Voting to the Glory of God
It is time for our Queensland State Elections again. Even though the election day is October 31st, we can say that election is certainly underway will pre-polling booths already open and with postal voting included.
How do you know who to vote for? I recently saw a news broadcast that revealed that the Google search words, “Who do I vote for?” always “spikes high” on election day.
The simple answer for a Christian is to vote for the leader who you believe will best represent God’s good and gracious will for the world. This is because a political leader represents God whether that person is a religious person or not. There is a short hand used for this Christian understanding, called the “left hand kingdom” of God. The right hand kingdom is the Church where the Gospel is proclaimed. The left hand kingdom is the world of Government where God works through Government for the well-being of human society.
Voting for the leader who will best represent God’s good and gracious will, takes some preparation. It requires reflection on what candidates say and do. It requires prayer and thoughtfulness before God. It requires an ever-deepening understanding of the speaking of God in the Old and New Testament in the Bible. It requires conversation with sisters and brothers in Christ regarding various candidates and political parties in an election. In our country, Christians are driven to this kind of preparation because of our compulsory voting system.
There is something of a “checklist” for Christian reflection on “who to vote for” in one line in the General Prayer in our Lutheran liturgy for the Service with Communion. After the sermon each Sunday we have traditionally gathered the thoughts and prayers of the people of God, and prayed outwardly for the Church, for the world, and for individual needs. In the section on the world, in the General Prayer, we have prayed for our leaders and for government. The words of that line in the General Prayer give a good summary for checking through what political candidates say and do.
We pray, “Help those in government and positions of responsibility to maintain honesty and truth, justice and peace.” So here is the checklist:
- Honesty: Does the candidate maintain and promote honesty?
- Truth: Does the candidate maintain and promote truth?
- Justice: Does the candidate maintain and promote justice?
- Peace: Does the candidate maintain and promote peace?
Of course if the candidate is a member of a party, the same checklist can be applied to the whole party to which the candidate belongs.
God bless your witness as your serve those around you with your vote. God give you wisdom to discern between the various candidates and parties. If you are a parent, with young children, then I encourage you to talk with your children about your voting in this time in the lead up to the election. Share with them how a Christian exercises their right to vote, to the glory of God.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
(And when you go to vote, please take your own pen or pencil)