A Grid of Factors to Consider When Voting

It’s almost time to cast your vote. This is a presidential election that many people think is the most important in decades and has the potential to shape our society and future in profound ways.

Voting is part of your heritage and privilege as an American citizen.

So, go to the polls.

Voting is part of your responsibility as a Christian.

So pray as you go.

You may have made up your mind already. But there are a number of interlocking factors to consider. Not all are equivalent.

Consider which factors are shaping your vote…

+ the celebrity factor: some candidates enjoy celebrity, a standing of fame or

notoriety with the popular culture of musicians, actors, television personalities, etc. or with the thought leaders (commentators, etc) of a particular political philosophy, whether it be liberal or conservative. Celebrity is no qualification for elective office.

+the competence factor: every election is framed around challenges facing our nation: economic health (job creation, debt, health care), defense, foreign policy, legislative gridlock, etc. There are levels of intelligence, experience, perspective and team-building required to address them positively. Which candidate has demonstrated competence to deal with these issues in a way that is best for our nation?

+ the character factor: the candidates are men of a certain character, that becomes more evident in the stresses of a campaign. Character includes virtues like integrity, truthfulness, authenticity, humility, dependability, focus, selflessness, servanthood, stewardship, backbone, courage, wisdom and choice of companions/ advisors. Which candidate has demonstrated the depth and breadth of character necessary for this moment in our nation’s life?

+ the conviction factor: There are deeply held convictions or worldviews that shape so much outward behavior. Convictions are often matters of values, morality, ethics or social & cultural concern that arise from a man’s sense of faith and God. They are deeply personal. Convictions show up in matters concerning the sanctity of life (abortion, aging, disability), the nature of marriage and family, care for the poor, justice for the least, maintaining constitutional freedoms and more. Convictions can also shape the choice of Supreme Court justices and legislative agendas. Which candidate is demonstrating genuine, God-honoring convictions that will result in God-honoring behaviors?

+the chemistry factor: Anytime you hire a person, there is a consideration of chemistry with the current employees or the particular needs of that moment in the company’s life. A president is no different. There is chemistry, a match between a person and a moment. Which presidential candidate is the match for what our nation needs to positively move us through and beyond the next few years?

In all these cases, a Christ-follower would want to vote for a man who tracks most closely with the righteousness of God. Not that we are looking for a theocracy or for a pastor-in-chief, but that it is simply better to closely pursue the values of our Creator. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov.14:34)

However you vote, remember to trust our heavenly King who on Wednesday morning will still be reigning supreme – and good- on His eternal and unshaken throne.

      Are there any other factors that will inform your vote on Tuesday?

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