By Jaime Nava –
There’s a lot of voting going on this year. For Missouri-Synod members at the Convention, we’ll be voting on a multitude, even a plethora, of resolutions and positions. I’m on my way there now. The deacon thing is sure to be a hot topic. So is that constitutional thing I got all the propaganda about from that megachurch near the Purple Palace. I’m sure every convention has its hot topic. Let’s not forget the circus, err, election coming up for the United States (as if you could). We’ve got Donald Drumpf posing as a Republican, kinda like Gov. Arnold did here in KAH-LEE-FORRR-NYAA. Then you’ve got Hillary, who didn’t get in trouble because she’s basically not an ordinary citizen, I guess? There’re some others, sure, but overall, it looks to be a loser of an election and a loser Supreme Court nomination term, as well. Great.
So how does one affect the process? What do we do when the only people lifted up to represent me in the United States of America are complete losers with a track record of lying, denying the lies, and supporting things I am wholeheartedly opposed to like abortion? Some people might say “It doesn’t matter so long as you vote.” Something like that. Another saying I’ve heard is “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.” Is that true? If I don’t vote, do I have to shut up? I believe I have every right NOT to vote and STILL speak what I believe.
As a citizen of the United States, it is my civic duty to my neighbor that I vote. I have other obligations, too. I pay taxes. I obey rules of the road. All of these things are expected of me as a person who dwells in this tarnishing country. So what if I don’t vote? Does that make me a bad citizen? A LOT of people think so. I disagree. There is something greater than voting. I also live as a citizen of a whole other realm. I have been called by God to live in His Kingdom and serve Him (Rev. 1:6). I don’t vote for the King in that Kingdom. I don’t even apply for citizenship. My corpse is dragged in from the grave, given life, and I am made a citizen without any merit or worthiness in me. Pretty cool, huh?
Every Christian lives in both of these realms. Generally, the obligations of the realm of this world fall in line with the obligations of the spiritual realm. Obeying rules of the road is God-pleasing because it protects my neighbor. Rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s is also God pleasing. Even voting for the sake of my neighbor is God-pleasing. Yet, there comes a time when Caesar goes too far. For example, here in California, the state is trying to deny religious schools their obligation to their conscience based on God’s Word. They will have to comply with state laws that violate their conscience, or they will lose out on benefits that have long been afforded to religious universities. Iowa is trying hard to force “PC” preaching and transgender bathrooms on conservative churches. Little Sisters of the Poor stood up for what they believed despite tremendous pressure. When the government goes beyond God’s Word to strong-arm their citizens to violate their religious conscience, we have every obligation to break that false law. When the government comes down on us for doing so, we submit as Paul says in Romans. We obey as far as God’s Word goes and as far as it is good for our neighbor. Gay marriage is not good for my neighbor. Supporting transsexuals in their gender dysphoria is not good for my neighbor. This also leads to voting, then.
If my only choices for voting are people I do not support, then I am obligated to adhere to my conscience for the sake of my neighbor. I will not support someone who will allow death of millions of the voiceless in the womb. I will not vote for someone whose platform is inciting people to anger and hatred for the fellow Americans or even fellow human beings. I will not vote for someone who supports gay marriage or transgenderism. If those are my only options, then I won’t vote, because I will not violate my conscience based on God’s Word for the sake of my neighbor. For me, my civic obligation is subordinate to my duty to the Realm of God in His Word. And if I decide not to vote because I believe it violates my conscience, I will still have the right to speak what I believe as much as someone else who voted. If I do not vote, I will not shut up. I must speak where God speaks. To be silent on the Word of God, which ultimately points to Jesus and His Gospel, makes me a terrible citizen of God’s right-hand kingdom.
It is important to vote. If good people do not vote for the best candidate, then who gets elected? I will draw the line in some cases, though. If all I have to vote for are Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum and they blatantly conflict with my conscience, then I will not vote. And should that occur and I get into a political conversation, I will speak with as much gusto as if I had voted because I have every right to speak publicly whether or not I voted. If you don’t like it, you are free to shut your ears.