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September 10, 2012

Prophetic Politics

Sending a message to politicians about who the church really is.

You don’t own me!

That’s the message I sometimes want to shout at the radio or television when I hear political candidates or pundits talking about “evangelicals.” Our political system seems to have everything boiled down into nice and neat categories, such as . . .

pro-choice vs. pro-life;

pro-environment vs. pro-business;

pro-military vs. pro-peace;

pro-gay marriage vs. pro-traditional marriage;

and on and on and on.

It seems you’re either pro-welfare or you’re heartless about the poor; you’re either anti-immigration or anti-American. If you’re for taxing the rich or health care reform, you’re labeled a socialist. If you’re for hacking away at government debt, you’re labeled a right-wing fringe extremist.

It’s all about categories and sorting people out.

But I can’t be so easily sorted, and neither can many evangelical Christians.

While the pro-life cause continues to be a strong, unifying value for evangelical voters, other important matters are gaining in significance for evangelicals in the polling booth, among them a strong commitment to environmental stewardship, a dedication to upholding traditional marriage, and a concern for the poor.

For some believers, the voting process is simple: as members of a political party, it’s as easy as a straight ticket. For other Christians, voting decisions can be agonizing as they wade through a lengthy process of prayer, listening, and weighing the issues. But in both situations, the message evangelicals can still send politicians is: You don’t own me. And more important, you don’t own the church.

The church isn’t a monolithic voting block for politicians to bandy about as they tally up electoral votes; rather, she is called to be a prophetic presence in the culture that will speak truth to power. Just like God’s prophets in the Old Testament who challenged kings and rulers to be just and merciful and called them out on their greed and idolatry, the church can call politicians to the mat on important ethical matters and challenge our leaders, Republican and Democrat alike, to govern in a manner reflecting biblical values.

What do you think it means to embody biblical values in the voting booth? What issues rise to the top in your voting decisions? How do you navigate the morass of political opinions and pandering that dominate our culture, especially during an election year?

Kelli B. Trujillo is a TCW regular contributor and author of Busy Mom's Guide to Spiritual Survival. www.kellitrujillo.com

Related Tags: Politics, Stewardship, Truth

Comments

The issue that rises to the top in my voting decisions is abortion. Although I am a Conservative Republican, I will not vote for a Republican candidate if he/she doesn't take a full stand against all abortions. For a political candidate to state that he/she doesn't believe in abortion EXCEPT in cases of rape or incest, just sends the message that abortion is OK in those cases. Abortion is never "OK". So, when it comes time for me to cast my vote, I will not vote for the candidate that represents the party I am affiliated with if his/her views don't coincide with what I believe to be right. Many Christians are finding this same direction in front of them and I am afraid the outcome of this dilemma will force us to not go to the polls in November, which is a shame. Sadly, our choice is this: remain steadfast to what we know is right and vote with that candidate, OR if we don't have a candidate that makes a stand for what we know is right, we can't voteat all.

I have to disagree with Joyce for if I follow her logic, I would never vote. To stay away on Election Day is to throw our vote away. I believe as Christians we have a moral obligation to try to vote in the direction that will make the greater moral impact on our culture. As a conservative woman with conservative values, I must face the fact that we do not live in a perfect world--we live in a fallen one. We do not live in an ideal world, we live in a real world. In the real world, we only have two candidates who have a chance to win the election. We can only vote for one. When both options appear to have values with which we disagree, we ought to vote for the one who we think upholds the greater good. Abortion has already taken some 50 million American lives. I will vote for the candidate that is a better bet to stop this continuing holocaust. But vote I will. You betcha.

In answer to the article's questions--Here are the main principles I follow in voting:

1. Which candidate has moral beliefs which most closely align with mine?
2. When both candidates appear to be mixtures of good and evil I vote for the one which has the greater good.
3. I vote for the candidate who is the most pro-life. The right to life is the right to all other rights. I will vote for the candidate who most closely aligns with my views on this holocaust.
4. I will vote for the candidate who demonstrates the greater moral character both individually and politically.
5. I will vote for the candidate that I believe will be best for the economy, who will work to reduce the national debt and produce more jobs.
6. I will vote for the candidate that I believe will appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court.
7. I will vote for the candidate who seems to value America and desire to see her strong and who is proud to be an American afterall this is our President.
8. Other areas that I will consider when voting include health care, foreign policy, support of our military, immigration policy, view of marriage, and size of government. In these areas when there appears to be a mixture of good and evil, again, I will vote for the one who for me represents the greater good.

But vote I will! You betcha!!!

My issue is that I am a conservative, Christ-following public school teacher. It seems lately that candidates that agree with my moral and ethical values don't agree with my career. Very difficult position to be in at the voting booth.

It's so great to simply seek God because when we do, He will reveal what is really going on and this means prayer power (Jer. 33:3).

Recently, God revealed that there is a spirit of Tyranny running rampant in the US governement. We see this Tryant spirit when government spends frivilously and has a complete disregard for the needs of the people. A Tyrant will say anything and even try to do anything to stay in power.

What is the answer? Pray! September 28-29, 2012, Christians are gathering nationally and in Philadelphia for prayer. It's prayer that overcomes the spiritual battles because, yes we must vote, but "we wrestle not against flesh and blood".

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