripture and voting accordingly. We look to issues that reflect the values of God. In so doing, we probably never completely endorse everything of one candidate. However, our obligation is to vote for those who best represent the values of scripture. Someone commented that they did not like any of the candidates; so they were not voting. Sorry, Jesus is not on the ballot. As one friend said, “I hold my nose and vote for the lesser of the two evils.” 
The pastoral team felt that we must be involved in the process. So, we have set aside the month of September for voter registration in the foyer of the church. We are committed to informing our members of the issues and the values we hold as Christians. We will also hand out voter guides with the records of all congressmen as to their voting record. 
When 20 million evangelicals and 22 million Catholics did not vote in the last election, we have a job to do. The only thing that can be said of Christians is that they have been derelict of duty. When our forefathers established the Constitution, they were building a country for freedoms. When we refuse to vote and educate ourselves as to values, we are allowing militant agendas to come to power regardless of the values they hold. Indifference is the opiate of the people, apathy is the precursor to dictatorship, and complaining and whining is an exercise in futility if you will not act.
Through all the negative campaigning, the mud slinging, the horrible TV ads of accusation, half truth, twisted facts, mean spirited comments, allusions to Nazism, socialism, etc., etc., ad nauseum, we are to sort through the garbage and find truth. The best way to find truth is to know it before you start. The truth is found in the word and His values are well stated. Go from there and you do not have to listen to all the diatribe that is thrown at us incessantly. I have gotten to the place, I mute the TV for the ads that repeat and repeat and repeat, pounding home a position that is not the truth according to the Bible.
There are less than 60 days to the election. Just don’t sit there, do something. There have been elections that have been decided by one vote. Your vote does count. Exercise it. Be a Value Voter and be proud of it!

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