I'm about to do something I probably swore I would never do. I'm going to talk politics. I have been cringing every time I check facebook because there are so many truly degrading status updates and just plain meanness on BOTH sides! I literally hate watching TV because of the political ads and every time someone says something mean I almost automatically want to vote for the other person. I think it's important to remember that all politicians of whatever party are human and humans are sinful so neither party is perfect by any stretch. I wish that Christians would stop looking at their party (whichever one it is!) like the Savior - and judging those who vote differently! Our Pastor http://blogs.nsb.org/jonathanalexander/preached on politics and told a story about a man who was wanting to becoming of Christian but in tears said he just couldn't accept Christ because he couldn't vote Republican. How tragic that we are Christians have allowed politics to become so divisive that people feel they can't accept Christ if they can't accept the Republican party! And in our day there are definately groups of Christians who camp in either the Democratic or Republical party - and judge those who vote differently. Shame on us!
So, how do I vote? I have started to read a lot more about different issues, and in particular look at the voting record of those running for office. Unfortunately - you can't always (or maybe never?) trust what comes out of the mouths of many politicians - and looking at specifically what has been voted for or against can give a bit more light to the standards and what that person thinks is important. But, the most important research I do is look at what the Bible says on various topics. There are many extremely touchy topics in this year's election that will could a lot of the direction of our country - and often it isn't popular to side with what the Bible clearly says about these issues. What does the Bible say about the environment? Life inside the womb? Caring for the poor? Caring for the elderly? Respect for authority? Finances and debt? Marriage? Child raising? ... If we say that we follow Christ but then make up our own standards for living when He has set out how His followers should live there is a disconnect somewhere. And that includes politics. Should we vote the way someone else says we should or according to which candidate, what initiative etc. stands closer to Biblical values?
It is very hard when we see things that match with Biblical standards in both choices, or things that definitely don't - and sometimes it honestly feels like it comes down to choosing the better of two evils. But we need to come before God and ask His direction and then vote as Biblically as we can - no matter what popular opinion says we should do.
So get out there and do your civic duty! If you don't take the time to vote you really shouldn't complain about our government. Be informed and be involved. But DON'T settle for name calling and below the belt blows. Yes engage in civil political discussions - learn all you can! Act in a way that reflects the love of all mankind (yes even your opposing political party! gasp) as Jesus displayed - not that we can't disagree or call evil evil (Jesus certainly did!) but we should always be careful of what kind of witness we are giving to the world - and that includes in election year!