Get registered and get informed

Normally I use this blog to try to teach a Bible lesson. This week I’m going to try to teach a lesson in civic duty. The civic lesson this week: you have a responsibility to God and to your country to vote. Every eligible voter in America has this responsibility!

I guess you could say this is also a Bible lesson because this was communicated in Scripture. Proverbs 11:11 hints at the idea that a city needs good men and women. The idea is that good men and women make the city a better place to live. The only way that good men and women make it into office in America is if you and I vote them into office. In Micah 4:9 “Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor perished, has pain seized you like a woman in labor?” Micah is saying that without a good leader the land itself is in trouble. Having a bad leader hurts to the same degree that women in labor hurt. Any country without good leadership is doomed to destruction. This has never been more true than in America right now!

Freedom is a package deal

Freedom is a package deal. That means when one aspect of society loses freedom all of society becomes less free. That also means that I must fight for the freedom of others if I want to have the same freedoms myself. Let me give you a brief example of this: As a US Army chaplain I fought vigorously for the soldiers in my unit to be able to exercise their religion freely. I even fought for those who didn’t share my beliefs to be able to practice their faith. I realized that if one faith group in the US Army was no longer able to practice their faith I may not be able to practice my faith in the future. In other words, you start down a dangerous slope when you limit someone else’s freedom. Or here’s a better picture for it, it’s like sawing the branch off that you’re sitting on. Eventually you’re going to create your own demise.

I want you to keep this lesson in mind when we talk about the freedoms in America. If one group of Americans loses their freedom, all Americans are in danger of losing their freedom. Every election cycle America’s freedom is at stake. Don’t make the mistake of voting on an issue or for a candidate that limits everyone else’s freedom for your benefit. In the next election cycle it could be your freedom that’s up for grabs.

3 levels of responsibility

I believe there are three levels of responsibility that every citizen of a free country should consider. These three levels are even more important to followers of Jesus who live in a free country.

Basics level

The basic level of responsibility for citizens of a free country is to be an “informed voter.” Notice that I said this is the basic level. This is the absolute minimum if you do anything less than this, you aren’t living up to your responsibilities as a citizen in a free country. Let’s take a look at what it means to be an informed voter. First, you have to be registered. If you plan on voting in the November elections, you probably only have a few days left to get registered. If you’re not registered yet you can’t vote.

But voting itself requires you to be aware for whom or what your voting. In other words, you also have to know about the candidates and know about the issues. If you are already registered, start getting informed about the ballot initiatives that you will be voting on this election cycle. If you’re already registered, start becoming aware of the candidates and their stance on issues. Don’t go to the poll uninformed.

Intermediate level

The next level of responsibility in a free society is to support an initiative or a candidate. Get out there and help someone get elected. Start working for a political candidate; start engaging in the political process; start getting to know the issues relevant in this election period.

Maybe there’s a controversial ballot initiative coming up in your election. Perhaps this ballot initiative needs your efforts and energy. Get out there and help your community become aware of the issues and how they will impact your community now and in the future. Be part of the political process. I believe one of the reasons why we had so few godly men and women running for office is because we have so few godly men and women involved in the political process. Get involved. Support a candidate. Take a stand on an issue for God’s glory and the good of your community.

Advanced level

The greatest level of responsibility a person can have in a free society is to run for office. If you are sincere follower of Jesus Christ, if you care deeply about your community, if you have passion about the people in your city, consider running for office. Make the greatest investment in the politics of your country or your community possible – invest yourself in the process. Put your name on the ballot and run for office. God in Heaven knows how much we need good men and women who are surrendered to Jesus Christ leading our communities or leading our country. The only way that can happen is if good godly men and women are on the ballot running for office. By the way, if you’re a sincere follower of Jesus Christ and you’re in my district, I’ll vote for you – regardless of your political party.

Further reading

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