By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
“Then he said to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21)
This seems to indicate that we are not to be oblivious of the government policies or of the election processes. As citizens we have a responsibility to God to be paying attention, and to give thought to what should be done. God spoke to many rulers and leaders: Moses, Pharaoh Joshua, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, the rulers of Syria, Babylon, and Persia.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:1-4)
In the United States, we have the privilege of choosing our leaders. We have a responsibility to be engaged. The election for the President of the United States will be on Tuesday, 8 November. Actually many will be voting prior to that time by means of mail ballot. Do Christians have a responsibility to vote in this election? If they do, how do they decide whom to vote for? What criteria should Christians be looking for in candidates? Honesty and truthfulness are very important, but is not necessarily seen among all candidates. The policies they support are quite significant. Would they benefit all of the people, a significant segment of the people, or a special group of the people. I think it is proper for Christians to be concerned: Do they attend church and read the Bible?
If we are to pray for “kings and all who are in high positions”, should we not be responsible to learn about the candidates and evaluate their positions? There will be three presidential debates: 26 September, 9 October, 19 October. If we are uncertain whom to vote for, listening to the debates should be helpful. They will not settle whom we should vote for concerning Senator, Congress Person, Governor, and for state and local matters. We need to do some studying in these areas!
The coming elections are not someone else’s responsibility. We should pray for God’s guidance and enlightenment. Let us pray every day that God will guide us, and that we may have good government. It is disturbing when we see people elected to public office, censored, or removed from office for their bad behavior.
“For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (II Corinthians 10:3-6)