On a near daily basis, we receive a number of callers into our daily radio program at the ACLJ, Jay Sekulow Live!, rightfully upset about the most recent appalling Executive overreach by the President or devastating vote in the Senate or House of Representatives.
The question always comes up: “Isn’t there something we can do to stop this outrage?”
Our Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow’s answer is always the same. “Elections have consequences.”
It’s as profound as it is simple, and it couldn’t be more true. Unconstitutional laws and actions must be challenged of course, but the reality is much of what we are fighting against from ObamaCare to out-of-control deficit spending to activist Supreme Court appointments is the direct result of elections.
And more than just results, elections are our responsibility.
As a Christian, I don’t vote just because it’s a good idea, because it makes me feel like a good citizen, or because I like politics. We vote because it is our God given moral imperative.
We are incredibly blessed to live in a nation that allows us the freedom to select our representatives. But it’s more than that. The government is “We the people.” We don’t live in Communist China where the only “choice” is which Communist Party goon to vote for. We don’t live in repressive Russia or an Islamic theocracy like Iran where dissent means death.
We not only have the freedom to choose our leaders, we have the responsibility to select our representatives. Our elected leaders, in a Constitutional republic such as America, represent us. Think about that; whoever we vote for to send to Washington represents us.
With that great blessing of privilege comes great responsibility.
I’m reminded about Jesus telling the Parable of the Talents:
In it he tells the story of a man who has three servants. To each one give gives a different number of talents (in this story, money). One he gave five talents. One he gave two talents. And the last servant he gave one talent. The first two servants went right to work, investing and producing great returns, so much so that they each doubled their investments.
When the man returned and called them to account for what they did with the talents he gave them, he was very pleased with the first two servants. Yet the third servant, who had been given one talent, had buried it in the ground and then returned it to the master without even trying. He was afraid because of how much he knew his master expected and was either too scared or too lazy to do anything with it.
The master was enraged because the servant did nothing with the blessing he received; he didn’t even try.
Jesus concluded the parable with these powerful words:
“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
In America, the land of the free, we’ve been given the blessing of self-governance. We’ve been given the five talents.
If we as people of faith fail to exercise our right to vote – the responsibility that comes with the blessing of freedom – we will have wasted it. We will have buried our talent in the ground.
It’s “self” governance. It’s us. It’s our direct responsibility.
We must take that “talent,” that blessing, that responsibility, and use it. We must vote.
Now some people feel that if they don’t really like their choices in a particular election that fact excuses their responsibility to vote. To them I’d ask a simple question: Did you run? If not, then you are probably not going to agree with the person who did get in the race 100% of the time.
Voting isn’t easy. Choosing who we want to represent us is not something to be taken lightly, but regardless of the choices, not voting at all is exactly burying your vote in the ground. There is no way around it.
We’re blessed to live in a nation where we select our leaders. We’re responsible for our decision.
So as the midterm elections approach in less than a week, Tuesday, November 4th (which means you have at least one person up for election no matter where you live), consider the issues. Consider the candidates.
Where do they stand on protecting the lives of the unborn, confronting the threat of jihad and the persecution of Christians, reining in wasteful spending and immorally rampant debt, and more? Pick the issues you care about most and the person who is running who you believe represents you best.
Don’t bury your vote. It will have consequences.
Matthew Clark is Associate Counsel for Government Affairs and Media Advocacy with the ACLJ. A lifelong citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he lives with his wife and three boys in Northern Virginia. Follow Matthew Clark: @_MatthewClark.