Summary: Voting is a Christians Responsibility
“A Christian Responsibility”
May 1, 2016
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
This morning I want to talk about a subject that affects us all, involves us all, often divides us and we often avoid it like the plague! Pastors don’t like to talk about it because it often causes trouble and division. People are often more passionate about their views of this subject than they are about their religion. By now you may have guessed that I am talking about government and politics.
A few weeks ago someone came to me and asked me to preach on this subject. After praying about it, I felt like the Lord wanted me to share it as well. I think the reason is that we have been convinced it is a taboo subject. That is contrary to what our country was founded on and what our forefathers thought. Do you know that all the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Christians? The two signers the world always uses to refute that is Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson who claimed to be Deists. Both were member of the Episcopalian Church and both spoke strongly for Christ and religion at times. They may have matured in their beliefs or been misrepresented. I don’t know. But I know Jefferson had a bill passed to send missionaries to the Native Americans. Imagine! Tax dollars used for religious purposes! Franklin called the political debaters to stop for prayer. Doesn’t sound like non-religious people to me!
Many of the signers of the Declaration were trained as ministers, but at the time of the signing of the Declaration, only a few were active in ministry. For example John Witherspoon was serving as a minister at that time; Robert Treat Paine served as a military chaplain during the Revolution. His father was a pastor; and Lyman Hall had served as a minister before the Revolution. There are many others who should also be recognized for their ministry work, including Francis Hopkinson, a church music director and choir leader who edited a famous American hymnbook; Roger Sherman, who wrote the doctrinal creed for his denomination in Connecticut; Benjamin Rush, who started Sunday School in America and founded the country’s first Bible Society; James Wilson, who had been trained as a clergyman in Scotland but became an attorney, teaching students the Biblical basis of civil law; and many others. In fact, at least 29 of the 53 signers had been trained in schools whose primary purpose was the preparation of ministers. Does that sound like separation of church and state? I don’t think so. In fact, the predominate feeling was that it was a Christians duty to be involved politically.
We have fallen a long ways from when our Country was founded. Now people want to convince Christians to stay out of politics. “Politics is dirty!” Well, yes it is. The world is a dirty and evil place – but we are called to go out into it and make a difference. C. S. Lewis described the Christian as a ‘good infection’ and we are to go into the dirtiest and most sinful places and infect them for good. We are to be the light that dispels the darkness. We are to be the salt that preserves and purifies. We need to do that with the government. When the good retreats – guess what takes over? Evil. And that is what has happened in politics in America.
Let me give you a brief history of my political involvement. Because my Dad was a staunch Democrat, when I reached voting age, I registered as one, too. I always voted in every election but I voted as best I could for the man and individual bills. Then in 1988 some friends wanted me to change to Republican so I could vote in the primaries for Pat Robertson. They got me to thinking and I researched what each party supported. What the party stands for is called the ‘platform’ and what each individual held belief is called a ‘plank’. I found the democrats’ platform was made up of many planks that I couldn’t support. Things like abortion, same sex marriage and big government (or socialism). I switched parties and before I knew it I was a delegate to the state convention. I went on to become a member of the County Central Committee – then chairman and then elected to another state convention. I learned a lot. Let me share a few things I learned.