Season: 4 Episode: 043
Does the Bible tell us how to vote? If you have a biblical worldview, what you believe must guide how you vote. Shanda talks about how to talk to friends about politics, why Christians should influence the political sphere, and how we need to vote on policies not parties.
“Christianity is not a private faith. It is a personal faith on public display.”
“Christians should not lay down their bibles before they go to the polls.”
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Hey guys, Welcome back to Her Faith Inspires podcast. I have some exciting news for you and hold on to your seat because it’s going to come at you fast. All of the links and information are on my website and in the show notes.
First, the online class “How to study the Bible like a scholar” is on Sept 29th and the waitlist was full, but if there is room on the registration link, you can check it out at shandafubright.com/resources.
Second, I have an online store! What?? I cannot support this podcast on my own, and I do have a team of people helping me so instead of asking for donations, I created a store with t-shirts, book bags, some of my bible studies and more. All proceeds go to the non-profit for Her Faith Inspires and I try and keep my prices reasonable so it benefits both you and the ministry.
Third, in October for 4 Thursdays, I am leading a Zoom bible study on the 7 churches in Revelation. You will get 9 pdf’s and the Zoom link and I will show you how to study these churches and we will discuss all that the Lord says about these churches in Revelation. The class will be one hour only each night from 6-7pm PST. It is a meaty study, so be prepared to dive in with me.
So head on over to shandafulbright.com to register.
We are in an election year, as you all know, and to say that 2020 has been wild is an understatement. As I type, wildfires are burning our mountains right in our community and our town is pulling together, but it is scary, it’s sad, and it’s uncertain.
I believe the tides are changing in America, and have been changing for a while, and the wonderful thing about our country is that we, the people, get to vote for our government officials.
As Abraham Lincoln said, “America is the last best hope on earth.” I love this country and I am saddened to see what is being taught to the younger generations and what is happening on the streets in some of the major cities.
Now, I live in California and this is a predominately liberal state. SB-145 just passed a couple of weeks ago … basically, they want to protect 18-24yo that are having sex with anyone with a ten year range, down to14yo. There’s more to it than that, and some will want to school me on this, but don’t bother.
I have read it, talked about it with others, and any time you want to put children in danger by making it easier for adults to take advantage of them I am not a proponent nor will I ever be.
There was no voting on this. It wasn’t put before the people. Ca did this without asking parents what they thought. Now, this stuff makes my blood boil. But I am going to refrain from going off about this on this podcast episode because I am going to have a representative from Forever Found on here next month and she is going to shed light on why we need to fight these sorts of laws and how we can do that.
So besides it being an election year, we as Christians should be having these conversations about bills such as SB-145 and other issues that threaten the well-being of our childcare and society.
We have to ask ourselves as Christians, how should we vote? What is our responsibility? Should your pastor tell you how to vote? What if your Christian friends disagree with you on politics? How do you handle that? What does separation of church and state even mean? Do we stay out of politics?
I am going to talk about all of this with you today.
Along with that, I am going to make a disclaimer: I will not tell you WHO to vote for.
That is not why I’m here. My podcast is not like Ben Shapiro’s or Allie Stuckey’s. I am not a political podcaster. I am a minister of the gospel who applies the Word of God to culture. And the Word of God should guide how we vote.
Once again, that means we must know the word of God because it affects every area of our lives. You and I cannot lay down our bibles to go to the polls. Shame on us if we do.
That doesn’t mean that Christians do not get involved in politics. That doesn’t mean that Christians do not have an opinion when it comes to policies, or that Christians are supposed to keep their mouths shut when it comes to things like abortion, same sex marriage, black lives matter organization, the education system, homelessness, healthcare, and all of the issues we face as a nation.
On the contrary, while you have the power to do so, you must influence culture. That means you are supposed to vote.
So today, we will talk about our responsibility as Christians to vote:
- How do we vote? (what is separation of church and state?)
- How do you have conversations with friends and family when it comes to politics?
- And finally, how do we pray for our country and where do we go from here?
How do we vote?
I really want to lay the groundwork for this and say again …. If you are an American and you are 18 or older, you have a responsibility as a citizen of this country to exercise your right to vote. Do not say, “My vote doesn’t matter.” It does. It always matters because if you want to fight for something in our country, this is one way to do it.
My personal conviction is that pastors and ministers should not tell anyone WHO to vote for. We are to teach people HOW to vote based on the word of God. We are to teach the Bible and the Bible guides the way we vote.
I don’t care if your great, great grandma was a democrat her entire life and you feel compelled to vote blue. That is not a reason.
I don’t care if your family are a bunch of republicans and you have to stay true to the way you’ve always voted.
I don’t care if you want to vote in the first woman, black man, the youngest person, the first homosexual … all because it will make history.
That is not a reason.
And I’ve heard Christians who voted this way in the past just because they wanted their vote to make history.
That’s not ignorance that is the exact thing Samuel was told not to do by God when he interviewed the sons of Jesse to become the king of Israel. Samuel, a man of God, got caught up in the stature and looks of one and thought for sure he must be the man because he had the look of a king. And God said, “NO. I have rejected him. You look at man’s appearance, but God looks at the heart.”
We have the Bible as our example of how not to judge leadership … or anyone for that matter … and that is external, frivolous, superficial factors like looks.
As a Christian, we are to vote on policies, not parties.
And the bible guides how we choose the best candidate based upon which one upholds the policies that are aligned to the word of God the most.
Again, this goes back to our biblical world view. Do we have a biblical worldview? Do we believe that abortion is wrong? How about that that homosexuality is a sin? Do we believe that although black lives matter is a true statement, the organization wants to dismantle our police as well as the nuclear family?
Because the Bible has something to say about each of these: life, family, authority, gender, marriage, and all of the above. It is your job to know what the Bible says about these issues and why you and I must uphold these policies to biblical standards in our society.
I have also given up on the fact that the candidate will be perfect.
If he/she were perfect, they’d be called Jesus. And we all know why that’s not humanly possible. So we have to get it out of our heads that the candidate we have to choose from is going to fit the mold of Christianity. They won’t.
I have seen people write on social media .. “How can you be a Christian and vote for ______.” Ok, which candidate are we going to throw in the space because I would say you can say that about anyone. Do not judge your brother or sister in Christ’s relationship with God based on who they vote for.
What we should be asking each other is how are we voting for a candidate based on policies.
So, remember … policies, not parties.
I won’t talk to you about parties or candidates, but I will evaluate the difference between liberals and conservatives. Because republican and democrat policies have changed and continue to change over the years.
Liberal: government is the answer
government regulates the economy
universal health care
religious expression has no place in government
legalization of marriage for homosexuals
Conservatives: less government and more personal responsibility
free market system
clean air, etc, but no environmental policies
supports responsible gun ownership
healthcare spending accounts
opposes the removal of religious symbols on government property
marriage is between one man and one woman
low taxes and small government
If you find yourself in between on these issues, you are more likely a moderate.
I want to stress that Christians can and should talk about politics. Do not … I repeat …. Do not let anyone tell you that separation of church and state means that religion has to stay out of politics.
If a Christian can lay down their bible at any time, I question their biblical worldview and I question whether or not they are a Christian.
Let me quickly recap the whole “separation of church and state” argument.
First, the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the constitution. Thomas Jefferson wrote about the separation of church and state in a letter to the Baptist Association in Danbury, CT.
Many cite the First Amendment as the source of the doctrine of the separation of the church and state because it says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Again, this is falsely interpreted but repeated so often, that people think the church needs to keep their nose out of politics or government.
Not at all.
Jefferson wrote about the separation of church and state in a private letter. Jefferson wanted to keep government out of the church, not the church out of government. On his memorial in Washington, DC, it reads, “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
Christians who think they should not get involved in politics because of separation of church and state have divorced this statement in a private letter from it’s original context. And this is a detriment to our country and to our Christianity.
So do not go around telling other Christians they are not supposed to mingle their religion with politics. Again, as a Christian you are indebted to the word of God. You are mandated to uphold the truth of God’s word. That means your biblical worldview will affect the way this country does politics.
It is imperative that we involve ourselves in politics.
Yet, I believe many behind the pulpit and many under the umbrella of Christianity lack the courage to take a stand these days. Rarely do I hear messages preached behind a pulpit that tackle the policies we face on a daily basis in our culture.
I don’t know the last time I heard a message preached against abortion in the church. And do you know how many christians think abortion is permissisble? Life Way reported that more than 70% of women who had an abortion identify as Christian and more than 40% were attending church at the time they ended their pregnancies.
I believe, as I’ve said many times before when sin abounds, it is because the church chooses to remain silent about such things. That it is not entirely the churches fault, but when women are attending church and calling themselves Christians and go to the abortion clinic and abort their babies, something is missing.
And this is one policy. One, that comes up all the time.
I expect to fight this battle against culture. What I don’t expect is to battle against other believers over it. That is mind-boggling to me.
And we can also add homosexuality, same sex marriage, and all the others to the list because who is leading the way in taking a stand for biblical truth in these areas?
If not us, than who?
If we do not have conversations about these things .. and I mean real life conversations with a person in front of you whom you want to win to the Lord … not a social media missionary who pounces on others and argues behind a screen.
Real conversations with people who do not think like you … what is going to spark dialogue that moves people toward the gospel which will move people to vote on policies and not parties?
Same sex marriage is here to stay, but do you know why it’s important to understand where candidates stand on the issue?
Because it affects your religious beliefs.
It affects your pastor who can marry couples because it will become required that they marry same sex couples against their religion if we do not oppose it.
It matters that you take a stand against gender dysphoria because if you do not call someone by their preferred pronoun, YOU can have legal action taken against you. If we do not talk about these policies and vote on these policies, it will affect your religious beliefs and at that point, you will have to make a decision as to whether you will obey God or man.
And that brings me to the next question ….
How do we talk to fiends and family about politics when we don’t agree on politics?
Ok, so I’m not gonna lie to you and tell you it’s easy to have a conversation without letting your emotions get in the way. It’s hard. Remember what James said, “Be slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to listen.”
Go into every conversation looking to learn something about the person you’re talking to. Ask real questions. Talk less and listen more. Many times, people either:
1. Don’t know the policies of the person they’re voting for and don’t care because it’s all about party lines or some other superficial reason I already mentioned.
2. They are only repeating what they’ve heard on the news and haven’t done their research.
So ask questions and get a feel for why they’re voting the way they are.
I suggest asking the following questions in your discussion:
1. Why are you voting for that candidate?
2. What policies does he stand for that draw you to voting for him?
3. How do that align to the word of God?
Of course, take in mind that this is for Christians because as a Christian, we are responsible to vote based on policies that adhere to a Biblical worldview … yet, if you’ve been listening to me long enough, I know I sound like a broken record, but only 4% of self proclaimed Christians have a biblical worldview.
It’s also more important to win the person, not the argument or discussion.
Is it really worth putting a wedge between you and a friend or a family member you love just because you want them to vote the way you do?
Again, talk policies not parties. Talk candidates without criticism. We are to love our neighbor no matter how they vote or what they believe. That’s not easy in our current state of social media wars.
Politics should be another avenue in which we present the need for God and His word.
And the more you speak up about your policies, the more people will dislike you because you are throwing your hat into the arena of truth when you apply biblical truth to those policies.
Be prepared for that. But know that your conversation must always be with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Col 4:6). Meaning, we can have conversations about heavy topics but make sure they are heavy on the grace too.
What I really want you to take away from this episode is to not back down from conversations about politics just because it’s uncomfortable. I’m also reminding you what I remind myself … don’t lose the relationship to win the debate.
Stand for truth and let them walk away from you if they can’t, like Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men, “handle the truth.”
How do we pray for our country and where do we go from here?
We are living in some scary times. What we’ve seen in 2020 is in my opinion, a self-destruction of our country. We are literally imploding.
It is our job to pray for our country and those who govern it. I have to remind myself of that everyday because it is too easy not to pray for people when you are displeased with them, and I find it difficult to pray for our state government.
However, we are mandated by God to do so. 1 Tim 2:1-4 says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
If we do not pray for our country, we are not calling on our God to intervene on our behalf and for the good of our nation.
If you look in the book of Exodus, God raised up Moses to face Pharoah and save His people from slavery. Why? Because their cries reached His ears and He heard them, so He intervened on their behalf.
In the OT, we see example after example of the nation of Israel and Judah being led by ungodly kings at times and godly kings at others. There was always the introduction of a king with their name and their fathers name and then the description of what kind of king he was by whether or not he was godly or ungodly.
But here’s the kicker: at times, people want who they want even if it’s against their better judgment.
They want who they want for reasons other than biblical truth.
You may say, “What’s the difference? The world is going to go it’s way anyway. We’re living in the last days. This is bible prophecy. America won’t be a world leader at the rise of the anti-christ (for those of you not following me, I will have to do a podcast episode on the signs of the end times according to bible prophecy soon).”
But I say this … every election and choice has a consequence. We see the effects of elections past in our lifetime today.
And this is on a state and local level as well, not just with the president.
Trust me, those of us in California know this. Every church has to have outdoor services with masks and temp checks and not one of our public schools are open.
John McCarthur’s church in So Cal has just been banned from holding in-door services again this week, and Immanuel School’s in the Central Valley who just won the ability to have kids show up to school is being challenged to go back online again.
I have never seen anything like it.
Yet, we vote these people in and there is a consequences to our choices.
And one of the most telling recounts of how the people chose their leadership in the Bible is in Numbers 13. The children of Israel have reached the promised land. God parted the Red Sea. He led them through the wilderness and provided for them.
And the 12 spies were sent into Jericho to spy out their enemies and when they came back they gave a bad report. They talked the people out of going into the land and taking it. Caleb and Joshua tried their best to convince them, but they didn’t want any of it. They wouldn’t listen.
And this is what the people said, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”
Notice again what they said … “we’d rather be slaves and go back to Egypt, so we’re going to find a leader to lead us back into slavery.
What the hay?? That part gets me every time. They were looking for a candidate to lead them back into slavery. And trust me when I tell you, they could find one.
But know this … God has a timeline. God demands that we use wisdom and discernment when judging because He will give the people what they vote for.
And these people ended up changing their minds, cried out to God and said, “Ok, we’ll go. We won’t go back to Egypt.” But by then it was too late. The door had closed and their fate was sealed.
And they suffered the consequence of not choosing correctly when they had the chance.
Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun, and we are no different today than they were in the days of Moses and Joshua. Sometimes people want what they want because the fight is too hard.
I want to close this up today by saying that America is still the greatest nation on the earth. If you don’t believe that, you need to get out more. The Lord has blessed this nation. But I believe we are headed for different times.
America needs your prayers.
Do not think that your vote and your voice doesn’t matter. It does matter. Do not shut down and shy away from policies. Hold those who call themselves Christians accountable for how they vote because they should be held to the standard of God’s word.
I know I talked a lot about some of the policies we face in our culture today, and if you do not know how they align to a biblical worldview and would like me to clarify on a podcast episode, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can do that.
We are in the voting season and I encourage you to do your research of the candidates and their running mates.
Know who, what and why you are voting. But most importantly, know the Word of God and how their views on policies aligns to His word.
That is your responsibility as a Christian and as a citizen of this nation. I am praying for our country every day. And I pray for our president and our government officials. This is a spiritual battle we are in and we cannot stop fighting. Fight in prayer and with words of wisdom, but use your voice with wisdom and grace.
Have a great week and I’ll catch you on the next one.