HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
November 13, 2006, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Morality must be brought to the polls

Pastor Lisa Ellwoods, Jacob’s Well, Montrose

Even though the recent election is over, the morality of voting is still an important issue.

In the last few elections, Christians have been urged to vote for their values when going to the polls as if it is a clear case as to which candidate we should vote for to be casting the Christian ballot.

This has been portrayed as an obvious choice, but when you start to look at the candidates, it becomes less and less clear.

So, which party should a Christian vote for?

To me, it doesn’t look like either of the parties is particularly in line with what the Bible says about choosing to live life and form policies in such a way that humanity is changed for the better.

The Republicans want to create a view of politics where Christian moral values are represented, but these seem to lack a true transformational social change.

The Democrats are more willing to look at programs that provide for social change, but they are not willing to articulate their Christian moral principles in order to get these changes done. They prefer to take the stand that each of us have our religious values and they need to be kept separate from politics, which sounds good, but if you are living as a Christian 24/7, then it is impossible to keep your religious values out of your political decisions.

I think that the problem is that neither party truly represents the full spectrum of what Christian values could be represented in politics today.

If, somehow, we can get the true Christian issues out there, then we could see some true change for the better of humanity.

For example, I would venture to say that both Republicans and Democrats would like to see fewer abortions occur in this country.

Why not work together to try to establish policies that could make this happen, rather than simply pointing to whether or not a woman has a right to an abortion or whether the baby has a right to life?

Forming public policies that can transform communities is what is Biblically called for and where I see that Christians need to be heading.

So, how should a Christian vote?

I think that the best thing that a Christian can do when they go to the polls is to be sure that they look at the candidate’s positions on all of the issues, not just one or two to see where they really fall morally.

For example, Jesus tells us to take care of the poor. If a candidate doesn’t want to establish programs to care for poor people, perhaps we need to take a harder look at the candidate.

Are they really representing all Christian values, or only a select few, in order to get elected?

My hope is that we will see candidates come forward that actually embrace all Christian values, not just the ones that will get them elected.

In the meantime, Christians need to be taking a stronger look at what the Bible tells us about contemporary ethical issues, and becoming involved where we can to be a part of the transforming initiatives that Jesus has called us to.

And in the next election, which way will I choose?

I will choose the candidate closest to achieving a full spectrum of Christian values including wanting to establish transforming programs.

I believe that this is what we are supposed to do as Christians.

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