"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works but to evil.Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due; taxes to whom taxes are due,customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor." Romans 13:1-7
The climate is different. The political atmosphere is charged and there is a different kind of urgency this election. I am not here to tell you for whom you should vote. You vote your conscience, each of us must. Mine is simply to build a case for why each of us should vote.
I hope that you will keep reading.
Because we live in a democracy, no matter how dysfunctional, the way that we affect change is through the voting process and different expressions of civil disobedience. That's why Fannie Lou Hammer, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisom and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had such a powerful and positive impact, in my humble opinion, in empowering people to exact change. (Yes I know there were and are countless others, many nameless who have and continue to do the same but those are the ones I chose as examples. Feel free to name others :-)
Believers are dual citizens; of this country where we reside temporarily and also kingdom citizens until eternity forever. As citizens of the United States we have a responsibility to participate in the political process. While it is the general practice of some to not participate in the political process because they do not see it as important to God or of God, I believe this scripture is proof to the contrary. It indicates that God is involved in working through governments that have been given charge over the citizens they govern. God informs us through His word that good, bad or indifferent, those who are leading are going to be used for God's purposes in the earth; even it is for God to judge a people to turn them to Him or back to Him.
Christ Jesus "ministry mission statement" as it is called comes from
Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 4:18-19 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." As believers Christ mission is ours. We do this spiritually as we make disciples, teaching others about this Christ whom we love and His teachings. We do this as we embody His message and mandate and live what we teach and preach, sharing of our resources: time, talent and treasure. That shows up in practical ways that impact positive change in individuals, families, congregations and communities.
God has always been concerned with justice and the well-being of His people. Micah 6:8 says "He has shown you o man what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?"
God in Isaiah 3:14-15 speaks to the leaders of the people: "The Lord will enter into judgment with the elders of His people and His princes: "For you have eaten up the vineyard; The plunder of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the faces of the poor?Says the Lord GOD of hosts."
You may be saying at this point what does that have to do with voting or me?
In our country our votes and demonstrations are part of what helps justice run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream (Amos 5:24, God said it first through the prophetic voice of Amos and later to the leaders of this nation through the prophetic voice of Dr. King). Because we are privy to the rights and privileges that come with living in this country, even the disenfranchised have a responsibility to act to bring about just practices and help ensure the well-being of its citizens. Our vote is our voice and there is a certain strength in our voices. History has shown us that voting and peaceful protest can move mountains when it touches the pocketbook and the power base.
Vote. It makes a difference. God is concerned about everything that concerns us; the spiritual and practical. He uses this process to bring about His purposes. Participate and rock the vote.