Summary: This message is to encourage Christians to vote their values, showing how we have a right, responsibility and reason to vote. It encourages Christians to know who they are voting for and what they stand for.
Castle Hills Christian Church: October 19, 2008
Romans 13: 1-7
INTRODUCTION: VIDEO: Vote your Values
I saw a cartoon recently where two men were sitting on a park bench … neither one is saying anything for several frames. Then one man lets out a SIGH. The other guy gets up and mutters, “Well, if you’re going to talk Politics, I’m out’a here!”
It makes me think of the Proverb that says, When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan. (or sigh… as the case may be…) Proverbs 29:2
1. The Right to Vote
In case you haven’t noticed, we have an Election coming up in 16 more days. I certainly want to encourage all of you to VOTE! And you may not know it, but we have someone in our congregation who will enjoy that right for the first time this year.
Alexandra Gaitan became a citizen of the USA in June of this year. Alexandra is from Venezuela … and it’s a long process to become an American Citizen. She probably knows more about America than most of us! Alexandra’s husband, Robert, is our drummer. He told me she’s kind of shy, but it would be okay to embarrass her. So, Alexandra, would you stand for just a minute so people can see who you are? (You can blame Robert for that.) I think it’s a big deal to become a citizen, and we’re glad to welcome you as an American Citizen.
It’s a great privilege to be an American Citizen. But as Christians, we enjoy an even higher privilege. Philippians 3:20 says, Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God is our ultimate citizenship, and Jesus is our ultimate leader.
We have the responsibility to vote as citizens of God’s Kingdom as well as citizens of the USA. Our country was founded with the Principle of Religious Freedom. Listen to the first amendment to the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
This amendment was meant to guarantee the government would not interfere with the individual’s right to practice their Faith. But it’s been turned on its head and used to intimidate individuals from letting their Faith influence their Government.
You hear the phrase “separation of church and state” a lot now-a-days --- usually to tell people of Faith they need to stay away from the public arena. Most people would be shocked to learn that the phrase "separation of church and state" appears NOWHERE in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
And more than that, the idea that Christians should keep their faith out of political life is the exact opposite of what our founders intended.
I collected a few quotes from our Nation’s Founders that illustrate how much they expected Christians to influence the nation. (These are just a few of the many quotes I could have used!)
Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Whoever shall introduce into the public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.”
John Adams concurred, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
His son, John Quincy Adams declared: “So great is my veneration of the Bible, that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society.”
Here’s a quote from John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:
“Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Could that be any further removed from the anti-religion rulings of recent Supreme Courts? We don’t always get to vote on our Judges … but we DO get to vote for the people who appoint them. When I vote, I have to ask myself, What kind of Judges will determine the nation my grandchildren inherit?
This election could make that determination. We have 5 Supreme Court Justices over 70 years old and the next President will very likely appoint life-time replacements for some or all of them.
2. The Responsibility to Vote
When you look at the long-term effects from even one election, you can see what a great Responsibility comes with the Right to VOTE. Let’s look at what Scripture has to say about Christian Citizens in Romans chapter 13: