How should you vote?
The country is in a tizzy over who will be the next President of the United States. And, while it’s incredibly early to place much weight in polls and predictions, it’s never too early to begin praying about the outcome.
The Republican field is wide; the Democratic ticket not so much, but come November, the competition will be narrowed to two or three (if someone announces they’re running as a different party.)
The issues inciting voters are not so varied either. The economy and international relations are at the top of the list. There are plenty of moral issues at stake as well—the right to life and racial tension. And, for the most part, the American public is tired of political games—tired of politicians.
So, outside of the debates and the arguably biased news coverage of each candidate, how does a Christian make a well-informed decision about who to vote for? Is there a single set of standards anywhere that can help believers draw clean lines between the options?
I never expected to find such a precise set of standards in the book of Psalms. But, it shouldn’t surprise us. After all, much of the the book was penned by King David of Israel. And the rest were penned by those who knew him and were affected by his rule.
The Bible describes David as “a man after God’s own heart.” It makes sense then, that David’s personal and prayer life can guide us in making godly decisions about those who govern our own lives.
“O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?” Psalm 15:1
While the president himself doesn’t spend much time on Capitol Hill, many other elected officials do and—for better or worse—the president has great bearing on the decisions made there. So let’s paraphrase this verse slightly: Who should dwell on Capitol Hill? The following verses give great detail:
“He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend … “ Psalm 15:2-3
These verses speak very obviously to the campaign season. How many candidates spend much of their air time slandering their opponent or speaking evil against him—often times even taking up a reproach against a former ally for the sake of popularity? And, while none of us on our own can claim to be blameless, a man or woman who has accepted the free gift of Christ’s sacrifice for sin is completely blameless. They also seek to do right and speak the truth.
“ … in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change … “ Psalm 15:4
This verse brings us to the moral issues. Which candidate consistently calls good good and evil evil? A specific case in point: Who is willing to stand up for life? Politicians are notorious for saying one thing during their campaign and doing another once they’re in office. The Bible tells us to look for a man who swears to his own hurt and does not change—this man or woman will not change their stance for truth even when it’s not in their personal best interest.
“ … who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved … “ Psalm 15:5
This verse covers a whole gamut of issues. As voters, we must vote for the candidate who—to the best of their ability—manages the country’s finances well, refuses to be bought and protects the innocent.
Finally, the last sentence sums it up. Do we not want to be a solid, unmovable country? This begins with an uncompromising, strong, unmovable leader.
The Bible tells us clearly how to vote. Is our responsibility as believers and patriots to determine who to vote for.