As last week drew to a close, several of you kindly suggested that I show an excellent video from Franklin Graham in our morning service yesterday, and others asked me to publish a voter’s guide from an outside organization. I chose instead to share from my own heart. As I wrote down my thoughts in preparing to speak, I asked God to help me be pastoral rather than political. Several of you have requested yesterday’s transcript, so I share it here. Before we, as a church family, prayed for our nation yesterday – just forty-eight hours before our national election – here is what I said …
I want to urge you to vote Tuesday. Don’t fall into anger or despondency. You and I still serve a Sovereign God! Voting is a God-given privilege in our land, and one way for Christ-followers to function as “salt and light” as our Lord Jesus commanded us (Matthew 5:13-16).
As your senior pastor, I believe that there are before us at least four colossal moral issues:
- We need to value all human life as created in God’s image, just as we’ve learned in our Genesis study. It will be a tragedy if our government repeals the Hyde Amendment, thereby apportioning the use of every citizen’s tax dollars to fund abortions. I pray that those who fear God will influence both political parties to work unashamedly toward a culture of life and hope.
- We need the appointment of Supreme Court justices who will seek to administer “liberty and justice for all,” including religious liberty for all. Our next President will likely appoint multiple justices who will influence American life for decades. Without political motivation, we need humble and reasonable men and women on the Court who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, including limits on government overreach and the accountability that comes from the separation of powers as wisely and carefully designed by our Constitutional Framers.
- We need jobs, and a restored work ethic in our land. I don’t think that we can rely entirely on the unemployment index, because those numbers tend to be manipulated for political gain. But if you look at the last report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (October 2016), you’ll discover that we have over 94,000,000 working-age adults outside the labor force. This is hitting all segments of our society hard, but it is especially tragic for African Americans. This should break our hearts. African American young people in our inner cities can’t find jobs, not even decent summer jobs. As you know, poverty leads to many other social ills, and the lack of gainful employment tends to create a vicious generational cycle of despair.
- We need for American influence in the world to be both strong and We can’t compromise on protecting our citizens. Nor should we enter into a season of strict isolationism, which would harm our already fledgling economy and cut us off from the opportunities across the globe – which we have enjoyed throughout American history – to love our neighbor in distress. Through America’s generous spirit, God has opened doors for the Church, and allowed in unprecedented fashion Americans to export Christ’s good news to the ends of the Earth.
To quote the singer Kari Jobe: “Wake up, sleeper, lift your head; we were meant for more than this. Fight the shadows, conquer death, make the most of time we have left. We are the light of the world, we are the city on the hill, we are the light of the world. We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine!”