Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Who Should I Vote for in the 2016 Elections? (Part 1)

Andy WoodsBy Dr. Andy Woods
Sugar Land Bible Church

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(The Word on Politics)—Although we are not currently in a major election year, the election cycle will soon be upon us. Before we are unduly swayed by intense campaign ads, now is the time to develop a biblical philosophy of governance. Now is the proper time to ask some important questions. Who should I vote for in the 2016 elections? How do I know if the person I am voting for, as he or she pursues public office, properly represents a biblical worldview? How do I determine who, among the various competing political candidates, better reflects biblical values?

Vote Biblically

Vote Biblically

At the onset, allow me to offer three caveats. First, keep in mind that a politician is not in power to promote his or her personal theology (Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Mormonism, Atheism, etc…). Such a role belongs to pastors and theologians. Rather, a politician is elected to politically and economically govern our state or country. Therefore, we should select candidates not based upon their personal theology but rather upon their philosophy of government. When you compare candidates’ philosophies of government, which philosophy better mirrors biblical values? This is a question that all Christians need to ask in any election. As discerning Christians, we should select those candidates whose philosophy of government, while not perfect, is closer to Scripture than the others'.

Second, until Jesus Christ rules the world from David's Throne, there never will be a perfect candidate. In the mean time, we are left with the task of selecting from among flawed human beings those who will be our next political leaders. Thus, the issue becomes not which candidate has a perfectly pure Christian worldview, but rather who of the competing candidates has a worldview that is closer to the Scripture in comparison to that of their competitors.

Third, a biblical philosophy of governance has little to do with party loyalty or affiliation. Many falsely assume that a biblical understanding of politics means identifying with one party or the other. Party loyalty is not the issue here. Rather, the true issue is what a given candidate believes and how he or she acts or votes on key issues that are important to God.

Here are some general issues that I look at in order to discern the biblical orientation of the governing philosophy of any politician. Granted, each election has its own unique issues that individually and specifically impact voters at the local, state, or federal level. However, here I am only speaking in broad, generic terms. Each of these points could (and likely will as this blog progresses) become an extended series in and of itself. However, because my goal here is comprehensiveness, I will cover each issue in a rather cursory and abbreviated manner. With each issue I have included some parenthetical Bible verse references in order to demonstrate to the reader that these preferences are not uniquely mine, but rather are derived from the pages of God’s Word. While these issues are often irrelevant to the thinking of modern man, they are extremely important to God. For purposes of organization, these issues can be categorized under the following headings: economic issues, social issues, and foreign affairs matters.

(To Be Continued…)

 


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