With political divisiveness at a fever pitch and Americans increasingly disillusioned by government institutions, now is not the time for apathy and cynicism about the nation’s November midterm elections.
Instead, Christians should personally advocate for the sanctity of human life and marriage, honor God’s created order and vote for political candidates who uphold these Biblical values as society’s bedrock.
Such was the rallying cry from pastors, politicians, public policy experts and theologians who spoke during the Family Research Council’s “Pray Vote Stand Summit,” held Sept. 14-16 at First Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Addressing summit participants, Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky, exhorted Christ-followers to embrace their Christian responsibility to “make this world, by every bit of influence that we have, more fit for the living and for those who will yet [live] in generations to come.
“We have a responsibility to make certain that Christians understand the stewardship of the vote, which means the discipleship of the vote, which means the urgency of the vote, the treasure of the vote,” he said. “And they need to understand that insofar as they do not vote or they vote wrongly, they are unfaithful because the vote is a powerful stewardship.”
Furthermore, Mohler said, 47 Republicans voted with all Democrats in the House of Representatives to approve a bill that would codify same-sex marriage into law for all 50 states. And all of them should be held accountable. The Senate, which is expected to vote on the bill sometime after the midterm elections, needs only 10 Republicans to join Democrats to ratify the measure.
“One of the most Orwellian things I’ve ever heard,” Mohler said. “Destroy marriage and call it the Respect for Marriage Act. That’s just the way Washington does it.” As for the proposed legislation, Mohler said voters should remember who’s responsible for the attacks on Biblical marriage.
Describing an America where “society must simply conform to a boy claiming to be a girl and a girl claiming to be a boy,” Mohler said Christians have no right to accept a “secular, godless understanding of grace and love that says, ‘I have the right to tell you who I am in terms of my gender.’
“We need the right voters showing up with the right convictions at the right time … in order that our children and our children’s children may inherit this grand constitutional experiment, which I believe, under the providence of God, is unprecedented in human history.”
“We The People …”
Citing the first word in the United States Constitution, U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) declared, “the power of our Constitution began with this very simple principle of ‘we.’”
“Please don’t elect people to do your job,” Lankford said. “We have to pray, vote and stand. We have to engage in cultural conversations. We have to convince our neighbors of things. We, some of you, need to run for office in different places. We need to get busy doing the task that God has set us to do. This is still we. And you’re a part of ‘we, the people.’”
Lankford, who resigned from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma in 2009 after 22 years in youth ministry, said he did so to obey God’s call to seek election to Congress. And he is as passionate as ever about influencing his colleagues in the Senate for God’s glory.
“Washington doesn’t change the country,” Lankford asserted. “The country changes Washington. We affect Washington when we influence those folks around us. This is not imposition. This is not a dictatorship. It’s we. And as we watch the culture collapse, we should ask the question, where’s the salt? Because the meat by nature goes bad when salt is not doing its job. The ‘we’ part of our Constitution is a big deal. This nation is not about selfishness. This nation is about ‘we’ and how we engage to be able to move ideas and issues.”
And for those who might have lost hope in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government on Capitol Hill, Lankford contends that Scripture is replete with examples that “God has a passion for what’s happening in government because government affects people, and He cares about people.”
Lankford was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 following four years in the House of Representatives. He serves on several key Senate committees, including Finance; Homeland Security and Government Affairs; Energy and Natural Resources; and Indian Affairs.
“God has put me on some different committees and places to hopefully be an influence in some of the hard issues,” Lankford told Decision. “I feel the obligation as a Christian to not only be a moral, ethical leader but to do my homework, learn the issues, and to propose real solutions. I think because people know I’m a Christ-follower, I should do the job better than anyone. I should work harder on this because I also am carrying the responsibility of being a Christian legislator. And I want more people to say ‘we should elect more Christian legislators; they work hard.’”
Lankford said the Book of 1 Peter in the New Testament has timely application for Christians seeking to stand for Christ in an anti-Christian culture.
“I think Peter is speaking to a lost world, and he’s saying, ‘I know your culture; don’t give up,’” he suggested. “Go live such good lives among the pagans, that though they accuse you of doing evil, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us (see 1 Peter 2:12). You can win them over by living as an alien and a stranger, and here’s how to do it.
“Let’s try to influence the culture rather than complain about the culture. That’s the ‘we.’ We have a responsibility to do so, and if we just watch other people do it, we’ve given our responsibility to someone else.”
Shine The Light
After more than 30 years in politics, former Arkansas governor and two-time presidential candidate turned television commentator Mike Huckabee candidly admitted that his life proves how God can use anyone for His purposes if they are willing to shine His light in a dark world.
As a 16-year-old, Huckabee said, it was that same message from Billy Graham that changed the trajectory of his life as he stood with nearly 100,000 high school and college students assembled in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl for Explo ’72, sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ.
“That night was when God spoke to me and said, ‘You’re not a very important person, you’ve got no influence, your name doesn’t open a bunch of doors, but the world is dark. And your light may not be very big, very bold, but if you’ll let it shine, then the darker things get, the more impact your life can have,” Huckabee recalled.
“And what was life-changing to me was that as powerful as the 100,000 candles were in that stadium, what was more powerful was that in the pitch darkness—and I was probably 100 yards away from the podium where Billy Graham stood—but in the pitch darkness with all the lights out, [his] one single little hand-held candle penetrated the darkness, and I could see it from where I was. And I’ll never forget his point was that the darker things are, the more even a little light will make a difference.”
Huckabee, who was head of an ad agency, Christian broadcaster and Southern Baptist pastor before seeking political office, said more Christian influence is needed in local, state and national elections.
“Our country is in trouble because so many people who go to church on Sunday won’t go anywhere but church when it comes to standing for righteousness,” he said.
“I totally disagree with those who say, ‘Well, politics is dirty; we don’t want to get involved in that,’” Huckabee told Decision. “Mission work is dirty in God-forsaken cultures. There’s nothing easy about that. Why do we send missionaries? Because we believe that we have to confront a godless culture with a godly word. So, the same thing is true in politics. The nastier it gets, the more incredibly important it is that we engage.
“Someone’s values are going to prevail. I don’t want it to be people who worship government and who worship the creation rather than the Creator. I want it to be people who worship and believe in an Almighty Creator God who gave us standards to live by.” ©2022 BGEA