United States (MNN) – This presidential election is saturated with the sentiment that our cultural future as a nation hinges on who we elect. This is true for our entire nation, but Christian communities are especially concerned.
The Washington Post recently published an article saying many evangelical Christians feel abandoned—not by a candidate but by a party. And Christians who do not agree with the remaining candidates on either side feel they are left to choose the lesser evil.
Carl Moeller of Biblica agrees it’s a tough call. However, he has some words of advice for Christians that could be helpful in the coming months.
The old rules don’t apply
People typically vote within the same party year after year because they agree with its main values and goals. But, regardless of which party that may be, it’s not guaranteed to be a safe way to vote.
Within each major party, candidates have a spectrum of values, something which is especially apparent this year. There is room for the candidates to have personal goals that are not contrary to the party’s main values, but which would oppose personal convictions of the voters.
Moeller says, “I think we need to be convicted that our moral stances are not subject to a political process but that we vote our conscience and that we vote and we stand for candidates who will support our moral convictions.”
Researching candidates: it matters where you start
It’s important to make an informed decision when voting. You might start by researching some of the fundamental disagreements between candidates. What do they believe about abortion, same-sex marriage, taxes, etc.?
But for Christians, that’s not the best place to start. We need to make sure we know how we stand on those issues by knowing what God thinks about them. And we can learn what He thinks when we read His Word and spend time in prayer.
“It’s high time that Christians spend more time in their Bibles than on the political websites and watching political television. Then when we’re invested in the political process, we’ll actually be able to have something of value that we bring to that process,” Moeller says.
This is not to say that Christians should withdraw from the political process or vote blindly. Rather, they should view the situation through a Biblical lens.
“It’s really important for evangelicals to remember that ultimately the ends that we serve— the Kingdom of Jesus Christ—are not served by political means.”
Hope is not found in a candidate
Within the Christian community and within both major parties, some have pulled so aggressively for their candidate that they forget their candidate doesn’t hold the fate of this country in his or her hands.
“As Christian followers of Jesus Christ, as evangelicals who are committed first and foremost to His Gospel, our Hope is found not in the political process, but it’s found in God’s Word and it’s found in God’s will,” Moeller says.
If we put our hope in man, we will be disappointed. If we expect positive, radical change to happen through government, we will be frustrated.
The biggest cultural impact we can have
Regardless of how you vote, if you vote, and who wins this election, our calling is the same. That is, to live for Jesus, and to tell others about him. Furthermore, it’s to exemplify Christ’s love in our lives by loving other people.
“If we live a life that is so dedicated to serving Christ that we actually serve our fellow man and woman as a result, well I think that’s the best political process we can be engaged in.”
Moeller says that even people who disagree with Christian beliefs will notice that we are not driven by a political agenda but an agenda of God’s love, and that might make them take notice.
Biblica is an organization that is driven by God’s command to share the Gospel around the world.
“At Biblica we’re anything but political. We’ve said for over 200 years that the most important thing that Christians can be doing is getting God’s word into people’s hands and hearts so that they can meet their real Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be changed and join His mission for the world.”
Homepage photo credit: Becky McCray via Flickr.