Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Nov. 6, 2000

The Christian duty to vote ­ in God we trust

By Rev. Grant T. Bode
St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie

Soon, the campaigning will be done. Very soon. Thank the Lord!

Tuesday, Nov. 7 is Election Day. We will go to the polls to cast our vote.

It is the privilege of a republic to go and a vote for the person we wish to have us represent us in government. It is a privilege to vote, even though we often may take it for granted.

Many men and women gave up their lives, families and fortunes in this nation, in the desire to be free. It was the Revolution of 1776 that gave birth to this great nation under God, as we say in our pledge of allegiance (or, sadly, used to say. You may not be aware of it, but some schools no longer say the pledge of allegiance, due to the reference it makes to God).

The Apostle Paul speaks of government, and the Christian duty in particular, in the book of Romans chapter 13. Take a moment and read this Scripture.

Here, Paul speaks of our Christian duty to honor and respect government and to be good citizens, reminding us that nothing in this world exists by accident, not even government.

Paul reminds us that the authorities that exist have been established by God. But we might say, "Well, good government is one thing, but what about evil governments throughout the world that torture and victimize their citizenry. Should the Christian honor them? Respect them?"

Yes. Paul, even in the midst of persecution, himself, (tradition is that Paul was beheaded by the Caesar Nero), and even as Christians were being martyred for the faith, could write to the churches and believers to honor, respect, and, even, pray for those who ruled over them.

Paul believed and knew God works for the good of those who love Him in all circumstances. Even out of the mayhem of evil and bad leadership, God Almighty can, and will, bring forth good for His people.

Tomorrow is Election Day within our nation. To vote is a privilege ­ for the Christians in the world, it is a duty.

But as you vote, take with you into the booth your faith and your convictions of the heart. A vote cast should reflect your core beliefs.

Do you cherish life? Then, honor it with your vote.

Do you love your neighbor who suffers from want? Then, honor it with your vote.

Do you desire freedom to express your faith publicly without fear of future punishment? Then, honor it with your vote.

God bless you as you practice your right, privilege and duty of voting.

Remember, too, to say a prayer before you cast your vote. Perhaps one such as this:

Father in Heaven, today lead me by Your Spirit. May the people I vote for bring honor to Your name, as well as to this nation. May Your Son be glorified in this nation as it proclaims, "In God We Trust." Amen.

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